Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fewer Dead Civilians

In Afghanistan. This is good news. First, because killing civilians is bad. Second, because the world needs the Afghani populace to support the West's effort to beat the Islamists.

It's also a bit strange, the report. Read it carefully and tell me if you can figure out how many civilians ISAF has killed, in, say, 2009. I tried but didn't manage; the number doesn't seem to appear anywhere. Odd. Whenever Israel goes to war the numbers are splashed all over the media in advance, and the longer the fighting goes on, the higher the imaginary numbers get; they then keep on growing after the fighting is over, too.

I was also comforted by some of these sentences:
"When the Taliban are moving in our village, we are scared, but the good thing is there has been no bombing of civilian homes," said Baz Mohammad, a grape farmer from the village of Nilgham in the southern province of Kandahar. "A few months ago there was bombing every day in our district."
"You're starting to see a lot more emphasis now on using the least amount of force necessary to get the result we want," said Capt. Frank Harnett, a spokesman for U.S. Air Force Central Command. "There's an added emphasis about noncombatant casualties. That will drive decisions made out in the field."

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