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Friday, January 01, 2010

And 30,000 more soldiers and years more of this makes us safer -- how, exactly?
Posted by Jill | 8:35 AM
Raw Story:

Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan on Wednesday, burning an effigy of the US president and shouting "death to Obama" to slam civilian deaths during Western military operations.

Hundreds of university students blocked main roads in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangahar province, to protest the alleged deaths of 10 civilians, mostly school children, in a Western military operation on Saturday.

"The government must prevent such unilateral operations otherwise we will take guns instead of pens and fight against them (foreign forces)," students from the University of Nangahar's education faculty said in a statement.

Marching through the main street of Jalalabad, the students chanted "death to Obama" and "death to foreign forces", witnesses said.

The protesters torched a US flag and an effigy of US President Barack Obama in a public square in central Jalalabad, before dispersing.

"Our demonstration is against those foreigners who have come to our country," Safiullah Aminzai, a student organiser, told AFP.

"They have not brought democracy to Afghanistan but they are killing our religious scholars and children," he added.

Civilian deaths in the eight-year war to eradicate a Taliban-led insurgency are a sensitive issue for the Afghan public, and fan tensions between President Hamid Karzai and the 113,000 foreign troops supporting his government.

A similar protest was planned in Kabul against the "killing of civilians, especially the recent killing of students in Kunar by foreign forces," said organisers from the youth wing of Jamiat Eslah, or the Afghan Society for Social Reform and Development.

"The demonstration is to show our hatred, anger and sorrow about the current situation," said Sayed Khalid Rashid.

"Our main request is that the American and NATO forces must leave the country and Afghan people must have political autonomy," he said, adding that he expected hundreds of people to turn out for the march through western Kabul.

2009 started with the promise of a different way forward and a return of America's prestige as a role model in the world. It ended with the President who embodied that promise being burned in effigy in the very place he plans to escalate an 8-year-old futile war.

And so it goes....

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Blogger rjs said...
James Jones says there are at most 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, and fewer than 400 in Pakistan...other estimates claim there are far fewer than that. do the math: its costing us $30 billion to add 30,000 troops...