The main source of heat for my rural home is firewood. Mostly I cut up dead trees up myself, and because I live near the Pacific ocean, winters are mild and my firewood needs are modest. On a couple of occasions I have bought firewood from people who make that their business. Around here often people even give firewood away, there are so many dead trees that need to be cut down to reduce fire hazard during the dry season.
Apparently in Afghanistan cutting firewood is a much more dangerous business. Yesterday we learned that 9 boys were killed while gathering firewood by "NATO", probably U.S. helicopter gunships. A tenth survived only because a tree fell on top of him. As usual the U.S. military initially claimed the civilians were armed Taliban soldiers.
Just as in Vietnam, what we have in Afghanistan is an imperialist army of cowards waging a war against unarmed civilians and poorly armed Afghan patriots. Most of the kills recorded by Obama's storm troopers are not actually even soldiers.
The dead boys ranged in age from 9 to 15.
The cowards' war waged by the United States works like this: invade a nation that you have no business being in. Send out patrols to terrorize the locals, who naturally aren't interested in being ruled by Americans, much less gun-toting southern Baptist psychopaths. If someone shoots at an American, or tries to take one out with an IED, bring in the bombers and gunships. If anyone runs away, kill them, they are a soldier. If they stay, kill them, they are a soldier. Report back to that idiot Obama that you are killing lots of hostiles and winning the war. Which has now gone on longer than any war in U.S. history, including Vietnam.
If the boys had really been Taliban soldiers carrying Kalashnikovs, it would still have been wrong to kill them. It is always wrong to wage a war of agression against a foreign country. It certainly was a cowardly way to kill. American soldiers on the ground, while they probably would have killed the kids anyway, because that's what they get paid for, would have at least seen that they were just carrying firewood. They might even have checked them for weapons and escorted them back to their homes.
Afghanistan is a dangerous place, and was even before the Americans, or for that matter the Russians, arrived. Most adult males who can afford it own a firearm. The U.S. military should not be killing Afghans just because they are walking around armed. The U.S. is so careless that it is almost as dangerous being one of our puppet police or "Afgan regular army" soldiers as it is to be a Talib soldier.
On a more analytic note, the progress of the Viet Minh (called the Viet Cong by Americans) in overthrowing the hated Roman Catholic, U.S. Puppet government centered in Saigon, was relatively slow until the U.S. decided to give more and better arms to the South Vietnamese army and its militia subsidiaries. The Viets were able to capture large quantities of American weapons and ammunition during 1964, which they used to almost destroy the South Viet army in 1965. That's why Lyndon Johnson suddenly had to send hundreds of thousands of U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam in 1966; otherwise the war would have been over in '66, with 2 million or so less casualties.
Now President Barack Obama is following the advice of the idiots who pass for his military advisors: he is arming the police and troops of his puppet government in Kabul. But anyone who is honest and has been in Afghanistan will tell you that Kabul's guys are afraid of the Taliban, even when better armed. Which means that is fast as the U.S. issues arms and ammunition to its "allies," those arms will be used against U.S. troops.
The bad guys (that's us, the U.S.) will still have a military advantage since the Taliban won't have helicopters and jet bombers, or even artillery and tanks. What they have shown a lot of, however, is courage. The American method of fighting is to call in air and artillery support. The Vietnamese found they could defeat American soldiers by fighting close up, preferably hand-to-hand. Then air support is useless. If the Taliban shifts to that tactic, the U.S. troops will be in trouble. Obama will have to send in another 200,000 just to stay even. That will play well into the hands of the Saudi game. The goal of this war all along was to bankrupt America. They have made a lot of progress on that goal in the past decade.