Washington, Sep 4, 2009
Says Command should be Held Responsible
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a leading Congressional voice calling for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, today released the following statement after media reports that a U.S. airstrike on two stolen fuel transport vehicles left as many as 90 dead, including 40 civilians and a ten-year old child:
“News reports covering today’s attack by the U.S. command southwest of Kunduz province show that the good intentions of NATO forces in Afghanistan are not sufficient. If we want to avoid killing innocent civilians, we must end the war,” said Kucinich.
After two fuel tankers were reportedly stolen by Taliban insurgents, a U.S. airstrike was carried out that took the lives of an unknown number of innocent Afghans.
The innocent appear to have been in harm’s way because the Taliban encouraged them to siphon off the fuel in the trucks which were immobilized in mud. The free fuel would be a natural draw to the citizens, given the level of poverty in the area. Corruption plaguing Afghanistan has ensured very little aid gets to Afghans in need.
“The NATO command claims to have checked for civilian presence before authorizing the air strike. When deadly force is used at high altitudes at high speeds, there is an even greater moral responsibility to be absolutely certain that no civilians will become casualties of military action.
“There is little hope for a truly independent investigation because the Karzai Government is compromised and NATO forces are digging in for the long term based on the Administration’s policy. The war in Afghanistan is quickly developing into a tragedy of monumental proportions. It is time for the U.S. to end this war and bring our troops home.”