MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
February 20, 2003
Defeating the U.S. War Plans Series #20: Largest Ever Public Stand for Peace
I've compiled below just *some* of the material I received on last weekend's hugely successful peace marches. This event was a historic milestone boding very well for our immediate future and pouring considerable sand in the U.S. war machine. Now the whole world knows that the whole world is utterly against this mad infamy.
History is being written in this very moment. The choice is really ours to make this planet a peaceful haven/heaven and a holy breeding ground for unconditional love and its accompanying random acts of compassion.
So let's keep marching ahead for Peace until it prevails on Earth... as it is in heaven.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at
"The liberty of a republic is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. What, in its essence, is Fascism, but ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power ?"
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
1. Millions March Worldwide To Denounce Bush's War Plans
2. The World Erupts in Hope
3. Comment on Senator Byrd's Speech
4. The Bomb is Back
5. Code Black
6. A huge US Bombing Massacre of Civilians in Afghanistan
A New Power in the Streets
URL for this New York Times article unavailable
WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 - The fracturing of the Western alliance over Iraq and the huge antiwar demonstrations around the world this weekend are reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.
Global Antiwar Protests: An event of world historical significance
Analysis: Giant demos transform Europe (Feb 17)
(...) The protests were relatively smaller, though still impressive, in France, Germany and other countries whose governments had already come out strongly in opposition to the Bush administration over Iraq. But they were truly colossal -- and unprecedented -- in Britain, Italy and Spain -- the three countries whose governments had all defied Paris and Berlin to support U.S. policy. That means the political impact of the demonstrations will be far greater on the very governments that the Bush administration was relying upon for support. And they look likely to derail even broader, long-term Bush strategies towards Europe. CLIP
Blair to Defy Anti-War Protests
Blair's Support For U.S. Comes Under Fire (Feb 19)
Jean Chretien: Canada Not "Willing" (Feb 18)
One Million. And Still They Came (Feb 16)
Behind the Great Divide (Feb 18)
Europeans, who don't see the same things on TV, are far more inclined to wonder why Iraq -- rather than North Korea, or for that matter Al Qaeda -- has become the focus of U.S. policy. That's why so many of them question American motives, suspecting that it's all about oil or that the administration is simply picking on a convenient enemy it knows it can defeat.
Iraq resolution to get rewrite: U.S., Britain reworking measure in face of opposition within the U.N. (Feb 16) http://www.bouldernews.com/bdc/nation_world_news/article/0,1713,BDC_2420_1748836,00.html
UNITED NATIONS Rattled by an outpouring of anti-war sentiment, the United States and Britain began reworking a draft resolution Saturday to authorize force against Saddam Hussein. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the final product may be a softer text that does not explicitly call for war. CLIP
Israeli sources say war imminent; Iran and Syria next (Feb 15) http://www.ummahnews.com/print.php?sid=1416
Sources in the Israeli defense establishment expect a Bush administration assault on Iraq within weeks, if not days. Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, quoted by local media, says that the war would begin "before the end of February." ... Yaalon also states that an attack on Iraq would spark a geopolitical "earthquake" in the region, following which the US would target Iran and Syria. Another Ha'aretz report says that the Israeli Defense Forces have been "constantly" preparing for an attack on Iraq, but the measures have proceeded quietly in order "to prevent panic."
