Jan 21, 2002
The Bush administration may have declared a unilateral victory over the Taliban on December 16, designed to coincide with the festival marking the end of Ramadan. But it is over a month later and the U.S. continues to bomb the country, even if it is on a more limited scale.
Under the pretext of hunting down bin Laden, the remaining al-Qaeda fighters and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, the U.S. continues to bomb whole villages into the ground in eastern Afghanistan. For example, the English-language Pakistani newspaper, Dawn News, reported that 65 villagers were killed on the 20th of December, 40 on the 27th, over 100 on the 31st, and 32 on the 4th of January. On January 10th and 11th the U.S. bombed the town of Zhawar and its surrounding area intensively, forcing people to flee into Pakistan. All these raids took place in predominantly Pashtun areas close to the Pakistani border.
As in so many other military ventures, the number of casualties and the real extent of the damage caused by the U.S. bombings will probably never be known – and certainly not from the big-business-owned U.S. media, which has no interest in reporting the number of ordinary people being killed. Nor are we told the indirect effects of the war, particularly among the refugee population.
The civilians killed were not accidents in the “hunt for terrorists.” They were the target. U.S. bombing around Kabul is aimed at subduing the population around the capital, so that this new government can pretend to govern – or at least remain in place in Kabul.
Even now, the various warlords on whom the new power rests show signs of being ready to resume the bloody feuds in which they turned Afghanistan into a killing field between l992 and l996. This is the new “democratic” government the U.S. has installed. This is the “peace” that U.S. bombs brought to Afghanistan.