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[infowar.de] viele Tote in Afghanistan: Studie aus Web-Quellen
Den Bericht gibt es unter
http://www.cursor.org/stories/civilian_deaths.htm, Prof. Herolds URL ist
Trolling the Web for Afghan Dead
By Julia Scheeres
2:00 a.m. Jan. 4, 2002 PST
In an online report, a University of New Hampshire professor charges
that the U.S. military has killed more than 4,000 civilians in
Afghanistan and that the U.S. media have largely ignored the toll of the
war on terrorism.
"This is a serious, timely piece of research that I think really needed
to be done," economics professor Marc Herold said. "And since the media
didn't do it, I did."
Frustrated by the dearth of reports in the American media after the air
strikes began on Oct. 7, Herold turned to the Internet to read accounts
from the front lines published in the foreign press.
For the past three months, Herold has spent 12 to 14 hours a day
cruising the Net to compile figures on civilian casualties in
Afghanistan, using sources as disparate as the radical Revolutionary
Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and the BBC.
He said he discovered that Washington's anti-terrorism campaign has
killed an average of 65 Afghans a day, information he charges has been
blithely dismissed by the American mainstream press. Pundits such as
William M. Arkin, a former Army intelligence analyst and Washington Post
columnist, have sought to minimize the importance of civilian
casualties, he writes. Arkin did not respond to an interview request for
His analysis, published on the independent news site cursor.org, also
contends that the Department of Defense has downplayed civilian deaths
in order to maintain popular support for the war effort, an allegation
department officials refused to address.
"We don't respond to spurious charges as a matter of policy," said a
Department of Defense spokesman.
Among his more serious allegations is the accusation that the U.S.
government has tried to create a news blackout in Afghanistan. In
October, Washington bought exclusive rights to all the commercial
satellite images of Afghanistan and pressured the independent Al-Jazeera
television station to tone down anti-American rhetoric.
The station scoffed at the request and a month later, U.S. missiles
destroyed Al-Jazeera's Kabul offices. Herold and Al-Jazeera officials
allege the hit was a deliberate attempt to snuff out negative news
reports, an accusation a Department of Defense spokesman denied.
"We hit an al-Qaeda facility, we don't know what Al Jazeera was doing
there," said Lt. Colonel Dave Lapan.
Lapan, who refused to comment on the specifics of Herold's report, said
the government has been careful to minimize "collateral damage" and that
U.S. forces have carefully avoided attacking targets when civilians are
"There have been allegations of civilian casualties throughout the
campaign that are highly suspect," Lapan said. "It's part of a pattern
of lies told by the Taliban and the media they control."
In a December press conference, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
conceded that accurate casualty figures were hard to come by in
Afghanistan and implied that the United States was not responsible for
"We did not start this war," Rumsfeld said. "So understand,
responsibility for every single casualty in this war, whether they're
innocent Afhgans or innocent Americans, rests at the feet of al-Qaeda
and the Taliban."
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