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Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?

- DR. Abdul-Qayum Mohmand

CNN International News with Christiane Amanpour

Analysis of “CIA World Factbook” (1981-2012): Dimensions of anti-Pashtun Conspirac
US forces in Afghanistan nearly destroyed vital airfield
We Are Those Two Afghan Children, Killed by NATO While Tending Their Cattle
Former Islamist Warlord Vies for Afghan Presidency
Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban prisoner in effort to boost peace process
Losing the War in Afghanistan
Obama’s troop increase for Afghan war was misdirected
Afghan security vacuum feared along "gateway to Kabul"
Objections to U.S. Troops Intensify in Afghanistan
The Great Afghan corruption scam
War zone killing: Vets feel 'alone' in their guilt
Was Osama for Real? And Was He Killed in 2001?
Afghanistan withdrawal: The risks of retreat
The Real Reason the US Invaded Afghanistan
The Definition of a Quagmire
Huge Uncertainty' in Afghanistan
Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions In Afghanistan
Afghanistan: The Final Curtain Call for NATO?
Afghanistan After 9/11: A Mission Unaccomplished
Why Should Taliban and Other Insurgents Refrain from Negotiation With the US & NATO? By: Dr Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, Ph

Exclusive: Karzai family looks to extend boss rule in Afghanistan.

Intrigue in Karzai Family as an Afghan Era Closes
For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions
Double blow to west’s Afghan strategy
Does the Taliban need a diplomatic voice?
Afghanistan: Lessons in War and Peace-building for US
Afghan women opposed by former allies
Q+A - Haqqani: From White House guest to staunch U.S. enemy
Haqqanis: Growth of a militant network -BBC
Afghanistan shelves plans for ambassador accused of fraud
Afghan nominated as ambassador to Britain was accused in US of fraud
U.S. deal with Taliban breaks down
The Loneliness of the Afghan President: Karzai on His Own

NATO's Third Alternative in Afghanistan

On the Road: Interview with Commander Abdul Haq:- The Tragedy of Abdul Haq
When the Lion Roared: How Abdul Haq Almost Saved Afghanistan
AFGHAN WARRIOR: THE LIFE & DEATH OF ABDUL HAQ
Pakistan’s ISI: Undermining Afghan self-determination since 1948
Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan, Military Occupation, Corruption and the Rights of the Afghan People
M. Siddieq Noorzoy
Why Isn’t the UN Investigating and Prosecuting the U.S. and NATO for War Crimes Committed in Afghanistan?
Corruption and Warlordism:
Abdul Basir Stanikzai
In Afghanistan, U.S. contracts aren’t crystal balls, but they come close
The great Afghan carve-up
Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy
Terry Jones Actually Burns a Qur’an and No One Notices
Q+A-Are Afghan forces ready to take over security?
Guantánamo Bay files rewrite the story of Osama bin Laden's Tora Bora escape
Winning Afghan hearts, minds with explosives
Afghanistan’s Mercenaries
KABUL’S HORIZONS
Who is winning Afghanistan war? U.S. officials increasingly disagree
Afghanistan: The Trouble With The Transition
From the Archives: In Quest of a ‘Greater Tajikistan’
The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad
Afghanistan's Karzai complains about interference
Karzai, US ambassador at odds over private security

