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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:58 PM

Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders

http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/12/marine-taliban-kids-120312w

"CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — When Marines in Helmand province sized up shadowy figures that appeared to be emplacing an improvised explosive device, it looked like a straightforward mission. They got clearance for an airstrike, a Marine official said, and took out the targets.

It wasn’t that simple, however. Three individuals hit were 12, 10 and 8 years old, leading the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to say it may have “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians.”

But a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were “innocent.” Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission.

The incident underscores a continuing problem across Afghanistan. The use of children by the Taliban — through recruitment and as human shields — complicates coalition forces’ efforts to eliminate enemy fighters from the battlefield without angering civilians."

Really not a shocker that the Taliban uses children as pawns.

50 replies, 3754 views

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Arrow 50 replies Author Time Post
Reply Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders (Original post)
NCTraveler Dec 2012 OP
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #1
woo me with science Dec 2012 #2
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #4
woo me with science Dec 2012 #9
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #10
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #30
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #39
leveymg Dec 2012 #3
Mosby Dec 2012 #24
leveymg Dec 2012 #26
Mosby Dec 2012 #28
leveymg Dec 2012 #29
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #5
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #46
Mosby Dec 2012 #25
KoKo Dec 2012 #7
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #8
KoKo Dec 2012 #12
sarisataka Dec 2012 #11
KoKo Dec 2012 #14
sarisataka Dec 2012 #16
leveymg Dec 2012 #27
sarisataka Dec 2012 #34
Brickbat Dec 2012 #13
woo me with science Dec 2012 #15
sagat Dec 2012 #17
KoKo Dec 2012 #18
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2012 #19
hedgehog Dec 2012 #20
kelliekat44 Dec 2012 #21
hedgehog Dec 2012 #22
X_Digger Dec 2012 #31
actslikeacarrot Dec 2012 #32
Robb Dec 2012 #23
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #33
KoKo Dec 2012 #43
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #35
redgreenandblue Dec 2012 #47
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #48
redgreenandblue Dec 2012 #49
AverageJoe90 Dec 2012 #50
riderinthestorm Dec 2012 #36
hedgehog Dec 2012 #37
closeupready Dec 2012 #38
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #40
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #41
KoKo Dec 2012 #42
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #44
Barack_America Dec 2012 #45

Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:00 PM

1. Smart tactic...

 

Win for them either way...

Probably better for them the way it happened actually...

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:02 PM

2. Purposely AIMING BOMBS AT CHILDREN

No, the President's being a Democrat does not make this morally conscionable.


http://www.thenation.com/blog/171582/us-military-approves-bombing-children

...But a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were “innocent.” Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission.

Shockingly, the article quotes a senior officer saying that the military isn’t just out to bomb “military age males,” anymore, but kids, too:

“It kind of opens our aperture,” said Army Lt. Col. Marion “Ced” Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”

“Opens our aperture,” indeed.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:06 PM

4. Nothing about the Taliban is "morally conscionable". nt.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:16 PM

9. Third Way attempts to justify aiming bombs at children.

Take careful note of what is being defended here. Take careful note of how brazen it is. Take careful note of the morality being espoused here, by the corporate faction of our party.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:20 PM

10. The scarry third way. Got you. Used as a way to not make a point. nt

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:49 PM

30. Guess what I'm thinking about you...

 

A jury would hide it for sure.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:56 PM

39. Keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan(as I assume you support)can't be morally conscionable either.

No one should ever die to maintain a useless stalemate. There's nothing in the current situation that's worth any more loss of U.S. OR Afghan lives.

Please don't push for an LBJ approach here...that mindset was permanently discredited in the jungles of Vietnam. Long twilight struggles just leave you in the darkness in the end...and we haven't won any "hearts and minds" in Afghanistan. The place is a dead zone.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:03 PM

3. Kids, don't play in the road, and don't bury your pet turtle. Don't. eom

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:54 PM

24. why would they bury a pet on a road?

That does not make sense.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:28 PM

26. Not meant literally.

Who knows what they were doing? No sense in asking. They're dead.

Would you call in that artillery strike?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #26)


Response to Mosby (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:45 PM

29. You should get a medal.

I don't think it was necessary. After all, the observer knew exactly where the IED was buried.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:08 PM

5. Disgusting, trying to excuse the killing of children. Why are we there? It is their country

we sure haven't improved things in over a decade. It's way past time to go and making excuses like this only angers people, which you would think they would know by now as it is an old excuse which has never been accepted.

When you invade someone's country, everything that happens after that is your responsibility. Don't know why that is so hard to understand.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:13 PM

6. The Taliban using children as pawns draws no disgust from you.

Does for me.

And you are right. We aren't doing any good there and should have done a full pull out by now. If we should have even been there in the first place.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:02 AM

46. Excuse me??

Don't talk to me about the Taliban. The US has been PAYING the Taliban to protect our supply lines. We arm these people, WE make it impossible for the people there to solve their own problems when we strengthen dictators with money and arms. We created the vacuum that made the Taliban possible with the help of the Soviet Union.

