As Taliban leadership admonish their fighters to avoid civilian deaths, locals in the Sangin District of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province are increasingly angry, complaining that the US Marines who recently took over the district have been regularly killing the civilians and refusing to investigate.
Unfortunately, every civilian death may well drive many of those left standing into the waiting embrace of the Taliban.
Now, in the Orwellian language of US foreign policy, "protecting" civilians in Afghanistan apparently now translates as "killing them".
One is reminded of the response of the Papal legate at the Siege against the Cathars at Montsegur in 1244. When informed that there were women and children with the men here, the Papal legate's response was: "kill them all: God will find His own."