A silhouetted bomber dropping 20 or so bombs is superimposed on a picture of a young innocent boy. The title reads, "Bombing Afghanistan."
60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley intones...
"It's been six years since the liberation of Afghanistan. But the fighting there now is the greatest its been since the start of the war. And more civilians are dying. The enemy has killed hundreds of civilians this year. But, surprisingly, almost the same number of civilians have been killed by American and Allied forces. With relatively few troops on the ground, the U.S. and NATO rely on air power. And civilian deaths from air strikes have doubled. Now there's concern that those deaths are undermining Afghan support for the war."
And Pelley goes on to say, "We took a closer look at one American air strike from last spring. At the time the Army said that there were unconfirmed reports that nine people died in a battle with the enemy. But when we asked for more information, the ARMY wouldn't tell us anything else. So we went to see for ourselves.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves a few questions at this point.
- Does the piece appear to be suggesting that the current situation is out-of-control with the fighting being the "greatest" since the start of the war.
- Does the piece appear to be suggesting that there is a moral equivalency between the deaths caused by the enemy and those caused by coalition operations?
- Since the piece clearly states that the coalition forces rely predominately on air power and the number of deaths from air strikes have doubled, does this imply "wrongdoing" on the part of coalition forces?
- Does the piece imply that the casualties of air strikes are undermining Afghan support for the war?
- And, decide for yourself whether or not the piece implies that there was some type of "coverup" that would have succeeded had not 60 Minutes brought you this investigation?
All that within the first 49 seconds of the program.
The program continues...
The father of the boy, who has apparently lost his entire family to the air strike, has been accused of being a local Taliban leader wanted by the coalition and was not present at the time of the bombing.
The incident started when enemy forces fired a rocket at a U.S. base above the village that was targeted first by mortar fire and then an air strike. Pilots saw two armed men with AK-47s leaving the site of the attack and entering the village. Pelley points out that the rocket missed the base altogether as if that somehow brings into question the degree of subsequent retaliation.
Since the bombs hit their intended target, what we have here is a case of collateral damage. No more and no less. Regrettable -- but not an excuse for anti-American or anti-military propaganda designed to push a far left agenda.
So why is an American television program highlighting this situation -- especially when it is likely that this program will be shown abroad as a clear demonstration of our wanton disregard of civilian life? As they say, you decide.
The program continues with a comparison to the Russians and noting that it was the Americans who killed ten members of one family. It doesn't matter who says it, the words stick in the minds of the viewers.
"These Afghans, like many others, are trying to decide whether to support the U.S.-backed government."
"We used to hate the Russians much more than Americans. But now when we see all this happening. I am telling you, Russians behave much better than the Americans."
"So far this year, 17 air strikes have killed more than 270 civilians according to the humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch."
"It leaves Afghan President Hamid Karzai explaining to his people why they’re being killed by his allies."
"There's this macabre kind of calculus that the military goes through on every air strike, where they try to figure out how many dead civilians is dead bad guy worth," says Marc Garlasco, who knows the calculus of civilian casualties as well as anyone."
"At the Pentagon, Garlasco was chief of high value targeting at the start of the Iraq war. He told 60 Minutes his team was authorized to kill a set number of civilians around high-value targets -- targets like Saddam Hussein and his leadership."
"Our number was 30. So, for example, Saddam Hussein. If you're gonna kill up to 29 people in a strike against Saddam Hussein, that's not a problem," Garlasco explains. "But once you hit that number 30, we actually had to go to either President Bush, or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld."
Are they implying that both President Bush or Secretary Rumsfeld are responsible for civilian casualties? If not, why mention their names? Especially in this context.
To be noted: Garlasco left his government job and is now employed by Human Rights Watch which is described as a far-left organization funded in part by George Soros.
The program that shows Karzai going public with his demand (request) that the U.S. roll-back the use of air power.
And the tidbit that hundreds of civilians may have been killed without killing one bad guy.
I would like to fire the Defense Department staffer or Air Force General who allowed 60 Minutes access to its classified control room even though they promised not to reveal classified information or the Persian Gulf Country where the facility is located.
All-in-all, the piece was one-sided propaganda which placed the United States in a poor light.
What can YOU do?
Remember, never in the annals of history has a powerful fighting force as the United States Military taken such abnormal care to avoid civilian casualties -- often to the personal detriment of the fighting force. No one can deny that many of our casualties could have been prevented and are due to overly-restrictive "rules of engagement."
We are fighting in an environment where the enemy combatants do not wear uniforms or adhere to the Geneva convention. They hide among civilians and launch attacks from civilian homes. Should a civilian target be legitimately struck, our forces are often castigated for the damage and the media is promptly notified by the enemy hoping to win a Vietnam-style "media war." Civilian assets are also targeted by the enemy who then blame the coalition forces and seek media attention.
George Soros and his well-funded organizations is attempting to bring about a regime change within the United States. One based on a radical far-left agenda that calls for weakening the United State military and the United States economy. Apparently his goal is to produce a United States which mirrors Europe.
As for those who blindly publish or air propaganda, dump their subscription, turn the knob, change the channel. Do not purchase products advertised by these media source -- and, by all means, tell the advertisers why you are not purchasing their goods and services.
As for those in the Military who believe that they need to cooperate with the media, perhaps it is time that they took another look at a media-driven propaganda war.
For those who want to consider proportionality: consider that America is subject to drug-driven crime and that thousands of our people die each and every year from the drug poison grown almost exclusively in Afghanistan -- "the country accounts for over 90 percent of all opium produced on the planet. And international efforts to cut that output have proven fruitless."
Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for personal power, prestige or profits.
Support our troops. They are the only thing standing between you and a Soros-style decaying Europe.
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
Read the 60-minutes transcript or view the show segment at Karzai: Stop The Air Strikes| 60 Minutes|CBSNews.com
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell