Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As civilian deaths rise, NATO says, 'Sorry.'

The CSM notes that McChrystal has become quick to apologize for civilian "collateral damage" - all part of the Petraeus COIN strategy of winning hearts and minds.  But it's also evident that McChrystal can't draw too often, or too long, from that well.
Afghans are circumspect about the change in tone. “Does this apology mean there won’t be any other civilian casualties in future?” says Abdul Jabar, a carpenter from the eastern province of Wardak. “If it does then I appreciate it.”

Mohammad Yassir, a shopkeeper in Kabul, is less receptive. “I want to ask McChrystal if he had lost his family in such an incident,” he says. “And if someone called to apologize, what would his reaction be? An apology doesn’t bring anyone back to life.”
As civilian deaths mount, and apology becomes a mantra, then what?

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