U.S. Offers Turkey Big Aid Package for Help in Iraq (Feb 15)
Kurdish Leaders Enraged by 'Undemocratic' American Plan to Occupy Iraq (Feb 17)
The US is abandoning plans to introduce democracy in Iraq after a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, according to Kurdish leaders who recently met American officials. The Kurds say the decision resulted from pressure from US allies in the Middle East who fear a war will lead to radical political change in the region. The Kurdish leaders are enraged by an American plan to occupy Iraq but largely retain the government in Baghdad. The only changes would be the replacement of President Saddam and his lieutenants with senior US military officers. It undercuts the argument by George Bush and Tony Blair that war is justified by the evil nature of the regime in Baghdad. (...) The destabilising impact of the impending war is already being felt in the mountains of northern Iraq. Turkey has demanded that its troops be allowed to take over a swath of territory along the border inside Iraq. The ostensible reason is to prevent a flood of Kurdish refugees trying to flee into Turkey, but the Kurdish parties say they are quite capable of doing this themselves. They say the Turkish demand, to which they suspect the US has agreed in return for the use of Turkish military facilities, is the first step in a Turkish plan to advance into Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurds fear that a US-led war against President Saddam might be the occasion for a Turkish effort to end the de facto independence enjoyed by Iraqi Kurds for more than a decade. One Kurdish leader said: "Turkey has made up its mind that it will intervene in northern Iraq in order to destroy us. CLIP
Risking a Civil War
NEWSWEEK has learned, Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq to establish "strategic positions'' across a "security arc'' as much as 140 to 170 miles deep in Iraq. That would take Turkish troops almost halfway to Baghdad. CLIP
Turkey Signals Delay in Decision on U.S. Troop Deployments (Feb 18)
Falling Back to Taliban Ways with Women (Jan 21)
(...) All over Afghanistan, especially outside the capital, progress on female education is being compromised by the behavior of ultra-conservative local leaders, allies of the U.S.-led coalition in the war against the Taliban. They used their connections to the United States to seize power but then embraced some of the Taliban's most odious restrictions.
Millions March Worldwide To Denounce Bush's War Plans
Go to http://www.indymedia.org for links to detailed information and photographs of these rallies!!! Moreover, the 300,000 closing the weekend of protests in San Francisco! We Will Stop this War!
Tudela: 5000, Turku: 5000,
Volos: 3000, Warsaw, Wellington
Rome: 2.5 million
London: 1.5 million
Barcelona: 1 million
Madrid: 1 million
New York City: 500,000
Oviedo, Spain: 200,000
Los Angeles: 100,000
Las Palmas, Spain: 100,000
Cadiz, Spain: 100,000
Los Angeles: 75-100,000
Mexico City: 50,000
Stuttgart, Germany: 50,000
Thessaloniki, Greece: 40,000
Berne, Switzerland: 40,000
Sao Paulo: 30,000
Girona, Spain: 30,000
Goteborg, Sweden: 30,000
Newcastle, Australia: 20,000
Perth, Australia: 20,000
Irunea, Basque Country: 20,000
Montpeilier, France: 15-20,000
Buenos Aires: 15,000
Rio de Janeiro: 15,000
Canberra, Australia: 10-15,000
Trondheim, Norway: 11,000
Kolkata, India: 10,000
Zagreb, Croatia: 10,000
San Diego: 10,000
Edmonton, Canada: 10,000
And other cities: Tel Aviv: 1500, Adelaide, Bellingen, Bregenz: 1500, Bratislava, Cape Town: 5000, Christchurch, Dunedin, Durban: 3000, Iraklio: 4000, Maine, Patras: 3500, Prague: 1000, Quito: 250, Rethimno: 2000, Rhodes: 2000, Santiago: 3000, Taipei, Tampere: 2000
Global Count of Protestors Hits Eleven Million
Date: 17 Feb 2003
Subject: The World Erupts in Hope
From: "Liz Daly" <email@example.com>
You have probably already received this, but just in case... it is a good recap on the hope circulating within and without, above and below.
Dear VoteNoWar Member:
People around the world defied their borders, defied false divisions, and defied the Bush administration's demands for obedience, to join together in city after city as millions marched around the world today to say "No War Against Iraq." As the day began in the earliest time zones, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in a wave of protest that spanned the entire world throughout the day.
It is one of the great ironies of recent history that the Bush administration's efforts to seize the world by force, its arrogant, bullying and dangerous efforts to wage a catastrophic war of aggression against Iraq, are now the catalyst to a global anti-war movement unlike anything that has existed for three decades -- that is, since the close of the Vietnam War. The extremist policies of Bush, in service of his corporate backers, are now engendering a global resistance movement that is stepping forward to demand an end to militarist domination and asserting the right of people to live in peace with justice and self-determination. And the sheer mass of people deciding that this was their time to speak out is a message of hope that is embraced by all.