Karzai Tells Washington Post U.S. Should Reduce Afghan Operation Intensity

Excerpts from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Washington Post
What the Afghans Want
New US approach to Afghanistan insurgency: Vindication for Pakistan?
Putting Some Fight Into Our Friends
Afghans 'abused at secret prison
Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq
Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan
Canada’s elite commandos and the invasion of Afghanistan
U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder
Five myths about the war in Afghanistan
Marine who resigned over ‘conscience’ speaks at MU
The Afghan media may have grown since Taliban rule ended, but not so press freedoms
Mystery holes and angry ants: another Afghan day
Kabul Bank's Sherkhan Farnood feeds crony capitalism in Afghanistan
Marjah War
Operation Moshtarak: Which way the war in Afghanistan?
Q&A: Why Marjah, why now?
In Jalalabad, hope is fading
Seeking reconciliation, US units meet remote Afghanistan tribes
Once Again, Get the Hell Out! "Ending the War in Afghanistan"
Blackwater Kept a Prostitute on the Payroll in Afghanistan; Fraudulently Billed American Tax Payers
Wild West Motif Lightens US Mood at Afghan Bas
In southern Afghanistan, even the small gains get noticed
 Afghanistan war: US tries to undercut Taliban at tribal level
 Soviet lessons from Afghanistan
Are actions of 'super-tribe' an Afghan tipping point
Taliban: Terrorist or not? Not always easy to say
Q&A: Who else could help in Afghanistan?
Vietnam Replay on Afghan 'Defectors'
Washington's Refusal to Talk about Drone Strikes in Pakistan Meets Growing Opposition
Afghanistan summit: Why is the US backing talks with the Taliban?
Taliban's leadership council runs Afghan war from Pakistan
Why buy the Taliban?
2 Afghanistan conferences: No solutions
An Alternative to Endless War - Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?
Do the Taliban represent the Pashtuns?
Afghanistan asks ex-presidential contender to tackle corruption

Tehran Sets Conditions For Attending London Conference On Afghanista

Pakistan says reaches out to Afghan Taliban
Taking It to the Taliban
The Afghan Taliban's top leaders
How significant is Mullah Baradar's arrest?
Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
What's the Quetta Shura Taliban and why does it matter?
What's behind latest Taliban attack on Kabul? See Images of the Attack By WSJ

Pakistan Version of Islam and Taliban ?????
Lahore fashion week takes on Talibanization in Pakistan

Loyalties of Those Killed in Afghan Raid Remain Unclear

After Attack, Afghans Question Motives or See Conspiracies
Gates: Taliban part of Afghan ‘political fabric’

IG: Afghan power-plant project ill-conceived, mismanaged

Taliban intensifies Afghan PR campaign

Taliban Overhaul Their Image in Bid to Win Allies
Karzai plans to woo Taliban with 'land, work and pensions'
Peace scheme mooted for Taliban
Bombs and baksheesh
But By All Means, Continue the Happy Talk on the Afghanistan War
Karzai Closing in on Taliban Reconciliation Plan
Last Exit Kabul
How To Get Out Without Forsaking Afghanistan's Stability
Afghan Recovery Report: Taleban Buying Guns From Former Warlords

'Jesus Guns': Two More Countries Rethink Using Weapons with Secret Bible References

Gun bible quotes 'inappropriate'
Text of Joint declaration of Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral meeting
Garmsir Protest Shows Taleban Reach
Rugged North Waziristan harbors US enemies
The Arrogance of Empire, Detailed ( The Untold Story of Afghanistan )
Appointment of Afghan counter narcotics chief dismays British officials
In Afghanistan attack, CIA fell victim to series of miscalculations about informant
Rebuilding Afghanistan: Will government take hold in this post-Taliban town?
Rare bird discovered in Afghan mountains
Blackwater, now called Xe, in running for work in Afghanistan despite legal woes
How Soviet troops stormed Kabul palace
Afghan children 'die in fighting'
Afghanistan war: Russian vets look back on their experience
U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai 
Learning From the Soviets
U.S. faults Afghan corruption body's independence
Intensify fight against corruption, says Afghan meeting
Afghan ministers cleared of charges
Drone aircraft in a stepped-up war in Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Air Force Confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' Secret Stealth Drone Plane
Kissinger's fantasy is Obama's realit
Taliban shadow officials offer concrete alternative
Talking with the Taliban
20. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart
'Yes, there was torture and people were certainly beaten': Afghan warden
Why we should leave Afghanistan
US pours millions into anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan
Pakistan to US: Don't surge in Afghanistan, talk to Taliban
A Plan C for Afghanistan
Finding decent cabinet is Karzai's big challenge
A way to get around Karzai in Afghanistan
Corruption fight boosted by 'Afghan FBI'
US demands Afghan 'bribery court'
Afghanistan plans court for corrupt ministers
The man leading Afghanistan's anti-corruption fight
Win hearts and minds in Afghanistan to win the war
Gates blocks abuse photos release
New U.S. Afghan prison unveiled, rights groups wary
War in Afghanistan: Not in our name
How the US Funds the Taliban
Afghan gov't says UN representative out of line
Cabinet of Warlords
Afghanistan and the lessons of history
Clinton says Karzai ‘must do better’
Recognizing the Limits of American Power in Afghanistan
After Afghanistan election, governors seek distance from 'illegal' Karzai
Karzai was hellbent on victory. Afghans will pay the price
Matthew Hoh: Please refute what I'm saying, we are stuck in the Afghan civil war
As US looks for exit in Afghanistan, China digs in
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistani
The Afghan '80s are back
Pashtun peace prophet goes global
Afghan Road Builder's Dream Thwarted by Violence
A white elephant in Kabul
The Afghan Runoff: Will It Be a No-Show Election?

