Socialist Worker

The hallmarks of terror-US style

Issue No. 1807

MURDER, TORTURE and lies have been the hallmarks of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Events this week have tragically underlined that reality. US warplanes bombed a village in Afghanistan on Monday killing at least 30 members of a wedding party and injuring many more.

Afghan children in their party dresses were torn apart by their 'liberators'. Local residents told reporters, 'There are no Taliban or Al Qaida or Arabs here. 'These people were all civilians, women and children.' The injured included Haji Mohammed Anwar, a friend of US-backed president Hamid Karzai.

The US military lied in an effort to cover up what they had done. They claimed at various stages that they had been fired on from the ground, or that it was a stray bomb, or that it had been a laser-guided operation against a confirmed target, or that it was 'a tragic error'. US forces in Afghanistan have killed far more civilians than died in the World Trade Centre.

There is mounting evidence of torture and murder by US troops and their allies. The Irish film-maker Jamie Doran's documentary Massacre in Mazar shows witnesses giving details a massacre of up to 3,000 people. Graham Watson, a British member of the European Parliament, says the film is 'a harrowing reminder of the My Lai massacre by US troops in Vietnam'.

The film tells what happened after the fall of the city of Konduz to allies of the US. Thousands of prisoners were packed into airtight containers, 200-300 in each box. On route to prison about half of them suffocated to death or were shot. Others were butchered as the containers were tipped into a mass grave in the desert.

Reporters for German newspaper Die Zeit found numerous local people who said the operation had taken place in the presence of US forces. Other reports tell of US troops pouring acid onto the faces of suspects, and of routine beatings and starvation of prisoners. This is all done in the name of the 'war against terrorism'! No wonder George Bush has opposed moves towards setting up an International Criminal Court. He is worried by the-very small-chance that his own military could be brought before such a body.

In addition he does not want the slightest obstacle put in the way of a new invasion of Iraq. Bush and Blair have Afghan blood on their hands. We should redouble our demands for the US and Britain to get out of Afghanistan and to halt preparations for the war on Iraq.


Four other 'mistakes'

  • October 2001-January 2002: Over 4,000 Afghan civilians killed in US bombing raids.
  • December 2001: US planes attacked Afghans from Paktia travelling to attend celebrations for the new government. Over 60 killed and 40 injured.
  • May 2002: US planes pounded a wedding party in the village of Bul Khil.
  • April 2002: US pilot with the call sign 'Psycho' killed four Canadian soldiers when he dropped a 500 pound bomb on them.


Burnley rocks the Nazis

AROUND 300 people attended an Anti Nazi League concert in Burnley on Thursday of last week. They heard chart topping band Chumbawamba, and signed a petition calling on the Labour council not to work with Burnley's three Nazi BNP councillors which will be handed in next week


Only business can buy labour

'THIS GOVERNMENT is not for sale-we will not be bought.' That was the reaction from Labour cabinet ministers when the RMT union asked them, as a condition of getting its cash, to pledge support for renationalising the railways.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott was outraged that 'my union should dictate how an MP should vote'. The businessmen at the heart of this government no doubt applaud such sentiments. This week we learnt that the accounting firm KPMG has seconded its officials to the Department of Trade and Industry, the inland revenue and the serious fraud office.

KPMG specialises in advising the rich how to avoid paying tax. It has received over £70 million from government contracts since 1997. It has such former employees as the leader of the London assembly's Labour group and a home office minister. KPMG loaned an executive to work as Labour's finance director in the year running up to the last general election.

It is fine for these parasites or a pornographer like press baron Richard Desmond to back New Labour and get helpful decisions for their business empires. Just don't try being a trade union that has supported Labour for a century and then expects that party to remain true to the most minimal measures for working people.

STOP THE WAR COALITION

Stop Bush and Blair's War Drive

Demonstrate 28 September

THE SATURDAY BEFORE LABOUR'S CONFERENCE 1pm, Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square l supported by CND

Phone 07951 235 915 * www.stopwar.org.uk * office@stopwar.org.uk


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Article information

What We Think
Sat 6 Jul 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1807
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