Is The Taliban The Taliban?

Fighting continues in Afghanistan as coalition and Afghan forces clash with elements of the Taliban. Yesterday, in two separate fights, Coalition and Afghan forces called in air strikes which resulted in the death of 165 “supposed members of the Taliban.” We use quotation marks because most of the people killed who coalition forces claimed were members of the Taliban were killed by bombs dropped by planes. Karim Khan, who lived in one of the villages in which the Taliban were killed, claimed coalition and Afghan forces entered the village and “arrested innocent villagers from three homes and called them Taliban.”The Vietnam War taught many Americans how difficult it was to identify people killed by high flying bombers. A plane traveling hundreds of miles an hour drops bombs on individuals who someone on the ground identifies as the enemy. Of course, the Taliban frequently place themselves within a village to confuse coalition and Afghan forces. There is little doubt innocent civilians are killed and their deaths are placed in the category of “dead Taliban.”

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