Friday, April 16, 2010

Commentary: 'Blood money' angers Afghans - McClatchy

KABUL, Afghanistan — The system by which Afghans and their families are compensated if they are injured in an American military attack has increasingly become a source of outrage among Afghans who say they feel a price is being put on their lives.

According to published reports, American military commanders are authorized to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 to a family that has lost a child or an adult. The loss of a limb or other injury is worth between $600 and $1,500; a damaged or destroyed vehicle, $500 to $2,500; damage to a farmer's fields is worth between $50 and $250.

"Afghans must seem like animals to the Americans if they can put prices on them," said Ismail, a 55-year-old Afghan businessman in Kabul.

"If someone killed an American and offered to pay $10,000, would they accept it?" he asked. "They destroy a complete village if one of their soldiers is killed, but set a price of $2,500 for an Afghan's life."

American officials defended the practice. These are "payments of money or donations in kind made to a victim or victim's family as an expression of sympathy," said military spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician. "There is no official 'price list' to cover payments to people or families who have suffered loss or injury as a result of action by coalition forces," he said.

Commentary: 'Blood money' angers Afghans | McClatchy


Post a Comment

<< Home