"A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting"  and "A Day-to-Day Chronicle of Afghanistan's Guerrilla and Civil War, June 2003 - Present"

 

Daily Casualty Count of Afghan Civilians Killed by U.S. Bombing 

(Copyright © 2004 Marc W. Herold)

Scenes of Afghanistan After the U.S. Bombing
October 7, 2001 - May 31, 2003 ( EXCEL Format  -1.9MB)

October 7, 2001 - May 31, 2003 (PDF Format - 620KB)

A Day-by-Day Chronicle of Civil War in Afghanistan, June 2003 - Present (Word )

A Day-by-Day Chronicle of Civil War in Afghanistan, June 2003 - Present (PDF )

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART I    (EXCEL Format - 7.2MB )

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART II  (EXCEL Format - 9.6MB )

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART III (EXCEL Format - 9.0MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART IV (EXCEL Format - 13.7MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART V  (EXCEL Format  - 11.7MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART VI  (EXCEL Format -10 MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART VII  (EXCEL Format -15 MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART VIII  (EXCEL Format -5.1 MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART IX  (EXCEL Format -9 MB)

Scenes of Afghanistan -PART X  (EXCEL Format -1 MB)

The following data bases rely upon a wide variety of sources deemed credible, including many outside the United States. Major U.S. mainstream media hold no lock on truth. Indeed, that media has displayed a startling propensity to merely ‘report’ that which fit the desires of official Washington.  This is nothing new as Walter Lippman and Charles Merz had noted 84 years ago in a scathing critique of reporting then on Russia by The New York Times,

 “in the large, the news about Russia is a case of seeing not what was, but what men wished to see…the chief censor and chief propagandist were hope and fear in the minds of reporters and editors ”   (from Jim Lobe, “ ‘La Plus Ca Change’ – NY Times Hit for WMD Gullibility,” Antiwar.com (February 27, 2004), at: http://antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=2052 ).

"The FCC Act of 1934 says the electronic media must be responsible to the people or it can't operate. Now the media monopolies have created a situation where there is less of a democratic discussion than ever before. I experience this as a candidate because the themes I raise challenge the status quo. I don't get the coverage the other candidates do. The other day I talked about the media role in taking us into Iraq, and about their accountability. But the problem is we can't put a face on the media, personify it. It's amorphous. So for that reason, it's more vulnerable, but it's also more difficult to pin it down. It's a paradox. Your point is well taken, about demanding accountability. The media is responsible in large part for the situation in Iraq. If the media had done its homework, Bush wouldn't have had the confidence to proceed. The media helped to build the Cold War. The media was a spear-carrier for the government. Eisenhower talked about the military-industrial complex, but now its military-industrial-media complex, and their airwaves become marketing tools for war."  (source: Dennis Kucinich -- Taken from http://www.newtimes.org/issue/0402/kucinich.html )

“Beginning with the war in Iraq (1991), American media outlets developed an obsession with hosting former military personnel as analysts, so much so that it now appears as if large American networks have become a sort of retirement programme for the US military’s top brass. An inherent problem with this formula is a tendency to reflect the views and strategic interests of the US government rather than offer critical analyses that shed light on the complex realities of the battlefield” (from Habib Battah, “When Assumption Trumps Reality,” Al Jazerra.net (September 3, 2006) at http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5BDF87FD-818F-4435-84DD-EF18297DD725.htm )

The Foxification of U.S. - and global – corporate media has a corollary: the Pentagon considers independent (un-embedded) journalism an act of subversion. An investigation by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders has reached the same conclusions. Most covering the war on Iraq remember how the Pentagon intentionally targeted the media-saturated Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003, killing a Ukrainian and a Spanish journalist. Four months later, the US Army absolved itself from any possible mistake. In November 2001, U.S. warplanes bombed the Al Jazeera office in Kabul. No apologies ever offered. Both Pakistani and U.S. journalists doing independent reporting outside the Bagram propaganda center were roughed-up by U.S. troops during the Afghan campaign: no apologies ever offered. Laura Logan (CBS) is the type of journalist the Pentagon loves (see photos data base).

“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country”

 
           - Hitler’s Reich Marschall Herman Goering on April 18, 1946

Data for June 2003 up through the present is compiled and available. A new format for this new information has been set up, reflecting the changed nature of combat (e.g., more land-based fighting, more inter-Afghan fighting). The data for each incident is  presented in eight (8) columns : location, province, Afghan civilian deaths, Afghan police-military deaths, U.S. and allied military deaths, weapons used, commentary, and sources.

