We have not heard anything from media, Congress or the President about the intense and widespread suffering of Afghanis during the American war against their former government, Taliban (still in power in the countryside), the leaders of which were once welcomed to the White House as heroes of their nation by President Reagan.
All the talk is about how much the continuing war is costing the American people in terms of money, nothing about what the U.S. war is costing the Afghani population in terms of lives lost, destruction, fear, and bitterness engendered by the foreign invaders. Eight years already of daily Associated Press wire service reports of how many Taliban or suspected insurgents (against our occupation) killed. And eight years of children starving and freezing to death in that area of Afghanistan occupied and controlled by U.S. troops.
This week, after eight years of U.S. troops controlling Kabul:
Earlier this year:
Religion News: Jan 6, 2009 ... Some Afghan women say death by fire is their only choice ... "I wanted to die rather than watch my children freeze and starve to death," said Rezaie, who suffered burns over 30 percent of her body..." .
Last Year: (were the previous years, 2007, 2006 any different?)
Afghanistan: Freezing to death in Kabul
Astrid Sehl, Norwegian Refugee Council 01.02.2008
"Thousands of men, women and children who have fled the war in South Afghanistan are now struggling to survive the freezing winter in the country's capital, Kabul.
Heavy snowfalls and temperatures below minus 25 degrees Celsius have caused fatalities of around 70,000 livestock in West Afghanistan. When NRC's Secretary General Elisabeth Rasmusson visited Kabul this week, she was met by desperate parents who called for help for their children. People wearing thin clothing and some with bare feet, were hurrying past the simple tents in the city of 1,800 meter altitude. In one of the tents, was the body of a man who had tragically died the night before. In another tent, two young sisters sat on the snow inside while they were starring out in the air."
Afghan Refugees Freeze to Death AP, Dec 13, 2002
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- "It has been a cold welcome for many of the 1.8 million Afghan war refugees who streamed home after the fall of the Taliban last year. The luckier ones spend freezing nights in bullet-scarred ruins in Kabul. The unlucky sleep huddled together under frail plastic tents.
Returning after years in squalid camps in neighboring Pakistan and Iran, the refugees hoped for a better life here. But with few jobs and fewer places to live, many are now hoping just to survive Afghanistan's harsh winter.
"At night the cold is so bad, its frightening," said Taza Gul, the elderly head of a family of 11 that lives under a tiny roadside tent. "It may get worse, we don't know. Our fate depends on Allah."
The U.N. refugee agency estimates 560,000 people will be particularly vulnerable this winter because they lack adequate housing, food and the means to keep warm, the agency spokeswoman Maki Shinohara said.
Many are in danger simply because they live in remote rural areas where roads will likely be cut off by snowfall blocking most emergency aid from getting through.
The United Nations has been trying to head off any crisis by distributing tens of thousands of blankets, wood stoves, fuel and plastic sheeting, Shinohara said.
The U.N. World Food Program has delivered 51,000 tons of food nationwide, 95 percent of its winter target. The rest is expected to be delivered before the end of December.
Authorities hope those supplies will get desperate families through January and February -- the harshest winter months.
Shinohara said the United Nations was holding the bulk of its winter stockpile in reserve in case of emergencies, such as a severe drop in temperature or a new conflict that would displace more civilians.
Shinohara said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was especially concerned about the snowy central highlands, where temperatures could drop to minus 22 degrees."
The U.S. empire's armed forces always focus on the killing. The UN World Food Program and UN Refugee Agency follows behind the U.S. carnage and destruction with charity for the victims of U.S. bombings, invasions and overthrowing of governments, disabling them from taking care of their own maimed, freezing and hungry citizens.
And in 2005: (figure more of the same going on in 2004, 2003, 2002)
Afghans Give Opium To Frozen Kids - CBS News Feb. 19, 2005 "... Cold, Disease Kills 120 Children; Opium Given In Lieu Of Health Care. ... (AP) Disease fueled by freezing weather has killed more than 120 Afghan children, ... even in the capital have apparently frozen to death in makeshift camps" click here
February 2001: - Five months into the U.S. invasion: (No Afghanis were in the planes with the Saudis on 9/11)
Children freeze to death as Afghan crisis deepens
By Ahmed Rashid in Lahore, Telegraph UK, 17 Feb. 2001
At least 150 people, many of them children, have frozen to death in makeshift refugee camps in the western city of Herat where more than 80,000 refugees escaping war, ... and famine have taken refuge. With the international community refusing to release funds for UN relief agencies, for weeks the refugees' only shelter in freezing temperatures has been plastic sheeting."
Two weeks into the U.S. October 7, 2001 invasion - how many bombed to death?
UN pleads for break in bombing in Afghanistan - Elsevier Oct. 20, 2001Khabir Ahmad 22 October 2001. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR)
", ... these children will freeze to death within weeks",
Jesus said for us to "feed the hungry and clothed the naked" (among other injunctions about doing no harm to others). So why don't the American do so in Afghanistan? Is a superpower unable to do so?
President Bush was a Christian, President Obama is a Christian. Covering the shivering and giving the hungry food is something Christians do. And it's also just plain ordinary sane instinctive human behavior. On top of that it has been Americans causing Afghani children to be hungry and cold. Some of us have stopped identifying ourselves as Christians.
A belated but sincere Happy Thanksgiving to the President and his family. Please stay warm, winter is coming, not as severe and as early as in mountainous Afghanistan, but all the same, one can catch cold, especially the children.