Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2012

WaPo: Those Dead And Wounded Afghans Do Not Exist

One big problem with U.S. foreign policy is that foreigners, unless they are falsely comparable to Hitler like Saddam, Gaddhafi or Ahmedinejad, do not exist in the mind of the U.S. people. The public seems not to care about the suffering of the people its rulers maim and kill.

But that is not really the fault of the U.S. people. It is a major fault of the media which only seldom present the view from the recipient side of the various U.S. bombing campaigns. Those people seem not exist.

The Washington Post just posted: 12 Turkish troops killed in chopper crash in Kabul

The report was filed from Kabul by Ernesto Londoño, Friday, March 16, 11:14 AM.

It begins:

KABUL — Twelve Turkish soldiers were killed Friday when their helicopter crashed on the outskirts of Kabul, officials said. It was the deadliest incident for international troops in Afghanistan so far this year.

A statement on the Turkish General Staff's Web site said the aircraft appears to have crashed accidentally, rather than under enemy fire.

All 12 troops killed were Turks, the statement said, making the crash by far the biggest loss of life for Turkish troops in Afghanistan during the conflict.

Not one word of the report mentions that besides the Turkish troops two Afghans were also killed and three wounded as the helicopter crashed onto their house:

Abdul Qadus, a local resident, said “there were two helicopters in the air passing through the area when one of them, all of a sudden, went down, hitting a house.”

He said two women, one in neighbouring house, were killed and another two women and a child were wounded in the accident.

There is not one word on that in the two hundred word Washington Post report. That is not because it was filled as facts still evolved. Various tweets from reporters in Kabul had the civilians deaths included almost immediatly. But death and carnage of Afghans seem not to exist for the Washington Post and therefore not for its readers.

Below is a screenshot of the complete report from the Washington Post website.

(click the image for a full size version)


Posted by b on March 16, 2012 at 14:10 UTC | Permalink


It's not just the media. The US government and NATO make it a practice not to count civilian dead. In Libya, the US and NATO announced exactly how many Qaddhafi was going to kill. But when it came to deaths resulting from NATO's HUMANITARIAN intervention, there were NONE!

Deaths in Syria are announced in precise detail, though the numbers are probably largely fictitious. But when NATO gets around to doing the killing, an eerie silence will fall over the body counts.

What kind of humanitarian intervention is it when you care so little about the people you are killing, that you don't even count them? It's called a war of choice justified on false pretenses, just like Iraq, Vietnam, and the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Conning we the people is something the US government excels at.

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 16 2012 15:21 utc | 1

The L.A. Times had an article up that cited this latest "lone soldier" massacre as having the highest death count of such an incident. If I'm not mistaken, the death count was much higher, early on in this criminal military action, when the so-called "enemy" was marched into metal storage containers, where they died from aphyxiation.

To think this latest incident, because it is being reported on, is somehow rare or exceptional is naive. The deaths of Afghanis and Iraqis, due to actions and incidents that are not within the guidelines of established and "legal" military protocols, is surely widespread and commonplace. Its called "war". Our leader's concern is not that such incidents occur, but rather that they cannot conceal all such incidents.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 16 2012 15:29 utc | 2

This is nothing new.....My personal experiences in Southeast Asia can attest to civilian casualties not being important....

Posted by: georgeg | Mar 16 2012 15:39 utc | 3

"KABUL — Twelve Turkish soldiers and two young Afghan women were killed on Friday when a Turkish helicopter crashed into a house on the outskirts of Kabul, officials said."

It seems that the report has been updated.

Posted by: BDL | Mar 16 2012 15:47 utc | 4

POA @ 2; Check out b's link on the previous thread. If you didn't catch it, here's the link. Is it psyops? Who knows, but, it's worth a look.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16 2012 15:57 utc | 5

Good instinct in making a screenshot of the WP webpage b.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 16:57 utc | 6

According to Reuters early this morning, there were four people killed on the ground.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 16 2012 18:41 utc | 7

yeah, that is the real issue, and that is why this concept of isaf fighting side by side with afghans is just crazy.

compare the imprint the us army left in germany with the imprint it left in Afghanistan.

I never met a West-German US-Sector from a certain generation onwards who did not have fond memories, ok I talk to jazz enthusiasts and Elvis Presley fans most of the time, but I do talk to other people and they remember the chewing gum they got as kids.

I have this uncle who crossed from being a POW of the US army to being a POW of the Soviet army because his sweetheart was in the Soviet Zone.
He did not talk bad of either army.

for several reasons I am being very relaxed about anybody calling me racist, I know I am not.

but I know how threatened and disoriented I felt just landing on my on in Kathmandu in Nepal.

So you take those kids from the US countryside taught to believe in American (maybe evangelical) values and tell them to function in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cultures much older than they can remember their ancestry.

what the hell do you expect?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16 2012 19:09 utc | 8

And from AP an hour ago, four Afghans on the ground were killed:

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 16 2012 19:11 utc | 9

The WaPo article has been updated.

Posted by: m_s | Mar 16 2012 21:39 utc | 10

i have come to hate america, very deeply

its apologists aren't worth the phlegm in my mouth

& if ever there was a contemporary version of the einsatzgruppen it is the stryker brigade

now that they have opened the gates of hell i hope they are burnt within

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 16 2012 23:04 utc | 11

Our perception of reality, at least as far as foreign affairs are concerned, is governed by what we read and what we see on TV, so as a workable strategy, I can certainly understand Washington Post for thinking "Out of sight, out of mind".
Though I wouldn't forgive it. It's quite natural to suspect WaPo for being instructed by Washington to not report dead Afghans. 20 years ago, they got away with that kind of censorshit. Thank God and DARPA for the Internet.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 16 2012 23:26 utc | 12

Great point b.

POA 2. second paragraph. Think how often this has happened in accord with orders but based on flawed intel. I'm certain we don't hear of those incidents, though we've learned of a few. I'm sure the gov't is much better at suppressing and bribing those affected. But when a rogue actor does it, there's too many loose ends to tie up on an ad hoc basis.

Posted by: scottindallas | Mar 17 2012 0:20 utc | 13

no, Alexander, Afghan deaths like Iraqui deaths like Vietnamese deaths just do not count. Not really. It is not politically correct to say but that is how it is.

Read the comment section here

escpecially this comment

"The popular reaction to My Lai all over again.

78% of Americans objected to Calley being convicted, or even charged.

Here we are, again.

We are who we are.


and you realize what Afghanistan will mean in an election year.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17 2012 8:07 utc | 14

This is SO big that it won't hit the headlines

Posted by: HW | Mar 17 2012 14:24 utc | 15

Somebody, I see what you say.
I knew 25% of Americans were retarded, but I am genuinely shocked to see that 78% of Americans are that damaged by their environment.. In the rest of the world, it is common knowledge that Americans are arrogant megalomaniacs in persut of the American dream, who accept powerty and filthy rich, allowing social injustice because they have a hope of once getting rich themselves. And everyone not American are either filthy socialists or muslim terrorists, or othervise 3.d world country non-humans.
Not to mention the belief that the US democracy is the only free system in the world, and their right to force other cultures to incorporate the US democratic model, at gunpoint or under threat of war to accept the US freedom of democracy..

but damn, I am shocked all the time by how bad the US arrogance really is.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 14:27 utc | 16

HW @ 16

From the article:
Google’s activities and internal communication regarding “regime change” in the Middle East

I wrote:
a “think/do-tank” billed as a vehicle for spreading American-style liberal democracy

in the article:
a “think/do-tank” billed as a vehicle for spreading American-style liberal democracy

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 14:36 utc | 17

rather, I wrote:
Not to mention the belief that the US democracy is the only free system in the world, and their right to force other cultures to incorporate the US democratic model, at gunpoint or under threat of war to accept the US freedom of democracy..

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 14:37 utc | 18

HW @ 16

Indeed this is big.

Burton responded, “GOOGLE is getting WH [White House] and State Dept. support and air cover. In reality, they are doing things the CIA cannot do. But, I agree with you. He’s going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose GOOGLE’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and GOOGLE is left holding the shit bag.” (doc-id 1121800)
Hopefully, at some point it will be general knowledge that the US administration are the real driving force behind a lot of the Arab spring, at least the US have take advantage of the momentum of the Arab spring to topple regimes they don't like. And it becomes painfully obvious when you listen to folks like Hillary Clinton.

The briefings mainly focused on the movements of Jared Cohen, currently the director of Google Ideas, a “think/do-tank” billed as a vehicle for spreading American-style liberal democracy. Cohen was also a former member of US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and former advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

My source is trying to find out if the billionaire owners are backing Cohen’s efforts for regime change.” (doc-id 1111729)

Later on, Burton forwarded information from the “Google source” of Cohen’s links in establishing The source added, “A site created to help online organization of groups and individuals to move democracy in stubborn nations. Funded through public-private partnerships.” Burton pointed out that the US State Department is the organization’s public sponsor.” (doc-id 1118344)

Indeed, the State Department, partnering with a number of corporations, was the main sponsor for the 2008 inaugural Alliance of Youth Movements summit in New York City that subsequently established Hillary Clinton endorsed the organization and presented a video message during the second summit held in Mexico City a year later.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 15:17 utc | 19

Alexander@18: Truth is, we don't have a true democracy here in the U.S., we have the illusion of a Democracy. Most of our policies are determined by the politicians who are bought and paid for by the super-rich. From top to bottom, with very few exceptions, the reps in our government are paid hacks for the oligarchy. Our "votes" are counted and cast on electronic machines that are unreliable and hacked often. We live in a Corporatocracy or Oligarchy, but, as of now, not a Democracy.

Posted by: ben | Mar 17 2012 15:22 utc | 20

This is a famous comic, George Carlin, but, his take on America is very very salient to a conversation on the state of America today.

Posted by: ben | Mar 17 2012 15:30 utc | 21

There was this Greek/Sweedish guy from the UN on BBC now, talking about how the Arab Spring had risen hope of a global democracy where it would be possible to tackle social issues, climate change..
What would have sounded good a year ago, but now it made me f..ntercoursing horrified.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 16:00 utc | 22

Americans are blessed, anointed, infallible. please don't bother us with dead foreigners when college basketball is heating up. as we export our brand of democracy, it's inevitable there will be some issues. like the saying goes, you can't make a delicious omelet without breaking a few (hundreds of thousands of) eggs.

it's too bad foreigners put up such a fight against our forced altruistic aim of remaking the world in our image. the world will be such a happier place when Walmart is globally ubiquitous and every global citizen has an iPhone.

that makes me think of another saying, from Star Trek (which everyone will understand once our cultural imperialism has had its way with all y'all)

resistance is futile.

Posted by: lizard | Mar 17 2012 16:05 utc | 23

@ 23: LOL! But, you nailed it lizard.

Posted by: ben | Mar 17 2012 17:03 utc | 24

lizard @ 23

"You will be assimilated!"

That is pretty much how it goes, yeah.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 17:57 utc | 25

Iraq: The dead, the refugees, the handicapped, i.e. those obviously devastatingly directly affected likely equal about 5-6 million. More millions are sick, many terminally so (DU, destruction of health care, clean water, agri, etc.) Then there are the blighted families and ppl so despairing they cannot function. That all began with sanctions, of course.

The tally is in the millions, independent of quibbles about numbers, categories, scales of suffering, etc. Whatever.


Some nut going on the rampage and killing 3, or 20, or even 50-100 ppl, these being sold as ‘isolated incidents’ makes a mockery of consistent murder (call it genocide) and devastation, and serves to cover it up, obscure it.

Being guilty of some violent incident or action is horrendous, shameful, or justifiable, or whatever, on and on, some ppl died when they should not have, so is war. Sometimes, in the US, lone nuts shoot children eating hamburgers or studying in a classroom. Horrific. But a known figure! Uncontrollable, unpredictable, irrepressible - deranged.

Note that ‘terrorists’ accomplish exactly the same thing, kill 2 to 50 ppl (and not more, with the exception of 9/11 if one accepts that as a terrorist act) but they, of course, have evil motives, are organized in a supreme and powerful band, AlQ, are not deranged, but have communal crazed blood lust in their hearts, politically motivated!

