KABUL, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people including students Thursday came to street in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province in east Afghanistan, protesting against the killing of civilians by international troops.The first question I ask myself is when is the last time I read a story when there was a protest against the Taliban for killing civilians? I don't think I recall a story like that. Not recently in our eight-year occupation, anyways. Further questions abound. Do Afghans only protest against NATO/USA forces because they fear the Taliban more?
According to the story I am reading, Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirms 10 people, including eight children, were killed by US led forces in Kunar province at the weekend. The US military and NATO have not confirmed whether the incident took place. Hundreds of people, including university students, blocked the main roads in Jalalabad, shouting "death to Obama" and calling for an investigation into the deaths.
Safiullah Aminzai, a student organiser from the University of Nangahar, stated,
The government must prevent such unilateral operations otherwise we will take guns instead of pens and fight against them [foreign forces].
Our demonstration is against those foreigners who have come to our country. They have not brought democracy to Afghanistan but they are killing our religious scholars and children.
Why these protests? General Stanley McChrystal, a smart and honest soldier, knows the answer. He supplied it in the middle of a Q&A at his October address at the London-based think tank, International Institute of Strategic Studies:
Let me describe it: a few days ago, just before we left to travel here, a bus south of Kandahar struck an improvised explosive device (IED) killing 30 Afghan civilians. That is tragic.The General's answer begs additional questions.
On the one hand, you might say that the Afghan people would recoil against the Taliban who left that IED. To a degree, they do, but we must also understand that they recoil against us because they might think that, if we were not there, neither would be the IED. Therefore, we indirectly caused the IED to be there. Second, we said that we would protect them, but we did not. Sometimes, then, the most horrific events caused by the insurgents continue to reinforce in the minds of the Afghan people a mindset that coalition forces are either ineffective, or at least that their presence in Afghanistan is not in their interest….