The two-decade-long war in Afghanistan has seen horrible bloodshed and civilian casualties. Incomplete statistics show that since entering the battlefield in October 2001, the U.S. troops have caused more than 30,000 civilian deaths.
What is more grieving is the deaths of children. Between 2016 and 2020, about 1,600 children were killed in the U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan, according to the Action on Armed Violence, a London-based charity.
Some American troops in Afghanistan have killed civilians "for the thrill of killing." In 2010, 12 U.S. soldiers were charged over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghans at random, and cut and collected their fingers as trophies.
According to other soldiers' testimony, Calvin Gibbs, a former U.S. staff sergeant, even said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them" when he was serving in Iraq.
Sarcastically, the just-ended U.S. mission in Afghanistan, which cost more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers and over 2 trillion U.S. dollars, was finally proved a fiasco, as the number of terrorist groups on Afghan soil jumped from a single digit to more than 20 in the past 20 years.
The war, which was launched in the name of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, has only made the country poorer, weaker and more chaotic.
As of 2020, 47.3 percent of the Afghan population was living below the national poverty line, showed data from the Asian Development Bank. In 2019, 34.3 percent of the country's employed people earned less than 1.9 dollars per day.
When meeting terrorism with terror, Washington's "war on terror" was bound to fail. Days before the U.S. troops finally retreated from Afghanistan, terrorist attacks near the Kabul airport killed and injured hundreds of Afghan civilians. However, some of the injured revealed that U.S. forces opened fire on civilians after blasts, and that led to more casualties.
It is most regrettable that some Western media have been using every means to whitewash U.S. atrocities against humanity in all victim-countries. Lives of the Afghan and Iraqi people matter as those of any nations. Washington must seriously reflect upon and take responsibilities for what it has done across the world, and ensure bloody tragedies will not happen again.