Socialist Worker

US still lying about Afghan air strike that killed ten

Issue No. 2772

Us soldiers in Afghanistan

Us soldiers in Afghanistan


The US military lied about the ­murderous drone strike that killed ten people in the last days of its retreat from Afghanistan.

A New York Times investigation ­disproves the US version of events.

It asks whether explosives were ­present in the vehicle, whether the driver had a connection to Isis and whether there was a second explosion after the missile struck the car.

Military officials said they did not know the identity of the car’s driver when the drone fired.

They said he possibly visited an Isis safe house and, at one point, loaded what they thought could be explosives into the car.

The newspaper has identified the driver as Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a US aid group.

The evidence suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work.

And an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen was Ahmadi and a colleague ­loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.

While the US military said the drone strike might have killed three civilians, Times reporting shows that it killed ten, including seven children, in a dense residential block. Since the strike, US military officials justified their actions by citing an even larger blast that took place afterwards.

“Because there were ­secondary ­explosions, there is a reasonable ­conclusion to be made that there was explosives in that vehicle,” the ­chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general Mark Milley, said recently.

But an examination of the scene of the strike, conducted by the Times visual investigations team and a Times reporter the morning afterwards, and followed up with a second visit four days later, found no evidence of a second, more powerful explosion.

Those killed were Ahmadi and three of his children, Zamir, 20, Faisal, 16, and Farzad, 10, Ahmadi’s cousin Naser, 30, three of Ahmadi’s brother Romal’s children, Arwin, 7, Benyamin, 6, and Hayat, 2 and two 3 year old girls, Malika and Somaya.


Rodents turn on rich rats

The rich in northern Argentina who took over the area of Nordelta are facing an animal revenge.

Argentina’s most well‑known gated community is an enclave of homes amid a landscape of lakes north of Buenos Aires.

Little did they know that nature would turn on them in the form of thousands of capybaras—large rodents who have destroyed manicured lawns, bitten dogs and caused traffic accidents.

The animals, known locally as “carpinchos” are enraging the wealthy.

“They not only destroy gardens but their excrement has also become a problem,” one local man told the daily La Nación newspaper.

He complained that local wildlife officials had prohibited residents from touching the large rodents.

But many other Argentinians have taken to social media to defend the rodents.

And prominent ecologist Enrique Viale said it was a mistake to frame the rodent influx as an invasion. “It’s the other way round—Nordelta invaded the ecosystem of the carpinchos,” said Viale.

He has been campaigning with many others for ten years now for congress to pass a law to defend the wetlands from development.

“Wealthy real estate developers with government backing have to destroy nature in order to sell clients the dream of living in the wild.

The people who buy those homes want nature, but without the mosquitoes, snakes or carpinchos,” he said.


Damning criticism of reservoir safety

A terrifying 65 reservoirs in England are overdue for safety measures to be completed. This is an increase since an incident at Toddbrook reservoir which sparked the evacuation of Whaley Bridge in 2019.

The Environment Agency released its data on reservoir safety last month.

It showed that between January 2019 and December 2020, inspecting engineers logged 167 “measures to be taken in the interest of safety” (MIOS).

In the previous report, the number of outstanding MIOS that had not been completed on time was 49.

By the end of 2019 it was 55, and by December 2020 it was 65.

Only 23 of those had faced enforcement action for their tardiness.

There are more than 2,000 large raised reservoirs in England, holding water above ground level, with many designated as high-risk.

This is because an “uncontrolled release” such as a dam failure could kill people.


It is the fashion for donors to get contracts

A firm owned by a major Tory donor made £13 million in profits in 2020—up more than 9,000 percent—after securing a string of PPE contracts during the pandemic.

Meller Designs, a fashion accessories wholesaler which sold less than £13 million of goods in 2019, was awarded £160 million in government contracts to supply PPE last year.

These contracts were awarded without the usual competitive tendering process due to the shortage of masks.

It won the first £65 million order in May, weeks after the owner of its parent company, David Meller, directly lobbied Health Minister Lord Bethell via the “VIP lane” for Covid contracts.

Meller has given nearly £60,000 to the Tories since 2009. He was a director of Meller Designs until 2013 and co-owned it with his brother until January via a Jersey-based offshore company.

  • Within seconds of the result of the vote on the Tory social care tax rises at 7.28pm on last Wednesday, Boris Johnson legged it to the door. He went to Hertford House were it costs £12,000 to hire a room. He was met by the Conservative Party Treasurer’s Group. Around 70 fat cat donors were there to to mingle with Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. On the guest list were billionaire Michael Hintze, investment banker Malik Karim, and Lord Rami Ranger who became a peer after donating £1 million to the party.

More than 1,000 senior civil servants have received six-figure “golden goodbyes” worth over £100 million since MPs passed a law five years ago to outlaw them. The Enterprise Act expressly put a £95,000 cap on exit payments in the public sector. But it was not implemented until November 2020. It was in place for just three months before a court challenge overturned it.


Going up

The wealth of British billionaires rose 22 percent during the pandemic.

Food bank use rose by 33 percent during the pandemic.


Things they say

‘We met over Zoom and he seemed incredibly engaged, compassionate and charming but then he had to shoot off’

Education secretary Gavin Williamson who said he had been talking with black footballer Marcus Rashford when it was black rugby player Maro Itoje

‘A global megastar is born. Emma Raducanu winning the US Open is truly incredible’

Nigel Farage on tennis player Emma Raducanu whose father is Romanian. Farage previously said people wouldn’t want to live next door to a Romanian family

‘Couldn’t handle the pressure and quit when she was losing badly’

Piers Morgan on Emma Raducanu having to withdraw from Wimbledon

‘Never seen a more brilliant illustration of mental strength & resilience’

Piers Morgan on Emma Raducanu winning

 


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