An Afghan government official has said that an NATO air strike that took place in eastern Afghanistan in the late day on Feb. 12, 2013 killed 10 civilians, including children. It leaves you to wonder what type of world is it that we live in. It would be hard to find a Pagan of any path that does not believe in the sacredness of all life and these sort of horrors impact us deeply, not just because we are Pagan but because we are human. Here in the Puget Sound we can find ourselves easily lost in the nature and sense of the gods around us and we can forget the horrible things going on around us.
The air strike was successful in killing three Taliban commanders, which were the targets of the attack according to Wasifullah Wasifi, a spokesperson for the governor of Kunar province. However the attack also claimed civilian lives. From a Pagan perspective, although I will defend my home, family, loved ones, pets, and so on, killing someone is not my goal and certainly not to kill innocent women, children or anyone else. Isn’t there a better way?
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force says that it is looking into the allegations. The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has been at odds with Washington due to civilian casualties for many years now and says the messing killings show a lack of respect for his country. In June of 2012, the ISAF Commander, Gen. John Allen, went to the site of an air strike that killed 18 people to personally apologize to the people. Is the apology enough? How do you say sorry for killing members of someone’s family with out cause? Do you just simply explain that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time? This system seems to a bit flawed.
Although its unlikely that the people or their families who are now mourning the loss of their loved ones are Pagan, we can still offer them our warm thoughts and blessings as they move through these painful moments. We maybe very far away and living in a very different way of life here in the Puget Sound but as Pagans, with our strong attachment to the earth and all living things, and as humans with a sense of love for other beings, we feel for them and suffer with them as our world is harsh and destructive.
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