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 17 2012 18:22 utc | 26

Yeah, that is the real motive for a coverup, stage an attack that diverts attention away from the hundreds of thousands that have lost their lives in this war, in nightraids and otherwise,
instead people will remember a braindamaged man who murdered 16 civilians.
That conveniently concludes the war, with republican support.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 17 2012 20:20 utc | 27

The media is completely whitewashing this mass-murdering American soldier. Every excuse for his horrific act is given: PTS, brain injury, had a buddy killed a few days before, lost a toe and, one every red blooded American can relate too, drunk. At the same time they are fleshing him out as a good father, good husband and a damn good leader of men. The type of guy you dream of having as a neighbor until he gets drunk and starts shooting. We've even seen photoes of him as the happy, smiling boy next door, regal in his exoskeleton.

The media tells us the number of Afghanis killed and sometimes their ages and maybe pictures of their brutalized bodies, but their humanity is ignored. The American people need to see pictures of the victims when they were alive--smiling, happy, life in their eyes--accompinied by reports of who they were, how they lived, how they loved, so we can see who we are terrorizing and killing.

We call our soldiers heroes and say they are fighting for our freedoms when all they are doing is following the psychotic directives of a criminal elite that we allow to govern us. I will not buy that propaganda anymore and do not support anyone willing to perpetuate terror and mass murder, even under the guise of honor. America since WWII has become a culture of war that cares less about its citizens than its soldiers, who they put through hell and pretend to honor in death. Maybe we are just a culture that creates monsters, made in the USA, and export to some Third World country.

Posted by: Optimax | Mar 18 2012 0:07 utc | 28

Good anger piece:

Robert Fisk: Madness is not the reason for this massacre

Posted by: alexno | Mar 18 2012 0:16 utc | 29

The public seems not to care about the suffering of the people its rulers maim and kill.

Generally, true.

It's also true that, just as one example... here in Albuquerque NM, in last 2 years the number of kids, 18 or younger, living on the street, has increased from +/- 4k, to 10k.

Within that group... and, in this state, a plethora of very capable "groups", the purpose of which, it so somehow improve the "lot" of "street kids"... they have said, for decades, that most of those kids, they find out... were severely abused. Anything from beatings from someone in delusional rage, to fucked in the ass when they were still dependent on someone for simple things like a meal, clothes, or simply an opportunity to have "space" so they could learn to live in their growing body.

I mention this, not to raise awareness of advocate for the homeless. Rather, to point out... that your statement: "public seems not to care" is a general condition, not specific to the issue you are discussing here.

The malaise permeates... everything, really.

For example, NM is generally regarded as, compared to the other states... poor. Per capita income, for some time, has been in the bottom 10%.

That number is deceptive.

For example, we have public and private institutions here, the (ostensible) purpose being... various singular, or combined, disciplines in science, to bring forth highly technological "tools". Los Alamos... most of you know that story from it's inception. Their science was cutting edge, but their work product resulted in very narrow applications, possible, from their discoveries.

There are tons... literally, of millionaires, having "made" their millions based on discoveries in that Lab... then, one person here, another there... seeing a possibility from "something" in their work... went out, and privately... built something else.

Tons of 'em, over recent decades, from Los Alamos.

Same from Sandia Labs... I know a bunch of these people. MIT physicists, and others... regarded, by their work product over long periods of time, as distinctively capable in their given craft.

Yet... of all the people I know from these groups, not a single one can articulate anything approaching an "anatomy" of the "financial crisis". Same with the homeless thing I described... much less even an awareness of that "condition".

We have here, also, a very large Air Force Base... Kirtland. It was largely brought into being, so that the bombs made as the work product in Los Alamos, for efforts in WWII, could be transported.

Somewhere about 30 years ago, a pipe connection trains, delivering various fuels for Kirtland's Aircraft, began leaking. This pipe, delivered the fuel from train cars, to storage tanks over the course of approx 1/2 mile.

This leak, over 30 years, has been estimated to have dispersed +/- 8m gallons of fuel.

Albuquerque, for a long time, enjoyed amongst the highest water quality in the US. We live on top of a huge aquifer, and most of our water comes from that.

It is known, that the Air Force knew of this leak, at least, by 1991. They were warned of it's consequences and possible hazards to our population, and... they buried it, did nothing.

We know, now... that various constituent parts of that fuel, have not only made their way into the water supply... which, the top level of (the aquifer) begins +/- 500 ft. below ground level. What is also know, is that various known carcinogens from that fuel, have migrated... at minimum, to a perimeter roughly in a radius from the original leak... of +/- 14 miles to the east and north east.

The population, in Albuquerque... is less then 1% aware that this situation exists. The Air Force (w/DOD, and several other agencies) has takes a "contractor" to "fix it". The Air Force has said, publicly... through meetings and local press, that this contractor... Shaw, is "fixing it".

In fact... Shaw is not fixing it. They have 2 "experts" in our area, having worked on this "problem" since early 2010. Shaw's contract stipulates, they must have a "plan" to clean up the water supply, by April of 2014. Thus, it could be said... Shaw has been tasked with developing a "plan" for a "plan", to clean up a waters supply for nearly a million dependent people, most of which don't have a clue that, about 500 feet below them, there is a carcinogenic jet fuel plume migrating further, horizontally, into the water they rely on, every single day.


My point is, B, that not caring about one issue... as I see it, is not the primary problem. I don't say this, really, as a criticism. Rather, again... just trying to point out that, by highlighting one condtion here (Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Palestinians... or terrfied street kids in Albuquerque), it has become increasing clear that, the problem we face is not lack of awareness of "this", or "that".

It is, rather, not just lack of awareness... which obviously, must be a precondition to solving any of these "things".

Rather... after simply providing the "stuff" so that some awareness... just the human awareness in one individual here, then one there... that from there, somehow, each realizing they do indeed, have opportunities themselves, to begin something which will make things a little better, here... or there.


So then, just my $0.02 worth... whole bunch of words, trying as best I can, to illuminate more clearly, a means by which... over time, obviously, what is needed amongs people, so that they can collectively... meaning one here, and one there... each of themselves aligned and aware... and, in that awareness, each one seeing some path for doing something, that makes things a little better...


But that is not really the fault of the U.S. people.

In my view... that, really, is the wrong conclusion. Taken hold and assumed by many, that condition more or less guarantees perpetuation of the malaise.

The question, to be resolved... it, at least to me, self evident withing all this. It is the same question, for everybody... everywhere. The individual circumstances, wherever one may be, seem to tell to many indviduals that... there is, nothing, they can do, to alter "things", withing their general circumstances. They need "help".

Personally, I don't think so. In fact... I know it, w/certainty.

I know it, because... in little and big things, I have found... that almost everyone around me, that I participate with in "whatever", is far more capable... of doing so many things, that they "forgot" they could do. I have found, that, in seeing how they have resolved to not care, often, I am able to "show" them, that in fact, they do care... but they forgot.

And, I've found that... out of this, a whole lot of folks have gone out, and done stuff, that made things better for some others in their particular environment.

That, in my view, is the real game. Do... doing. Clear eyed, chosen, doing. It just... works.

Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 18 2012 14:54 utc | 30

that was interesting jdmckay at 30, thx

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 18 2012 18:52 utc | 31

jdmckay @ 30

You've got the right idea there. Something as simple as fishing out the address to your local editor and pointing out in a mail, that some issue has to be highlighted, can often make real difference.
However I think most are numb by everything, and it's easier to settle than to take in the fact that there is some elaborate conspiracy at work. Even if it is not that elaborate. Even if deconstructing the lies will make things easier and better in the long run. People are used to instant gratification, and won't be bothered to fix things that may or may not give results for the next generation.

But my point is, an email can be a good start, a smile on the bus is a good start if you're a pessimist. We're only here for a century if we're lucky, and even if we are just a chemical reaction respawning by the influx of energy from the sun, we should be the best we can, if not for us, then for our next generation.

You guys that are on MoA have something not everyone has, you have better understanding of how things work, than the average American - even most politicians, that's a gift, and a responsibility.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 18 2012 22:44 utc | 32

They poisoned the water at Camp LeJuene (Marine base in North Carolina) for decades and no one much gave a shit. Most Americans still don't know about it - and the US military does not care that scores (or more) were killed by cancer.

Posted by: Susan | Mar 18 2012 23:11 utc | 33

Susan @ 33

People hardly care even if flames shoot out the tap.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 19 2012 10:05 utc | 34

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