And when a country is invaded, men, women and children do not need to be used, they fight especially when the invading army has killed their loved ones, and kidnapped friends and neighbors, and CHILDREN and brought to their brutal detention centers and tortured them to death and kept them for years and years. Including children.

Over here we just go on with life. But ten years later children are told of their relatives who were tortured, many to death, of women who were raped and murdered. I remember when I was ten. I was lucky, but if my country had been occupied, I would have known those soldiers did not belong there and no one would have had to 'use' me to want to drive them out.

They are not wrong. WE are in THEIR country.

It's so easy for us to fail to understand what it is like to be occupied.

WE the US, has harmed more Afghans than the Taliban. WE cannot point fingers at how they treat women. WE TORTURED women and children. Have you not read the stories from Afghanistan and Iraq? We are no help to the women of these countries, we destroyed the freedoms the women of Iraq used to have.

As Sy Hersch said after viewing the video we still have not seen, and even Lindsey Graham, 'we are talking about rape and sodomy and murder'.

There are democratic groups in Afghanistan and some wonderful Women's groups, but as they themselves have said, 'They US does not talk to those groups'. They deal with the Taliban when necessary and in doing so, strengthen them and make it so much more difficult for women there.

And if the Taliban had agreed to the pipeline, they would be our best friends right now, just like the brutal dictator of Uzbekistan and the Bahrain Royal Family, and Mubarak and Ben Ali, and all the other dictators we have and still do support.

I don't know if you were serious or not, but if after all we've seen over the past decade regarding our many wars, we are not there to make things better for anyone, men, women or children. We can no longer pretend we are there because they have a dictator, or because the Taliban is so bad. We never cared about that. We the best friends of the world's dictators.

As one Afghan women's advocated said, they are more afraid of US soldiers and WMDs than they ever were of the Taliban.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:10 PM

25. I think I agree with you

Like you said its been more than 10 years and we have not changed much.

We should just hand the country back to the taliban so they can continue their war on democracy, pluralism, women, children and glbt people. Who are we to say that girls should not have their genitalia disfigured? That's just pure imperialism, we need to stop thinking we are better than other people and quit judging other cultural practices we don't understand.

If we had stayed out of their business we would not have created a cycle of violence, heck if some afgani orphan kid wants to blow himself up in times square or something we can only blame ourselves, we violated their sacred national rights.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:14 PM

7. Yeah...right. And the hoax about pulling plugs on babies in incubators....

and other horror stuff that turns out to be propaganda to get us into invading countries and staying there to "nation build."

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Response to KoKo (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:15 PM

8. You really believe the Taliban don't use children in war?

Not sure if you are aware of the moral failings of the men in the Taliban.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:34 PM

12. I don't believe that random killing of children by US in a country we invaded and occupy

is morally justified no matter who they are or which tribe they come from that "we" declare an enemy.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:34 PM

11. Not to ever excuse or condone targeting non-combatants...

all too often children are used as combatants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_soldiers

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:36 PM

14. So who can figure out if "kids digging in dirt" are terrorists of just doing something

else? Who has done intelligence work on that? If they are suspected then ask their parents. Children have been targeted by Drones. You think the guy sitting there in Texas zapping knows if they are Taliban? You think that nervous and over extended troops know whether they are some "enemy"...or that they are just doing something any of our own kids would be doing outside that could look suspicious if you don't know the culture of the people.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:45 PM

16. Benefit of the doubt

is what they deserve. I would not call a strike unless I was sure... maybe not even then as a planted bomb can be dealt with in many ways. The guy actually pushing the button only knows what people on site are telling him.

I understand remote warfare, better to kill 'them' without risk to 'me'. I think too many have become complacent. Sometime 'I' have to take a risk and positively identify 'them' before attacking.

To simply say, however, all killing of children is naive. A weapon wielded by a child can make you just as dead as one in the hands of a seasoned vet.

In either case, as one poster said- War is an abomination- absolutely correct.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:31 PM

27. If the observer knew where they were digging, there were other ways to deal with the IED.

The rockets probably exploded the ordinance, which is why we aren't presented with evidence that a bomb was actually planted.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:09 PM

34. I agree, in most cases

there are possible exceptions e.g. a convoy would pass that spot before anyone could get to IED, but they are few and rare.

There would be some residue of the IED, if there was one, but likely no one bothered to look. Being cynical- what would be the point, the kids are dead and any proof of an IED would be dismissed as manufactured.

IMO a better use of drone is to observe and follow suspicious activity. It may lead to those directing attacks. You can always blow the bomb up later.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:35 PM

13. OH! Well, in that case...

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:41 PM

15. Kicking to keep exposed

what the corporate faction of our party now attempts to justify.

America, *purposely* aiming bombs at children.

