Socialist Worker

Afghans still suffer

Issue No. 1785

Murder, mutilation, robbery and starvation-that is the reality of life for those Afghans who survived George W Bush's war on terrorism. The US bombing and the turmoil that has followed has moved hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Many now cling to life in refugee camps. Starvation stalks the country. One camp is home to 150,000 destitute people. International aid organisations admit they are overwhelmed. In the southern city of Kandahar revenge killings and mutilations have become common.

A spokesperson for Kandahar's warlord ruler admitted, 'The problem is we have no police force-they are just Mujahadeen in uniform.' And even now Afghan civilians are still being blasted by US raids. Last week in Paktia province US planes acted on misinformation and bombed a wedding party, killing the newlyweds and their families. A delegation from the town of Hazar Qadam complained to the Afghan authorities that a US raid had flattened their clinic and killed men loyal to the interim government.

The US claimed that 15 people had been killed during a raid on an arms depot. The continued bombing is seriously denting whatever support the interim government can muster. Rival factions are beginning to jostle for places in the 'loya jirga', or council of the elders. This will choose a new government to take over from the interim administration.

Bush and Blair made great play during the early part of the war that they were fighting to win liberation for women. Yet they have made no protest at the fact that only two of the 21 proposed members are women. The 87 year old ex-king of Afghanistan is set to be 'elected' as head of state. The suffering of the Afghan people continues. Despite US claims to have routed the Taliban, they still walk the streets of Kandahar.

Posters have started appearing on walls saying, 'Be careful of being associated with the present government. Their fate is short.'


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Features
Sat 2 Feb 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1785
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