Tuesday, November 13, 2012


"Many places where drones are used are inaccessible to foreign or even local journalists. Civilian casualties can be minimised or denied. I reported in 2009 a US bombing raid on three villages in Farah province, south of Herat, which killed 147 people, according to locals. There were craters 30ft deep which a US spokesman cheerfully suggested had been made by Taliban fighters throwing grenades into houses. This was an obvious lie, but it was impossible for journalists to prove the opposite.
Of course, local people knew what had happened. They drove their tractors pulling trailers full of body parts to the provincial capital where government soldiers opened fire, killing three of them. I wondered at the time how many of the surviving young men of the three villages, and in the rest of Farah province, joined the Taliban because of that bombing raid." (thanks Ali)