This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Using tough words in discussing the mass killing of 16 Afghan civilians, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier. Karzai says he’s asked the U.S. to stop killing Afghan civilians many times in the past, but the latest incident seems to have put him over the edge.
» Another blow to U.S.-Afghan relations: With the killing of civilians allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier in Kandahar Province, tensions in the region are further rising, just weeks after a Koran-burning incident brought relations between the two countries to an all-time low. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that 9 children and 3 women were among those killed. “This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” the U.S. said in a statement, promising an investigation would follow. The U.S. Embassy also urged calm.
I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. … The error was inadvertent. I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.President Obama • Apologizing to Afghan president Hamid Karzai about the Koran-burning incident earlier this week, which has sparked widespread demonstration in the country and led to the deaths of at least eight people — the most recent of which happened when a man, wearing an Afghan Army uniform, opened fire on two coalition soldiers, killing them. This is not going to be an easy one for coalition forces to get past.
The actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated.A statement from the Marine Corps Headquarters • Angrily criticizing a video, posted on YouTube, that appears to show Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. However the video, which has floated around YouTube for the past day, has not been verified. The Pentagon, however, said there is no indication that the video isn’t authentic. The video has drawn a number of angry responses from officials as varied as Sen. John McCain, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Council on Islamic-American Relations. In Karzai’s case, he called the video “completely inhumane.” If the video is accurate, he’ll find us agreeing with him. source (via • follow)
No plea bargaining. There must be a strong message sent that this type of unlawful misconduct cannot be tolerated. … They have to create an atmosphere in which Asian-Americans feel safe.OCA New York chapter president Elizabeth R. OuYang • Discussing the apparent suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Chinese-American soldier found shot to death in a guard tower in Afghanistan. Chen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, one which may have been precipitated due to hazing by other soldiers. Eight men have been charged in Chen’s death on an array of charges, including manslaughter and negligent homicide. Officials with ties to the Chinese-American community, like OuYang, have pressed for a deeper investigation by Army officials, but the Army has largely remained mum on said investigation. source (via • follow)
Your continued solidarity, your commitment and support will be crucial so that we can consolidate our gains and continue to address the challenges that remain.Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Thanking those who pledged their support of Afghanistan during an event on Monday, in which representatives from about 100 nations and international groups met on Monday to discuss the continued financial support of the war-torn country through 2024. Foreign troops plan to exit the country by 2014, but the country will need financial help building and sustaining its own security forces. The nations there offered support — but only on the condition that the next stages in the country avoids violence and terrorism, supports the constitution, and continues to build a positive human rights record. Absent from the meeting was Pakistan, who boycotted the United States’ presence after a deadly, controversial border attack last month. source (via • follow)
» Going on a diet: With over half a million soldiers, the U.S. Army isn’t lacking in warm bodies, but those numbers went way up in recent years, in part due to the troop surge in Afghanistan. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the Army is ready to move on. “We feel that with the demand going down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the time to conduct a reasonable drawdown, we can manage (the force reduction) just as we have managed drawdowns in the past,” noted Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Is this nearly enough?
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» “A high-profile attack”: That’s how U.S. coalition leader Gen. John R. Allen described the vehicle bomb attack that injured over 100 people. But Allen sees the silver lining from a logistical perspective: “They have been ejected from the population in so many places around the country that their only ability to influence the battlefield on many occasions is simply to go for a high-profile attack,” he explained, “And that’s how we view this particular attack.”
I was a child when it happened, and now I am an adult, and the Americans are still here. I think the Americans did it themselves, so they could invade Afghanistan.Afghan teacher Mullah Said Nabi Agha • Claiming that he’s only vaguely aware of the events that set off a decade-long war in his country. He’s not alone, surprisingly. According to a study, a shocking 92 percent of Afghans between the ages of 15 and 30 (located in the region where the bulk of the troops went) were unaware of the event that led to the Afghan War: The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Is pro-Taliban propaganda to blame for this?
» Afghan War in sharp contrast: Part of the reason for the lack of troop deaths in Iraq is that the war in Afghanistan has picked up. There, it was a record month where 66 Americans died — a total which was much higher than it would’ve been due to the deadly Chinook helicopter crash that killed 30 highly-specialized troops.