How Many U.S. War Crimes Are Too Many?
The repeated statements from President Obama this week about the killing of 16 civilians near Kandahar on Sunday have been widely reported, the incident was "shocking... tragic... outrageous... heart-breaking." All true.
But as Obama's expressions of grief have escalated, his expressed determination not to leave Afghanistan before 2014 have increased, joined yesterday by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the U.K. NATO is ordering unmanned drones from the US to use in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.
We demand: U.S. forces out of this illegitimate, immoral, unjust war on Afghanistan NOW, and pay reparations.
The response from the people is more important, and more interesting. Protests Against Massacre in Afghanistan.
A large, impassioned group gathered to vigil outside Obama's Oakland CA campaign headquarters Monday. View photos and video, read reports. Interview on KPFA with World Can't Wait & Afghan students starts @ 34 minute mark here.
Afghans for Peace released a statement:
...the blood splattered on the walls of our houses, the scorched bodies of our children, and the pain in our hearts will always be a reminder of the slaughter that took place in order to “liberate” us. We hope you hear this loud and clear that in the process of our “liberation” you have made sure we can never be FREE from this misery unless you leave. We are living, breathing, dead bodies that have died with the ones we loved; although we still have not lost hope for unshackling our nation from these repressive hands that drop bombs not food, that kill not save lives, that take everything in exchange of a promise we never asked them to make. We do not wish to “endure” this “freedom” you have imposed upon us.
A reader of this list in Canada wrote,
We joined together for this vigil to bring sunrise of morning breeze and peace for all around the world. We join together to end the war crimes, killing kids and civilians for oils and opium! Which make the capitalism and imperialism to be thirsty for blood. War crimes are not something that can be forget, it accountability for all creatures in the world to stand against any War Crime, any injustice. Obama, Harper, shame on you, if there is any shame left. Sincerely, Fatemeh B.
Malalai Joya, in an interview last week, before the massacres said, "For my people, Obama is more dangerous than Bush administration." Full audio interview: Malalai Joya, author of A Woman Among Warlords on Afghanistan Today.
Nima Shirazi, in American Morlocks: Another Civilian Massacre and the Savagery of U.S. Soldiers quotes eye-witnesses to the massacre, via Reuters:
"I saw that all 11 of my relatives were killed, including my children and grandchildren," said a weeping Haji Samad, who said he had left his home a day earlier.
The walls of the house were blood-splattered.
"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," Samad told Reuters at the scene.
Neighbors said they had awoken to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, who they described as laughing and drunk.
"They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where killings took place.
"Their (the victims') bodies were riddled with bullets."
A senior U.S. defense official in Washington rejected witness accounts that several apparently drunk soldiers were involved. "Based on the preliminary information we have this account is flatly wrong," the official said. "We believe one U.S. service member acted alone, not a group of U.S. soldiers."
Protest the massacre Saturday March 17, 2:00 pm in Fremont, California at Amtrak/Bill Ball Plaza. This is the largest Afghan community in the U.S. We're asking you to send messages of solidarity and condolence to be combined by the SF Bay World Can't Wait chapter and delivered there. Email or post on World Can't Wait Facebook page.
Iraq war anniversary
March 19/20 is the 9th anniversary of Shock & Awe; the US invasion of Iraq. U.S. troops, at least those under the Defense Department, have been moved out. Thousands of private contractors and State Department troops remain. The country was destroyed. Nothing good has come of the invasion and occupation. Protests are scheduled in NYC and Chicago:
Chicago Sunday March 18: 3pm March on Devon; gather at 2032 W. Devon
New York City Monday March 19: 5pm, Times Square Recruiting Station 43rd & Broadway.
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait