Liberate With Extreme Prejudice: Another Civilian Slaughter in Afghanistan

(UPDATED below.)

While the Anglo-American media goes into hyperdrive over a pair of utterly bungled terrorist wannabe attacks in the UK, the actual, highly efficient slaughter of innocent civilians in Afghanistan by American forces continues at a frenzied pace.

Dozens of Afghan civilians -- from 50 to 80 -- were killed in a three-hour bombing raid on the village of Hyderabad on Saturday, local officials of the American-backed Afgan government told the Observer. One man, Mohammed Khan, lost seven members of his family, including his brother and five of his brother's children, the paper reported.

In the month of June alone, more than 200 Afghan civilians were killed by their "liberators" -- a kill ratio far outstripping that of the violent sectarians of the Taliban. On the ground and especially in the air, U.S. forces are now applying a sledgehammer approach to their counterinsurgency operations, firing blindly into crowds and at civilians after attacks, or suspected attacks, by the Taliban, and calling down massive firepower on residential areas. British commanders are increasingly concerned about the American policy of "Kill 'em all; let God sort 'em out," and blame the recent escalation on newly installed NATO commander, the U.S. General Dan McNeill, as the Observer notes:

Senior British soldiers have previously expressed concerns that McNeill, who took command of the 32,000 Nato troops in Afghanistan only recently, was 'a fan' of the massive use of air power to defeat insurgents and that his favoured tactics could be counter-productive.

'Every civilian dead means five new Taliban,' said one British officer who has recently returned from Helmand. 'It's a tough call when the enemy are hiding in villages, but you have to be very, very careful,' he added. The American general has been dubbed 'Bomber McNeill' by his critics.

The bloodletting in Hyderabad came less than 24 hours after yet another mass civilian killing by U.S. forces in Iraq, the Observer noted:

American forces in Iraq also found themselves heavily criticised over civilian deaths when eight people died, apparently caught in crossfire from a gunfight between insurgents and soldiers in Baghdad's Sadr City yesterday. But residents, police and hospital officials said eight civilians were killed in their homes and angrily accused US forces of firing blindly on innocent people. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the raids and demanded an explanation for the assault on a district where he has barred American operations in the past.

The Sadr City killing comes less than a week after more than a dozen innocent Iraqis -- members of a local anti-terrorist village guard, no less -- were literally chopped to pieces by American gunships, as we noted here: Slandering the Dead: The American Massacre at al-Khalis. But we're sure that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will be heeded just as urgently as Afghan President Hamid Kharzai has been in his repeated -- and sometimes openly tearful -- calls for American and NATO forces to restrain their blunderbuss attacks in his country.

UPDATE: The civilian death count in the American-led asasault on
Hyderabad continues to mount. It is now estimated that at least 100 civilians, and possibly more, were killed in the three-hour air attack. The sources for the latest death toll estimate are two members of the American-backed, American-installed Afghan parliament. The Washington Post has more here: Civilians Die In U.S.-NATO Air Assault In Afghanistan. ***