Ashraf Ghani- Afghanistan's Disputed Election Complicates U.S. Strategy

On Assignment: Into the Maw at Marja

Patrick Witty & Tyler Hicks
The New York Times


Afghanistan Cross Road CNN


The last frontier


Bruce Richardson
 

Articles

CIA: Buying peace in Afghanistan?

With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
CIA Ghost Money: Karzai Confirms U.S. Gives Funds To Afghan National Security Team
What the CIA’s cash has bought for Afghanistan

Khalilzad: A Satan Whispering in the Hearts of Men
The Afghan trust deficitt
Will We Learn Anything from Afghanistan? Part 1
Getting Out of Afghanistan: Part 2
William R. Polk
General’s Defense on Afghan Scandal Ducks Key Evidence
Afghans want Taliban peace talks
Bombing Weddings in Afghanistan: It Couldn't Happen Here, It Does Happen There
Hekmatyar's never-ending Afghan war
Covert American Aid to the Afghan Resistance; A Top-Secret U.S. Foreign Policy Plot to Induce and Effect Soviet Military Intervention
Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

US considers launching joint US-Afghan raids in Pakistan to hunt down militant groups

Real security in Afghanistan depends on people's basic needs being met
Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy
Former Taliban Officials Say U.S. Talks Started
Taliban ready for talks with US, not Karzai government
Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image
Leaked NATO Report Shows Pakistan Support For Taliban
Insight: Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre
Presenter: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Daoud Sultanzoy, Tolo Television
NATO’s measured exit plan in Afghanistan faces new obstacles
BFP Exclusive: Karzai Clan Attorney Threatens US Journalist, Uses Intimidation Tactics
Afghanistan Chronicles
Arduous path to Afghan 'end-game'
Fear in the classrooms: is the Taliban poisoning Afghanistan's schoolgirls?
A comment on the recent events of student poisoning in Afghanistan
Rape Case, in Public, Cites Abuse by Armed Groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Hit Brick Wall
THE ANATOMY OF US’S DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN
VOICES OF EMPIRE: FROM CIA’s CULTURAL GREAT GAME TO GLOBAL GREAT GAME TODAY
WHITE PAPER FOR THE PERMANENT PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
King Karzai
A Federal System of Government is Not Suitable for Afghanistan
CHINA AMO DARYA OIL DEAL
Analysis: Where Afghan humanitarianism ends and development begins
U.S. Envoy: Kabulbank Was 'Vast Looting Scheme'
Speaking with the enemy: how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night
Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Musery
How to Win Peace in Afghanistan
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain
Troops 'fighting for UK's future'
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Afghans still skeptical about Obama
US Defence Department struggling with public release of report on bombing in Afghanistan
Afghanistan on the Edge
Q+A: Who are the Pakistani Taliban insurgents?
Afghanistan Past & Present
Bombs for Pashtoons and Dollars for Punjab
Help! I'm being outgunned on K Street!
ANGELS CHASING DEMONS: “Jesus Killed Mohammad”!
U.S. tested 2 Afghan scenarios in war game
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama hearing range of views on Afghanistan
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Afghans tricked into U.S. trip, detained
In the Afghan War, Aim for the Middle
Obama pulled two ways in Afghanistan
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Gates: Mistake to set time line for Afghan withdrawal
Afghans question what democracy has done for them
High stakes in Afghan vote recount
Two Perspectives On Resolving The Afghan Postelection Crisis
