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Cries of US and its allies on civilian casualties

By S. Akurugoda

(May 10, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) While killing hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan and in Iraq, cries of United States and its allies on Sri Lanka (who has “Zero Civilian Death Policy” when fighting terrorism) remind us the story of a tricking thief who cried “thief, thief catch a thief”, just to avert the attention and as a part of a ploy set to escape from the crowd around him.

As per the media reports, US is planning to rush hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan help fight the Taliban and al-Qaida. Last week, US-led air strikes killed hundreds of Afghans, including women and children and destroyed houses. All we hear is that the Pentagon launched a joint investigation into what appeared to be one of the heaviest civilian death tolls at the hands of coalition forces. That is the end of the story.

In Pakistan’s Swat clashes, according to the information minister for the North West Frontier Province Mian Iftikhar Hussain, up to 500,000 people were expected to flee the valley. Swat is already struggling to house half a million people driven there by fighting from other northwestern regions over the last year. According to a AFP news item appeared in The Age, Austrlaian News paper, the United States and other Western nations, in contrary to what they preach to us, have opposed the peace deal with the Swat Taliban, ‘warning that other deals had broken down and given the militants time to regroup’.

A US bombing raid in August last year at Azizabad resulted in 90 civilian deaths. The US originally said no civilians died. It later issued a directive intended to reduce the chances of similar mass civilian deaths. That is the end of another story.

It is interesting to note that none of the so-called human rights organisations (who are vociferous when the Government of Sri Lanka initiates retaliatory or rescue operations) has asked the US and its allies to ‘Stop Killing Civilians’, ‘Arrange Cease Fire’ and ‘Start Peace Talks' immediately or to fulfil the 'Legitimate Aspirations' of the Afghanistan people and so on so forth.

Apart from their ability to dismissals of any crime committed by themselves out rightly, these super powers are champions of justifying and regretting after committing such crimes.

The US military said, little over two weeks ago, it was “deeply saddened” by a deadly raid it launched in Iraq that Baghdad said violated a landmark security pact with Washington.

Typical such justifications and regrets in the past are;

"The pilot attacked what he believed to be military vehicles, but he dropped his bomb in good faith, as you would expect of a trained pilot from a democratic country. ... The bomb destroyed the lead vehicle, which we now believe to have been a civilian vehicle."

"NATO deeply regrets" the deaths of 80 people which occurred when NATO attacked two refugee columns in Western Kosovo on April 14.”

"NATO deeply regrets" the deaths of thirty nine civilians killed when a NATO missile hit a bus crossing a bridge at Luzane on May 1.”

Western governments are pretended to be the great supporters of humanitarian issues— provided that the issues involved are not those of their own citizens. These ‘owners of the human rights, champions of interpretations of anything to their own benefit’, are adopting a different policy towards smaller developing nations such as ours, Sri Lanka.

The people of West appear to be peaceful but the leaders of governments of the U.S. and of Britain have a proven taste for carnage, as we see from their actions over the most recent years towards Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan etc (the list goes on), even if we exclude the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians though out the history by these perpetrators.

Let us take one out of several recent examples of disrespect for human lives by these two economic and military powers, just to see if there is any significant change in their taste for carnage with time.

The US-Britain led war against Iraq did not begin in 2003, as many people believe. In fact the US and Britain had been waging an undeclared war against Iraq more than a decade. The aim has been the destruction of Iraqi society enabling the US and Britain to gain control of Iraq's huge oil reserves. As a result of economic sanctions against Iraq, the prevention of the delivery of much-needed medical and other supplies because of US vetoes in the U.N. Security Council, and the carcinogenic effects of depleted uranium left over from the 1991 Gulf Slaughter, over a million people have died including an estimated 600,000 children .

As the entire world is aware now, the alleged "weapons of mass destruction" is just a lame excuse to bomb Iraq several times a week and to maintain sanctions which are slowly killing many of the people of Iraq. This policy by the US and Britain has truly been inhuman, slow genocide certainly, and no amount of hypocritical moral posturing on the part of their leaders can disguise this.

In the military process, it is reported that U.S. and British pilots slaughtered at least 200,000 Iraqi men, women and children. And of course all these murdered human beings were dismissed by the Pentagon as "collateral damage." BBC does not give publicity to these figures, although the broadcaster is all-out to mislead the world basing its policy on Tamil Tiger propaganda.

The LTTE, who is responsible for the killing and wounding tens of thousand of innocent civilians, President of Sri Lanka, PM of India, government ministers, politicians including Tamils who have opposing views, is shooting their own people who are trying to escape from their grip.

British government, who once justified their killing of an innocent ‘tourist’ under the prevention of ‘terrorism’ act in their soil, is apparently aiding and abetting the LTTE terrorists in Britain who are in rampage, blocking bridges, attacking foreign embassies, assaulting people etc.

Thus judging by the above records, the obvious question we have in Sri Lanka is, what moral rights do the leaders of these countries have to advice Sri Lanka on how to improve the so-called ‘serious humanitarian situation’ and to ‘arrange a cease fire’ and ‘start negotiating’ with the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

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