MayDay . . . . MayDay! . . . . Lost in Afghanistan
AFGHANISTAN: Coalition Killings Spark Furious Street Protests
KABUL, Apr 30 (IPS) - Angry protests have erupted in two Afghan provinces against killings of civilians in military operations by coalition troops on Taliban targets.
On Monday, thousands of furious people took to the streets to denounce a "cold blooded massacre" of dozens of civilians by coalition troops in western Herat provinces, which has been relatively calm.
The previous day, protestors blocked the busy Jalalabad-Torkham Road in Ghanikhel district, eastern Nangarhar province, to protest the killings of four rebel fighters and two women by "American soldiers" who raided a compound on a tip-off that the cell was plotting suicide car bomb attacks on coalition forces in the coming weeks.
But the U.S.-led coalition insisted Apr. 30 that the 136 killed by American and Afghan forces in operations over three days in Zerkoh Valley of Herat were Taliban insurgents, including two local commanders.
Belying the coalition assertion, a large number of angry residents - demonstrating against the operations - torched the Shindand district headquarters. "Scores of civilians have perished in the clash and the subsequent air strike," one demonstrator told Pajhwok Afghan News.
made me think about Sharbat Gula, remember her?
Although her name was not known, her picture, titled "Afghan Girl", appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and with her piercing sea-green eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide. The image itself was named as "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the magazine.
In January 2002, in a fit of jingoistic mania, a National Geographic team travelled to Afghanistan to locate the subject of the now-famous photograph, the story of their investigation can be read over at National Geographic
NatGeo were kind enough to provide an updated photo of Sharbat,
placed side-by-side with the iconic original.
I wonder how much better her life is now, after years of war.
She has a MySpace page apparently, though it seems unlikely she set it up herself. If you go there you will find these words…
Upon finding her, she was asked what she most wanted in her life. What she asked for was not for herself but for her three daughters. Her wish has been the education of her three young daughters. That wish has so far gone unfulfilled....
but who cares anyway because .....
Her image which garnered world wide attention and made countless millions for National Geographic Magazine and others who have capitalized on her likeness...
and that is, after all, what’s really important
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