Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.
Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind.
This fallout from the continuous indiscriminate killing civilians is going to further poison the minds of Afghans against the US and NATO, and make the Taliban almost look like the good guys.
This is the absolute opposite outcome from what the US and NATO have declared they want to happen.
The answer here is not, nor has it ever been a "military victory". The old Soviet Union tried to pacify this country with 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, and failed utterly.The total troop strength of the US and NATO is far smaller than that, even with Obama's much-vaunted "surge".
What the Afghan people need is hope, a responsible government which provides for them to some degree, infrastructure, reconstruction, and aid which actually helps the people for which it was intended.
But unless and until the US and NATO can actually come up to the plate on these issues, the military campaign is, for all intents and purposes, doomed.