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistanis
The Afghan '80s are back
How to Lose in Afghanistan
US in Afghanistan proposes revamped strategy
US 'needs fresh Afghan strategy'
US looks to Vietnam for Afghan tips
Lessons from Vietnam on Afghanistan
Afghan Pres. Skips Country's 1st TV Debate
A proud moment for Afghanistan
Rival to Karzai Gains Strength in Afghan Presidential Election
Afghan presidential candidate withdraws in Karzai's favor
America and international law
Hamid Karzai pulls out of historic TV debate just hours before broadcast
Karzai says no to first Afghanpresidential debate
Afghan election: Can Karzai's rivals close the gap?
Karzai opponents hope to beat him in second round
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Karzai’s gimmick
Well-known traffickers set free ahead of election
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Why the Pentagon Axed Its Afghanistan Warlord
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
The Irresistible Illusion
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit
We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Echoes of Vietnam
A Response To General Dostum
Obama orders probe of killings in Afghanistan
Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
The Irresistible Illusion
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit

We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan

The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Stakes High in Afghanistan Ahead of August Elections
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse
Petraeus Is a Failure -- Why Do We Pretend He's Been a Success?
Fierce Battles and High Casualties on the Frontlines of Afghanistan
End the Illegal, Immoral and Wasted War in Afghanistan, says BNP Defence Spokesman
Outside View: Four revolutions
Pakistan's Plans for New Fight Stir Concern
France: liberty, equality, and fraternity – but no burqas
 

 

 

 

 

Echoes of Vietnam

Even the Coalition commanders in Afghanistan wonder if they can win the war
Will history repeat itself in Afghanistan?

British military intervention in Afghanistan has a chequered history, making it easy to conclude that British forces will fail again


 


Civilian Casualties during a Time of War, Unintended Consequence, or a Calculated Military Stratagem  
By: Bruce G. Richardson Source:    

Case History:

An interview (14 August 1995) conducted with Anatoli and Pavel Sudoplatov, retired KGB officers who years ago were in Boston promoting their jointly-written memoir, (Special Tasks, The Memoir of an unwanted witness…a Soviet Spymaster, 1994), alluded to and subsequently revealed the existence of what they termed an ‘unspoken’ stratagem as formulated by the Soviet military for tactical consideration and subsequent prosecution in Afghanistan. Ranking officers both with Afghanistan experience, the junior member of the family, Anatoli had held the rank of major while Pavel (the senior) achieved the rank of general. According to Soviet-era historians, General Pavel Sudoplatov, then a junior-grade KGB officer, was responsible for the assassination of Trotsky, and, during World War II, was in charge of guerrilla warfare conducted against the Nazi occupation. During the Cold War arms race, Pavel Sudoplatov directed a network of Soviet spies seeking to obtain nuclear secrets in the U.S. with some success. Given their intelligence backgrounds, both displayed a characteristic confidence and well-informed demeanor, yet were entirely forthcoming… quite willing to review Moscow’s Afghanistan policy. (See: Afghanistan, the Great Game Revisited, Edited by Roseanne Klass, 1990, p.246, ‘The Soviet Military Approach in Afghanistan: The Operational Approach’, Yossef Bodansky)

