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August 16, 2010

Afghan war STILL killing people, after almost 11 years

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PALMERSTON NORTH, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 11: A young family member holds a photo of Lt Tim O'Donnell during the military funeral ceremony for Lt Tim O'Donnell, who died on August 3 in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan, at the Linton Army Base on August 11, 2010 near Palmerston North, New Zealand. O'Donnell is the first New Zealand soldier to be killed in the Afghanistan conflict, following an ambush which also left Lance Corporal Matthew Ball and Private Allister Baker and, as well as an Afghan interpreter wounded. New Zealand forces had expected to end their 7-year deployment in September this year until New Zealand Prime Minister John Key confirmed in May that he would retain them in the region for a further year. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
16 August 2010

It is difficult to imagine that the war in Afghanistan is still going on. It has been in the news now since 2001, and, although it might seem like a small number, 2 000 US troops have been killed since the invasion began. You have to remember that this is 2 000 families who are in mourning over their children who went to the war thinking they had good intentions...and now they're dead.

Nevermind how many Afghans have been killed since then. The numbers cannot even be determined yet. The Taliban in Afghanistan, who have been portrayed as heartless murderers, have signalled they are willing to co-operate with international forces, the UN and human rights associations to determine the number of civilians who have died in the war.

The real problem I think is how readily the public believes anything its government is willing to tell it. The troops who have died in the military's efforts over in Afghanistan, and those who have died in the war in Iraq, are told to be patriotic, to fight for their country, to protect their families from terrorists, to save the country. It is this same government who sits cosy in their homes, living comfortably off their taxpayers' salaries, not ever having to venture out of the country to wage the war that they created. They merely point their pawns in the right direction. But it is not their families who suffer, and it is not them who end up with post-traumatic stress disorder because they've seen so much death and violence, and have partaken in it.

This is a great video of a former US troop renouncing everything that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan supposedly stands for.

Then WikiLeaks released pages and pages of documents pertaining to the war, poignantly bringing to mind the masses of information that has been withheld from the public. Click here if you'd like to see a summary.

I always say that if a government is not telling you everything, then you cannot make a well-informed decision about who you want to run your country. Perhaps people should think about how well they know their presidents before they elect them into office.

It might save a lot...a lot of money, a lot of worries, and a lot of people.

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