U.S. Leading The Terror In Afghanistan
By Ghali Hassan
12 August, 2010
"We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a real threat to our force”. General Stanley McChrystal, former U.S.-NATO commander in Afghanistan
The U.S.-led war on Afghanistan is like the U.S.-led war on Iraq; to destroy the country and to indiscriminately kill large numbers of Afghan civilians. The aim is to terrorise the civilian population into submission using the so-called “War on Terrorism” as a cover-up for a U.S.-led war of terror.
According to media reports, the number of Afghan civilians killed by U.S.-NATO troops has more than doubled this year. U.S.-NATO forces killed seventy-two civilians in the first three months of 2010, compared to twenty-nine during the same period in 2009. At least 6000 civilians were killed in 2009. While Western media often blames the “Taliban”, Afghan media sources and few Western media outlets continue to report crimes committed by U.S.-led NATO forces. The following are selected cases as part of an ongoing bloodbath in Afghanistan.
On 27 December 2009, “American Special Forces” with helicopters landed at Ghazi Khan Village in Narang district of the eastern Province of Kunar and took ten people from three homes, eight of them were school students in grades six, nine and ten, and one of them was a guest, the rest from the same family. They handcuffed them before murdering them in cold blood, according to a statement on U.S.-installed “President” Hamed Karzai’s website. According to Jerome Starkey of The Times (31 December 2009): “At around 1 am, three nights ago, some American troops with helicopters left Kabul and landed around 2km away from the village. [...] The troops walked from the helicopters to the houses and, according to my investigation, they gathered all the students from two rooms, into one room, and opened fire.” (See also, Nieman Watchdog).
As always, U.S.-NATO officials have denied civilians were killed, but Afghan investigators said nearly all those killed were school-age boys. A statement released by Hamid Karzai’s office said that a unit of U.S.-NATO forces descended from a plane Sunday night into Ghazi Khan Village and took ten people from three homes shot them dead.
On 12 February 2010, in pre-dawn attack, U.S.-NATO forces killed two pregnant mothers, a teenage girl and two local officials in a pre-dawn attack in Khataba, just outside Gardez. Two children who survived the initial attack, slowly bled to death denied medical care. The invading forces then tried to cover-up the murder by claiming that the three pregnant women had been discovered bound and gagged, murdered execution style. According to The Times (05 April 2010), U.S.-NATO forces have “admitted responsibility for all the deaths for the first time last night”.
On 08 May 2010, The New York Times, which often downplays U.S. war crimes, including the atrocity in Afghanistan, revealed that: “Shootings of Afghan civilians by American and NATO convoys at military checkpoints have spiked sharply this year, becoming the leading cause of combined civilian deaths and injuries at the hands of Western forces”. At least twenty-eight Afghans civilians have been killed and forty-three wounded at checkpoints this year. Afghan civilian casualties jumped by 33 percent in a recent month-long period. There were 173 civilian deaths reported from March 21 to April 21 this year.
On 19 June 2010, The New York Times reported that: “Ten civilians, including at least five women and children, were killed in U.S.-NATO airstrikes in Khost Province, the provincial police chief said Saturday. Five other civilians were killed, as were two Afghan National Army soldiers and two police officials, in other violence around the country on Saturday”.
The Associate Press reported on 09 July 2010, U.S.-NATO forces killed six Afghan civilians and wounded several others in Jani Khel district of Paktia Province in eastern Afghanistan in what described as and artillery shells “went astray”. The attack was “just one day after six Afghan soldiers died in a botched NATO airstrike”. Initially, the U.S. government and the media tried to bury the story and U.S. leaders denied that civilians were killed. It has become nearly impossible to conceal Western-perpetuated war crimes against defenceless population.
