Trials And Tribulations Of Truth In Afghanistan

Villagers walked through the streets yelling “Death to the United States” and even blocked a road in order to vent anger at what they termed were the deaths of three innocent people from their village. American military sources denied they killed the innocent and insisted the operation had resulted in the deaths of several “suspected” insurgents. The key word is “suspected” and what to an American military operation is an effort to kill “insurgents,” to an Afghan it results in the death of a neighbor or relative. NATO headquarters insists over 75% of civilian deaths are the result of Taliban attacks while many Afghans believe western forces are responsible for the killings. Reality is both are correct. The raid on Zarin Khil village resulted in American troops killing three brothers who were suspected insurgents. Village elders insist they were simply ordinary members of the community and not part of any Taliban group.

A resident of the village, Muhamoud Khan, gave this version of the raid: “they(brothers) were sleeping in one room and suddenly soldiers broke the glass window and they fired on them and killed them.” The official version is that firing came from the village. Figure it out, who is telling the truth in this Rashomon version of an incident?