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Who were the children killed in Afghanistan?

Armed ConflictsAfghanistanU.S. CongressNATOSeptember 11, 2001 Attacks

I watched 60 Minutes on Sunday and saw the anguish still being experienced by the Sandy Hook parents. Their grief has caused them to turn to action, and they are in Washington to lobby Congress to pass legislation that might prevent other gun tragedies.

On Monday, I read "Johns Hopkins graduate dies in bomb explosion in Afghanistan," (April 8). Anne Smedinghoff's father Tom was quoted, "She was 'always trying to get out and do things for the population.'" I wondered if she ever noticed our Friday War Is Not the Answer vigils outside Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, across from the Hopkins campus, ongoing since 2001.

Also in that issue of The Sun, I read "Afghans: Airstrike killed civilians." Killing is the essence of war. But the report was particularly difficult to read. This was the first sentence: "A NATO airstrike on Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan killed 11 civilians, at least 10 of them children, in addition to the targeted militants." Later the article suggests U.S. taxpayer dollars going to Pakistan are then routed to terrorists in Afghanistan.

I and many others protested the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and argued that the perpetrators of 9/11 should instead face criminal trials. Astonishingly, the killing continues in Afghanistan, and this confirms the peace movement was correct in suggesting it was madness to invade this desperately poor country.

My heart goes out to all of these victims of violence and their families. Yet I have to wonder why I do not know the names of the children killed in Afghanistan? Were they going to school? Did they have dreams about their future lives? Did they play sports? I doubt I will get any answers, as the children are probably destined to remain faceless statistics in this endless war.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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