The Dehumanization of US War Victims in Afghanistan Continues

October 13th, 2016 - by admin

Emran Feroz / – 2016-10-13 00:56:12–20161002-0005.html

(October 3, 2016) — One year after the Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) hospital massacre, nothing has changed.

“You should be cursed with your bombs which lead to the suffering of the people of Kunduz and covered them with blood and dust,” was the last sentence of Dr. Ehsan Osmani adressed to the Afghan government and its American backers, written one year ago on his Facebook feed. During the next moments, Osmani has been killed by one of the US bombs which has been dropped on the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz.

At the end of September 2015, the Afghan Taliban were able to capture the capital of the northern province of Kunduz for a few days. Heavy fighting between the insurgents and the Afghan National Army lead to the intervention of NATO forces, lead by the United States.

In the shadow of world public, first bombs had been dropped and killed several civilians. However, global attention changed at Oct. 3 when the US targeted a MSF-lead trauma center in the city, the only one in the whole region, and killed at least 42 people. All of the victims were members of the staff personal and patients.

While MSF and several human rights organization insisted that the attack had been a war crime, the US came to a different conclusion. According to a one-sided investigation by the Pentagon, the reason of the hospital bombing was resulted from a “combination of human errors, process errors and equipment failures.”

For that reason, the US government pointed out that it did not consider the attack as a war crime. At the end, 16 US personnel, all of them not known to public, faced disciplinary charges and the case was closed. Not a single person faced criminal charges.

One year after the massacre, nothing has changed. The victims’ families practically do not exist for Western mainstream media and politicians. They did not receive any kind of compensation and are still waiting for justice.

At the same time, recent reports made clear that the US is willing to pay a financial compensation of more than 1 million dollar to the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker who has been killed by a drone strike in Waziristan in 2015.

Together with Warren Weinstein, a 73-year-old US aid worker who was also killed by the strike, Lo Porto was being held hostage by Al-Qaida at the time of his death. The payment of the compensation has already been confirmed by the US Embassy in Rome and Lo Porto’s family.

However, while the family of a white and European victim of US bombs gets both attention and compensation, nothing like this happening in the case of the many Afghan victims of the US-lead war in their country. The victims of Kunduz belong to the most deprived people. They practically do not exist in mainstream discourse and are damned by those who are in charge.

Last but not least, such a scenario is not something new in the province. On September 4th 2009, a NATO jet fighter attacked two fuel tankers that had allegedly been hijacked by insurgents in Kunduz. At least 137 civilians were killed in the attack, most of them young men and children who had gathered around the tankers to tap patrol.

Colonel Georg Klein, the German colonel who ordered the strike despite the presence of masses of civilians, maintained that all the dead were “militants” affiliated with the Taliban. Until today, not a single family member of then victims received any kind of compensation.

Col. Klein did not face any criminal charges. Instead, he was even promoted to general. Later, even NATO came to the conclusion that Klein made crucial errors. Yet nothing happened.

And today, the dehumanization is continuing. Last Wednesday, a drone strike in Achin, a district in Afghanistan’s eastern province Nangarhar, killed between 15 and 19 people. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) already confirmed 15 victims as civilians and condemned the attack.

According to several reports, dozens of locals had gathered at the home of a prominent elder to celebrate his return from the hajj pilgrimage when the hellfire missile hit them. As usual, the US military and Afghan government offiicals insisted that militants have been the target.

Although the US announced an investigation, it is very obvious that nothing will happen. Like in the described cases, we will see dubious excuses and justifications by Washington that will lead nowhere. The Afghan government itself did not even show any kind of reaction, which just proves one more time who is calling the shots.

Almost 15 years ago, with the first day of Washington’s Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the very first strike of a weaponized drone in history took place. On that day, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the then leader of the Afghan Taliban, has been the target — but he has not been hit. Instead, dozens of other nameless people were killed. Over the last 15 years, Afghanistan has become the world’s most drone bombed country.

During this era, thousands of Afghans has been killed by US air strikes. Recent data shows that the USA Air Force has carried out two strikes a day against Taliban targets since last June. However, who says that all these targets really have been Taliban fighters and not average civilians like those from Achin?

Regardless from the situation, one thing might be clear: As long as killed Afghans are not white Europeans or Americans, the interest in their destiny is barely perceptible.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.