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By Blessed Economist
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Crocodile Tears

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I get a bit frustrated with the commentators in the western news media crying crocodile tears for the women and children of Afghanistan.

The truth is that living in a US-created war zone for the last twenty years has not been great for Afghan women and children.

  • Fighters on all sides of the war have been abusive of women.

  • The US did not bother counting civilian casualties (because they did not want to know about them) but estimates are that 70,000 to 100,000 civilians were killed during the twenty-year war. Many of these were women and children.

  • About 100,000 Afghan fighters were killed during the war. A far greater number were received permanent, crippling injuries. Many of these casualties would have had wives and children, who are now facing permanent suffering as a consequence of their loss.

  • During the twenty-year war, the US military dropped at least 50,000 bombs on the country. Many of these would have fallen on, or near villages. We know that weddings were bombed and other gatherings of people were targeted. This was awful for the women and children affected.

  • Those who weep for the women and children of Afghanistan should think about what it was like for a young person to grow up to the age of twenty-five and not be able to remember a time when there was not a war going on around them. Living an entire childhood, not knowing when a bomb would fall from the sky. Going to bed, wondering if they would be woken by an artillery shell or grenade hitting their village during the night. Being kept awake by nightmares about the time when US marines knocked the door down in the night and took away two young men living in the house for interrogation. Living an entire childhood with the noise of bombers flying high overhead and drones circling above them. War is always terrible.

The last twenty years have been terrible for the women and children of Afghanistan, so those who assume their situation will get suddenly worse because the Americans have fled is a bit naïve.

Most Afghan women and children will be hugely relieved that the war is over (provided that the CIA does not try to stir it up again).


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