“The Taliban is no more, and the people of Afghanistan are free, thanks to America and our friends and allies.” (Applause.)
- George W. Bush, “President Discusses Tax Relief in Minnesota,” Fridley, Minnesota, 19 June 2003 (LINK)
From The New York Times, 17 February 2009:
“The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan leaped by about 40 percent last year over the previous one, according to a survey released Tuesday by the United Nations, the latest measure of how the intensifying violence between the Taliban and American-led forces is ravaging that country.”
According to the UN report, “2,118 civilians were killed in war-related violence in 2008, the most since the Taliban were ousted in November 2001. That is up from 1,523 civilians killed in 2007.”
While most civilian casualties are inflicted by Taliban and other insurgent forces, the Times report continues, “Violence caused by Afghan government forces and those of the American-led coalition killed 828 people last year, up sharply from the previous year. The majority of those civilians were killed in airstrikes and raids on villages.”
This is but one of a myriad of problems handed down to and weighing heavily on our new president. I recommend you read the complete Times article HERE.
As of 18 February 2009:
U.S. & COALITION DEATHS: 1,118
U.S. troops killed: 4,245
Coalition troops killed: 318
U.S. deaths self-inflicted: 175
U.S. wounded: 147.792
U.S. missing or captured: Ahmed Qusai al-Tael, 23 October 2006
There is no definite total of civilian fatalities/casualties in either country.
Two friends, bloggers Frodo and Papamoka have attended funeral services for young soldiers from their area. As Frodo points out, that’s two more such funeral services than attended by George W. Bush.
God bless America.
UPDATE: From USA Today/Gallup poll of 19 February 2009: Before President Barack Obama’s decision this week to send additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan, a majority of Americans (52%) perceived the situation there to be going very or moderately badly; 70% thought the Taliban would retake control if U.S. forces withdrew.