News Release

Afghanistan: What’s Happening?

MARC HEROLD
Herold, a professor at the University of New Hampshire, is the author of the just-released report “A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States’ Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting.” He said today: “More than 3,700 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan directly from U.S. bombs since Oct. 7. For example, on Oct. 11, two U.S. jets bombed the mountain village of Karam, comprised of 60 mud houses, during dinner and evening prayer time, killing 100 to 160 people. On Dec. 1, as part of the intense bombing campaign of Tora Bora, B-52s bombed the villages Kama Ado and Khan-e-Mairjuddin, killing at least 100 people in each village, yet the Pentagon that night claimed ‘It just did not happen.'” Herold added: “The U.S. military has hit electrical and telephone facilities, news outlets, fuel supplies, hospitals, religious schools and mosques.”

* Food Aid: “Time is Running Out…”

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SARAH ZAIDI
ROGER NORMAND
Zaidi, who recently returned from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is research director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights. She said today: “Time is running out for thousands of civilians facing starvation due to violations of the right to food by all parties to the Afghanistan conflict. The collapse of the Taliban was expected to ease the food crisis. But instead, a deadly combination of lawlessness among Northern Alliance factions and closed borders by neighboring states is continuing to block life-saving aid from reaching millions of destitute civilians.” Normand, CESR’s executive director, said today: “The United States has the means to prevent the impending catastrophe but refuses to act forcefully on the crisis. There is something wrong when our government can pressure Afghanistan and its neighbors to permit the establishment of major new U.S. military bases but not the free passage of humanitarian aid to save the lives of starving civilians.”
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DEBORAH JAMES
MEDEA BENJAMIN
A member of a Global Exchange women’s delegation that has just returned from Afghanistan, James said today: “As an American in Afghanistan, I was wholly unprepared for the level of poverty and desperation I witnessed among Afghan refugees…. Many Afghans urge the immediate deployment of UN peacekeepers, but the U.S. government is still hindering such attempts. Crucially, women must be incorporated into the new government.” Benjamin, founding director of Global Exchange, was on the same delegation with her daughter Arlen. Benjamin said today: “The U.S. bombing campaign, while helping to defeat the oppressive Taliban regime, has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in two ways. First, hundreds of thousands of people, terrified by the bombs, have fled their villages and swelled the ranks of the refugee population. Second … after the bombing began, humanitarian agencies pulled staff from the country and closed or severely curtailed their operations.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167