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NATO airstrike kills 90, including 40 civilians, in Afghanistan

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NATO? Wish the press would be a bit more revealing and single out who actually stuffed up on this occasion. This is the same media that is quick to lay the boot into the US when they stuff up, how about a bit of parity in kind.

With regard to the operation itself, I would question whether bombing a couple of tankers is worth the killing of at least 40 civilians. This does not make for good public relations in the first world, and it definitely pxsses off the Afghans themselves. As I have written before, instead of always relying on aerial interdiction (from heights that ensure jet jocks don't get a SAM up the engine pipe), NATO (well the allies in general should be putting more troops on the ground and bringing the fight to the Taliban while engaging in activities that improve the livelihood of the civilians. Only when the Afghan civilian population buy into the argument that their lives can be improved will they stop sheltering/offering support to the Taliban. On the other hand, the indiscriminate killing of civilians both pxsses of the locals and drives Taliban recruitment.

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Watch them all fall down, afghanistan domino dancing and domination.

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I agree, that those air strikes and the collateral damage are shameful ways to avoid real fighting. If you say you are doing it for the people, you better try not to kill the people. If you don't want casualties on your own side, don't play around on a battlefield. Go home and knit. Modern warfare is like a video game, all the blood and guts you can hope for without anywhere near the risk to yourself that such destruction should warrant.

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'they are stealing our oil!!! Get 'em!!' oh how times change.

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Again so many innocent civilians killed in a war that can't be fought. Will they ever learn? My heart goes out to all the Afghan people who never finish to suffer from all those invasions.

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timorborder: With regard to the operation itself, I would question whether bombing a couple of tankers is worth the killing of at least 40 civilians

My guess is that something went wrong or not according to plan. I doubt the military would consider this to be an acceptable number of civilian casualties.

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Message Hanging out with Taliban is dangerous to your health. They have a nasty habit of blowing up.

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Foxie- I agree with you many innocent children,woman,civilians and others are becoming casualties.

I hope world can work out a way to end all sufferings in afghanistan, with a peace/ceasefire treaty with taliban.

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2-30 am, Taliban have not long since killed two truck drivers & stolen two truckloads of fuel with can be used as suicide bombs. They are the “bad guys” remember. I should think that at that time of night it was still dark & since the Taliban do not wear uniforms it would have been next to impossible for aircrew to who was & who wasn’t Taliban. Aircrew see a legitimate target, two stolen fuel trucks, & by whatever means they hit them. The fact that civilians have come out at that time of the night to mix with Taliban fighters & get their hands on some free fuel would suggest that the civilians knew perfectly well what was happening. No, that does not mean that they deserved to die, but they took that risk. Don’t get sucked in & join in with the Taliban propaganda game. The pilots did not set out with the intension of killing civilians, but that’s the way it went, because of the behaviour of the civilians. Remember that the Taliban do set out with the intention of killing civilians. The intent is more important than the out come, as sad as that outcome might be. Let us judge on that basis rather than an accidental body count.

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The only good news is that there have been a lot less civilians being killed by Nato forces since the new general arrived.

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I agree, that those air strikes and the collateral damage are shameful ways to avoid real fighting.

How juvinile can you possibly be? 'Real fighting', when given the option of taking out a large group of insurgents with ground troops or bombing the hell out of them it's no contest. To send in soldiers would take time to round them up, time to get them to the location, and may waste the lives of said soldiers that can be used elsewhere. Airstrikes are fast, they're effective, and they're smart the idea that utilizing them is 'shamefull' displays a gross ignorance of modern military tactics. There is no proper or improper way to kill someone, merely how cost effective each method is.

In this particular campaign situations where insurgents and civilians are seperate are far and few in between. They hide amongst the people making it difficult if not impossible to prevent civilian casualties no matter what method of disposal is used. It's unfortunate that the civilians near the insurgents died, but chances are that they knew what they were getting into by taking free fuel from the taliban.

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Great news. More evil doers who can no longer hurt our troops or homeland. Those civilians should not be buddies with and hanf around with terrorists. They are dead due to the activities of their buddies.

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The question: you make human life sound like a statistic. No, they are each and everyone one of them, someone's' son or brother. I couldn't care less about modern military tactics, if you cant look a man in the eye while you take his life, you will never know the value of what you have taken.

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I have to agree with grafton that the risk of having those tankers used as suicide bombs far outweighed the risk that civilians were awake at 0230 to try to get some fuel. How would the pilots have identified the people as civilians? Who has verified that they were all civilians. Are the families of the Taliban fighters considered civilians if they are congregating, with the Taliban, around stolen vehicles?

Sounds like the strike was completely justified and within the rules of war.

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They were warned, they ignored the warnings, they died with the enemy the were consorting with.

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you make human life sound like a statistic. No, they are each and everyone one of them, someone's' son or brother. I couldn't care less about modern military tactics, if you cant look a man in the eye while you take his life, you will never know the value of what you have taken.

Yesh, do you even listen to what you say? You make it sound like killing is something that must be experienced, that war is supposed to be fair. It's not. It's not the militaries job to make things even it's to maximize the number of enemies removed from combat and minimize the number their own losses and you can't get much lower than zero, which is exactly what airstrikes accomplish. It's not the soldiers job to ponder the moral ramifications of taking life (although they obviously do considering the vast number of veterans suffering from PTSD) but rather to fight, survive, and move on.

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your right, its not the soldiers job, its the people paying for and ordering them to do this stuff. And your right again, I will never understand war. I hope I never do. I will also not be able to feel that its fair for people who were most likely very poor and desperate and suffering thanks to the Taliban, to in turn suffer at the hands of their liberators. Yeah I know it will happen anyway, but it still sucks. I just see this type of thing as akin to drive by shootings, indescriminate shooting and then running away, then a pat on the back for getting away with it with your own skin intact. I do actually understand your points, and they are not wrong, I just think its screwed up we have come to this. and in my eternal pessimism I know it will never change, rather get worse. So I should probably not post my opinions because nothing makes any difference. These out numbered religious nuts wont disappear, and no matter how outmatched in numbers and technology they are,it will be another war that goes in circles without a clear winner. Only the losers will be easily identified by their dead civilian bodies. FTW

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killed up to 90 people, including dozens of civilians

Obama needs to be prosecuted for war crimes.

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I just see this type of thing as akin to drive by shootings, indescriminate shooting and then running away, then a pat on the back for getting away with it with your own skin intact.

The attack was far from indescriminate, they knew exactly what they were shooting at and exactly what was going to happen. What they didn't know was that there were civilians among the people around the trucks. That was impossible to know at the time given that militants don't wear uniforms.

So I should probably not post my opinions because nothing makes any difference.

So? Nobody posts on this site to make a difference, they post to get their ideas out in the air and, in most of our cases, argue in the endless pissing match of right v left.

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notimpressed at 11:45 AM JST - 5th September

That sense of hopelessness that under lies what you have written is exactly what terrorism is designed to create. The feeling that right cannot win over wrong (wrong not left) is what leads people to surrender, to stop fighting for freedom of the individual. Yes, this attack probably did kill civilians, but in a war of this kind you really need to ask what part civilians are playing, are they really as innocent as the media portray them to be? That I doubt very much, & no, that is not to say that they become legitimate targets, but they are not innocents either.

This is a war, & maybe (maybe) this is not the battlefield it should be being fought on, but that is where it is happening & as such civilians living there really do have the responsibility of thinking for themselves. It goes back to what I said before, the pilots did not go out with the intent to kill civilians, the day that they do so then yes they become war criminals. But on that night they attacked two stolen fuel tankers in the dark surrounded by men who do not wear uniforms, men who had not long since killed two civilian drivers, two men that were not given a fair chance to stay alive. The civilians that were killed in bombing were responsible for their own actions; they took the risk of being where they were. A sad fact of living, & dying, in that country.

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notimpressed: I couldn't care less about modern military tactics, if you cant look a man in the eye while you take his life, you will never know the value of what you have taken.

That's not the object of war. What you're advocating is a situation where a lot more people die. How can that possibly make sense?

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