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Ear to the Ground

McChrystal Apologizes for Afghan Civilian Deaths

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Posted on Feb 23, 2010
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America’s top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, took to the Afghan airwaves Tuesday to apologize for the deaths of 27 civilians in an airstrike led by U.S. forces last week, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Here’s a video of McChrystal’s apology released by the Department of Defense (dubbed over):

The Christian Science Monitor:

In a video distributed Tuesday in Dari and Pashto, the main languages spoken in Afghanistan, the top NATO commander here Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he was sorry to the nation for 27 civilian deaths, after US special forces killed a convoy of Afghan civilians they had mistaken for insurgents. It was the coalition’s deadliest mistake in six months.

While public apologies by NATO have become almost commonplace – this was just one of half a dozen in the past 10 days, and the second by McChrystal himself – the push to admit mistakes and say sorry is unprecedented in NATO’s nine-year intervention in Afghanistan. It fits into McChyrstal’s new strategy that prioritizes winning over the population.

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By dihey, February 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

It has long been known in ethics that a genuine apology begins with “I/we was/were wrong to do this” and ends with “Forgive me/us”. Absence of these clauses demonstrates that an apology is insincere.

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By moni, February 24, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WAR !!!  What is it good for ?  Absolutely NOTHING !

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By PatrickHenry, February 24, 2010 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

The “canned” apoligies are getting old by now.

No matter how I vote it seems nothing changes.

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By Ouroborus, February 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Gen. McChrystal is becoming General S. Apologist.
This abomination, under many names, has been going on for years. The civilian body count is way higher than the Taliban combatants. The dead women and children alone should be enough to stop the war on the Afghan people.
The apologies keep coming along with the bodies and I only have one question;
Why do the Afghans keep accepting these disingenuious apologies?
We aren’t going to win anything; but if we lose the few Afghans that do not fight us; then the body counts are going to go through the roof for everybody, especially us.

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By ehren, February 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Symbolically, should the commander of US forces, representing living and oft mortally wounded American troops fighting under a United States flag be giving a press conference in front of only an Afghan and a United Nations flag in a conflict that is increasingly being borne predominantly by American troops?  (Fist pound to the Brits, cuz they’re always ready for a ruckus.)  Shouldn’t he then be wearing a UN uniform with Afghan insignia?  I’m not being petty and I don’t know Pashto, but it feels like I’m watching a Vonnegut novel playing out in real life with something like this. 

In the news today, Caesar McChrystal stated:

  We the global alliance of freedom are here to bring you prosperity through the eyes of flying killer robots bravely flown out of Las Vegas so that women may attend schools and we may process your natural resources.  Here are some televisions ye people who mainly live in the hills without electricity and sometimes food.  We regret the need for your continued collateral losses during this overseas contingency operation.  Thank you for your cooperation.  Now back to Ryan Seacrest.

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By asif, February 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
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yeah, saying sorry makes everything all better you colossal turd. STFU & GTFO!

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By gerard, February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Tricks of language:
  A strategy ” ...that prioritizes winning over the population.”
  What does it say?  Winning over the population is our priority.
  What does it mean?  We prioritize winning over (and above) the population.

Hypocrisy?  “We all share in their grief and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
Sample prayer:  “Dear God, we accidentally killed a family of eight in a village today—a mother and father, four kids and a couple old people.  Please look after them for us.  Sorry for the mistake. Amen.”

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By balkas, February 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

No, US is not gonna leave afgh’n and iraq. It is entirely up to pashtuns how long they bleed. One thing is certain it won’t go on forever and US will never leave as long as there is money to be spent on soldiering, droning, missilings, bombings.

The neo-indians better learn from the oldies. Even geronimo had said and i might be paraphrasing: I’’ fight no more! tnx

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By gerard, February 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

When they get sorry enough to stop, that’ll be the day?

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By yours truly, February 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On whose side, the progressive, in this Afghanistan War, the foreign occupiers or the occupied Afghans?  That’s easy since the progressive always sides with the slave, never with the slave-master, even (make that especially) when the slave-master happens to be a fellow countryman.  And there’s no doubt as to who’s the slave in this war.  It’s the Afghan since it’s their land that’s being occupied and having one’s land occupied is to be enslaved.  But how can the progressive, opposed as she is, both to these imperial wars and to the enslavement of a people, come out on the side of the Afghan and yet against the war itself?  By demanding an immediate truce and troops out now, that’s how.

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