The Massacre of the Afghan 17 and the Obama Cover-Up
By James Petras March 27, 2012
The March 11 Massacre of the 17 Afghan citizens, including at least nine children and four women, raises many fundamental issues about the nature of a colonial war, the practices of a colonial army engaged in a prolonged (eleven-year) occupation and the character of an imperial state as it commits war crimes and increasingly relies on arbitrary dictatorial measures to secure public compliance and suppress dissent.
After the cold-blooded murder of the 17 Afghan villagers in Kandahar Province the US military and the ever-complicit Obama regime constructed an elaborate cover-up, exposing the Administration up to charges of conspiracy to suppress the essential facts, falsify data and obstruct justice: All are grounds for criminal prosecution and impeachment.
This massacre is just one of several hundred committed by US armed forces according to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. It could ruin the Obama presidency, by putting him on trial for conspiracy to obstruct justice and arguably send him to jail for war crimes.
Obama’s deliberate lies about the events surrounding the massacre and the fundamental responsibility of the high military command for the crimes committed by its troops underscores the breakdown of the occupation of Afghanistan, the very centerpiece of Obama’s war policy. The President of the United States has personally played a major role in the cover-up. From a political vantage point, the executive conspiracy charge has wider and deeper implications than the massacre itself, as horrible as it is.
John Landon - www.shannonwatch.org
The killing of at least 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, by a 38 year old US army Staff Sergeant near Kandahar in Afghanistan was an appalling act of brutality and will have inevitable repercussions. US military spokespersons described the perpetrator as deranged, but sadly his actions follow a pattern of murder and human rights abuse by US and NATO personnel and the people they train. In 2011 a group of American soldiers were found to have been part of a "kill team" that deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport. In January of this year a video surfaced showing US marines urinating on the corpses of three insurgents. And earlier this month the UN reported that NATO and Afghan security forces were between them responsible for 410 civilian deaths in 2011. This was about 14% of the total number of civilians killed in the country.
Not only was the killing of 16 innocent people on Sunday deranged, the entire war waged by the US and NATO against Afghanistan could also be described as deranged and inappropriate from the beginning.
“Violent conflicts such as this do have the effect of destroying the lives of the victims but also of deranging the minds of the soldiers taking part” said Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch. “The Mai Lai Massacre in Vietnam, the wanton destruction and killings in Fallujah and the prisoner abuses in Abu Graib, Guantanamo and Baghram are just some examples. There are always more appropriate ways of creating international peace than by inflicting wars on so many innocent peoples.”
“As a result of this and other atrocities committed by NATO Forces in Afghanistan, nowhere is safe there now for US and other foreign troops and aid workers.”
Why the United States is never held to account for its atrocities
By Glenn Greenwald
US army staff sergeant Robert Bales is accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers, including nine children, and then burning some of the bodies. The massacre took place in two villages in the southern rural district of Panjwai.
That is because the US almost immediately whisked the accused out of Afghanistan and brought him to an American army base in Fort Leavensworth, Kansas.
It is hard to imagine any nation on the planet reacting any other way to being denied the ability to try suspects over crimes that take place on its soil. A Taliban commander quickly gave voice to that nationalistic fury, announcing: "We want this soldier to be prosecuted in Afghanistan. The Afghans should prosecute him."
readers must be confused by the heading of Lara Marlow’s dispatch (17 March) - ‘Bin Laden plot to kill Obama and Petraeus revealed’ – given that 70% of the piece is given over to America’s ongoing “troubles in Afghanistan” and the recent horrific killing of 16 civilians in Kandahar province.
While the piece reports on what allegedly was discussed by telephone between Presidents Obama and Karzai on Friday it misses a key issue and concludes disappointingly by joining the media frenzy around the story of the ‘deranged’ lone gunman suspect.
What is missing is the fact that at a press conference on Friday, a clearly pressurised Karzai also criticised the US for not cooperating with the Afghan fact finding team and claimed of witness’s reports of several groups of US soldiers being involved in the killings. Press TV has since reported that “two members of the fact-finding mission, Hamidzi Lali and Shakila Hashemi, told the general meeting of Afghanistan’s parliament on Saturday that the American troopers raped two Afghan women before starting the massacre and that between 15 to 20 US soldiers were involved in the carnage.”
It seems strange that a lone staff sergeant could have so easily left his army base undetected, walked several kilometres and quickly murdered, mutilated and burned so many people in two separate villages. Of course these claims of multiple killers may be exaggerated or not even true but it is the duty of the media to investigate and report them. Whichever account is true it is the deranged US led war on the Afghan people that is to blame for this carnage - just as it was in the massacres of Fallujah, Haditha, My Lai etc.
Afghanistan’s Bloody Sunday
Protests have erupted in Afghanistan in outrage at the news of the killing of 16 civilians in the villages of Alkozai and Najeeban in the south of the country.
In the early hours of Sunday morning at least one US soldier murdered them in their beds.
Nine were children. Most were shot in the head. Their bodies were then wrapped in blankets and set alight.
The villages are over three miles apart. Early reports quoted witnesses saying a number of soldiers were involved and that helicopters were flying overhead during the attack.
Afghan guards also report seeing the sergeant accused of the attack taking two trips out of the base that night. He returned from one at 12.30am then left again at 2am.
How many civilian massacres does it take to see the systematic savagery of US soldiers?
By Nima Shirazi
The world is used to bad news and always has been, but now and then there occurs something so brutal, so outside the normal limits of what used to be called man's inhumanity to man, that you have to look away. Then you force yourself to look and see and only one thought is possible: This must stop now. You wonder, how can we do it? And your mind says, immediately: Whatever it takes.
The brutal, inhuman event she was referring to was the killing in the Iraqi city of Fallujah of four American civilian contractors, whose SUV was ambushed by rocket-propelled grenades the day before. The four men, all employees of the infamous mercenary outfit Blackwater, were shot, their bodies burned, mutilated, and dragged through the streets in celebration. The charred corpses of two of those killed that day were strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River. The news, and accompanying photographs, sent shockwaves of horror and disgust through the United States and prompted endless editorials from coast to coast.