On 24 July 2010, according to Afghan National Directorate for Security, as many as 52 innocent Afghan civilians killed and many more were seriously injured in a U.S.-NATO a missile strike in Rigi village in Sangin district of southern Helmand Province. According to a local press release; “Based on reports by the National Directorate of Security, a house in Rigi village in Sangin district of southern province of Helmand was hit with a rocket launched by NATO/ISAF troops leaving 52 civilians dead including women and children”. Men, women and children were massacred as they took cover, according to the, said the press release.
0n 04 August 2010, more than a dozen Afghan civilians were killed in a night-time raid by U.S. troops in Sherzad district in the Nangahar Province in eastern Afghanistan, reported the Los Angeles Times on 06 August 2010. It is possible that the number of civilians killed in the raid is much higher than it was originally reported.
These were not few isolated massacres of innocent civilians, but rather part of U.S. ongoing terror against the people of Afghanistan. Evidence shows that the U.S. has always deliberately and indiscriminately targeted the civilian population in its wars against defenceless nations for political gains. The deliberate and systematic destruction of Iraq, including the mass murder of millions of innocent Iraqi civilians (the majority women and children) and the displacement and disappearance of at least 5 million Iraqis as a result of premeditated war of aggression and thirteen years of U.S.-enforced genocidal sanctions (a U.S.-enforced infanticide) followed by seven years of murderous Occupation is a case in point.
It is true that U.S. crimes are often ignored or downplayed by Western media. However, most of the information about U.S.-led NATO war crimes in Afghanistan, which the organisation Wikileaks took credit for publishing, is available on the Internet and in some of the print media. There are no new “revelations”. Wikileaks provides confirmations of U.S.-led barbarism against defenceless civilian population.
The Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary, which details a large portion of U.S.-NATO war crimes in more than 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010 is a slap in the face of those, including “progressive” opportunists and colonial feminists, who claim that the war on Afghanistan is for the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people and “democracy”. But, Westerners don’t really care about their governments committing war crimes abroad, especially if the victims are women and children with brown skin colour.
Today’s Western citizens are carefully manipulated and are too ignorant to care about others. As the philosopher, Bertrand Russell observed: “It is the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know and care about circumstances in the colonies”. People, particularly in the West, are conditioned not to think and not to ask questions. They are fed a daily diet to promote consumerism and militarism. It is a type of brainwashing that Adolf Hitler and his henchmen would have been proud of. That is why war criminals like George W. Bush, Tony Blair – who has become a multi-millionaire from the proceeds of his crimes – and the Australian John Howard were re-elected to power while their armies were involved in two bloodbaths against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to a new epidemiological study concerning the population of Iraq found that, as a result of the use of weapons of mass destructions (WMD), such as “Depleted Uranium” (DU) by U.S. forces on the Iraqi civilian population in Fallujah, the rates of infant mortality, fatal deformities and cancer (mainly Leukaemia) are much higher than those reported by Japanese survivors of the atomic bombs attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 7, 2010, PDF). Like the criminal attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the attack on Fallujah is a criminal act of terrorism on an epic scale.
While Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary confirms the U.S. and its allies as bloodthirsty invaders by providing a large and comprehensive summary of information of war crimes, there is nothing new or “top secret” about U.S. militarised violence. The U.S. is the most militarised and dangerous outlaw nation in the world today, second only to the fascist regime in Israel. The U.S. spends more money on its offensive military than all other countries in the world combined, while millions of Americans live in extreme poverty. The stated aim is to project violence on a global scale. U.S. leaders are addicted to violence and there are only a few bloodthirsty fascists outside the U.S. military. “It is fun to shoot some people”, said General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command who has a long and violent record of war crimes against defenceless civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just listen to testimonies by U.S. soldiers themselves to validate their war crimes.
The enormity of the war crimes in Afghanistan even forced the most violent people in U.S. military to tell the truth. Before his dismissal, former U.S.-NATO commander, Stanley McChrystal, admitted that: “[I]n the nine-plus months I’ve been here [in Afghanistan], not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it”. McChrystal was not a saint; he was an assassin. He was replaced by a more violent commander, Gen. David Petraeus, who promised to escalate the violence in order to subdue the Afghan Resistance and forced them to make a deal with Washington.