Large anti-war demonstrations took place in most of the major cities of the world. All told, more than 600 cities and towns were the scene of vibrant protests. In the United States, most of the major anti-war coalitions fully mobilized for the February 15 actions.
AP/ Shawn Baldwin
In New York City, the people defied police refusal to grant a march permit by turning the upper east side broad boulevards into a sea of humanity. Hundreds of thousands filled First Avenue, Second Avenue and Third Avenue. On First Avenue the rally stretched from 52nd St. past 80th St. Second and Third Avenues, and even over to Lexington Avenue, were clogged with demonstrators who were prevented by police barricades and checkpoints from reaching the main assembly site. The police also used horses, clubs and pepper spray to carry out assaults against peaceful protesters. The National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee reports that over 320 people have been arrested, and that many are being held in tight handcuffs without access to water, food or bathroom facilities.
(See also "What Happened in New York" by Starhawk <firstname.lastname@example.org> at http://www.starhawk.org AND Did NYPD Suppress and Impede Crowd at Rally? http://truthout.org/docs_02/021903F.htm)
Demonstrations took place in scores of cities throughout the United States. In Los Angeles, 100,000 demonstrated in the largest anti-war protest in many years. 5,000 marched in Houston, 7,000 in Chicago, more than 7,000 in Sacramento, thousands marched in San Jose and Detroit. In San Francisco, the demonstration is taking place on Sunday, February 16.
Internationally, the demonstrations included some of the biggest ever. The original call for the February 15 demonstrations came from the European anti-war movement. In London, the demonstration was nearly two million according to march organizers. Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Australia all protested. Millions more marched throughout Europe -- in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam and throughout the continent. In Damascus, 200,000 marched. Tens of thousands marched in Buenos Aires. In Toronto, 80,000 took to the streets.
Take it to the White House On March 1, there will be an Emergency Convergence on the White House http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/emerg/m1converg.html in Washington DC. As George Bush evaluates whether he can defy the will of the people and plunge ahead with his criminal war plans, it is time for the people of the U.S. to take it back to the White House and make it clear that he can not proceed on this path. At the White House convergence on March 1, thousands of people will demand No War on Iraq. They will also call for George Bush to be impeached for crimes committed in planning and executing war abroad and assaulting constitutionally protected civil rights and civil liberties at home. Please help us to build this event.
Congratulations to all the VoteNoWar members who did their part to make the February 15th international day of actions such an historic event.
All of Us at VoteNoWar.org
--> The pdf flyer for the March 1 Convergence on the White House is now available!
- front side at http://www.votenowar.org/pdf/0301flyer.pdf
- back side at http://www.votenowar.org/pdf/m1back.pdf
EXCELLENT, VERY STRONGLY WORDED LETTER OF SUPPORT TO SENATOR BYRD
From: email@example.com (Angela Rosa)
Date: 15 Feb 2003
Subject: Re: Defeating the U.S. War Plans Series #19: Magnificent Global Crescendo For Peace!
I have been reading your newsletter for several years now and feel so grateful for the work you are doing. It is one of the most truthful sources of news and information available to many of us. After reading your piece on Senator Byrd's speech, my dear friend Phyllis Bala and I composed the following letter to him. We would like to have it posted on your site if possible.
Thank you and again and God/dess bless you always,
Angela and Phyllis
Letter to Senator Byrd
Dear Sir, thank you for your courageous, sane and open hearted speech regarding the consequences we will all be held accountable for if this reckless Administration continues on its own path. We feel your despair and plea for what is just.
It seems the Administration has turned a deaf ear to our voices of massive disagreement and dissent regarding this proposed war. Disapproval which we have voiced through peaceful demonstrations, letters, email, phone calls and faxes etc. It is not we who are sitting here mute as you suggest. We are and have been taking action and speaking our concerns and horror at what is taking place in the world in our names by our government. The national media is not broadcasting the events and the public sentiment that has been expressed across all 50 states as well as abroad. It is as though our sentiments are not notable, significant or newsworthy. And so it has appeared as though the American public is sound asleep and in agreement with this Administration's policies.
For many of us, we feel the election was stolen and we did not vote this Administration into office. Would this not be considered a coup in any other country? Is this not a rude awakening?
If the senate is so paralysed by their own fears of the turmoil and the impending threat of a pre-emptive attack, maybe this is because they are realizing this attack is really the GENOCIDE of Iraqi citizens, which as you say are over 50% children and youth. It is time that we spell out precisely what is happening here and stop hiding behind abstract words which refuse to describe the graphic reality of what is being proposed. The refusal to name the action "GENOCIDE" is then a denial which is causing the silence of our senators and results in their inability to "debate, discuss and lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war."
This is not the first time we have practiced GENOCIDE in this country. Our nation was founded upon this principle and it is time to admit that we have done this across North America to MANY nations of indigenous peoples. For a close up view of the actual mass open pit graves in the USA, dug by our cavalry, please refer to the Videos, HOW THE WEST WAS LOST and WIPING THE TEARS OF SEVEN GENERATIONS, by Gary Rhine.
It is time for our lawmakers to come out of denial and stop repeating this heinous history of war crimes in pursuit of economic gain and world domination. What the administration is proposing is as much a war crime as what Hilter perpetrated. We have simply created more elaborate and remote, impersonal technology, thus removing ourselves from the disgusting task at hand, yet, none the less, causing human and environmental devastation and disasters that cross ALL boundaries affecting ALL peoples of the world. Our manner of deceiving the masses through abstract wording such as the "Doctrine of Pre-Emption" keeps people from emotionally and intellectually comprehending the concrete meanings of the words used. This use of semantics manages to manipulate, distance and separate all of us from our heart, our natural connection to nature and our compassion. Basically our reality is affected and we become disassociated and unable to relate. It is then, that people remain paralysed in fear.
This Doctrine of Pre-Emption you describe as a "radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense." is called LAWLESSNESS in plain English. It is a way of saying we will destroy anything or anyone who stands in our way for any reason or for no reason at all. In this day and time of remote technology we need not even look into the eyes of our brothers and sisters, men, women, elders and children as we ruthlessly destroy their lives and culture.
In the spirit of truth and justice for all, we propose in the event our leaders and legislators and those of other countries, refuse to honor the "conventions of international law and the United Nations charter" as well as the will of the people whom they represent, then they be investigated and held responsible for committing war crimes against humanity. Are the omissions of silence, you refer to, a way for our legislators to exempt themselves from being held accountable? Everyone knows exactly what we as a nation are doing, why we are doing this and where we are headed.
We call upon this body of senators and congressmen to think clearly, speak truthfully and act according to the highest diplomatic, sensitive, intelligent and ethical standards of a Nation who calls itself a peace keeper and leader of our global community. PLEASE, begin with the national media. Broadcast eloquent orators such as yourself and the other congressmen and woman, soldiers and parents of soldiers who are now legally challenging President Bush.
The feelings of the many who are marching, writing and speaking out are not being heard or recognized by the media. Why is this being allowed to continue? There are PEACE, JUSTICE and ANTI WAR centers across the nation and in the international community. We are asking you to please help us bring to light the voices of the many, not just the few, so we can end this dark, unbearable silence and separation that YOU feel from Congress. We, the people, are speaking loud and clear, we need only be listened to and allowed to be seen through our national media. Perhaps you know why there is no accurate and adequate media coverage at a time when it is so critical to be heard. Our future is being decided and only a few are determining its course.
Thank you. Our prayers are with you.
Phyllis Bala and Angela Rosa
From: "Doug Mattern" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Bomb is Back
Date: 17 Feb 2003
From the Association of World Citizens - San Francisco
In addition to the article below, soon to be published articles include:
* 30 Million World Citizens - The Historic Days of February 15-16, 2003
* There's No Business Like War Business - This article sets the stage for a public symposium on this topic to be held in San francisco in 2003. Stay tuned for details and for pertinent article by other authors in our Featured Publications and Latest News Page on our website: http://www.worldcitizens.org
The Bomb is Back - The Nightmare Continues
By: Douglas Mattern - 02/17/03 - Published by Liberal Slant
"A dangerous world just grew more dangerous," warns Senator Ted Kennedy, referring to reports that "the administration is contemplating the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in Iraq." Kennedy cites President Bush's Nuclear Posture Review, in which Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is reported to have ordered plans for employing nuclear weapons in different situations, including the possible destruction of underground bunkers in Iraq.
