The government here has waged, with the collaboration of the corporate mainstream media, a relentless campaign to hide the reality of what is going on – what the drone strikes mean, what the airstrikes mean, what the occupation means to disguise that so that the people in the United States do not understand it."An analyst says the US government and media cover up extent and horror of Afghan and Pakistan civilian deaths by drones and airstrikes to fool the American public. In the background of this, public anger in Afghanistan is rising once again over US-led foreign forces killing of civilians. A dozen children and four women are the latest “militant” victims of a US airstrike in the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan. The airstrike took place after Afghan intelligence agents came under fire in the area during an operation to arrest two militant commanders. Press TV has interviewed Richard Becker, ANSWER Coalition, San Francisco about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview. Press TV: Unfortunately, we’ve often heard these type of stories that more civilians have been killed in Afghanistan - this one particularly gruesome, saying that at least eleven of those killed were children and four women. What does it take in order to stop this from re-occurring time and time again in Afghanistan? Becker: What it takes is the end to the occupation of Afghanistan, which has now been going on for eleven and a half years. The toll among the Afghan people has been truly horrific and it continues to be as this incident shows.
Overwhelmingly the victims of airstrikes, of drone strikes in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan are civilians - women, children, men.And the attempts by the US government to cover up the real death toll amongst civilians is ongoing, but is something that is not deceiving at all to the people there - to Afghanistan and Pakistan who have to lived under the daily threat of drone attacks and other air strikes and who really have suffered indescribably from the occupation and it will not end until the occupation itself comes to an end. Press TV: Do you think... you talked about that the people on the ground obviously in Afghanistan they definitely understand the horrors of the situation. Switching locations, what about the average American? Do you think they understand exactly what is happening especially the number of civilians, innocent civilians, that have been killed from the beginning of this occupation until today? Becker: Well, the government here has waged, with the collaboration of the corporate mainstream media, a relentless campaign to hide the reality of what is going on - what the drone strikes mean, what the airstrikes mean, what the occupation means to disguise that so that the people in the United States do not understand it. Today, and it’s actually underway already in Washington DC, but across the country today there demonstrations calling for an end to the drone wars and an end to the occupations, in many cities.
And it’s going to take the efforts of the anti-war movement, the peace movement, the people’s movement and using every vehicle that we have to get the word to people here about the reality of what is happening and the fact that what the government is saying about only targeting “militants” or “high value targets” and so forth - the language that they like to use - that is nothing but propaganda. The vast majority of people being killed are perhaps as high as 98 percent, in a recent NYU Stanford report on drone warfare, are completely innocent of anything.And the other two percent are also victims of an illegal form of warfare, the violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. This goes on, on a regular basis in which the US government claims they have the right to do. They Don’t! SC/JR