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Civilian death toll climbs in Afghan offensive

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It is estimated that 80 percent of the deaths of civilians are caused by the Taliban. That fact does not comfort the people whose loved ones were killed by foreign troops however. They will decide that their loved ones would be alive if the foreign troops had never come, and their logic will end there. The Taliban might be hated, but every wrong done by foreign troops counts 20 times more. All that is left for us to do in Afghanistan is dig the hole deeper.

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dearjohn: It is estimated that 80 percent of the deaths of civilians are caused by the Taliban.

I'd estimate that 95% of the media coverage is on NATO killing that other 20%.

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SuperLib wrote- "I'd estimate that 95% of the media coverage is on NATO killing that other 20%."

Well that clearly shows your bias. It seems I may have misquoted a statistic or it was misrepresented to me. In fact, in 2008, the Taliban was responsible for 55 percent of the civilian deaths. Nato forces for 40 percent, and rest assured the bulk of that is by the U.S. military.

http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2008/09/ap_afghanistan_civilians_091608/

And how ever much that estimate that you dredged up from your guts is skewed to favor the U.S., the Afghanis will skew it the other way. Remember that when the U.S. kills civilians, U.S. flags are on all those sleeves or on the side of planes, helicopters and drones. When the Taliban kills civilians it is so often hard to actually know who did it. IEDs are not full of Taliban leaflets. Its easy to even assume an execution was done because that person did not cooperate. You cannot cooperate with a bomb dropped the air. And so, America cannot even be seen to be giving civilians a chance.

And a 15 percent difference between the U.S. and the Taliban is not something to celebrate.

I know you will hem and haw from there though, rather than just accept what it all means. Maybe something about unfair Taliban tactics? As if Afghani civilians accept excuses!

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The U.S. is going to do what no other military in history could do-- including the USSR- conquer Afghanistan? Good luck with that. With all its resources, ground forces and satellite wizardry, the U.S. still hasn't found bin Laden. I'm glad we have the money for this 9-year-and-counting Iraq-Afghan war effort. Oh, wait.....

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"All that is left for us to do in Afghanistan is dig the hole deeper"

That's it then. Surrender Afghanistan to the Taliban and play strictly defense. Guaranteed if we'd played strictly defense since 9/11, we'd have been attacked again big time.

"The U.S. is going to... conquer Afghanistan?"

Lord no, we don't want to do that, all we want to do is make sure Afghanistan isn't ruled by a bnch of wackos bent on destroying us.

"the U.S. still hasn't found bin Laden"

And Obama's been president for over a year now. Incredible...

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BinLaden is long Dead, and you can never beat the taliban. What do those men have to look forward to? Some hairy legged and unshaven under-armed women with no deodorant and lacking teeth and beauty due to religious fanatics? I would go to war too, just to look for real putang.

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"BinLaden is long Dead"

I dunno, we keep getting these audiotapes that even the CIA says is his voice...

"you can never beat the taliban"

Surrender now!

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Looks like the Taliban are on a PR campaign to hide behind civilians, shoot at us, knowing that we will shoot back, and then screaming bloody murder when a civilian is killed. Human shields was the old term, but this is not for shields, this is only for the media...terrible crime...

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A link below to the American who knows more about Afghanistan and the Taliban than any other. Mullen, Petraeus, and McCrystal have all read and highly recommend his books.

His name is Greg Mortenson and he's got one heckuva story.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01152010/watch2.html

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War involves bullets flying around almost at random, bombs and shells falling. It is simply not possible to prevent civilian deaths while prosecuting a war inside a large city. Technology and more attention to detail have decreased the percentage of unintended deaths over the years, but there's no such thing as a bullet that recognizes a Taliban or al-Qaida fighter from his less-committed cousin.

So, the hard choice, push on and just shut up about civvie casualties or quit entirely and let the Taliban and al-Qaida do what they want anywhere they want ? I guarentee there's a world of difference between Shinto and Sharia law ... a very unpleasant difference. So choose. Support the soldiers who ARE doing their best, or give up, dress your women in sackcloths and start cutting off body parts. Oh yea, no more beer either.

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Sarge wrote- "Surrender Afghanistan to the Taliban and play strictly defense."

Its really annoying hearing from people who can only imagine the worst case scenario. Mate, the Taliban will still have homegrown opposition that can be armed. And we can still bomb terrorist training camps.

"Guaranteed if we'd played strictly defense since 9/11, we'd have been attacked again big time."

We were not attacked by Afghanistan. We were attacked by al-Quaida, led by bin Laden. And Bush refused a deal from the Taliban to turn over bin Laden. The Taliban were never a threat to us until we went over there and challenged them directly. We could have hit al-Quaida and got out and everything would have gone back to normal. But no, no! Bush had to play cowboy like it was the Magnificent Seven.

And are you suggesting it is better to push what would have been attacks on us onto Afghani civilians? Are you at home with that sort of cowardice?

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We could have hit al-Quaida and got out

You mean we could have killed civilians with our gutless missiles and drones while taking out Al Queda? Don't you have any heart at all?

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Sarge

And Obama's been president for over a year now. Incredible...

And george bush was president for 8 years overseeing the disaster he created.

SuperLib

You mean we could have killed civilians with our gutless missiles and drones while taking out Al Queda? Don't you have any heart at all?

That's exactly what we did in Iraq. And we didn't get in and get right out. < :-)

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And Bush refused a deal from the Taliban to turn over bin Laden.

You honestly think that deal was realistic?

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And Bush refused a deal from the Taliban to turn over bin Laden.

Clinton turned down Sudan's offer to have OBL taken out. Not Bush. And please do not try and counter with 'Well, Bush later said he didn't even care about Bin Laden, the guy who was responsible for 9-11!'

That particular comment is always presented out of its original context:

"Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

"But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we -- excuse me for a minute -- and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will or our friends will. That's one of the things -- part of the new phase that's becoming apparent to the American people is that we're working closely with other governments to deny sanctuary, or training, or a place to hide, or a place to raise money."

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I don't think that making a comedy flick of looking under trash cans and behind book cases is real competent. That's just how bush felt about OBL. And turning over the search of OBL to the war lords was one of the dumbest things that was done in Afghanistan.

We could have been out of Afghanistan a long time ago if we had actually fought this war like we were trying to win. But our last administration fought a war like some childish game in the back yard between 10 year olds.

No matter how we fight this war the civilian death count will continue to rise. < :-)

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Sarge I actually agree with you. People forget not long ago thousands-millions of civilians were killed by all sides during conflicts. America just can not leave Afghanistan without leaving a nest for terrorists. There might be a political solution but look how well they work in places other countries. Wonder how many people the Taliban kill each day?

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Noliving- "You honestly think that deal was realistic?"

Since it came on the point of a sword I don't see the harm in giving it a few days. In fact, if the Taliban backpedaled, it would have given us the moral highground. I know the Taliban pussyfooted around before. But this was different. They had bombs coming down on their heads!

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Odogma wrote: "Clinton turned down Sudan's offer to have OBL taken out. Not Bush."

Two separate things. "Turn over" is not even remotely close to "take out". On October 14 the Taliban said they would turn him over to a third country if they were shown evidence against bin Laden. Bush said forget it. No deal no discussion. That is just disrespectful. The Taliban would not be able to hold their heads up in Afghanistan without that tiny caveat. It would be political suicide if they just turned over. I think the Bush administration knew that. I think they counted on it.

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SuperLib wrote-"You mean we could have killed civilians with our gutless missiles and drones while taking out Al Queda? Don't you have any heart at all?"

I have no qualms about bombing cowardly terrorists' training camps over the heads of the Taliban that abet them. I have no qualms about precision assassinations of terrorists using spies, assassins or even small strike teams not invited by the Taliban. The goal of turning Afghanistan into a viable country beginning with smashing the Taliban that rule most of the country though? Just bullocks!

But if you are going to give it a shot, its not my ideas of cowardice you need to worry about. Its not me you need to impress. Its the Afghanis mate.

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Since it came on the point of a sword I don't see the harm in giving it a few days.

I see the harm in that it would most likely tip off Taliban and AQ how the US was gathering intelligence against them.

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