Bombing Afghanistan: Where Have All the Photos Gone

Mounting Civilian Casualties …Silently

The latest bombing in Afghanistan killed at least nine Afghan civilians, including six children. Here are a few excerpts from the


"Nine civilians including six children were killed in a NATO air strike targeting a Taliban position in restive southern Afghanistan, the provincial governor's office said on Thursday.”Six children and three women were killed and another three civilian men were wounded," he said.”

“Ehsanullah, an elder from Khoshal village, where the strike took place, earlier told AFP that Haji Kot Aka's house was hit late Wednesday."They had four guests at home when the bombing took place. The bomb killed Aka, his wife, four children and three of the guests. One of the guests was wounded," he said.

Civilian casualties are a sensitive issue in Afghanistan, creating a rift between President Hamid Karzai's government and international forces as well as resentment on the ground against foreign troops.”

Here is a section from my op-ed piece last May on Mr. Obama’s presidency and the mounting casualties in Afghanistan:

Here is the first paragraph in a New York Times report on May 15, 2009:

“The number of civilians killed by the American air strikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known. But villagers, including two girls recovering from burn wounds, described devastation that officials and human rights workers are calling the worst episode of civilian casualties in eight years of war in Afghanistan.”

The report also includes the disagreement over the exact number of ‘Civilian Casualties’ in Afghanistan by our military airstrike:

“Government officials have accepted handwritten lists compiled by the villagers of 147 dead civilians. An independent Afghan human rights group said it had accounts from interviews of 117 dead. American officials say that even 100 is an exaggeration but have yet to issue their own count.”

Does it really matter - the difference between 147 and 117 or just 100 when it comes to children, grandmothers…innocent lives lost in a war with no well-defined objectives or plans? If for some it indeed does matter, then here is a more specific and detailed


“A copy of the government's list of the names, ages and father's names of each of the 140 dead was obtained by Reuters earlier this week. It shows that 93 of those killed were children -- the youngest eight days old -- and only 22 were adult males.”

Maybe releasing the photographs of the nameless unrepresented victims of these airstrikes should be as important as those of torture. Because, from what I see, they and their loss of lives have been reduced to some petty number to fight about.

Now I am going to ask the same question: Where are these photographs in the no-coverage coverage of Afghan casualties by our simply despicable mainstream media? Why don’t they show us the real ugly face of our aimless, objective-less, but nonetheless vicious assault tagged as a War on Terror in Afghanistan?

Remember this picture from the Vietnam War?

The picture above, and many similar pictures and war footage, helped shape our public opinion in regard to another senseless war and vicious assaults on civilians. It helped open our people’s eyes to the real horrors of war. It led to mounting pressure from our people demanding an end to these atrocities.

Well, after searching and searching, and searching more I found only a couple of pictures depicting the real face of our war in Afghanistan. For reasons I am sure you all are aware of our corporate media-Government Joint Venture, and in fact many pseudo alternative ones, don’t want our public to see these pictures, since they would speak more than a thousand words and help shape opinions again.

Here is one of the ‘real faces’ of our war in Afghanistan:

Now I am going to ask you to join me and ask the MSM the same question: Where have all the photos gone?


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  1. Hi Sibel,

    Unfortunately, they won't be seen for a few reasons:

    The corporate owned MSM says does the story have "legs"? Is it "sexy" enough? Will our foreign correspondent look good as they report in the middle of this dangerous situation?

    Also, how many average people know the difference between the Taliban and Al-Quaeda? How many actually know where the hell Afghanistan is? (There are probably still a few that have no clue where Iraq is).

    A large part of this is that disconnect factor. That's THOSE people OVER THERE. Not here. That doesn't affect me. It's like during the Vietnam War. Cronkite would read out casulity numbers for the day. And it was like listening to the stock market results. Nobody gave it a second thought because (a)we have to stop those evil Communists. And (b)that doesn't affect me.

    Did the Afghan govt. pass the law that lets husbands beat and rape their wives if they deny them sex? Obama keeps talking abot respecting human rights. Ok Mr. President. What about this Afghan law? His response was essentially that's not our problem. Which frankly is a massive insult to women AND rape survivors everywhere.

    The MSM won't show this stuff because they know they can get away with it. If everyone who knows this has to stop actually cut into their profit margin, THEN and ONLY THEN will they pay attention. But that's unglamourous hard work. In addition to trying not to be laid off, become homeless. And losing your health coverage.

  2. Sibel Edmonds says:

    T: well-said.

