Kill the Bride! Afghan Weddings in the Crosshairs

November 6, 2008

What’s this with US bombs and Afghan weddings?

wedding kids

These two kids, small members of an Afghan wedding party bombed to bits by US aircraft in July 2002, killing 20 to 30 people (Illustration found here), are a horrifyingly sad picture of what’s been accomplished in a war that’s now dragged on for more than seven years.
And in that 2002 wedding crash, US officials refused to apologize for the incident, claiming the aircraft had been fired upon.

Such cold-hearted bullshit!

And that damned bullshit continues.
Just this past Monday another wedding bombed, the bride killed along with at least 40 others.

  • Afghan officials and local residents say that a US air strike struck an Afghan wedding party on Monday, killing at least 40 civilians and wounding 28 others (including the bride).
    The strike occurred in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar Province.
    Reporters on the scene say that villagers are still search the debris for survivors, and the toll is expected to rise even further.

    This is the largest incident of US-inflicted civilian casualties in Afghanistan in over two months.
    In late August, a US air strike in Herat Province killed 90 civilians and led to an increase in tensions between the Afghan government and the international forces.
    The Herat strike was based on a false tip, according to the Afghan government.
    This strike came after US-led troops came under fire in the hilly area, but it is not as of yet clear why the wedding party ended up being the target of the air strike.

Wedding get-togethers in Afghanistan, and even Iraq, can be way-dangerous to attendees.
The always informative tomdispatch presented an overview last July on the US habit of blasting apart the nuptials.

  • Oh, and let’s not forget the ur-incident in wedding party destruction in Bush’s wars.
    In late December 2001, a B-52 and two B-1B bombers, using precision-guided weapons, essentially wiped out a village in Eastern Afghanistan (and then, in a second strike, took out Afghans digging in the rubble).
    At the time, it was claimed that Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders had been killed “in their sleep.”
    It was also claimed that surface-to-air missiles had been fired at the American planes.
    A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command issued a congratulatory statement after the attack occurred with this passage: “Follow-on reporting indicates that there was no collateral damage.”
    Except, of course, as Guardian correspondent Rory Carroll, then in Afghanistan, put it, “bloodied children’s shoes and skirts, bloodied school books, the scalp of a woman with braided grey hair, butter toffees in red wrappers, wedding decorations. The charred meat sticking to rubble in black lumps could have been Osama bin Laden’s henchmen but survivors said it was the remains of farmers, their wives and children, and wedding guests.”

One hopes President Obama will halt the slaughter.

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