The face of civilian casualties

People injured by a NATO airstrike are brought to a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (AP)
People injured by a NATO airstrike are brought to a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. (AP)

Another heart wrenching story emerges from the refugee camps in Kabul to remind Canadians that the cost of war is rapidly taking its toll on civilians. An article by Norman Solomon in “truthout,” an online magazine, captures the reality of life in Afghanistan for the families who have been displaced by war. At  Helmand Refugee Camp District 5 in Kabul there are hundreds of families who are waiting for the Afghan government and the ISAF forces to alleviate their suffering. For them the wait is long and hope is fraying.

Solomon tells the story of the family of Wakil Tawos Khan, whose youngest daughter lost her arm during a US air strike. Khan states that they are in dire need of food, shelter and proper sanitation. Khan’s faith in the ability of the government to help them has slowly faded, ” basics like food arrive at the camp only sporadically. The government of Afghanistan does very little. The United Nations doesn’t help. Neither does the US government.” Solomon asks the tough questions: Is the government willing to spend the equivalent of the cost of a single warhead to assist these families?

Considering the growing military budgets of Canada and the US continue to focus on military efforts and not humanitarian ones, the situations of these families and many more will likely decline. In the wake of the botched Afghan elections and increasing reports of civilian casualties, Canadians should be asking the important questions of our government, namely, what are we fighting for if the cost of violence is destroying the future of afghans?

To read the full article click here

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