 

“….the hits were great” - pilot of a Harrier

“…Oh, dude…” - pilot of a F-16

U.S pilots have systematically dropped bombs and fired projectiles both in Afghanistan and Iraq putting innocent civilians in harm’s way. But the conversations between the U.S attackers during these acts remains largely shrouded in secrecy, however two examples have eluded the censors (and those screening for political correctness) and have entered the public domain. You may see such acts of ‘precision’ bombing and listen to U.S pilots’ conversation in two such cases by clicking on the appropriate phrase below.

1. a 7-minute video of an attack by an AC-130U Spectre gunship upon an Afghan village in October 2001. The video depicts U.S gunners firing directly upon people leaving the mosque, at :

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/AC130_Gunship.wmv

2. a 30-second video of a U.S. F-16 jet fighter attacking a group of persons in Fallujah in April 2004. The video was broadcast on October 5, 2004 by Britain’s Channel 4 News. At no point during the exchange between pilots and air controllers does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are posing a threat.

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/MassacreofCivilians.wmv

On November 3, 2001, four U.S Marine Harrier jets took off from the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship in the Arabian Sea, and dropped 500 lb “precision” bombs in Afghanistan. Upon getting out of the cockpit, one of the pilots said, “the hits were great.”

On November 10, 2001, U.S crewmen on the USS Enterprise in the Arabian Sea, inscribed bombs destined for Afghanistan,…..”With Love.” Shannon and Kevin Oliver did the same on a Mark 84 bomb being readied for Afghanistan.

The article below appeared in the  PRESS ACTION on Friday, September 12, 2003.

The (In)humanity of a Progressive Intellectual

By Abu Spinoza*

In the Nation article, “Grief Without Portraits,” Mr. Michael Massing writes about Professor Marc Herold’s compilation of the data on Afghan casualties:

"Even if Herold’s figures do turn out to be accurate (and he has since raised the estimated toll to more than 4,000), it could still be argued that given what the United States has accomplished in Afghanistan - the overthrow of the Taliban, the routing of Al Qaida, the restoration of some freedoms, the start of a long reconstruction campaign - the price paid in terms of civilian casualties has been low."

This is a rather revealing insight into the thinking of a “progressive intellectual” for whom the lives of the “other” mean so little.

Imagine if some Taliban intellectual wrote (following Mr. Massing’s “argumentation"):

"Even if Western media sources’ figures do turn to be accurate (and they have since lowered the initial estimated toll from the terrorism of 9/11 to be slightly higher than 3,000), it could still be argued that given what Al Qaida has accomplished in the West - the first attack on a key symbol of Western financial power (the World Trade Center), the first attack on Western military center (the Pentagon), the creation of fear, the reduction of individual freedom and civil rights, and the real and perceived threat of terrorism - the price paid in terms of civilian casualties had been low."

Surely one would, rightly, be horrified, profoundly shocked and utterly disgusted at the underlying inhumanity and immorality of such sentiments and evil prose. But in the pages of a respected liberal magazine, this is okay, since it is directed towards Afghans and distant others.

Mr. Massing goes on next to say about Herold’s work, “At the very least, we need to know how many such [Afghan] victims there are.” Perhaps one can search for a pro Al-Qaida intellectual who’d express similar sentiments. Surely knowing many the number of victims is an important question, but only if one recognizes the inherent value of human lives, otherwise such as exercise merely reduces to something like counting the number of stars in the sky.

One wonders why that it never occurs to Mr. Massing that serious alternatives to the bombing of Afghanistan were available, and that those civilians who died in Afghanistan were too victims of terrorism, no less victims of terrorism than those civilians who died in New York, metro Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. Until we recognize the fundamental equal value of the lives of “John Smith” and “Muhammad Ali,” between the citizens of the United States and the citizens of Afghanistan, between an Israeli and a Palestinian, between an African and a European, and so forth, we cannot be truly human and do not realize our humanity.

How low some intellectuals in service of power can sink. Yet, we must retain our faith in humanity and draw inspiration from those millions who have marched against imperial wars and terrorism of all kinds, those who organize for freedom and peace, and those (such as Marc Herold ) who tirelessly expose the lies of the “liberal press” through detailed examination of the media and rigorous research of facts and figures.

*Abu Spinoza is an economist. He is a regular contributor to Press Action.