This is the morality and messaging of a corporate-owned USA, and a corporate-owned Democratic Party. This is what happens when we tolerate the Third Way.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:46 PM

17. Come off it, bro.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:50 PM

18. And don't forget...US Citizens, in "occupied countries," also because they are

"suspected terrorists" or were near a spot thought to have terrorists or just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Random killing based on faulty or hoked up intelligence and informants we pay bribes to in cultures we don't even understand.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:09 PM

19. Oh, Noble Marines!

Killing kids halfway around the world to keep us safe. Because they could be combatants.

What a disgusting apologia.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:14 PM

20. Assuming that the Taliban is using child soldiers, how does one respond?

This isn't a new problem. I recall charges that the Viet Cong recruited children.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:21 PM

21. What would you expect from children who witness their parents being killed by bombs from the sky,

soldiers on the ground? Brothers, sisters, cousins, and other relatives bombed and mutilated. These people are just like us in that they feel real pain, sadness, distress, love, loneliness, fear. As a parent I would so grieved to see my child blown up, shot, killed, mutilated. I can't even imagine what I might do myself. As a child, to see my parents killed or ravaged, my home destroyed by anyone is unbearable to think about. Just remember, not everyone is a parent, but everyone is someone's child. It would not take much to recruit me as a child if I witnessed my family killed by those I deem as enemies.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:28 PM

22. Let's go back farther in history - at the end of WWII in the European theater,

the Nazi government put guns in the hands of 14year olds and put them on the line to fight American soldiers. What should the American troops have done when faced with child soldiers?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:49 PM

31. That's a very good question.

Somehow I doubt you'll get a cogent response.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:49 PM

32. There is a huge difference...

....between being shot at and somebody planting an IED. Hostile intent and hostile act. I, dont like to second guess those on the ground, but in a country that we are supposedly trying to win hearts and minds in, this isn't the way. Sending out a Quick react force, following the children using a UAV home and then sending a patrol out to that compound, and marking the spot on a map and broadcasting to everyone in ISAF to stay the fuck away from would have been better options. The way I read it, they KNEW it was children, and still called in a fire mission. WTF were they thinking?

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:33 PM

23. The median age in Afghanistan remains around 18.

In the US, the median age is 37. Let that sink in for a minute.

The "use of children by the Taliban" should be as surprising as the use of water by fish, or arrows by archers.

War is a gruesome business in its entirety; a reasonable benchmark for indignation is generations behind us.

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Response to Robb (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:03 PM

33. Unfortunately True, Sir

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Response to Robb (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:49 PM

43. We are at WAR with Afghani Children?

by US Median Age of 37 year olds against Afghani 18 year olds?

How does this make sense?

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:12 PM

35. Just another reason the Taliban is so evil........

Using kids as pawns.....just like Randy Weaver did with his son Sammy during Ruby Ridge. Disgraceful, and that's putting it VERY mildly.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:24 AM

47. America murders children, but somehow the Taliban are to blame.

Your belief in exceptionalism is showing.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #47)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:38 PM

48. Exceptionalism?

It's tragic whenever kids get caught up in this shit, man. But what should you do if a 12-year-old is pointing a gun at you? Remember what happened at Ruby Ridge: that pathetic scumbag Randy Weaver used his son Sam as a pawn in his petty games by arming him with a gun....and he died as a result.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #48)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:12 PM

49. What you do in the case of Afghanistan is not be there.

We do not know whether the kids were recruited by the Taliban, or whether they were in fact planting a bomb.

If they were in fact doing it, perhaps they came up with the motivation to do so on their own. Perhaps they simply hate Americans because a family member of theirs was killed or something. I can imagine myself at the age of ten doing something like that. We don't know for sure that they were "recruited" actively.

In that case, if you are hated so much in a place that you have ten year olds coming after you with bombs, perhaps you should simply leave.

I'm sorry for snapping at you. I suppose you didn't deserve it.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #49)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:10 PM

50. I get it.

And it is indeed tragic when any civilian dies....especially if they happen to be kids. These children very well could have been just caught up in the crossfire, I suppose.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:29 PM

36. Child soldiers are a fact of life probably from the beginning of warfare

Since the AVERAGE age of Afghans is a teen, I'm not surprised.

That said, we should have been out of this conflict YEARS ago.



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:33 PM

37. No argument here!

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:44 PM

38. Killing the village to save it. No thanks.

Get the fuck out of there.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:04 PM

40. Did someone say "winning hearts and minds?"

 

It worked for Johnson in Vietnam, it will work for Obama in Afghanistan.







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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:18 PM

41. I'm sure those boys' families will love the occupation now and never take up arms against the US.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:36 PM

42. Good Point there....We are recruting Terrorists by Killing Children that Parents will Not Forget

along with families snuffed out that had nothing to do with "9/11" except NeoCon Propaganda.

INNOCENTS! Caught up. And...don't think it couldn't happen HERE to any of us.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:16 PM

44. Yes, let conjecture transform into fact and purify our souls...

Unless all the children we've killed are now de facto terrorists, we're still murderers. Accept it.

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Response to NCTraveler (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:27 PM

45. So maybe stop using the drones?

If they are unable to determine the difference between combatant and innocent pawn?

Seems straight forward enough.

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