This incident embodies to me, so much of what is wrong with US military imperialism and our war on terror and the wars that both major candidates have pledged to continue to pursue. I can’t seem to let this one go. You should have heard of the horrible incident of the US murdering 90 people in their sleep in Afghanistan a while back. Estimates have more or less 60 of them as women and children. See here for my initial post on this on 8/27:
Now, surprisingly, the New York Times has come out with a nice article supporting evidence that the US did indeed massacre numerous civilians in that raid, and not 25 taliban and 5 civilians as they first proclaimed.
Carlotta Gall wrote this:
To the villagers here, there is no doubt what happened in an American airstrike on Aug. 22: more than 90 civilians, the majority of them women and children, were killed.
The Afghan government, human rights and intelligence officials, independent witnesses and a United Nations investigation back up their account, pointing to dozens of freshly dug graves, lists of the dead, and cellphone videos and other images showing bodies of women and children laid out in the village mosque.
Cellphone images seen by this reporter show at least 11 dead children, some apparently with blast and concussion injuries, among some 30 to 40 bodies laid out in the village mosque. Ten days after the airstrikes, villagers dug up the last victim from the rubble, a baby just a few months old. Their shock and grief is still palpable.
For two weeks, the United States military has insisted that only 5 to 7 civilians, and 30 to 35 militants, were killed in what it says was a successful operation against the Taliban: a Special Operations ground mission backed up by American air support.
Gall goes on to document the evidence from several sources including this one for example:
Yakhakhan, 51, one of several men in the village working for a private security firm, and who uses just one name, said he heard shooting and was just coming out of his house when he saw his neighbor’s sons running.
“They were killed right here; they were 10 and 7 years old,” he said. In the compound next to his, he said, four entire families, including those of his two brothers, were killed. “They bombard us, they hate us, they kill us,” he said of the Americans. “God will punish them.”
She also documents alleged atrocities that turn the stomach:
A policeman, Abdul Hakim, whose four children were killed and whose wife was paralyzed, said she had told him how an Afghan informer accompanying the American Special Operations forces had entered the compound after the bombardment and shot dead her brother, Reza Khan; her father; and an uncle as they were trying to help her. She said she had heard her father plead for help and ask the Afghan: “Are you a Muslim? Why are you doing this to us?” Then she heard shots, and her father did not speak after that, he said.
Even now though, the military continues it’s sickening denial:
American military officials in Afghanistan and Washington have stood by their much lower body count. Capt. Christian Patterson, an American military spokesman at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, said that an investigating officer, a Special Forces major, visited the village after the airstrikes. Guided by aerial photographs, he visited six burial sites within a six-mile range of the attack; only one had any freshly dug graves, about 18 to 20 in total, Captain Patterson said. The 12-page investigative report does not indicate whether they were the graves of children or women. The officer did not interview villagers, he said.
Mr. Khan, whose house is just yards from the main graveyard, which contains 24 fresh graves, said no members of the American military had entered the village since Aug. 22. Villagers living around the graveyards would have seen them, he said.
Just remember this as the product of our tax dollars when you go to sleep at night. Let this image burn into your mind and heart and then try to put yourself into these people’s shoes:
A local journalist, Reza Shir Mohammadi, said that when he visited the village on the second day after the attack, women and children were still weeping at one collapsed house, saying they still had not found their mother and siblings.
God will not let these crimes go unnoticed people. Our turn will come.
Update: A grainy cell phone video is available now from a local physician the morning after the massacre. Many of the dead are shown.