US-Committed Atrocities in Afghanistan - by Stephen Lendman
After General Stanley McChrystal took charge of US/NATO Afghan forces last June, systematic atrocities escalated sharply after promises of kinder, gentler killing (an oxymoron), winning hearts and minds, and fewer civilian casualties as a "paramount" objective - now much higher the result of more than a fourfold increase in night raids, targeting civilians, including children, while they sleep.
McChrystal's resume exposed his history - death squad terror, mostly against civilians, the same counterinsurgency he waged throughout Iraq as Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), especially in Al-Anbar Province that increased violence to curb it.
It's no surprise for a man this writer earlier called "a hired gun, an assassin, a man known for committing war crime atrocities as (JSOC) head" - since 1980 comprised of Army Delta Force and Navy Seal units, killers to reign terror on vulnerable targets, mainly civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and earlier in Vietnam as part of Operation Phoenix. More on that below.
Rare On-the-Ground Reports
The London Times Kabul-based Jerome Starkey reports what major US media accounts suppress. For example, his March 15 commentary headlined, "Survivors of family killed in Afghanistan raid threaten suicide attacks."
The incident involved the February 12 killing of two pregnant women, a teenage girl, a policeman and his brother. "No one has claimed responsibility (and) A US official in Kabul refused to" say for reasons of national security, the usual cover-up for high crimes and misdemeanors prohibited for any reason.
This time, survivors were paid off for their loss, but family head Haji Sharabuddin wants justice, not money, and to get it "will....do suicide attacks and (the whole province) will support us."
Starkey debunked the official story about the raid being a mistake. These were targeted assassinations, the same kinds rampant daily on the ground and by drone-launched missiles, mostly against civilians called Taliban or Al Qaeda militants.
Sayed Mohammed Mal, Gardez University's vice-chancellor, told Starkey that he once thought these type raids safeguarded Afghans, what he now knows isn't so after members of his own family were killed. "I realize I was wrong," he said. "Now I accept the things (other) people told me. I hate (foreign forces). I hate the Government" that tolerates them.
According to the dead policeman's son, Abdul Ghafar, "My father was friends with the Americans and they killed him....I want to kill them. I want the killers brought to justice." Another victim's father, Mohammed Tahir, said "They teach us human rights, then they kill a load of civilians. They didn't come here to end terrorism. They are terrorists."
A March 8 Starkey article titled, "Karzai offers families 'blood money' for sons killed in raid" told a similar story about other victims - "nine children killed (aged 12 - 18) in a brutal night raid" called a mistake - a cold-blooded one murdering children while they slept, shot in their beds, or dragged to another room and killed. Also, Abdul Khaliq, a neighboring farmer, was gunned down when he ran out of his house during the raid.
During the February Marja campaign, Operation Moshtarak killed 19 civilians. US Special Forces bombed three minibuses in Oruzgan province, killing at least 27 more, at times apologizing when victims are revealed as noncombatants.
As for the reported successful US offensive, New York Times writer Richard Oppel's April 3 article headlined otherwise, saying: "Violence Helps Taliban Undo Afghan Gains," explaining "how little (control) Marines (have) outside their own outposts," the Taliban as dominant as ever. So much so that "Even the Marines admit to being somewhat flummoxed," Brig. General Larry Nicholson saying "Most people here identify themselves as Taliban," stopping short of acknowledging widespread hostility to occupation.
Starkey's April 19, 2009 article headlined "Botched Afghan raid kills mother and (her brother-in-law and three) children (one a new-born)" in Khost province - another "mistake" the Pentagon conceded, the same kind made daily, always against civilians, admitted only as damage control, the official lie, when cover-up doesn't work.
A late December Kunar province massacre killed 8 children, dragged from their beds and shot in cold blood, some of them handcuffed. The Pentagon called them terrorists, making improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They were kids, students, in grades six through 10 (aged 11 - 17), eight from the same family. After speaking to their school headmaster, a government investigator said: