Tuesday, May 31, 2011 6:08 AM
The Washington Post reports:
KABUL--President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to NATO forces to stop airstrikes on Afghan homes and warned that if they don’t, the Afghan people would drive them out as they have occupying armies in the past....
The New York Times reports:
KABUL, Afghanistan —President Hamid Karzai warned NATO on Tuesday that Afghans will no longer tolerate airstrikes that result in civilian casualties. If they continue, he said, “we will be forced to take unilateral action in this regard.”....
See Telegraph video here. to get the gist. And no, Karzai had no rage or even sorrow left over to bemoan just the most recent spate of "rogue" Afghan security force shootings that have taken more lives of Western "partners" -- US, German and Australian.
Let's cut to the chase, courtesy AFP:
The incident which triggered Karzai's comments -- Saturday's bombing of a compound in the troubled southern province of Helmand -- left 14 civilians including 11 children dead, according to the president.
ISAF said the death toll was nine and has apologised while saying the strike was carried out after insurgents who had earlier killed a patrolling marine hid in a compound and carried on firing. ...
As Dear Leader might say, Let-me-be-clear: What Karzai is demanding is a free-fire zone for "insurgents."
That's fine -- for Karzai and the Afghan forces he ostensibly commands. Let him send Afghans to patrol the IED-laced by-ways and highways of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Let's see what that Potemkin Police and Ghost Army, which a raving mad Pentagon and snoozing and irresponsible Congress think they have created (along with other Western nations who should similarly be institutionalized as head cases) can do. Why does an image of Benie Madoff in Afghan uniform come to mind? Because this whole nation-building misadventure is a mirage, a dream that young Americans in the armed forces are paying to perpetuate with their blood, arms, legs, backs, and, whaddya know, their hearts and minds in a nightmare many will never awake from. Meanwhile, all the treasure that's left in Fort Knox (or IOUs in Beijing) spills over the Afghan rubble and disappears.
I think what I fear most about Gen. Petraeus becoming CIA Director Petraeus is that he will skew intelligence to justify his COIN-powered nation-building disasters. Given his natural interest in his place in history, he should not be confirmed.
Back to AFP:
In the wake of Karzai's comments, ISAF director of public affairs Rear Admiral Vic Beck said that the US commander of troops in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, was aware that "every liberation force has to be very conscious that it can, over time, become seen as an occupation force."
Beck added: "We are in agreement with President Karzai on the importance of constantly examining our actions in light of that reality -- and we are doing just that."
"We are in agreement with President Karzai"? Can someone put the Rear Admiral on a nice long rest cruise -- oh, and send the rest of the senior brass, including Gen. P, with him. Their inability to assess the situation -- even the civilian casualty situation in their own mushy-headed COIN terms -- makes them unfit for command. They may kowtow to Hamid "I might join the Taliban" Karzai on the matter of civilian casualties, but it's a bum rap in the starkest terms, and always has been.
Why? The answer comes from the people who tabulate casualties in Afghanistan at the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Here are the latest figures from 2010:
Out of the 2,777 conflict-related civilian deaths in Afghanistan in 2010, the latest UN report blames "anti-government elements" for 2,080. In other words, the civilian death count is almost entirely Taliban, not Western.
To crunch the numbers further, 75 per cent of all civilian deaths in 2010 came at the hands of Taliban and related jihadist forces, up 28 per cent from 2009, UNAMA adds. Meanwhile, "Pro-government forces were linked to 440 civilian deaths (16 per cent), down 26 per cent from 2009." (Nine per cent of civilian deaths in 2010 could not be attributed to any party to the conflict.)
Sixteen percent vs 75 percent, and Karzai is ready to declare war on us. And our leaders bow and scrape in return.
What is wrong with this picture?