provenance: unknown

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(update)

I added a new story today. (I'm still learning....)

It's been a busy couple days. Went skiing yesterday for the first time in, gosh-I-dunno, 10 years? And only my second time doing downhill. It's insane how much easier it is these days, what with the shorter, better-designed skis. Fun stuff, though nothing life-altering. (Go figure.)

The news that American bombs may have killed 50 to 60 people in a convoy of tribal elders in Afghanistan got to me. So far only Reuters seems to reporting that there is real evidence this happened; the New York Times, for instance, is sticking with the offical version, as described by U.S. officials, that the convoy contained members of Al Qaeda.

The Reuters report quotes local villagers, whose village also was apparently partially destroyed:

"The people who got hit were going to congratulate Karzai on the transfer of power," villager Khodai Noor told Reuters Television in the first account of the bombing from the scene. "There are no members of al Qaeda or supporters of bin Laden here," he added, suggesting a local warlord might deliberately have misinformed U.S. forces about the convoy to settle a score.

War is an ugly thing. No news there. And the villagers quoted may not have known everything, and also may have had their own agenda. But maybe Afghani warlords are now trying to use U.S. forces for their own personal ends. As long as our frustration with not having captured Bin Laden persists — and grows — we have to be ever more careful to guard against being manipulated.

Hopefully no such mistake was made, and the victims of this attack were in fact "the enemy." Either way, this grim reminder of the viciousness of war shouldn't be ignored. I am saddened to be reminded, but also a little grateful not to be allowed to forget.

December 22, 2001 3:19 PM

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