The stratagem of which they spoke and continued to reference during the interview as an ‘unspoken’ one, consisted of systematic and deliberate attacks against the civilian infrastructure. This was the Soviet 40th Army’s daily prosecution of a ‘war of aggression’ hidden from public scrutiny and discourse for obvious reasons of humanitarian concern, negative publicity and in recognition of the substantial corpus of international law in existence which prohibited such prosecution by any country’s military. The motive force behind this decision, according to the retired KGB officers was to intimidate the general population and thereby demonstrate to them that, in this case, the only palpable security available to them was obtained by cooperating with the 40th Army occupational forces and that siding with the Resistance would result not in enhancing their security…but in swift and terrible retribution. This of course had long been the Soviet modus operandi throughout Central Asia during the nineteenth century, during the Cold War, and therefore inarguably in-character.  (See: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror, Bruce G. Richardson, 1996, 1998, p 104)

Statutory Protection:

 Violence against civilians during wartime has occurred throughout recorded history in most international and internal armed conflicts. Historically acceptable and unquestioned, during the 20th century it has been the focus of international humanitarian law. The definitions, categories, and circumstances detailed below are commonly accepted as the guiding principles for determining whether violence against civilians during wartime is legal or illegal and whether those who commit violence against civilian should be tried for their acts:

Those afforded ‘civilian status shall enjoy civilian immunity from attack, as stated in the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions related to the Protection of Victims of International Conflicts of 1977, civilians shall have: general protection against danger arising from military operations and shall not be the object of attack, Jus in Bello principles that applies to how a war is fought). The concept determines the lawfulness of attacks that cause civilian casualties, thus measures have to be taken to limit the harm military actions cause civilian populations.

Intentional Violence against Civilians:

Although international humanitarian law expressly prohibits the use of violence against civilians as an intentional method of warfare, it is a commonly practiced atrocity as the above interview with former KGB officials illustrates. Many cases of intentional of intentional violence against civilians can be found Crimes of War, including terrorism, disappearances, ethnic cleansing, torture, and sexual violence. These acts constitute a large portion of the atrocities that occur during war, and justice should be sought for those who knowingly violate Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

The subject and investigation of ‘war reparations’ and or ‘war crimes’ to be paid to and prosecuted for fiscal infractions and crimes of violence against Afghanistan by Russia, has been eviscerated from within and without due to the parochial exigencies of certain Afghan politicians and leadership with allegiance and or ties to Russia, and the politically-expedient foreign policy interests of the U.S. army of occupation. An example of an Afghan politician whose actions have led to this evisceration and abrogation of justice and international law is one Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who has unabashedly given blanket immunity from ‘prosecution for war crimes’ to both members of the former Soviet 40th Army contingent and the current NATO/ISAF forces.  From an administrative perspective, there exists another unjust dimension…a decided reluctance and or refusal on the part of internationally-chartered and mandated, remedial-oriented international institutions, i.e. (International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN) to pressure Russia to uphold international law and responsibility in considering the prosecution of war criminals and reparations payments to Afghanistan, notwithstanding their recognized world-juried mandate and international posture. Organized for and structured to preside over the aftermath of ‘conflict resolution’, world-body institutions such as the UN are unfortunately deemed instruments of U.S. foreign policy by a majority of the world citizenry based on their lackluster record of resolving problems and issues associated with international conflict.

Evidence of the existence of the’ unspoken’, inhuman and illegal tactic is manifest in a revealing study of Soviet atrocities prosecuted against the civilian population of Afghanistan to include their agricultural base or mode of subsistence. The following statistics were compiled by eminent academician, economist and author Dr. M. Siddieq Noorzoy:

‘During 1987-88, not even the farm animals were spared by the Soviet military. The incomprehensible statistics include the destruction of 11,418 villages, 1,045,212 homes, 11,418 mosques, and 3,261 primary schools and were the result of deliberate Soviet offensives against the civilian population. In addition, attacks were mounted against the agricultural-based society of Afghanistan by Soviet forces which resulted in the killing of: 11,400,000 sheep, representing 65% of the total, 4, 181,000 Karakul sheep, 67% of the total, 1,739,000 cattle, 52% of the total, and 178,000 horses, 31 % of the total. This unimaginable horror visited upon the civilian population by Soviet forces was the result of massive, saturation-air-bombardment and armor-led infantry attacks’.

(See: M. Siddieq Noorzoy, Encyclopedia Iranica, 1997, Volume III, pp. 163-169, Table 8-9, and Table 1, Reconstruction and Development in Afghanistan, Unpublished Manuscript. Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1998-1999, p. 58, (Table 9); Alternative Economic Systems for Afghanistan, International Journal Middle East Studies, Vol. 15, 1983, (pp. 25-45,) especially note 10, (pp. 41-42). Table 2: Reconstruction and Development in Afghanistan, Unpublished Manuscript. Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1988-1989, pp. 53-54, (Table 7-8)

Case History:

As with the Soviets in Central Asia, researchers will also note that the U.S. engaged in deliberate attacks on civilian populations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Kosovo, Iraq and now Afghanistan. Currently, the ‘mission-statement’ by the U.S. is to ‘provide a secure environment for sustainable stability’. But ten-years after NATO entered Afghanistan ostensibly to eradicate al-Qaeda remnants, and affect an anti-Taliban oriented regime under the mantle of a U.S.-appointee.  A majority of the population has come to see the ISAF as little more than an occupational force. Under scrutiny, and as the following attests, America’s upholding of international humanitarian law fares little or no better than that cited from the Soviet-era. See:

Global Research E-Newsletter, 17 October, 2011, titled Operation Enduring Slaughter, 10 Bloody Years, by Felicity Arbuthnot:

Between 7 October and 10 December 2001, 12,000 bombs were dropped in 4,710 sorties on a population of just 28 million (Globe and Mail, 1/19/02). With 42% of the population aged 0-14, children being the thus raised in unimaginable terror. With the bombs, aid parcels were dropped. They were the identical coloring to the accompanying cluster bombs (CBU). Those who rushed to collect brightly colored yellow packages, in anticipation…so often children…had limbs blown-off at best, or lie blown-away. Excited anticipations turned terminal. Between October, 2001 and early 2002, U.S. aircraft dropped 1,228 cluster bombs containing 248,056 bomblets, in 232 strikes on locations throughout Afghanistan, according to Cluster Munitions Monitor.

On 11 October 11, 2001, Khorum, a village of mud huts, 29 kilometers west of Jalalabad, was systematically bombed by U.S. warplanes. As many as 200 people were killed, with entire families wiped out. If the above carnage is but a tiny snapshot, what is the true cost 3,650 days later?

America’s indiscriminate and reckless use of the so-called Drones (*Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAV, General Atomics UAV, MQ-1, ‘Predator’ and Lockheed Martin RQ-170 ‘Sentinel’) have primarily impacted the civilian populations and their property, (140 instances since 2004) not only in Afghanistan but in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan as well.  Such high levels of civilian casualties and destruction of their property… could not possibly escape the notice of policy makers in Washington… just as they failed to escape the notice of policy makers in Moscow. While the world is constantly appraised of the U.S. mission statement in humanitarian terminology, most categorically reject the term ‘collateral damage’ as it implies accidental or unintended consequences. There can be no doubt of the fact that both the U.S.S.R. and now the U.S.-led ISAF contingents were and are cognizant of the death and destruction reaped upon the civilian population by their respective military.  


