O número desconhecido
Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»
O General David Petraeus assumiu formalmente neste domingo o comando da força internacional de 130 mil homens no Afeganistão. O General, cuja estratégia no Iraque recebeu elogios e diminuiu a violência, espera repetir o sucesso alcançado no Iraque e insiste que a NATO e o governo afegão têm que trabalhar lado a lado. Chamando à guerra neste país um “confronto de vontades”, o General assumiu no seu discurso que a guerra chegou a um ponto crítico e que coligação internacional está no terreno para vencer:
[…] After years of war, we have arrived at a critical moment. We must demonstrate to the Afghan people, and to the world, that al-Qaeda and its network of extremist allies will not be allowed to once again establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan from which they can launch attacks on the Afghan people and on freedom-loving nations around the world. […]
We are engaged in a contest of wills. Our enemies are doing all that they can to undermine the confidence of the Afghan people. In so doing, they are killing and maiming innocent Afghan civilians on a daily basis. […]
In answer, we must demonstrate to the people and to the Taliban that Afghan and Isaf forces are here to safeguard the Afghan people, and that we are in this to win. That is our clear objective. […]
Mike Keefe, «The Denver Post»
James Denselow no The Guardian escreve sobre um outro aspecto da guerra do Afeganistão, um assunto esquecido mas que pode influenciar bastante as tentativas de diálogo neste país: o número de baixas entre os civis afegãos. Escreve Denselow:
[…] The precise compilation of western casualties contrasts with almost criminal neglect in tracking the numbers of Afghan civilians killed since 2001. If Afghanistan is the “good war” then why are we not demanding to be accurately told how many skeletons there are in the Afghan closet?
[…] The Afghan government, characterised by massive levels of ineptitude and corruption, has failed to keep centralised records of civilian casualties which would enable it to issue annual estimates.
True to form, the International Security Assistance Force has also avoided releasing body counts – leaving it to an inconsistent patchwork group of NGOs and academics to correlate the numbers of dead Afghans. […]
How can any western official claim to have the best interests of the Afghans at heart when they don’t even know how many they’ve killed? To understand the western presence in Afghanistan it is of critical importance to effectively and publicly track the lives lost as a result of both military and “insurgent” action.