US Military Says Killing Afghan Children Is Fair Game

US Military Says Killing Afghan Children Is Fair Game

John Glaser

http://uruknet.com/?p=m93245&hd=&size=1&l=e

5afghan-civilians.jpg

December 5, 2012

In October, the US launched an airstrike in Afghanistan that killed three children – ages 8, 10, and 12 -while they were gathering firewood (or by some accounts, dung to burn as fuel). NATO issued its usual dismissive statement, admitting it may have "accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians."

But now, according to the Military Times, the US military includes children on their list of who they’re allowed to murder with impunity.

…a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were "innocent." Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission.

So digging holes in Afghanistan is now grounds for getting bombed? The children’s relatives and local tribal elders had confirmed at the time that they were not Taliban recruits and were not planting any roadside bombs.

That’s apparently not enough for the US military to simply admit that killing innocent children is wrong. Instead, they invent Orwellian rationales for why these poor children were worthy enemy combatants.

"It kind of opens our aperture," said Army Lt. Col. Marion "Ced" Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. "In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent."

There you have it. The US military is now looking for "military-age males" and "children" to kill in Afghanistan.



Source

:: Article nr. 93245 sent on 05-dec-2012 18:05 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=93245



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders

By Dan Lamothe and Joe Gould - Staff writers
Posted : Monday Dec 3, 2012 7:08:35 EST

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — When Marines in Helmand province sized up shadowy figures that appeared to be emplacing an improvised explosive device, it looked like a straightforward mission. They got clearance for an airstrike, a Marine official said, and took out the targets.

It wasn’t that simple, however. Three individuals hit were 12, 10 and 8 years old, leading the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to say it may have “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians.”

But a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were “innocent.” Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission.

The incident underscores a continuing problem across Afghanistan. The use of children by the Taliban — through recruitment and as human shields — complicates coalition forces’ efforts to eliminate enemy fighters from the battlefield without angering civilians.

The New York Times reported that the dead children’s family members said they had been sent to gather dung, which farmers use for fuel. Taliban fighters were laying the bombs near the children, who were mistakenly killed, they said.

Regardless, it’s one of many times the children have been involved in the war. In a case this year, Afghan National Police in Kandahar province’s Zharay district found two boys, ages 9 and 11, with a male 18-year-old carrying 1-liter soda bottles full of enough potassium chlorate to kill coalition forces on a foot patrol.

“It kind of opens our aperture,” said Army Lt. Col. Marion “Ced” Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”

There were 316 documented cases of underage recruitment in the war last year, most of them attributed to the Taliban and other armed groups like the Haqqani network, according to a U.N. report released in April. Eleven children, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed in Afghanistan last year carrying out suicide attacks, the report said.

Marines in Helmand say the Taliban regularly recruit children to serve as spotters, letting armed insurgents know when U.S. or Afghan forces reach designated points on a patrol so they can prepare an ambush.

An ISAF spokesman, Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, said insurgents continue to use children as suicide bombers and IED emplacers, even though Taliban leader Mullah Omar has ordered them to stop harming civilians.

Lamothe reported from Afghanistan. Gould reported from Washington.

 

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DTOM: Thanks to Nota Kahn for the headsup

So with the Total War On Terror now being fought everywhere, obviously every being on this planet is now a potential suspect and viable military target. 

Yes, and that includes everyone in the US.

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