Thursday, February 28, 2013


As Syria's war casualties approach 80,000 dead--including troops and rebels, but mostly civilians--let's ponder what our military inflicted in Afghanistan where some allege we just air raided villages and over-used firepower.

This is the toll in Afghanistan as we prepare to ease out of the campaign:

Thus since 2001 another 60,000 Afghans have been killed, about half of them were men fighting for the Taliban and drug gangs. Nearly 20,000 civilians were killed, mostly by the Taliban. Another 10,000 were killed fighting against the Taliban, along with 4,300 foreign troops. The violence peaked in 2010 (with 11,000 dead) when NATO led a major offensive against the Taliban and drug gangs.

Remember that most civilian deaths were caused by the enemy. And there is a good amount who died from our fire that I'd argue are the responsibility of the enemy under the rules of war because of the way the enemy fought--among civilians where sometimes civilians would be killed by accident as we tried to kill the enemy.

Hey, here's some enemy fun--poison:

Ghazni deputy provincial council head Abdul Jamhe Jamhe says the militants somehow infiltrated the outpost and poisoned those inside the compound before launching the Tuesday night assault. He says the assailants then shot the incapacitated men.

Ten were local police and 7 were friends of the police.

Remember, too, that during our fight in Iraq, about 120,000 Iraqis died--including perhaps a third who were the enemy plus Iraqi security forces.

Yet in two years in Syria, nearly 80,000 have died. And the death toll has only really accelerated in the last year, or so.

Syria is what brutality looks like. Not Afghanistan. And not even Iraq.

And if Karzai gets our special forces out of that region with baseless charges of brutality when in reality they are the reason Karzai lives in a presidential palace, expect more brutality from the enemy and a higher body count.

We aren't the problem. How's that for perspective?