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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Silence sur un massacre

by Maurice Ulrich

Silence on a massacre

Translated Sunday 31 August 2008, by Gene Zbikowski

“How much are the lives of Afghan women and children worth?”

“How much are the lives of Afghan women and children worth?” we asked yesterday, while devoting a six-column article and our editorial to the coalition bombardment of the village of Azizabad in western Afghanistan. A bombardment whose toll continues to rise. Over 90 civilian victims.

The answer to our question is contained in a footnote here, a one-paragraph article there, a sentence or two on the airwaves, silence or near-silence in the broadcast review of the press. On Sunday the United States nevertheless expressed its regret, which means they admit the facts, with these weighty words: “We regret the loss of innocent lives among the Afghans, whom we are supposed to protect,” the spokesman for the White House stated. Despite this, the deaths of 90 people in a “blunder” of this size does not seem to stir the editorial boards any more than it does – and this needs to be emphasized – the political scene, the government, or the French president. Between the cold war tones of the past few weeks and the deafening silence on what must be termed a massacre, what is going on in France?

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