Speaking of cowards and animals, not to mention “terrorists,” NATO has just delivered a mighty blow to its much vaunted claims to be “protecting civilians” and winning “hearts and minds,” by burning alive as many as 90 of these hearts and minds in an air strike that took place within the past 12 hours. Faced with the immediate, glaring failures of its offensive against the Taliban, which has seen a record death rate for U.S. and NATO troops over the past two months, and the Taliban’s widening control across the south, north, and its apparent ease in mounting significant attacks in the capital, NATO’s “International Security Assistance Force” is reverting to more familiar tactics.
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Scores of people were feared killed on Friday in a big fuel-tanker blast in northern Afghanistan that followed a NATO air strike in the area, Afghan officials said.
NATO forces confirmed that they had carried out an air strike, and said their target was insurgents. They had no immediate information about the report of the explosion and casualties.
Kunduz province Governor Mohammad Omar said as many as 90 people were feared killed, burned alive in the giant blast, which took place as villagers gathered to collect fuel from tanker trucks captured by Taliban militants….
Asked about reports the blast may have been caused by NATO forces firing on fuel tankers, Captain Jon Stock, press officer for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said: “I can confirm that there was an air strike last night or early this morning.” (link)
Now, in the coming hours and days, we will see NATO and its allied media undertake the other major war effort that should be familiar to all by now: spin. The death count will be lowered, or the number of claimed Taliban killed will be increased; “mistakes” in targeting will be cited, pilot error, faulty information from the ground, or some claim of responding to ground fire. The virtual troops, the milbloggers, will of course either justify this or go silent, because burning actual civilians alive should not merit as much gushing sentiment as when it happens to one single American occupier. If this is the “service” performed by “our heroes,” it begs the question of just how cruel and sadistic we have really become (a question answered by Henry Giroux here).