Gen. McChrystal: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

Obama’s man, General McChrystal in Afghanistan, had recently made the following statement, “As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there’s been enough fighting.” Approximately one month later he ordered our great troops to limit their night raids. Now Obama’s lapdog is still complaining about civilian deaths. Maybe he would be happy if US troops put down their weapons all together? If the troops are going to be there, they need to be allowed to fight. If not bring them home already.

Tighter Rules Fail to Stem Deaths of Innocent Afghans at Checkpoints
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

KABUL, Afghanistan — American and NATO troops firing from passing convoys and military checkpoints have killed 30 Afghans and wounded 80 others since last summer, but in no instance did the victims prove to be a danger to troops, according to military officials in Kabul.

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who became the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan last year. His comments came during a recent videoconference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.

Though fewer in number than deaths from airstrikes and Special Forces operations, such shootings have not dropped off, despite new rules from General McChrystal seeking to reduce the killing of innocents. The persistence of deadly convoy and checkpoint shootings has led to growing resentment among Afghans fearful of Western troops and angry at what they see as the impunity with which the troops operate — a friction that has turned villages firmly against the occupation.

Failure to reduce checkpoint and convoy shootings, known in the military as “escalation of force” episodes, has emerged as a major frustration for military commanders who believe that civilian casualties deeply undermine the American and NATO campaign in Afghanistan.

Many of the detainees at the military prison at Bagram Air Base joined the insurgency after the shootings of people they knew, said the senior NATO enlisted man in Afghanistan, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall.

“There are stories after stories about how these people are turned into insurgents,” Sergeant Major Hall told troops during the videoconference. “Every time there is an escalation of force we are finding that innocents are being killed.”

One such case was the death of Mohammed Yonus, a 36-year-old imam and a respected religious authority, who was killed two months ago in eastern Kabul while commuting to a madrasa where he taught 150 students.

A passing military convoy raked his car with bullets, ripping open his chest as his two sons sat in the car. The shooting inflamed residents and turned his neighborhood against the occupation, elders there say.

“The people are tired of all these cruel actions by the foreigners, and we can’t suffer it anymore,” said Naqibullah Samim, a village elder from Hodkail, where Mr. Yonus lived. “The people do not have any other choice, they will rise against the government and fight them and the foreigners. There are a lot of cases of killing of innocent people.”

After assuming command last summer, General McChrystal moved to reduce the killing of civilians through directives that, according to United Nations human rights researchers, have led to a 28 percent reduction in such casualties last year by American, NATO and Afghan forces. The biggest impact was reducing deaths from aerial attacks, which fell by more than a third in 2009, the United Nations found.

More recently, General McChrystal moved to bring nearly all Special Operations forces in Afghanistan under his control. NATO officials said concern about civilian casualties caused by these forces was partly behind the decision, along with the need to better coordinate units and ensure that local commanders were aware of what was happening.

One unit could be doing counterinsurgency, while another carried out “a raid that might in fact upset progress,” General McChrystal explained during the videoconference.

He also challenged criticism that some of the new rules might hinder troops’ safety. “Nothing has changed to limit your right or responsibility to defend yourself,” he said.

Shootings from convoys and checkpoints involving American, NATO and Afghan forces accounted for 36 civilian deaths last year, down from 41 in 2008, according to the United Nations. With at least 30 Afghans killed since last June in 95 such shootings, according to military statistics, the rate shows no signs of abating.

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8 comments for “Gen. McChrystal: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

  1. April 4, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Yes, unless they've been booby trapped, corpses are no longer a threat.

  2. Robin Shadowes
    April 4, 2010 at 7:25 am

    If he don't want to fight, what the hell is he doing in the military then? Maybe he should start smoking crystal meth instead or maybe he is already doing just that.

    • April 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

      You mean he's living up to his name?

      • Robin Shadowes
        April 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        Yup, that was exactly what I was thinking of. Probably the only thing he's any good for. This guy is the ant-thesis to General Custer who at least had the courage to face the enemy even when he knew he wouldn't make it. No way McC would have died with his boots on. More likely he would have been bending over and pulled down his pants.

        • ARTEM
          April 14, 2010 at 6:25 am

          MAY THE LORD HAVE MERCY ON ISRAEL AND AMERICA…
          IT'S UP TO THE REAL CHRISTIANS TO PRAY TO GOD FOR THE MIRACLE…

          SOMETIMES THE LORD LEADS ME TO SEE SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME AWESTRUCK BY WHAT OTHERS HAVE GONE THRU AND BY HIS GRACE AN MERCY AND LOVING KINDNESS TO ME, MY HOUSE AND AMERICA….

          SOMETHING TO BE SO MUUUCH THANKFUL TO THE LORD Y'SHUA/JESUS FOR…

          I SAW THAT MOVIE ABOUT HANNAH YESTERDAY AND IT'S WORTH TO SEE. IT IS A GREAT REMINDER ABOUT THE SUFFERING OF JEWISH PEOPLE AND ALSO SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR GIVING JEWISH PEOPLE THEIR LAND BACK SO THEY COULD BE SAFE THERE AND HAVE A PLACE CALLED HOME!! BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL!! http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blessed-is-the

  3. Robin Shadowes
    April 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Correction: anti-thesis.

  4. farishta
    April 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    " War is about killing. When you have killed enough of them they stop fighting"
    Admiral Nimitz.

    If you are squeamish about killing you should not go to war and least of all you should be commanding an army.

  5. June 24, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Looks like McChrystal should have shot O’Bummer while he wasn’t a threat.

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