Furthermore, in an Op-Ed for The New York Times (05 August 2009), former army officers and supporters of U.S.-led war on defenceless nations, David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum have called for a halt on civilian killing. Quoting Pakistani sources, they write that, U.S. unmanned drones had “killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed, a hit rate of 2 percent – hardly ‘precision’”. They believe too much violence is exposing the true goal of U.S. imperialist ideology which is to control Afghanistan’s geostrategic position in Central Asia.
The principle of U.S. Christian-fascist ideology has always been to intervene in other nations’ affairs, using military threat, terrorism and overwhelming violence against the civilian population. U.S. politicians and U.S. apologists justify this “policy of barbarism” as U.S. “exceptionalism” or U.S. “right”, which is based on the false assumption that the U.S. and its allies can dominate and change societies through violence and suffering. For example, despite overwhelming evidence of needless bloodbath in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. government and U.S. vassals continue to insist that their wars on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are “morally and politically justifiable” wars, using the manipulative rhetoric of “democracy” and “human rights” as a cover.
What the Afghan War Diary does, it supports the C.I.A. propaganda and provides U.S. Zionist leaders with ammunition to attack Pakistan and Iran. It is possible that the C.I.A. and the Pentagon use Wikileaks to spread anti-Pakistan and anti-Iran propaganda. In fact, the C.I.A. has a history of leaking false information to manipulate public opinion and cover-up U.S. war crimes. According to Wikileaks co-founder, Julian Assange: “We contacted the White House as a group before we released this material and asked them to help assist in going through it to make sure that no innocent names came out, and the white House did not accept that request”. So, where is the “top secret” or “classified” information?
In reality, the U.S. and the British governments expressed no serious interest in the Afghan War Diary and have criticised Pakistan alleged support for the “Taliban”. However, Western politicians and Western media use the Afghan War Diary to threatened and warn ordinary people who oppose the war. Wikileaks is being accused of “moral culpability” as if Western leaders who were responsible for the premeditated mass murder of millions of Afghan and Iraqi civilians are Christian saints. George Bush, Tony Blair and their accomplices should be arrested and tried for war crimes.
U.S. President Barack Obama used Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary to announce “change in strategy”. The President pleaded for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation to fund the war on Afghanistan for another year. Thirty-six hours after Wikileaks released the Afghan War Diary, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that funds the bloodbath in Afghanistan with extra $33 billion and 30,000 more troops.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has accused Pakistan of “exporting” of terrorism, forgetting his own country’s complicity in terrorism and the mass slaughters of innocent Afghan and Iraqi civilians. Credible media sources revealed that the U.S. and Britain are secretly financing and arming different groups through the increase in the cultivation and trafficking of narcotic drug. (See: Peter Dale Scott, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, April 5, 2010). According to Russian and Iranian media sources, the U.S. earn “about $50 billion a year from trafficking in drugs often transported out of Afghanistan in body bags on American planes”. The U.S.-NATO aim is to prolong the violence and justify long-term occupation of the region (Daniella Peled, The Guardian, 25 May 2010) using the pretext of “terrorism” as a cover.
The fact that, the West’s major pro-war newspapers, the British Guardian, the Zionist New York Times and the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel have been contacted first to publish the so-called “revelations” is suspicious. Indeed, the Guardian and the New York Times have called for the escalation of the war. “It’s very strange that such a large cache of information can be leaked to the [mainstream] media so conveniently. Is something deliberate? What is its purpose? We’ll be looking into that”, a Pakistani official familiar with the Wikileaks’ “revelations” told Declan Walsh of the Guardian. The information serves the U.S. purpose of targeting Pakistan and Iran, both fingered by Wikileaks of supporting the “Taliban”. Of course, India and Israel couldn’t be happier.
