The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

United Nations Investigators Charge U.S. With Trying to Cover Up Deadly Village Attacks

Aug 12, 2002

On July 1, U.S. military aircraft attacked four villages in Afghanistan killing at least 48 people and wounding 117. Recently, United Nations investigators supported the claims of Afghan village residents that the U.S. government repeatedly distorted and covered up what its military forces did.

First, the U.S. tried to downplay the extent of the attacks and the loss of life. Immediately following the attacks, the Pentagon claimed that only 5 people had been killed. Obviously, that was quickly shown to be a complete lie. So, the Pentagon tried to excuse the attacks. It claimed that Afghani villagers had fired on a U.S. gun ship patrolling over the area. But U.N. investigators found no evidence of ground fire at the scene. So, the U.S. military tried a different story: it claimed that the U.S. gunships had fired on the compound of what they thought was a Taliban leader. The only problem with that story was that the U.N. found that there was no evidence of Taliban fighters anywhere, and the compound that suffered the most destruction belonged to an anti-Taliban fighter. Most of the people killed or wounded by the U.S. military had been at a wedding celebration.

But that was not the end of the extent of the U.S. military’s cover-up. U.N. investigators also discovered that U.S. and allied Afghan military ground forces had entered three of the four villages immediately after the attack and carried out “a thorough ‘cleaning’ of the strike areas” that included removal of evidence of shrapnel, bullets and traces of blood from the victims of the air attacks. When U.S. military officials were confronted with that they came up with another story: They said they were only collecting all this as evidence. Yes, but evidence that obviously they didn’t want anyone else to see!

No, the U.S. massacre of July 1 and its efforts to cover it up only prove that like every occupying power throughout history, rather than supposedly bringing order to Afghanistan and rebuilding the country, as it claims, the U.S. is really just imposing its power, and the power of its Afghan warlord allies, on the population–through violence and terror.