Monday, July 30, 2007

AFGHANISTAN: Anger at U.S. rises with civilian casualties

Anger at U.S. rises with civilian casualties

By Caleb T. Maupin
Published May 21, 2007 10:13 PM
“Foreign troops are killing Afghans every day,” said Haji Ibrahim, a resident of a village in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. On May 8 he endured the terror of an air strike by U.S. planes against his village.

The U.S. government first claimed that only “terrorists” and “al-Qaeda fighters” were killed in the bombings. A Pentagon media release claimed “three terrorist compounds were destroyed.”

Residents of the area reported that three local homes had been hit and contained scores of dead bodies. “There were no Taliban in our area,” said another local resident, who, like Ibrahim, spoke to the Middle Eastern newspaper Alarab.

The governor in charge of the region—part of the U.S.-sponsored regime—has placed the blame on the Afghan resistance fighters he called “the Taliban.” He is reported to have said that because the resistance fighters hid and didn’t remain out in the open to be bombed by U.S. forces, therefore they—not the U.S. invaders—were responsible for the deaths.

On May 10 Reuters quoted witnesses who estimated that a total of 40 people were killed in this massacre, though the number could be much larger.

A Pakistani web news source stated, “There is growing alarm over a wave of U.S. bombing raids in which 110 civilians have died in the past two weeks. Twenty-one people were killed last week after U.S. Special Forces called in air strikes on the town of Sangin in Helmand province.” (

The same day that its planes were attacking the village in Helmand province, the U.S. military was forced to apologize to the families of 19 people killed and 50 wounded in March by Marine Special Forces who fired on civilians in eastern Afghanistan.

It announced it would pay compensation for the dead—$2,000 per body.

“We don’t want their money and apologies. If somebody loses one of his family members, an apology won’t bring him back,” said Haji Lawania, who was injured in the shooting and whose father and nephew were killed. (AP, May 9)

The Pentagon also says it is looking into reports from Afghan officials that 51 civilians died in air strikes and fighting in the western province of Herat last month.

Legislators call for withdrawal
Demonstrations against the Bush administration and the U.S.-installed regime of Hamid Karzai are growing inside Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan. This mass anger pushed legislators in Afghanistan’s upper house to pass a resolution on May 9 calling for an immediate cease-fire, negotiations with the Taliban, and the setting of a date for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Since the 2001 U.S. invasion, said one Afghan civilian, the country has not been rebuilt to the point of even having paved roads. “My province has only dirt roads and it takes me nine to 10 hours to get from Kabul, when if we had proper roads it would be three.”

The U.S. funded and trained a mercenary “contra” army to overthrow the 1978 democratic revolution in Afghanistan, led by the People’s Democratic Party. That revolution built roads, opened up literacy for women, and aligned with the socialist bloc.

Today, under U.S. and British military occupation, Afghan civilians are being killed daily and countless others are held in prisons where human rights are violated and torture is carried out.

Resistance to the occupying force of 50,000—mostly U.S. and British troops—has grown. In the month of January this year, according to the China Post, there were three times as many attacks on them as the same time last year.

With resistance flowing strong in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bolivarian socialism gaining strength in Venezuela, Zimbabwe standing up to the colonialists and imperialists, and increasing anguish and anger on the “home front” in the United States, it is clear that imperialism is in crisis.

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