The Afghan War Diary plays in the hands of the anti-Muslims warmongers. According to The Guardian: “A huge cache of secret U.S. military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency“. Where is the evidence? Can anyone imagine the Guardian accusing the U.S. of fuelling the Afghan Resistance (the so-called, “Mujahideen”) against Soviet troops? The allegation that Pakistan’s intelligence agency is arming and training the “Taliban” is a falsehood. Western media and politicians have become addicted on attacking Pakistan and deliberately making false accusations against Pakistan in order to deflect attention away from their own crimes.
It is important to remember that Pakistan (a Muslim nation) is forced (by the U.S.) to participate in U.S.-led war not only against the people of Afghanistan but also against its own people and Pakistan vital strategic interests. Since the U.S. illegal invasion of Afghanistan, “Pakistan has lost more soldiers than the combined losses suffered by foreign forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and five times more civilians than those lost in the 9/11 strikes, which eminently reflect on Pakistan’s commitment to the war on terror”, writes Javed Hussain, a retired officer in the Pakistan Army. For each targeted assassination by U.S. drones in Pakistan, 140 innocent Pakistani civilians were also killed in a deliberate act of terrorism. According to Pakistani media, attacks by U.S. drones killed 708 people in 44 attacks targeting the Pakistani tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009. “On average, 58 civilians were killed in these attacks every month, 12 persons every week and almost two people every day”. (Dawn, 02 January 2010). Meanwhile, the leader of the Pakistani corrupted elites (President Asif Ali Zardari) is visiting European leaders – his nation’s enemies – at a time when the Pakistani people are struggling to cope with the worst-ever floods in Pakistan’s history. Taking advantage of a corrupt government in Pakistan, U.S. leaders have extended their war into Pakistan, using the same pretext to cover-up the war on Afghanistan with dire consequences for the people of the region.
Afghanistan was not “a training camp for terrorists”, as it is often accused by Western politicians and Western media. The truth is, in 1979 the U.S. government of president Jimmy Carter began covert operation of training and arming warlords and militias against the democratically-elected Afghan government months before Soviet troops went into Afghanistan. In the early 1980s, the U.S. established a training base (‘al-Qaeda’) in Afghanistan to sabotage and fight the Soviet troops in the country, using militant fighters from around the world. They were named by the C.I.A. the “Mujahideen” to associate them with Islam. After the Soviets withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, the “Mujahideen” took control of the country and began a bloody infighting. The “Taliban” – funded and armed by the C.I.A. – defeated the “Mujahideen” in a criminal war that ravaged the country. According to C.I.A. officials, there are no more than 100 ‘al-Qaeda’ fighters in Afghanistan today. (For an analysis, see: Michael Parenti, Afghanistan, Another Untold Story). The linking Afghanistan to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. is a flawed argument.
There is no evidence to prove Afghanistan’s or any other Muslim nation involvement in the 9/11 attacks. All Muslim nations and organisations have unequivocally condemned the attacks. In order to commit attacks like 9/11, one needs state-of-the-art resources and well-connected contacts. The official story remains unsubstantiated and unproven.
Overwhelming evidence shows that the Israeli Mossad agents, the C.I.A. and influential U.S. Zionists in the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Early this year, Israeli Mossad agents were able to acquire and counterfeited more than twenty foreign passports to murder a Palestinian politician Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, an act of terrorism that was condoned by several Western nations. Israel is the only nation which welcomed the 9/11 attacks. “It is very good” for Israel, said Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Israeli Prime Minister. (See: Christopher Ketcham, CounterPunch, 07 March 2007).
The 9/11 attacks were used as an “opportunity” not only to justify war against Muslim nations, but also to instil fear and disseminate anti-Muslim propaganda. Many People, including most Americans have been coerced and indoctrinated to believed that it was morally justified to attack Afghanistan and Iraq as a response to the 9/11 attacks. The argument advanced by Western politicians and Western media that, “We were attacked and we have to fight back” is preposterous.
