February 24th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

Are Afghans more tolerant of civilian deaths?

As the top NATO commander in Afghanistan publicly apologized for the latest civilian deaths in the war, one of his former advisers said Tuesday the Afghan people have "crystallized their frustration" on the issue of civilian casualties.

"It's crystallized a disappointment with the international intervention that's been growing since about 2003," said Sarah Chayes, who just completed one year of service as an adviser to Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff in Kabul.

Filed under: Marjah • Troops • Understanding Afghanistan
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. RumpRanger

    Oh yeah, I can just picture the families of the dead: "Go USA! More remote control drones killing our babies!" Are you people retarded or what?

    June 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    What is the purpose of this question? The answer is no, but there is a protocol for addressing wrongs in some parts of the world. Part of that protocol is acknowledging a wrong with compensation.

    February 28, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    The American CIA created the Taliban along with the dreaded Pakistani ISI agency. Trained, equipped and instructed the Taliban to construct IED's to fight and destroy the Russian troops in Afghanistan. For a full decade America heralded the Taliban as freedom fighters, portraying them as Hero's in various Hollywood movies which also were seen in Rambo III and James Bond feature films.

    Wasn't Osama bin Ladin on the CIA payroll?

    Opium Poppy production dropped dramatically to near zero during the Taliban victory up to the American invasion of Afghanistan. Whereupon under the Bush-Cheney administration, Opium production skyrocketed and began flooding the world with cheap Heroin.

    The CIA pay-rolled and installed President Karzi and his major Opium exporting brother appear to be as corrupt a leader as the KGB pay-rolled and installed Afghanistan President previously overthrown.

    Many States here in America are virtually near Bankruptcy and are desperately slashing as many critical and essential services as they can to survive. Here in Oregon a full 10% of the student body are Homeless Teens unable to find shelter in Adult Homeless Shelters. Across America, millions of citizens have had their homes foreclosed and the vast number of homeless veterans is growing by the ten's of thousands.

    America's dilapidated infra-structure funding for repairs was gutted by the Bush-Cheney administration for war funding as well as funding for public schools and library's. Leaving a long over-due need to repair or replace Harbors, Canals, Dams, Bridges, Public Schools and Public Mass Transportation across America.

    Some 45,000 American citizens die every year from inadequate health care, and inability to afford medical treatment to prevent a preventable death. The money spent on both war's would have been enough to pay for Universal Health Care for ALL Americans and saved nearly 350,000 American lives during the past 8 years.

    America's domestic economic needs far exceed both wars and her foreign problems. America should pull the plug on further funding and further expansions of Middle Eastern wars and pour those Trillions of taxpayer dollars into domestic programs to benefit Americans here at home.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dausi

    To A. Smith Oregon
    You surely like the word PUNDIT a lot.
    But I'm not sur waht or who you meen.
    I googeled it for that reason.
    Would any of these meenings apply:
    The term originates from the Hindi term pandit, which in turn originates from the Sanskrit (a language from ancient India) term paṇḍitá, meaning "learned" (see also Pandit). It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects and who conducts religious ceremonies and offers counsel to the king.

    From at least the early 19th century, a Pundit of the Supreme Court in Colonial India was an officer of the judiciary who advised British judges on questions of Hindu law. In Anglo-Indian use, pundit also referred to a native of India who was trained and employed by the British to survey inaccessible regions beyond the British frontier.[1]

    Oh, there is another one.
    What about this one:
    Pundit is a loan word borrowed in English during the British Raj from the Hindi language and is of Sanskrit origin. A Pundit is someone who offers to mass-media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences or sport) on which they are knowledgeable. The term has been increasingly applied to popular media personalities. In certain cases, it may be used in a derogatory manner as well.