It is no longer a secret that the U.S. plotted for the U.S.S.R. to intervene in Afghanistan, looking for the resultant protracted guerrilla war to hasten or bring about the dissolution of the empire. The effect of that decision resulted in the death of nearly two-million Afghans, a majority being civilians. It is also no longer a secret that the various American administrations are viscerally anti-Pashtun. To this end, the U.S. has allied itself with the Northern Alliance, the worst of Afghanistan’s war criminals, traitors and drug lords in the obvious attempt to subdue the country, their philosophy being ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

Sadly, though evidence exists that America is knowingly complicit in the commission of numerous war crimes as enumerated and codified in the Geneva Conventions and other humanitarian-based treaties to which they are signatory, it is difficult if not impossible as well to recognize that the world continues to ignore Russia’s as yet unpunished war crimes for which the international community must in good conscience and respect for the rule of law…demand they be held accountable. Accountable not only in the court of world opinion, but by the rendering of war reparation payments in an amount commensurate with the damage inflicted and by referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for their premeditated attacks on the civilian population of Afghanistan…callously and indiscriminately calculated to subdue a sovereign nation.

The difficulty or impossibility in prosecuting individuals for war crimes with high political affiliations or connections is best illustrated by the Belgian Court’s issuance of an indictment of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for directing the massacre of thousands of Palestinian people at Sabra and Shatilla. Both Israel and the United States are blocking the investigation, extradition and trial of this notorious war criminal. The same court has as well issued arrest warrants for members of the George W. Bush Administration for war crimes committed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I cannot but wonder as to how such a tiny justice-conscious and courageous country as Belgium might enforce said warrants.


Notes:
For additional information regarding definitions, case histories and adjudication of what are termed ‘war crimes’, see: (Documents on the Laws of War, Edited by Adam Roberts and Richard Guelff, Second Edition Revised and Updated, 1989, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.) For additional documentation attesting to Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan see: (Afghanistan, the Great Game Revisited, edited by Roseanne Klass, 1990, Freedom House, NY)
*The General Atomics ‘Predator’ Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) MQ-1, introduced in 1995, has flown combat sorties over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, over Afghanistan and Bosnia. The MQ-1 ‘Predator’ has a range of 400 nautical miles, can loiter over a target area for 14 hours and return to base. It is equipped with state of the art electronic high definition (HD) cameras and other highly-sophisticated sensors, 2 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and other munitions. The MQ-1 ‘Predator’ is the UAV of choice for the United States Air Force (USAF) and the CIA.

UAV or ‘Drone’ use have heretofore been primarily operated by civilians** and therefore face many legal challenges: Challenges to include questions of the unlawful deployment of non-military personnel in a combat role sans proper identifying insignia/emblem and or uniform, a violation proscribed under international law and covenant, border inviolability and or sovereignty, judicial review for those accused of terrorism, and attorney/client/privilege/representation. **(See: 1977 Geneva Protocol I, Article 44-7)

With manifest, unbridled hypocrisy and double standard extent in Washington statecraft, we have learned that both the Bush and Obama Administrations had and have not hesitated to deploy civilians in a combat role, yet they vigorously contend that insurgents, guerrillas, irregulars etc., as part of the amorphous groups cited in their declared ‘war on terror’ do not have protections under Geneva and other humanitarian-based instruments and covenants due to the fact that such forces do not wear identifying insignia/emblem and or uniform military apparel. (See: 1977 Geneva Protocol I, Article 44-7)

In concept and covenant therefore, the deployment of UAVs as weapons platforms as currently structured while predominantly staffed and operated by civilians (CIA and for-profit contractors) are considered extrajudicial by a number of highly-respected and recognized leading international authors of legal journals, academicians, activists, scholars and jurists from around the world. America’s Drone warfare has therefore diminished a once exemplary universal image as world-champion of human rights, democracy and freedom into a status that has…under ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ and the ‘War on Terror’…morphed into a replication of the 19th century imperialist policies of Great Britain and Tsarist Russia…disquieting, predatory roles, and as war by robotic control has demonstrated…there can be no honor in murder by remote control.

 

 

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