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Old 07-03-2002, 09:44 AM   #1
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No More Bombs for Afghanistan!

In case you haven't heard this already, some 40 people were killed by a US air attack on July 1, many of them civilians, many of them children, most of them attending a wedding.

Hasn't this already happened enough? When will our government realize that its time to stop shooting from the air?

I think they should have stopped long ago. While the Taliban were still gathering in large numbers, I could see the justification, and I was willing to endure some very regrettable civilian casualties if that meant that millions of other Afghans would have a decent chance at life and democracy. But there have been no such large gatherings for months now and air power is simply too unreliable to justify its continued use, especially in pin point operations. The intelligence has proven too unreliable, the pilots can't really see what they are hitting all the time and bombs once released cannot be controlled with a high enough degree of certainty.

the war is in a new phase now, where we can afford to take much greater care with our operatons. Innocent civilians deserve for us to conduct our operations now with the highest degree of accuracy and if that means sending in our troops on the ground and incurring a few American casualties then I, for one am willing to accept that. Our soldiers knew the risks when they voluntarily signed up for duty whereas the Afghans just want to get on with their lives.

I think the lives of Afghan civilians should be treated as equal to the lives of American civilians when the government is planning its operations. And I think if we don't start now, we could end up losing everything we have gained in that country.

The Afghans are rightly becoming very angry at these continued accidents.
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:15 AM   #2
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I heard that the US military mistook the fireworks fired for the wedding celebrations to be firearms. The US govt later expressed their "deepest regrets".

Oh yeah, I recommend watching the movie 'Kandahar' by Mohsen (sp?) Makhmalbaf.

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Old 07-03-2002, 10:59 AM   #3
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Approximately 6,000 Iraqi children die each month as a result of U.S. economic sanctions, too, but hey--who cares? We're still the greatest nation on earth because we're the good guys and we always win.
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:29 AM   #4
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joyfulgirl,

I appreciate the reminder and your concern. Not everyone cares like you do.

BUT it takes two to tango. No one is making Sadaam spend aid money for starving children on other things and this could all be over tomorrow if he had the decency to step down and call for free and open elections.

That doesn't excuse us from finding a better way to get rid of him. Its just to say that we are not solely to blame for those deaths.

Can I make a suggestion to everyone? The govt is usually hypersensitive to public opinion about our (openly declared) wars. If you agree with me that airpower should now only be used as a last resort in Afghanistan then please call your representatives in the Senate and House and especially call the White house switchboard and leave your opinion.

You may actually be able to help the Afghan people live a little safer.
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:43 AM   #5
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i agree with you that we need to stop airbombing, it's got no accuracy and too many civilians are dying.


but we need to realize that the us will--can--never be a perfect country. who can we help? well we have the potential to help almost everyone a little bit or some a lot. and how effective is it to help a country sit up if you can't help it to walk?
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
joyfulgirl,

I appreciate the reminder and your concern. Not everyone cares like you do.

BUT it takes two to tango. No one is making Sadaam spend aid money for starving children on other things and this could all be over tomorrow if he had the decency to step down and call for free and open elections.

That doesn't excuse us from finding a better way to get rid of him. Its just to say that we are not solely to blame for those deaths.

Two top UN officials, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, world-renowned for their integrity, stepped down from their positions, calling the U.S. and British embargoes a kind of genocide. They saw no evidence that Hussein is withholding supplies from the Iraqi people and blame entirely the sanctions on these deaths. I repeat, approx. 6,000 per month. These are UNICEF numbers. That completely blows my mind.

Anyway, didn't mean to hijack your thread. I agree with you about Afghanistan.
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Old 07-03-2002, 12:03 PM   #7
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Here's the number for the White House comment line. Its like an ongoing poll. The President will get the results.

1-202-456-1111

Just say what you feel about this issue. Your call is recorded.

ps. if you are so inclined, be sure to say that you could accept somewhat greater risk for our soldiers if that meant greater security from accidents for Afghanis.

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Old 07-03-2002, 01:55 PM   #8
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I have mixed feelings about this
I feel that as long as the US feels that these sort of operations are conducive to fighting terrorism they must continue them


But the accident was tragic.

From my understanding the wedding was bombed not because of fireworks....but the firing of guns into the air...and the wedding was in close proximity to an anti aircraft installment.


I do agree that the idea of just dropping bombs for the hell of it......is a very poor system. They need to be MUCh more careful.


and I do wonder at this stage in the war if it is very prudent.
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Old 07-03-2002, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
Two top UN officials, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, world-renowned for their integrity, stepped down from their positions, calling the U.S. and British embargoes a kind of genocide. They saw no evidence that Hussein is withholding supplies from the Iraqi people and blame entirely the sanctions on these deaths. I repeat, approx. 6,000 per month. These are UNICEF numbers. That completely blows my mind.
Even accepting what Halliday and von Sponeck says as true, it doesn't change the fact that Hussein is building / has built weapons of mass destruction, and he is a madman crazy enough to use them on his own people and other nations.
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Old 07-03-2002, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba


Even accepting what Halliday and von Sponeck says as true, it doesn't change the fact that Hussein is building / has built weapons of mass destruction, and he is a madman crazy enough to use them on his own people and other nations.
If you believe that Iraq has nuclear weapons or biological weapons, developed in the period since 1991, surely this only serves as further evidence of the ineffectiveness of sanctions against Iraq. Sanctions have done nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power but that have killed at least 500,000 (at the most conservative estimate) innocent people.

Whiteflag - I absolutely agree with your comment that the lives of the citizens of Afghanistan should be treated as equal to American lives.

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Old 07-03-2002, 05:15 PM   #11
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Thanks whizzie!

BUT.....could we please debate Iraq somewhere else????????





BTW, I want to see their equality stated in the official policy of engagement and followed like the Law on the ground. As it stands now, it seems that the policy is more like that US soldiers are worth more and civilians less. That STINKS so bad I could puke!

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Old 07-03-2002, 05:31 PM   #12
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Sorry for getting off subject there, whiteflag. I've started another thread so this one can get back on to the original topic.

Sanctions against Iraq
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Old 07-03-2002, 05:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
Thanks whizzie!

BUT.....could we please debate Iraq somewhere else????????

It is an unimaginable tragedy that civilians were killed, to include women and children, and that 100 more were wounded.

And it is very avoidable.

However, with respect for the parties and families of the parties involved, I have a few comments.

There are two possible sources for the bomb that hit the wedding; either a C-130 gun-ship returned fire or anti-aircraft artillery fell back onto the ground and hit them.

THe B-52 that launched 7 satellite-guided bombs at Al Queda and Taliban bunker complexes nearby has been ruled out. Even though one of the bombs malfunctioned, it has been accounted for in an uninhabited area.

The C-130, if it was the cause, obviously fired at something. Either anti-aircraft artillery or fireworks/gunshots from the celebration. Now why, respectfully, would you fire at a big noisy C-130?? You are aware that a war is going on, and you know what these planes are here for? Why shoot at it?

Quote:

BTW, I want to see their equality stated in the official policy of engagement and followed like the Law on the ground. As it stands now, it seems that the policy is more like that US soldiers are worth more and civilians less. That STINKS so bad I could puke!

You should puke. If you seriously value Afghan civilians over our own volunteer military who went over there to wipe out terrorism so you have the freedoms to sit at your little computer and whine, I hope you puke a lot!

Why then, since you desire to know so much about our USA policy, don't you join up and see for yourself? I believe the whole of the people in Afghanistan at least appreciate us since they have more freedom since the war began.

ANd to those of you wondering why we are still bombing, it is safer to use satellite-guided bombs and drop from the air then to risk the lives of our sons and daughters and cousins to go and fight these worthless pieces of shit on the ground.
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Old 07-03-2002, 05:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
Approximately 6,000 Iraqi children die each month
Oh really? DO you know this for sure (go ahead and insert liberal media source that only tells the unbiased truth}

Quote:
as a result of
the dictating party in Iraq, that is Saddam Hussein
Maybe you have heard this thing we want to enforce called a "regime change"? Remember, when we do go to war with them (Iraq), don't start waving your flag and protesting me, just think about those "6000" children

Quote:
U.S. economic sanctions, too, but hey--who cares?
Who?? It's is the U.N. (United Nations) who imposed the sanctions against Iraq, who agreed to them to stop the war.