    February 26, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    A. Smith I know you don't like war and I would guess that nobody does but sometimes war is inevitable and as in every war there are civilians killed not intentional. As for the suicide bombers they will pick up as we kill and capture Taliban leaders and gain ground in Afghanistan.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. HM2

    A. Smith,

    Also, the American troops are out here doing you a service. Protecting your freedom of speech so that you can sit in your comfy chair in you living room and write such disperaging comments about the troops. If you think you can do a better job than those of us who are out here (SAILORS, SOLDIERS, AIRMEN, & MARINES,) then by all means be our guests. You go out here everyday, pound ground, kiss babies and not scrutinize everyone you come across. WE are at war and war is not pretty.

    I personally stand by every service member regardless of their branch that has the courage to do this everyday. And yes, I am out here helping to take care of EVERYONE that is injured in an IED strike, SBIED, VBIED, smalls arms fire or anything else these insurgents can think of. And I even have to help the Taliban get better.

    Before you criticize our fighting tactics, get up and see what it is we're fighting for.

    I am a SAILOR and a MOM and i'm proud of what I do everyday. Can you say the same?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. HM2

    A. Smith,

    How are you so sure that this prticuar suicide bomber was seeking revenge for that so called strike? These insurgents have it in their head to end American lives regardless of if we're killing innocent civilians or not.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. A. Smith, Oregon

    The very next day after the NATO troops called in the airstrike on a civilian caravan carrying women and children out of Marjah to safety which killed all of them, a suicide bomber seeking revenge on the people that did that managed to blow himself up along with a size able number of his enemys.

    If NATO troops had not called in that airstrike on that civilian caravan, I seriously doubt that suicide bomber the very next day would have occured. And the soldiers that were killed and maimed would not have happened. Yes there are consequences to such disregard to standing orders on a battlefield, something the pundits, soldiers, familys of soldiers and their Mom's here fail to understand.

    February 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dausi

    Yes, the times they are a changing.
    Our Politicians and Military are beginning to understand that you can not bomb a country into Democracy. And Afghans and Iraqis are just tired of being "democratized" to death.
    And the Taliban, although not what we understand under Liberal Society, are not opposed by all Afghanis.
    Quite a few actually, seem to find them the lesser evil. (Something we may never understand).
    Just as I do not understand the quiet suffering (acceptance) of civilian victims caused by Insurgent-activities.
    I guess getting killed by an infidel and foreigner is worse then getting killed by a country man of same religion.
    But I think we are making progress by taking on the enemy in town by town engagements.
    I just hope we find the right support of the local population. After all, siding with us is kind of suicidal for locals who know that sooner or later we will go home and they then will be on their own with out our protection. And the Taliban have proven to be a tough group of people who, unlike us, have no place to go as they are part of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Where would they go? I guess we will have to deal with them no matter what.
    Possibly even try to integrate them into this new Afghanistan with political representation.
    Sounds strange, doesn't it?

    February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey

    I seem to notice that no news channels have coverage involving the war in the middle east. Before christmas, coverage of the war was on everyday and all day an night, I would like to know why it's not being broadcasted. What is the government hiding from the American people, have they finally realized that this was a lost cause, and that you cannot win a war in that country. Something has to be going wrong.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A. Smith, Oregon

    What the pundits and those shouting 'Go USA, Bomb all of them, and civilians get killed in war, no big deal' Don't seem to understand is that when a dozen or more Afghanistan civilians are killed by a foobared air-strike, some 100 Afghanistan people that were previously neutral take up arms, begin planting IED's and American soldiers that would not have been shot, blown-up, or killed are done in by those grieving and very angry family members and those that were close to those civilians that were mistakenly blown-up.

    When a region Commander comes out to apologize for a terrible mistake which took a dozen or more civilian lives, you know it was a huge screw-up. What isn't known is how many American and Allied soldiers will be shot, blown-up and killed that normally wouldn't have if that foobar had not occurred. Winning the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan people is just that, and every single instance where a sizable group of Afghanistan civilians is blown-up is a large step backwards in that essential goal.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |