Lethal air strikes and "abusive" nighttime raids by coalition forces in Afghanistan threaten to turn the local population against foreign troops, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report, released in Kabul by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, questions U.S. and NATO air strikes and nighttime searches of civilian houses.
"Afghan families experienced their family members killed or injured, their houses or other property destroyed, or homes invaded at night without any perceived justification or legal authorization," the report says.
"They often did not know who perpetrated the acts against the family or why. ... To their knowledge and perception those who perpetrated the acts were never punished, nor prevented from repeating them."
The 55-page report says the night raids frequently involve "abusive behaviour and violent breaking and entry," which it says stoke almost as much anger toward coalition forces as the air strikes.
"Afghans in these regions generally know stories of friends or family members who have been awakened in the middle of the night to be tied up, and often abused by a group of armed men," it says.
Unsurprisingly, the head of Canadian and NATO Forces in Kandahar defends the military's actions and rejects the criticism. Well, what could he be expected to say? We're abusing and humiliating people in their own country, thereby breeding hate and potential terrorism? We have become terrorists are ourselves?
Enough! How many years will this go on? And to what end? (Oil. Empire.) Who is it helping? (The US.)
Enough! Enough Canadians dying in Afghanistan. Enough Afghans dying because of Canada in Afghanistan.
In 2009, those of us who have been speaking out against the war in Afghanistan must continue to. Those of us who have been silent must raise our voices. We must demand that the troops come home.
Why wait until 2011? (If indeed we will see an end to combat that year. Will Canada continue to resist US pressure?) What will another two years accomplish, except more death?
Canada isn't wanted in Afghanistan. Period. It's not for us to decide what's best for people in another country.
Let's not talk about NATO or the US or "our commitments". Canadian foreign policy should be made by Canada.
Get involved. Renew your commitment to peace.