The Spark

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

Afghanistan:
“Blunders” every day of the war

Sep 8, 2008

On August 22, coalition troops under U.S. command carried out murderous bombing in the Shindand district in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman declared after its investigation, “We did not kill up to 90 civilians as has been alleged.”

A U.N. inquiry, however, “found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men. 15 other villagers were wounded or otherwise injured.... Local residents were able to confirm the number of casualties, including names, age and gender of the victims.”

In July, two bombings in the east of the country caused 64 civilian victims, of whom 47 were going to a wedding, including 39 women and children.

The government of Hamid Karzai announced that it wished “to renegotiate the terms of the international presence in Afghanistan.” This is a way of distancing himself from these “blunders” that set the population not only against the foreign armies but also against the Afghan government.

After the August 22 bombing, the inhabitants of the region threw rocks at the Afghan soldiers who came to aid them, saying, “The Afghan army is our enemy. We don’t want anything from our enemies.”

But “blunders” are inseparable from the operations of occupation troops. For them, as in all “pacification” operations, every inhabitant is a potential enemy, every village is a refuge for terrorists. And the longer the occupation lasts, the more this will become true – and the more tragic it becomes for the Afghan population.