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Old 05-17-2011, 11:21 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Just kind of a reminder of the horrors of war.

Your tax dollars at work.

**** me, I hate war.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...ghanistan.html

Asleep in Afghanistan
Posted by Amy Davidson
May 16, 2011

Four children have been killed in Afghanistan in the past few days—two of them where they were sleeping, one in a crowd on the street, and another while she was collecting firewood. Here is a catalog of the reasons why they died—which, however, doesn’t resolve itself in any very rational explanation.

On Thursday, a girl was spending the night, with other relatives, outside. “As it is warmer now, we sleep in the courtyard,” Neik Mohammed, the girl’s father, told a reporter for the Times. She was killed, along with her uncle, when NATO troops raided the wrong house by mistake. They threw a grenade into the yard, and shrapnel hit her head, killing her almost instantly—maybe quickly enough that the explosion merged with a dream, unless the opening notes of the raid had woken her already.

Saturday, in Nangarhar province, a fifteen-year-old boy, went to sleep—either in a field with his shotgun, according to a local official, or in his bed, within reach of two weapons, according to a coalition apology—and was killed as he woke up, by soldiers looking for someone else. (“We are deeply sorry for this tragedy,” the coalition statement said.) His body was carried through his village by a crowd of angry people; there was a confrontation, Afghan security forces fired, and a fourteen-year-old boy was dead. Did he know the other boy? They were about the same age, though it’s hard to say whether they would have gone to school together. According to press reports, the fifteen-year-old had not been able to go to classes regularly through his childhood, and so was enrolled in the fourth grade.

Fourth grade is where a ten-year-old girl should be; the one killed Monday was gathering firewood with other girls, as were nine boys killed a few months ago. She and her friends, some of whom were wounded, were not mistaken for anybody; they were apparently just too close to a suspected insurgent position that was being shelled with artillery.

And what does that all add up to? Sleep, anger, work, proximity to things you might not even see. Maybe all it means is that there is a war going on in their country; that also means, of course, that if we are going to carry on a war, we ought to have a good reason, and an idea of where we are headed. Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, in an interview in which he told the A.P. that there were “no affects that we can see at this point” on the Afghan war from the death of Osama bin Laden, said that “the al-Qaida movement is not based on just one individual and we will have to see what that impact is … and how much that will be on the strength of al-Qaida and associated movements. But that is yet to be seen.” That may be true, just as the course of a war is not determined by the death of any one individual child. A child’s death, though, tumbles through the story of the war, pushing it in different directions, with nights of increasingly troubled sleeps.
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