"The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements-I had no idea until then that you could not rely on [them]."James W. Fulbright (1905-1995), former US senator
The misery and wholesale destruction in Afghanistan continues though it hardly makes it to the headlines anymore. The civilian population suffer not only due to lack of basic infrastructure and food, but also because they are becoming increasing targets of NATO aerial bombings. The new commander in chief of the NATO forces American General Dan McNeill is a strong advocate for massive air power, which has earned him the name 'Bomber McNeill'. The consequence is a sharp rise in civilian casualties.

In typical psychopathic fashion, the U.S. military continues to blame the victims for the crime of being in the way of U.S. bombs:
"It was the fault of civilians for living in populated areas, explained Lt. Col. David Accetta at the time, areas that can provide a shelter for Taliban on the run. So homes were "targeted and hit."
This is just one example of the type of paramoralistic justifications that often follow news reports in the mainstream media, when they appear at all, of the U.S. military's targeted murder of civilians.

So what exactly are the numbers?

Real numbers are hard to come by but on the 2nd of June the UN reluctantly acknowledged that the civilian casualties caused by NATO, US and pro government forces were larger than those caused by the Taliban. The number by the 1st of July stood at 314 dead by the UN count. Anyone who cares to do just a little digging will find that this is grossly misleading. As an example the Sunday observer puts the civilian toll for June alone from NATO/US bombings at 200 people.

In the time since the above UN count, there has been scores killed by numerous Air strikes, but in a report on August 5 the number referred to by the mainstream is still the "around" 300 estimate.

So what happened in for the month of July. Well it turned out that NATO went in with all guns blazing and with heavy reliance on air power.

July 1st

100 Civilians due to US airstrikes in the Gereshk district in Helmand province
Afghan officials reported Saturday that possibly 100 or more civilians had been killed in a NATO and U.S.-led assault.
Spokesmen for the international forces acknowledged that civilians were killed in the battle, though they disputed the numbers. Maj. John Thomas, a spokesman for the NATO force, said the civilian death toll was "an order of magnitude less" than what Afghan officials reported.

Thomas said troops returned to the area after the battle and found what appeared to be civilian bodies among the dead insurgents in the trenches. "This confirms for us again that militants are willing to fire from among civilians," he said.

July 8th

108 Civilians killed by NATO airstrikes in Farah Province
...the leader of a tribal council in Farah Province said Saturday that 108 noncombatants had been killed Friday in a NATO airstrike.
The report was denied by a NATO spokesman and could not immediately be confirmed from other sources.
July 12th

27 Civilians dead due to NATO air strikes in NE Afghanistan
The villagers were killed during last week's strikes in Kunar province that targeted suspected militants at a funeral and a house, governor Shalizai Didar said, citing the results of his local government probe.

Four health volunteers were also among those killed, health officials said.
"We don't have an independent investigation under way, so obviously, I would trust the governor's investigation," she said.

Another spokesperson, Major John Thomas, earlier told AFP that "NATO targeted enemy positions" and was unaware of civilian deaths.
July 27th

50 people killed by NATO air raids in the Girishk district of Helmand
Dozens of civilians, including women and children, have been killed in two foreign air strikes in southern Afghanistan, residents and a local member of parliament said on Friday.

One of the raids by NATO hit houses in the Girishk district of Helmand province on Thursday evening, killing up to 50 civilians, a group of some 20 residents reported to journalists in Kandahar, the main city in the south.
A spokesman for British forces in Helmand said there was an ongoing operation in the province, but denied there had been any civilian casualties around Girishk.

"We have no reports of any such incidents in Girishk yesterday at all. There have been no people taken to the hospital ... in relation to anything around Girishk," said Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Mayo.

"Because the Taliban don't wear uniforms like us, as soon as they are killed, they are called civilians, the key is are they male or female and if they are male, what age are they?"

July 29th

4 Civilians killed by NATO airstrike on the car the were travelling in.
During the fighting, a NATO airstrike hit a civilian vehicle in the Kamdish district of Nuristan province killing four people and wounding seven others, said a provincial official who declined to be named.

"Eleven passengers were traveling in a pick-up truck ... to Kamdish when it came under attack from the air," the official said. "Among the seven wounded civilians, two of them are in a serious condition."
So basing it on just what has been mentioned in the mainstream sources the total number of civilians killed are in the vicinity of 289 for the month of July.

As can be seen the almost automatic statement from the military spokespeople is denial. They know that if they can suppress the news then it makes it easier for the pathocratic politicians at home to hoodwink the public. And in war public perception is everything as the Vietnam war showed and from which the top brass learned a lot about propaganda. Don't think that it is a coincidence that Iraq is the deadliest war ever for journalists

As though this is not bad enough, it appears that the strategy of reporting has changed in the last few weeks. A number of reports mention no civilian casualties, but only Taliban. It is as though the spin doctors have become aware of the negative reporting and thus have decided to equate all Afghans with Taliban fighters. This little technique sounds much better to the folks back home and avoids those tiresome and annoying inquiries.

Another thing that raises a few question marks is the number of so-called Afghan suicide bombings targeting civilians. Some of these have come just when NATO needed a breather in the news and a justification for being in Afghanistan in the first place.

Ask yourself who benefits, and can it really be a coincidence that "suicide bombings" that kill Afghan civilians seem to occur just when the U.S. military's war on terror starts to look more like a war on the Afghan people? It is certainly hard to see why the Afghan people hate each other more than the occupiers and destroyers of their country. More than that, it is completely illogical.

In the many years that the Russians were in Afghanistan did you ever hear about suicide bombings targeting civilians? Maybe you don't remember, so let me tell you; there were none. So either you decide that we are now dealing with a new and much more evil threat from "Islamic terrorists who hate us because of our freedoms" or you use your god-given ability to think critically and find a different and much less comfortable explanation.

The latest publicity stunt from NATO is their claim that they will only use "small bombs". To the life-affirming strategist generals and 'thinktankers' in Washington, "small" is 250kg instead of 500kg. This humanitarian act, they claim, will reduce casualties and make a "huge difference".

If that is the case, why didn't they do it before? And are they going to drop less bombs or are they just going to drop twice as many bombs to make up the tonnage of bombs dropped? The truth, of course is that this is just more lies, more paramoralistic doublespeak to confound and hopefully placate the folks back home. In the end, it is kind of like a killer saying that he agrees to fill his victims' bodies with fewer bullet holes.

The only real change we will notice therefore is that there will be even less truthful reporting on the continuing mass murder of Afghan civilians by US military bombing raids, and the reporting will go more towards framing every Afghan as being a "Taliban fighter" or at least a potential Taliban. After all, every Muslim is a potential terrorist, right? The reality on the ground will not change. What will change is the public propaganda campaign which will be fine tuned to further the imperialistic agenda in an effort to conceal the truth completely.