You might say that the blame is complicated. What happened to the civilians was very simple:
“…skin burnt black and peeling off to expose raw red muscle. Others were so badly wounded, they were incapable of crying, with their badly burnt clothes stuck to their flesh.”
“Everyone around the fuel tanker died. Nobody was in one piece. Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere. Those who were away from the fuel tanker were badly burnt.”
Taliban fighters stole two fuel tankers full of diesel from foreign fighters in north central Afghanistan. One they got away with. One got stuck. So, the Taliban opened that tanker up to villagers nearby, telling them that they could take the fuel. Huge numbers of villagers swarmed to the tanker, carrying jugs and buckets – whatever containers they happened to have around their homes. It is said some Taliban fighters were still on top of it.
That’s when the bombing took place. An airplane operated by the coalition of foreign fighters attacked the stuck fuel tanker surrounded by civilians. Exactly what kind of weapon was used isn’t certain, but the tanker of diesel exploded as a result of the attack. Huge numbers of civilians died. Huge numbers were terribly injured.
Should the Taliban have hijacked the tankers? No. Should they have invited villagers to run up and take the fuel? No. Should the coalition of foreign fighters have bombed the tanker when it was surrounded by civilians? Some people are going to say yes, because that coalition is controlled by the U.S. military, or because there were Taliban there too, or because that’s just the sort of thing that happens in a war.
For me, I say no. I guess it’s a moral values thing.