  3. I remember when that Italian documentary showing the use of "Whiskey Pete" as a weapon during the attack on Fallujah came out. An old friend and I were having an email exchange about the war in Iraq. He was pretty gung ho about it, until I sent that video to him. "That's sick! I don't want to see that again. Don't send me stuff like that." was what he wrote back. I replied that I didn't want to see it either. He didn't bring up the war after that.

    Here's a link to that video.

  4. Bill Bergman says:

    Long time passing. Too long.

  5. The same thing happened with the Vietnam war. At first there were many TV news reports from the field – with reporters and cameramen out with the troops. The nightly news was full of actual combat scenes – until the day they started showing American troops screeming in pain from their horrible wounds. That was too much for Mr. and Mrs. America to watch over their dinner. And so it stopped. It would not do to let people get the idea that American soldiers did not react as in the movies. It's always the same with war. We send our children into an atrocity generating situation and expect them to remain cool and calm. This is not human nature.

    Today the military controls all those pictures, only allowing their trusted MSM friends anywhere near the action.


  6. Anonymous says:

    If we object to those who finance these horrors, we end up being unfair and/or on a list. The poor make easy targets. I cite a phrase from a song that contains the phrase "she got diamonds on the soles of her shoes" Simon and Garfunkle I think. I understand that in Africa they would "hobble" mine workers to prevent "theft".

    I believe that what is being suppressed regarding war zones probably pales in comparison to certain business deals made by the international bankers who tend to finance both side of a war and or certain business deals, directly or indirectly.

    I personally have worked in the renewable energy field since 1991 and have had my own experience with "them". One can be "hobbled" in more ways than one as I was. My experience would be of serious interest and if and when the time is appropriate, I will be happy to expound on this.

    Recently, a little birdie (Alcedindae) said I was unfair and irresponsible. There are many players. They are all greedy, filthy basterds (sic). Follow the money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    information control.same discussion.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Sibel, A lot of these victims are from the Killer Drones (Combat) Pilots flying drones from Creech, NV and killing innocents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. General Creech was a Good Man, Leader/Warrior and Combat Pilot and great Officer but the Pilots flying from the Base named after him are Cowards, Punks and Wimps with a Kill ratio of 30 innocents to 1 bad guy i.e. Taliban/AQ.Playing Video games and killing innocent Women and Children is sickening, just like these Photos. Sincerely, ShaJ

  9. John Francis Lee says:

    Afghanistan: 24 Civilians Killed by NATO in past week

    1. 6 Children and 3 Women Killed During NATO Raid in Afghanistan

    2. US soldiers gun down schoolboy in Paktika.

    3. Six civilians dead in Kandahar air strike by foreign forces

    4. Eight civilians killed in air raid of foreign troops in Helmand

    Obama is escalating his wars against the poorest people on earth in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    He is a liar, a murderer, a War Criminal, just like George W Bush.

    Nothing has changed, just escalated.

    The only mission I can see for the US armed forces is for the Mediterranean fleet : to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza; to put ashore Seabees to help restore a tiny bit of humanity to the lives of the blameless Palestinians there; to strike a blow, at long last, against terrorism.

  10. Kingfisher says:

    "Did the Afghan govt. pass the law that lets husbands beat and rape their wives if they deny them sex? Obama keeps talking abot respecting human rights. Ok Mr. President. What about this Afghan law? His response was essentially that's not our problem. Which frankly is a massive insult to women AND rape survivors everywhere."

    Unless you are willing to commit hundreds of thousands of more US troops (which we don’t have absent a draft) and trillions more dollars (which we also don’t have) to Afghanistan so we can install our values by force (ala the neocons), you are going to have to check your moral indignation at the door.

  11. Kingfisher says:

    "the lives of the blameless Palestinians there"

    There's no such thing as a blameless group of people in the Middle East.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sibel, one can also ask where are the photos of caskets being flown into Dover AFB?
    I heard a speech by Lew Rockwell, and I thought he nailed it. He said nationalism has alot to do with this.
    For some reason, there are people in this country, and alot of them have the reigns of power in their hands think that Americans, in general, are the chosen people. That for some reason, an American death is higher on the scale of human civilization than let's say the average Iraqi, or Iranian, or Afghan. This was the same type of infection that occured in Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia, and Fascist Italy.
    To me, a human being is a human being, and deserves the same rights as anyone.
    You know you think about it. We are dropping bombs on people there, and launching these drones with the specific purpose of killing people. Most, if not all of the people, killed in this manner, and what have most of these people have done to you, or me or anyone else in the blog who comments? Nothing, Jamias, Nichevo! Sorry, that's French and Russian for Nothing. Got carried away there.
    My hope is that in my lifetime sanier heads, and peaceful people will grab the reins of power, and end this madness.

  13. George Costoulas says:

    "Pilots flying drones"


    "Kill ratio of 30 innocents to 1 bad guy"

    Did you pull that out of Edmond's ass? I've heard there are a lot of stories up there.

  14. Yeah, Predator drones piloted out of Creech AFB in Indian Springs, NV, Mr. George Costoulas. Do you pull your denial out of your own ass?

    I'll go along with you on the 30:1 kill ratio as laughable. The real ratio is closer to 50:1. Do you have more denial to pull out of your ass? The only reason I ask is because it looks like you've got a lot of it stuffed up there, along with all the rest of your shit.

    Sibel, it may be that the pictures for the Afghanistan war have gone the way of election-fraud twitterers. According to Peter Galbraith, he was ordered to cover up Afghan election fraud in order to keep Mr. "Unocal" Karzai in business.

    Where are all those great lovers of DEMOCRACY???

  15. Hi Sibel – the world changed so much on election night 2000. In the 60's, the Vietnam war was the center of so much social discourse. It almost always led off the newscasts as a I recall, but most of all I remember how the protests and the music combined to form a solid block against that war. Just think about Woodstock- well it's 1-2-3, what are we fighting for? The Fish cheer had the force of a generation behind it (it was also a pretty cool song). This past summer was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Given the world change on November 7, 2000, I don't think that many people will be listening to the famous anti-war songs of Iraq and Afghanistan in 40 years. Where have all the flowers gone?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why isn't it being reported in the jew owned media? Good question. Obvious answer.

  17. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Spoonful: 'Where have all the flowers gone?' Thank you very much; I've been waiting to see someone getting that part;-) How about 'hey hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today
    and today 'Bomb bomb obambomb how many more kids are you gonna bomb?'

    Mizgin: thanks for responding to truth/fact deniers.

  18. @Kingfisher

    Blamelessness is not figured by groups it's figured by personal responsibility. As such there are plenty of blameless Palestinians. And I don't think the ME is any more ripe for blame than several other areas of the world. I'm especially thinking of the US which is largely responsible for the underlying conditions setting the stage for what's going on there now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "Where have all the flowers gone?" Good question. On a positive note, I work with young grad students that have flower tattoos and are vegans. Neither of these are part of my lifestyle, but hey that's better than smoking pot and doing shrooms. They have a business plan for a food co-op based upon the Park Slope Co-op model – 16,000 members and $33 million a year – over thirty years in business. We buy local, support local farmers, and are letting the football goofs die a slow death with its associated military recruitment. Best solution, support Sibel & Mizgin, and work locally to get it right. That's real grassroots.


  20. Daniel N. White says:

    Of course the pictures aren't running. The corporate media clowns can spin away a lot of things, but they can't spin away the reality that pictures show.

    Myself, I've got a story to tell about trying to get information on what we–the US and UK–were bombing in Iraq from 1991-2000. Send me an e-mail address and I'll send you a note I sent to Andrew Bacevich on it.

    With my best regards, and deepest admiration for your efforts,

    Daniel White

  21. Kingfisher says:


    "Blamelessness is not figured by groups it's figured by personal responsibility."

    In the West it is. Unfortunately they do not see it that way, you are projecting your values onto them. Personal responsibility is an abstract concept to much of the world. As the saying goes: its the tribes, stupid!

    "And I don't think the ME is any more ripe for blame than several other areas of the world."

    Massacres Paid Your Mortgage, Dude.

    "I'm especially thinking of the US which is largely responsible for the underlying conditions setting the stage for what's going on there now."

    My friend this is a very superficial analysis. Serious discussion of the causes of the regions ills begin at Sykes-Picot (which the US was not involved in) at the latest.

    This is a region where history matters, and historical grudges from hundreds if not thousands of years are still carried around by normal people; the historical depth of knowledge of its citizens amazes me. The US while unpopular in the region of late, is still a relative newcomer.

    Look, unfortunately much of the world is illiberal (liberal in the classical sense). You will have much greater success as a progressive activist and/or in making the world a better place once you accept this reality to start from, instead of mirror imaging or projecting your values onto people.

  22. Anonymous says:
  23. Well, for now 8 years minus one day, I have been describing incidents where US forces killed innocent Afghans. See for example my Afghan Victim Memorial Project at data base where you'll see many photos of exactly those victims.

    Marc W. Herold
    Dept. of Economics
    University of New Hampshire

  24. Anonymous says:

    The Human Cost of War: The Images the Corporate Media Doesn't Want You to See
    By Liliana Segura, AlterNet
    Robert Greenwald's Rethink Afghanistan brings you jarring images of civilian suffering. Not surprisingly, the NY Times isn't on board. more »

    alternet oct 6

  25. mcthorogood says:

    We must not forget the large number of contractors that are returning injured from Iraq/Afghanistan. They can be compared to the soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. Largely forgotten and looked down upon.

    I read the story of one contractor injured in Iraq, first without any pictures. Then I saw the same story again, but with pictures and you can't help, but to cry. Oh, the power of pictures.

  26. Bill Bergman says:

    Hey, Sibel — that was my point. "Long time passing."


    words and music by Pete Seeger
    performed by Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger

    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Girls have picked them every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the young girls gone?
    Taken husbands every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the young men gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Gone for soldiers every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Gone to graveyards every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Covered with flowers every one
    When will we ever learn?
    When will we ever learn?

    ©1961 (Renewed) Fall River Music Inc
    All Rights Reserved.

  27. Anonymous says:

    @Bill Bergman
    Here are some photos that would make a nice slideshow to the lyrics.

  28. Anonymous says:
  29. If she's a nobody, Turkish Anonymous, then why do you bother to post? Obviously you don't really think she's a nobody. Actually, you sound like you're pretty scared.

    In the meantime, there are lots of pictures of Afghanistan that we're not supposed to see in the documentary Rethink Afghanistan.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I cannot imagine which part of "a-n-on-y-m-o-u-s" the above brave poster thinks explains his/her hidden identity as 'somebody'., while the straight up full face determinism of Sibel Edmonds, naming herself for us ALL to see and read and judge for OURSELVES, be described as 'nobody'. ??

    Is that oxymoron or just straight out moron? or maybe anonymouse?? xro

  31. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-

    I agree with you on the need to show photographs of casualties Mrs. Edmonds. (I hope that's not a surprise.)

    Naturally, when the American people decide to engage in a war – they must fully know the costs we pay as a people.

    That said, imagery can be manipulated. And as carelessly as our media trivialize suffering and violence, one questions their ability to handle other critical issues. Handing Olbermann imagery of dead soldiers and civilians, gives death-porn a green-light.

  32. Showing the true horror of war, especially that 99% of the victims are women and children would not only offend Americans and the rest of the world, but it would make it increasingly unpopular and reveal the lies about war.

    They tried with "embeds" but only the suck up media will play. And how many feel good stories can they do about war?

    The real truth telling media is locked out (or taken out). Do you remember the bombing of Al Jezerra in Bgadad? The US military didn't want them telling the truth so they bombed their headquarters which was also a message to the press to not get in the wat with inconvenient truth.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your sincere efforts to make a difference, Ms. Edmonds. I know, from my extensive personal research that you are speaking the truth.

    However I don't believe that the Corporo-Fascist war profiteers can be stopped, mainly because it would require all the fat, TV-educated, Pop-Cultured, White Trash/Gangsta minded Sheeple to care about something other than their own insatiable appetite for pleasure.

    Sheeple are heartless creatures and the bottom line is they couldn't care less about the suffering endured by strange foreigners who don't speak English and who worship 'evil' gods. They don't care about 'those people over there' – and the war profiteering CRIMINALS are banking on this fact. They've done their research and they have complete confidence in their success – because regardless of what people like you do to 'blow whistles' at them, in the end your efforts were futile, which is why they allow you to go on, doing what you do!

    The Monster cannot be stopped and eventually we will ALL be its victim. We already are; where is all that depleted uranium dust going? It doesn't go away and there is such a thing as weather.

    The war criminals strongest ally is always the Sheeple and unfortunately that's just about all that's left of us (thanks to their decades in the making media campaign we are royally screwed).

  34. Kingfisher says:

    "Sheeple are heartless creatures and the bottom line is they couldn't care less about the suffering endured by strange foreigners who don't speak English and who worship 'evil' gods."

    Maybe you do care, maybe I do too; but whether we agree with what we are doing over there or not, it is still our tribe bombing their tribe. To the Afghan’s it does not matter whether you or I are for or against the bombings, they’ll still have a grievance against us and our tribe. Collective responsibility trumps personal responsibility.

    So what does that mean, and of what use is your personal moral indignation then?
    It means you are going to have to live with, communicate with, and change the minds of “sheeple” and “corporate fascists”. You can continue to stay on your high horse speaking hyperbole of them, and achieve nothing; or you can swim among them and do something by changing one mind at a time.

    Go read Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What ARE 'your tribe' doing over there? Good question, being a long way from home. Determined to force the will , if it can be forced, or kill if not. But WHY.
    Russia is close. China. Oil. All of that, but to get there, what part of the manufactured event of 911, Patriot act, the lies of WMD and the manipulation of public awareness before, during and thereafter don't we understand? The sheep, being in the paddock, suddenly shocked by a vast eruption of violence over on one side do what sheep do. They run. they find the open gate, and they run through it. simple. In this case the gate had WAR ON TERROR:Patriot act:Afghanistan/Iraq writ large above it.[trust in god]

    better than Arbeit macht frei I guess.

    Who controlled the gate? set it up. Who controlled the explosion. Investigate that. Was Powell ever charged for lying in the UN? I don't think so,nor, by the look of it is it likely to happen until somehow a major sheriff of tombstone gets his/her? teeth into this crap and makes it play. Only -shock horror- it hasn't happened yet. Because people die. Files go missing. Employees change.
    Who controls justice? What is justice as the batons and tear gas and electric charges sweep the area?? Who controls NEWS? secrecy is the order of the day. Fear and reward in the Lab. But Keep talking. Thats really all we can legitimately do on a day by day basis being sheep,looking for another gate. as I am. Getting regularly fleeced.

  36. KF said: "As the saying goes: its the tribes, stupid!"

    Thanks for the poignant Exile link. While I found myself agreeing with much of what the author said, I worry that this world-view of is somewhat limited, in that it blinds us from anything besides the 'strong survive' aspect of evolution. Supposed Social Darwinism.

    I wonder if there is relatively equal significance in less obviously depict-able motivations and experiences. The gray areas.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-


    If I didn't know any better, I'd say that the sentiment you express is precisely that which most "Sheeple" -as you call them – express.

    It's as if you are articulating the philosophy of the sheeple.

    It's a dangerous slope. And it's wrong.

    We care like hell where are boys are – the truth is that we need to debate where we send them…but we will always have to send them somewhere.

  38. Greg Bacon says:

    Didn't those silly Afghan's watch that "60 Minutes" infomercial featuring General McChryystal saying that all that killing and bombing and torturing of the last eight years was just a big OOPS! and that in the future, we promise to be a more refined and gentler killing machine?

    It's their fault they don't watch TV!!!

    If anyone thinks all this murder and mayhem is somehow removed from actual America, just read "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee" to see how sadistic and brutal we were to the Native Americans.

    Of the 400 treaties we brokered with the Indians, how many do you think we kept?


    Besides, who would want to see all that icky stuff showing burned beyond recognition human bodies when we can watch such excellent fare as "Dancing with the Stars?"

    Just because a majority of the 9/11 Commisioners say they were lied to by the feds, had their investigation blocked by the same and couldn't call some of the witnesses they wanted doesn't mean anything!

    America got a hard iron on 9/11 and by God, someone's going to get it good and hard.

    "Ya' hear that Iran!"

  39. Anonymous says:

    They seem to only want to say, "X Americans killed yesterday" in Afghani. This helps them by subconsciously instilling the desire for retaliation completely missing the point of our activity there.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Neocon: The Sheeple trust their TVs are telling them the truth about the war (and everything else)- when you and I both know that ain't happening.

    Fascism has found the cracks in our system. Criminals have figured out how to milk the government subsidies and war manufacturing is not exempt from this problem. Neither is Big Pharma or the Food Industry or mainstream media etc; it is ALL corrupted. The military is not special or safeguarded from this corruption.

    Corporate Fascism is gaining a strong foothold in our country; even small town America where I live is corrupted by it. We are in n BIG trouble! Even if the sheeple majority woke up tomorrow we'd be fighting a losing battle. The kings of the world have returned and they'll want their slaves like they always do. "Let em eat cake!" Funny thing, their demoralization campaign has succeeded in digressing us back to an 'our tribe against their tribe' mentality. So perhaps we deserve kings ruling over us.

    And BTW, Neoconservative foreign policy (which is NOT conservative!!!) is the policy of Corporate Fascists in the business of war. It is a sham and a disgrace. It's nothing to be proud of.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Getting back to the War PICs, I think the Creech, NV Cowards (the Base should be named after the EX NSA/CIA Boss Mikie H.) should be forced to carry and stare at the PICs of the innocents they killed for a week and be forced to pay the victims out of their own pockets blood money. Using a Joystick, a big chair, a big TV Screen with Company and keeping score is playing a Video game and killing and wounding innocents by playing the video game is the act of a Pure, Raw, Coward. Sincerely, ShaJ

  42. holy crap…. Peter asks towards the end “do you feel the water boiling” and I’m wondering just who’s the frog in our situation… funny but not really.

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