According to Marjorie Cohn, a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, the U.S. and its allies have no case for self-defence, because: “The necessity for self-defence must be ‘instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice for means, and had no moment for deliberation’”. Like the war on Iraq, the war on Afghanistan constitutes an act of illegal aggression in violation of UN Charter and international law.
According to credible media and NGOs reports, the Afghan Resistance against the U.S.-NATO war is a collection of native Afghani movements, legitimately fighting to liberate their land from foreign invaders. There are no “terrorist bases” in Afghanistan that threaten Western societies. The biggest terrorist bases in the world are not in Muslim nations, they are in Washington and Tel Aviv. From there, nearly all terror operations are organised and financed. The two countries are war-hungry and rightly viewed by the majority of world’s people as the two greatest threats to world’s peace and stability.
Meanwhile, a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights claims over two-thirds of Afghans live in dire poverty. The report criticises the “international community” for emphasizing security over development and also cites widespread corruption within the U.S.-installed puppet government of warlords and criminals. The ‘National Survey 2010’ by Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) revealed that, under the Occupation, corruption has worsened, particularly in the police, justice, health, and education sectors where the Occupation authorities exert most power. Corruption, of course, is one of imperialism’s most effective tools to control the occupied population, violence is the other. There is no occupation without a corrupted and criminal puppet government. It is not coincident that Afghanistan and Iraq are ranked very high among the most corrupt countries in the world.
Finally, the U.S.-NATO Occupation is responsible for the worst human rights abused, including torture, rape and denial of personal freedom. Moreover, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor reported: “In terms of insecurity, 2010 has been the worst year since the demise of the Taliban regime in late 2001”. Security is the new pretext for the ongoing Occupation. Women rights have all but disappeared even before the Occupation.
The situation for women (one of the pretexts to invade Afghanistan is to “liberate” Afghan women) is far worse than before the invasion. The U.S.-backed “Mujahideen” and “Taliban” warlords have reversed all the gains that had been made in 1970s and the 1980s under the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) progressive government of Noor Mohammad Taraki. It is shameful, that Western politicians, academics and colonial feminists use women rights to advocate for ongoing Occupation of Afghanistan.
If anything, conditions have gotten worse for children in Afghanistan since the invasion. According to a report by UNICEF, under U.S.-NATO Occupation, Afghanistan is the worst place for children to be born. The report says: “Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world with 257 deaths per 1,000 live births, and 70 percent of Afghans have access to clean water” The country “is especially dangerous for girls”, added the report. One-quarter of Afghan children will not reach the age of five, and life expectancy for Afghans is only 44 years. A new study says nearly two out of every three male youths jailed in Afghanistan are physically abused. The children’s rights organization Terre des Hommes says its findings are based on interviews with 40 percent of all those jailed in Afghan juvenile detention centres. One hundred thirty out of 208 male youths said they had been beaten since their arrest.
The vast majority of the people of Afghanistan (and Pakistan) have rejected the Occupation and demanding an end to the presence of foreign troops in their countries. After nine years of murderous Occupation, opposition to the U.S.-led terror in Afghanistan is also rising among the populations of the countries involved in the Occupation. The latest Gallup opinion poll shows support for the Obama Administration’s war policy has declined from 48 per cent in February 2010 to 36 per cent. Moreover, 43 per cent of Americans believe the war was illegal. In Britain, 72 per cent of the public opposes Britain involvement in the Occupation and the ongoing terror in Afghanistan.
The U.S. has inflicted great suffering on the people of Afghanistan. It is time for U.S. leaders and U.S. allies in the war on Afghanistan to renounce the use of violence and terrorism, and withdraw their forces from Afghanistan. The U.S. should concentrate instead on developing friendly and peaceful relations with all nations based on mutual respect and broad common interests to safeguard world peace.
Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.