Quote:
We're still the greatest nation on earth because we're the good guys and we always win.
Funny how people always complain about America yet I don't see people flocking to get out of here. In fact, I see the opposite.

As I say to people that hate our policies, our leaders, our society, and yet still live here, the door is always open.
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Old 07-03-2002, 06:00 PM   #15
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The last time I checked equal meant equal. It does not mean that Afghan lives were worth more than American ones.

I used the word "equal" in reference to afghani lives.

And you said the key word "volunteer". Whatever SOME of the people might have been doing at that wedding,( and I admit the possiblity that the wedding could have been used as a cover for something) nonetheless many of the people who died did not volunteer to be a part of this conflict. They can't choose to come or go and those who have chosen to fight mix in with them.

If the job of our military is to protect my fat spoiled arse at the cost of helpless people, then I'd rather they come home and protect our borders and airports than to go and be too careless with the lives of others who have no choices and nothing at all materially other than their lives and their families lives.

I think that our highly-trained volunteer soldiers could stick their necks out once in awhile and check the facts in person on the ground BEFORE they start shooting.

I am already deeply grateful for what they do but that does not mean that I HAVE to think that they couldn't be doing a better job.
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Old 07-03-2002, 06:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
The last time I checked equal meant equal. It does not mean that Afghan lives were worth more than American ones.

And you said the key word "volunteer". Whatever SOME of the people might have been doing at that wedding,( and I admit the possiblity that the wedding could have been used as a cover) nonetheless many of the people who died did not volunteer to be a part of this conflict. They can't choose to come or go and those who have chosen to fight mix in with them.
We still don't even know the details yet, but we didn't intentionally fire on a wedding. They fired at us, although possibly by accident, and we responded in a military manner. Thats what the military does!

Quote:
If the job of our military is to protect my fat spoiled arse at the cost of helpless people, then I'd rather they come home and protect our shores and airports
So we can be attacked again??? Maybe by nukes this time?

Quote:
than to go and be too careless with the lives of others who have no choices and nothing at all materially other than their lives and their families lives.
Careless? You don't even know the details but you are automatically going to take their side

Quote:
I think that our highly-trained volunteer soldiers could stick their necks out once in awhile and check the facts in person on the ground BEFORE they start shooting.
This is a truly disgusting comment. I am embarassed for you, very embarassed.

What do you mean about "stick their necks out"??
You haven't a clue about sticking ones neck out or courage, do you?
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Old 07-03-2002, 06:52 PM   #17
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Re: No More Bombs for Afghanistan!

Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag


I think the lives of Afghan civilians should be treated as equal to the lives of American civilians when the government is planning its operations. And I think if we don't start now, we could end up losing everything we have gained in that country.

The Afghans are rightly becoming very angry at these continued accidents.
I agree with you! I dont think that bombing Afghan. is doing anything and if its doing anything its pissin off the people. The war against Terror should be fought differently now.
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:23 PM   #18
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The US military does everything it can to insure the safety of civilians period! Sending in troops on the ground does not mean the result would be any different. I guess some people here forgot about the incident in a small village outside Kandahar where dozens of an Afghani group who were not Taliban were killed by US troops on the ground. The US troops were fired on first and they returned fire. Its important to remember that sending in ground troops does not mean that civilian causalties will be any less at all. In fact in some cases they will increase especially when fighting occurs in urban area's.

Airpower is still being used in Afghanistan because it is by far the fastest way to deliver overwhelming lethal firepower in support of troops on the ground in possible danger or to destroy enemy targets. Contrary to what has been said here, there are US troops on the ground as well as CIA and DIA officials. Afghanistan is a very mountainous country more than 5 times the size of Vietnam. Moving on the ground is very difficult and the distances to be covered are vast making support from the air crucial, even more so than it would be in Bosnia.

Mistakes and intelligence failure's happen. Unfortunately this can be the result when those mistakes happen. Few people on this board realize that are soldiers risk their lives everyday even when just training at home. No other organization works harder to eliminate mistakes than are military because they know the potential cost can be very high. No organization is mistake free, but the US military does a better job than any other military or organization in the world in dotting every i and crossing every t!

To sum up, ground troops are being used(although in very small numbers), and no, their use does not prevent civilian deaths, and in some cases can lead to more. In fact it looks as if the casaulties were caused by weapons that ground troops would use as well. As Z Edge stated, the only Satellite guided bomb that was off target landed in an unpopulated area. It appears that heavy machine guns and auto-cannons, weapons ground troops would use, may have been at fault for what happened.

The strategy in use by the pentagon in Afghanistan combines both elements on the ground and in the air. Due to the vast distances and difficult terrain, aircraft are heavily used to transport troops as well as provide fire support. The Military strategy in use is the one that the planners feel will best achieve the military objectives of the United States in the region, plain and simple. This is a search and destroy mission in some of the highest mountains on the entire planet and for that matter the Solar System. Heavy armor forces could be used, but they would be restricted to area's that Al Quada most likely would not be anyways because of terrain. Often, the quickest way to catch and destroy an enemy that has been detected and is on the run, is to strike with what ever available airpower that one has on the scene. Sometimes allowing for ground troops to reach the area, either by land or air, will allow the enemy to escape.

There are dozens of US ground troops who are alive today because of the quick availability and use of airpower in operations like Anaconda and other similar operations where large numbers of Al Quada were destroyed. There were large battles in Afghanistan as recent as this past February and March. There could be again. One of my friends is now stationed in Afghanistan and if something happens, I want the full weight of US military firepower in the region to back him up!

It is very sad what happened to the wedding party, but the strategy and tactics of our forces in Afghanistan are reasonable and important in achieving our objectives which will lead to greater prosperity and opportunity for the countries in the region.
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Old 07-03-2002, 08:14 PM   #19
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Very well stated STING. I will say a prayer for your friend over there too.

One good point made was that there are ground forces in the area, something I should have mentioned earlier. They are quite possibly involved in the incident. On the news (Fox news) they mentioned a bit ago that the fire the C-130 took in was anti-aircraft artillery fire and not that of a celebration. And it came from the place the wedding was being held.

I think that speaks for itself.
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Old 07-04-2002, 05:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by z edge

On the news (Fox news) they mentioned a bit ago that the fire the C-130 took in was anti-aircraft artillery fire and not that of a celebration. And it came from the place the wedding was being held.

I think that speaks for itself. [/B]

And you believe everything you hear on the news??? On FOX news?????

How convenient that all these accidents are never due to our mistakes in the slightest......

The truth is that we almost never get even close to the whole story. You and STING2 put way to much trust in the miltary's version of events, maybe because you think that to be critical is unamerican of you. But actually maintaining a healthy skepticism about whatever comes to us from government sources and the very accomodating news media is probably more patriotic and historically American than believing too much in our government.

Our policy in Afghanistan needs adjustment now, before we lose the good will of the Afghan people without whose support we will lose all we have sacrificed in that country. The angrier they get, the better the Taliban will start to look and if they can get alot of support for a guerilla re-insurgence, we WILL lose as EVERY great power has ALWAYS lost when they lacked the support of the majority of Afghani people.

The fact is that moderate ordinary folks are becoming very angry over there and like it or not our own opinion of our miltary's actions aren't going to mean s*** if they turn on us. And adjustment rather than continued claims of blamelessness will show them in a concrete way that we have their best interests in mind.

Their trust in us is very fragile. Their memories of other far less benign powers are still extremely fresh. We HAVE to accomodate for this and we can now that we have entered a new phase in this war. This starts with being far less ready to shoot from the air.
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