[The NY Times and AP accounts below leave open the question as to whether American troops panicked and fired blindly into crowds of Afghan civilians, thus engaging in a massacre — or were merely defending themselves with civilians caught in a crossfire.

Whichever, with 50 Afghans dead or wounded, the upshot looks to be outrage on the part of Afghans generally towards Americans harming fellow Afghans.

Lest we forget history, precisely the same situation developed in India where threatening crowds of citizens (inspired by Gandhi’s ‘non-violent’ exhortations) caused panicked British troops to shoot into civilian crowds with worldwide headlines criticizing British brutality.

http://www.answers.com/topic/non-cooperation-movement

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/British/Crawling.html

The Brits’ authority was broken and eventually they were forced to depart the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the British empire.

One suspects that we shall see an escalation in such events in Afghanistan (and Iraq) — perhaps initiated by those who want us out of there.  The U.S. will be faced with an impossible dilemma — kill innocent people protesting the presence of our troops — or withhold fire and subject our troops to unbearable numbers of casualties.  With nerves manifestly frayed on both sides, one anticipates only the worst for this spring.  Our occupations may now ‘surge’ into brutal killing games.

Help!

Ed Kent]

………………………….

Afghans: US Troops Shot at Civilians
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030407A.shtml
US Marines fleeing a militant ambush Sunday opened fire on civilian cars and pedestrians on a busy highway in eastern Afghanistan, wounded Afghans said. Up to 16 people were killed and 34 wounded in the violence.

…………………….

16 Civilians Die as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Road
By CARLOTTA GALL
American officials said the civilians were caught in
cross-fire with militants, but witnesses and some Afghan
officials said the troops shot indiscriminately.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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