It's more than a decade since the end of the Cold War, but the world remains saturated with nuclear weapons. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports the current total of nuclear weapons is more than 30,000.
The Center for Defense Information (CDI) lists the number of warheads in the U.S. stockpile at 10,455, of which approximately 7,000 are operational strategic nuclear warheads. Russia has 8,400 nuclear warheads in its stockpile, of which approximately 5,000 are strategic nuclear warheads Thousands of these warheads are loaded on missiles and placed on a hair-trigger alert, ready for launch in a few minutes notice. Whether by accident or design, nuclear incineration remains a daily threat.
The Moscow Treaty (Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty) would require the U.S. and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads. This treaty may be approved by the Senate in a month or so; however, this is still far more weapons than is needed to annihilate each country. Moreover, due to length of time required to complete the reductions, the U.S. would still have some 10,000 nuclear weapons by the year 2012 as reported by the (CDI). Each country can rescind the treaty at any time with only a few months notice to the other side.
Jonathan Shell reminds us that the U.S. has led in all matters nuclear, from inventing and using the atomic bomb, inventing the hydrogen bomb, developing the strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction, developing the delivery vehicles, and now finding new uses of nuclear weapons.
And here we go again! The Bush administration is in the process is escalating the nuclear arms race, including potential plans to resume nuclear testing at the Nevada underground test site, and to develop a new class of small nuclear weapons for possible use in future Iraqi-type wars.
Bush's requested military budget for fiscal 2004 is $399.1 billion. This includes funds for the nuclear weapons program that is funded in the budget of the Department of Energy (DOE). Over $6 billion is requested for nuclear weapons related funding. CDI reports the U.S. annually spends $27 billion to prepare to fight a nuclear war.
The requested military spending for FY 2004 is a $16.9 billion increase over FY 2003, and this is only the beginning! The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that U.S. military spending could escalate to $480 billion a year in the next decade. These projections are based on the planned military buildup of the Bush administration.
Much of the funding is to pay for a whole new generations of weapons, including the those needed for militarization of space, which would turn the heavens into a new source of terrorism for humanity below, but remain a source of never ending profits for the weapons industry.
Jonathan Shell says, "The bomb is back. But those of us who oppose the bomb are back, too. And we're not going away." Surely, we cannot go away at this pivotal period of history, in which the former nuclear weapons club of the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, China, and France, now includes Israel, India, and Pakistan, with several other countries desperate to join this macabre club.
Shortly before his death in December 2002, Philip Berrigan put nuclear weapons in this perspective: "I die with the conviction, held since 1968 and Catonsville, that nuclear weapons are the scourge of the earth; to mine for them, use them, is a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself."
The only rational answer to this "curse" is the total elimination of all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. There can never be security for the world community as long as these weapons exist. This is our challenge, and we must not fail.
Douglas Mattern is president of the Association of World Citizens (AWC); a San Francisco based international peace organization with branches in 50 countries, and with UN NGO status.
U.S. Plan For New Nuclear Arsenal: Secret Talks May Lead to Breaking Treaties (Feb 19) MUST READ!
"How can we possibly go to the international community or to these countries and say 'How dare you develop these weapons', when it's exactly what we're doing?"
- Stephen Schwartz, publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Conn Hallinan
When the Bush Administration talks about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), it means nuclear, chemical and biological devices. But the U.S. is preparing to use a WMD of its own that will accomplish at the speed of light what 10 years of bombing was unable to do in Southeast Asia: turn a country back to the stone age.
The device, sometimes referred to as a "microwave bomb," sometimes as an "E-Bomb," will literally bring a nation to its knees by destroying all electrical devices--permanently. Every battery, every semiconductor, every electrical line and every power source will simply cease to function.
Asked about using the weapon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently said that "you never know," then added that the U.S. "might use it."
While the Administration was being coy about employing the device, military analysts were rubbing their hands in anticipation. "Kabammy! A huge electronic wave comes along and sends out a few thousand volts. Wham! Your cell phone or your computer dies," says Roger McCarthy, chair of Exponent Failure Analysis Associates.
But not only cell phones and computers will die. The E- Bomb will fry all communications cables, radio towers, phone systems, and wires. Traveling through the air or conducted by everything from railroad tracks to plumbing pipes, an enormous electromagnetic pulse (EMP) will flash into homes, businesses and hospitals, and essentially terminate the 20th century.
It will also violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and in particular, Protocol 1, Part IV, Article 48, which clearly states that warring parties "shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives."
Article 51 specifically prohibits attacks employing a "method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective."
Firing one of these devices over Baghdad would indeed immobilize the tanks of the Republican Guard, as well as its anti-aircraft missiles, but it would also shut down every hospital and ambulance. It would also destroy every generator and water pump in a city of 4.5 million people.
Given that some 5,000 Iraqi children die each month, according to the World Health Organization, many of them as a result of water borne diseases caused by a decade of sanctions, civilians are likely to seriously suffer the brunt of such a device.
Again, Article 54 of the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbids rendering "useless" any "drinking water installations."
Iraq is one of the most urban societies in the Middle East. Some 76 percent of its population reside in cities, compared with 61 percent in Iran and 45 percent in Egypt. It is also a very young population. Over 50 percent of its population is 15 years or younger, and children are far more susceptible to water borne diseases, like cholera, than are adults.
The effects of EMPs have been know since a 1958 high altitude nuclear test in the Pacific inadvertently disrupted telephones, street lights and radio transmission in Hawaii and Australia. The initial effect of a nuclear explosion is an EMP wave, and its results have been closely studied since those tests.
The Livermore and Los Alamos national labs have recently produced a rather simple device with a devastating effect. Mounted on a cruise missile, or even attached to a helicopter, the "bomb" forces an explosion through a copper coil, producing what is called the "Compton effect," or electrons traveling at 186,000 miles per second.
The effects are virtually instantaneous and the damage permanent. Every electrical device that it touches will have to be replaced, from microchips and semiconductors to wiring. If the cost for such reconstruction in Iraq has been calculated, the figures are classified.
Supporters of the device see it as a "humane" weapon because it is not supposed to kill people. "The electromagnetic pulse generator is emerging as one of the strongest contenders√¢Ç¨¬¶to find effective weapons to defeat an enemy without causing loss of Life," writes David Fulghum, an EMP expert.
But as the Geneva Conventions make clear, this kind of attack is a violation of international law because it targets services that civilians will need to survive a war.
Imagine a hospital without electricity or backup generators, serviced by immobile ambulances, their ignition systems fused by a massive EMP. "Code Blue," hospital shorthand for emergency, will become "Code Black."
The temptation to try a new whiz bang in wartime conditions is likely to be overwhelming.
"The only time you get realistic feedback on new capabilities is during wartime," says Bob Martinage from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "The military will take advantage of that time to test new systems."
But that "feedback" will violate international law, derail a modern society, and put 23 million Iraqi civilians in harm's way.
Latest American Bombing In Afghanistan Yields High Civilian Casualties
BBC Radio Pashto service has reported that in the village of Wilja in the Afghan province of Helmand, as many as a 100 civilians have been killed and more than a dozen have been injured during an American bombing operation.
American sources said their planes came under fire in this area which is why the bombing campaign was underway. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is also suspected to be hiding here however Hilmands governor and local officials disagree on this. The Karzai administration has sent a delegation to investigate the incident and BBC reports that local residents say that Afghan soldiers have started looting in the area.
Government officials from Helmand reported the death toll from the American bombing at 12. According to local eyewitnesses, hundreds of residents have been killed and a large number of homes destroyed. A local named Ghulam Jilani said that Americans blocked the area after bombing which is making transporting the injured difficult. People from other areas are being barred to enter the bombed areas. Jilani also said that approximately fifty to sixty dead bodies of women and children are present in the caves there and there are no Red Cross officials there currently to evaluate the extent of casualties.
American troops have started a house to house search and are also seeking help from their Afghan counterparts for their protection.
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