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Death of Civilians Ignite Protests in Afghanistan

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Yesterday, according to an Associated Press report, there were protests, demonstrations and a burning in effigy of President Obama in Jalalabad and Kabul, Afghanistan, over the alleged killing of ten Afghan civilians this week. The allegations, made by Afghan government investigators, included eight students between the ages of 12 and 17. Western military sources said the charges were unsubstantiated while a statement from President Karsai's office said he supported the findings of his government's investigators. This same day had American General Stanley McCrystal meeting with Karsai to "discuss the incident."

Whether or not this latest alleged "incident" was true or not, there have been confirmed reports of the killing of innocents by our forces in Afghanistan in the recent past. Scores of innocent Afghan people (despite their legitimate suspicions and contempt for the corruption of the Karsai government, and their questioning of its legitimacy and seen by most as a tool of the Western forces and occupiers) have been killed in this war. Whether from bad intelligence sources, mistaking innocents for insurgents or through simple error, these killings inflame the population. To them they are not "collateral damage" but loved ones, fathers, brothers, their own children who have been killed or maimed.

Do we not create new insurgents with the casualty's survivors, bent on avenging their loss, vowing revenge and willing to do anything in opposition against us, even to the point of their own death? To these people we are the enemy, pure and simple; infidels and killers of innocents who occupy their country.

The idea that our "good intentions" or whatever it is we believe we're doing to benefit the Afghan people, is lost when the hearts and minds of those people are forever lost, particularly over the killing of innocents, and can not be recaptured by some new "troop escalation" strategy (Obama's recent announcement to send 30,000 additional troops), a new general in charge (McChrystal), even a new effort to limit "collateral damage", (part of McChrystal's new plan in "protecting" the Afghan people).

Whatever "bad guys" that existed at the beginning of this war, that began more than eight years ago,( whether they were al Qaeda terrorists, their deposed Taliban hosts, the warlords whose allegiance's changed depending on who paid them the biggest bucks for their "services" or the local tribal groups who demanded "toll" payment when crossing into their "territory"), the current diverse insurgency,( notably with less the 100 al Qaeda militants remaining in Afghanistan according to Obama's chief military advisor General Jim Jones), has multiplied many times over and is in varying alliance with each other, yet all opposed to our continuing presence.

Afghanistan, (known as the "graveyard of empires" and for good historical reasons, whether it was the Soviets, the British before them or going all the way back to Alexander the Great), has successfully resisted and fought off all foreign efforts to control the country. We are just the latest invader and occupier that the Afghans oppose who will fight on indefinitely until we eventually pack up and leave. The American people will eventually recognize the futility of this war (as we did in Viet Nam) and demand we leave.

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