Truth of Our Murderous Intent Towards
Afghan Civilians Leaks Out
November 4, 2001
In the most well-managed war,
through the thickest veil of propaganda, the truth will leak out.
Despite the Bush
administration's claim that it means the Afghan civilian population no harm,
statements have recently started cropping up that put the lie to that
For example, there are these
kind words from Admiral Michael Boyce, Chief of the British Defense
Staff. Speaking of the bombing campaign, he said
The squeeze will carry on
until the people of the country themselves recognize that this is going to
go on until they get the leadership changed.
In other words, we'll squeeze
-- meaning blow up, starve and otherwise terrorize -- the people of
Afghanistan until they get rid of the Taliban. Note to Admiral:
starving, sick people are unable to conduct a revolution.
Another example of loose lips
sinking the Bush administration's propaganda ship comes from the Pakistani
dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who until recently, of course, was the
Taliban's (and hence Osama bin Laden's) main supporter.
Apparently feeling quite
loquacious in a Reuters interview
the other day, General Musharraf indicated that
heavier bombing, even if
politically difficult to sustain in the short run, was the most likely way
of weakening the Taliban to the point where widespread defections would
"One has to achieve
the objective of a military operation," he said, adding:
"Afghanistan has suffered, the people are suffering so much that I am
reasonably sure that there are many people who question the wisdom of
suffering for somebody who is there and not an Afghan, like Osama bin
Laden and his people."
All his verbiage boils down
to: when the people suffer enough from the bombing, the Taliban will fall.
Finally, there is the
following chilling example, which gets to the most basic truth of the
Chowkar-Karez is a small
farming village about 35 miles from Kandahar, the so-called "spiritual
home" of the Taliban. The village was demolished in a U.S.
bombing raid October 22, with great loss of civilian life.
Witnesses talked to by the
Western reporters claimed there were no Taliban troops in the village and
that U.S. planes opened fire on people as they attempted to flee the bombs.
The Pentagon has confirmed
that Chowkar-Karez was attacked by AC-130 Spectre gunships, which fly low
and are armed with cannons. But it has made no further statements, even
though the attack was raised in three different press briefings.
Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld -- asked again this week about the incident after the journalists
visited the site -- professed ignorance. "I cannot deal with that
particular village," he replied. [emphasis added]
This would be bad enough,
deliberate gunning down of fleeing civilians. Administration
apologists, however, would say it was a mistake, or a rogue pilot. But
they couldn't get away with such dissembling after this admission:
Pentagon officials told CNN that Chowkar-Karez was "a fully
legitimate target" because it was a nest of Taliban and al-Qaeda
sympathizers. "The people there are dead because we wanted them
dead," an official said.
In other words, if unarmed
civilians sympathize with the Taliban, we will kill them. That
morally repugnant concept violates every modern rule of warfare.
Our valid goal of eliminating
the threat of Osama bin Laden and his group al Qaeda has been twisted by the
Bush administration into a general attack on the Afghan civilian population.