Socialist Worker

How Nato troops hid evidence of murder in Afghanistan

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2196

Nato has at last admitted shooting dead five Afghan civilians—having spent a month trying to cover up the murders.

Special forces soldiers pulled their bullets out of victims’ bodies and washed the wounds with alcohol, after shooting the three women and two men during a night raid.

They even plastered over bullet holes in the walls and repainted a hallway to cover their tracks.

The killings, near Gardez, south of Kabul, were exposed by Afghan investigators, who heard evidence from eyewitnesses.

Nato had initially claimed that the people were found dead.

Amid such atrocities, puppet president Hamid Karzai has tried to talk tough to the West.

He claims he will not allow any more Nato offensives in future—unless local people support them.

“Afghanistan will be fixed when its people trust their president is independent,” he said, “when the people trust the government is independent and not a puppet.”

Truth

Yet Karzai came close to admitting the truth, when he said only a “thin curtain” separated Western claims about “cooperation-assistance” from being an “invasion”.

Karzai is spending most of his time trying to build support for more raids in Kandahar, to “secure” southern Afghanistan.

Nato’s war is bringing only destruction.

There will be a conspiracy of silence among the main parties to keep the war in Afghanistan out of the election debate. But it is an urgent issue—and there is no prospect of an end in sight.


The number of British soldiers losing arms and legs in the Afghanistan war has risen sharply, new statistics reveal.

In the last year more than 54 soldiers have lost limbs—more than in the three years before combined. And more than half lost more than one limb.

Many of these people would have died if it wasn’t for the army’s advanced life-saving medical technology.

This technology—deemed “too expensive” for ordinary people—keeps soldiers alive to avoid politically embarrassing the government.

But the ex-soldiers then get little support for the rest of their lives.

They are left unable to work, having constant flashbacks of the horrors of war. One in six ex-armed forces members end up homeless.

And there are currently 20,000 former soldiers in prison—more than the number on active service in Afghanistan.


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International
Tue 6 Apr 2010, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2196
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