Thursday, May 07, 2009

Why don't you come up and see me?

The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan are over in Washington visiting Obama. When the emperor calls, all tremble and obey.

He's very, very sorry about the 100+ civilians killed by U.S. air strikes. Not as sorry as the Afghans, I bet.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the escalating civilian casualties?

Record bombs dropped in Afghanistan in April

"Air Force, Navy and other coalition warplanes dropped a record number of bombs in Afghanistan during April, Air Forces Central figures show.

In the past month, warplanes released 438 bombs, the most ever."

Meanwhile, Stephen Harper decided to make a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

Surprise! Glad to see me?

I didn't like the sound of this much, though. He's thanking the U.S. for their "help".

"...I believe ... we will have the numbers we need to begin what we really hope is irreversible progress," he said.

"...Remember friends, before you came here, the Taliban ran this country, Afghanistan, like a medieval gulag," said Harper. "Those dark desperate days are ending."

Something irreversible has happened, alright. I don't think it can be described as progress. The dark, desperate days are just beginning.

The CTV story had this headline:

PM goes off base during surprise Afghanistan visit

One thing...Harper is always way off base, no matter where he is.

Meanwhile, reports are coming out (this one from 2006, so gawd knows what's happened since then) of U.S. interrogators killing dozens of detainees and then covering up the evidence.

US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say

"United States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after their interrogations...In all, 98 detainees have died while in US hands. Thirty-four homicides have been identified, with at least eight detainees — and as many as 12 — having been tortured to death..."

"...[M]ost of those taken captive were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They include at least one Afghani soldier, Jamal Naseer, who was mistakenly arrested in 2004. “Those arrested with Naseer later said that during interrogations U.S. personnel punched and kicked them, hung them upside down, and hit them with sticks or cables,” Sifton writes. “Some said they were doused with cold water and forced to lie in the snow. Nasser collapsed about two weeks after the arrest, complaining of stomach pain, probably an internal hemorrhage.”

"...[A]nother Afghan killing occurred in 2002. Mohammad Sayari was killed by four U.S. servicemembers after being detained for allegedly “following their movements.”

"...“Nagem Sadoon Hatab… a 52-year-old Iraqi, was killed while in U.S. custody at a holding camp close to Nasiriyah,” the group wrote. “Although a U.S. Army medical examiner found that Hatab had died of strangulation, the evidence that would have been required to secure accountability for his death – Hatab’s body – was rendered unusable in court. Hatab’s internal organs were left exposed on an airport tarmac for hours; in the blistering Baghdad heat, the organs were destroyed; the throat bone that would have supported the Army medical examiner’s findings of strangulation was never found.”

"...In another graphic instance, a former Iraqi general was beaten by US forces and suffocated to death. The military officer charged in the death was given just 60 days house arrest."

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