In the past, I’ve called CIVIC, a group working on reducing civilian casualties in war, out on its emphasis on ISAF/NATO’s mistakes while seeming to ignore the Taliban’s way-higher rate of killing civilians.
In a subsequent e-mail, the head of CIVIC clarified their position:
The Taliban’s acts of suicide bombings, IEDs and deliberately hiding out in civilian homes are egregious, and every human rights organization I know (including ours) has called for these practices to stop.
Now, CIVIC executive director Sarah Holewinski went into more detail in posting at the Foreign Policy’s AFPAK Channel blog, calling President Hamid Karzai on his selective outrage over civilian casualties:
…. Karzai’s refusal to condemn Afghans for killing other Afghans highlights his shortcomings as a head of state. His public excuse for overlooking insurgent atrocities is that the Afghan people expect attacks from the Taliban. This may be true, but can he genuinely believe an Afghan mother’s loss is somehow less tragic if the Taliban pulled the trigger? Or that she feels comforted to know that it was expected? …. When being sworn in for his second term, Karzai pledged “…to learn from the mistakes and shortcomings of the past eight years. It is through this self-evaluation that we can better respond to the aspirations and expectations of our people.” Two years later, Karzai is practicing more self-protection than self-evaluation. His failure to provide Afghan forces what they need to protect Afghans and to speak out about Taliban behavior may help him walk a political tightrope, but it places him firmly on the wrong side of history.
More on the latest ratios of bad-guy- vs. good-guy-caused civilian casualties (4:1 for the bad guys) here (via Army.ca).