20091211

US Military kills anything that moves in Afghanistan

From the World Can't Wait

It's inescapable to much of the world. Barack Obama is expanding troops going into the 8 years of US occupation of Afghanistan, and expanding a largely secret, ongoing CIA war of killing by robot drones in Pakistan. The debate among the deciders on Afghanistan offers two terrible options: expanding the ground troops by at least tens of thousands, or relying more on unmanned drones and special forces assassination ops.

Tuesday, we held a banner saying "US Out of Iraq & Afghanistan! The World Can't Wait!" as hundreds of people gathered across from where President Obama was to speak about health care in NYC. There were a many more supporters of health care reform than opponents of the wars, but the general public was coming up to us. I met a Special Forces sergeant who just returned from Afghanistan, and said, "I want to tell you what we did, but I can't talk about this. We did things to human beings you shouldn't ever do....the military is killing civilians, just killing people there. I don't know how to feel...I feel so messed up..."

We have to go out more widely than ever and help people know what to do, and even more importantly, how to look at why the US is doing what it's doing to be an unchallengeable empire, and not for "democracy." See Larry Everest's piece this week reprinted from Revolution, Behind the "Debate" Over Afghanistan: Suffering, Death, and the Needs of Empire.

Daniel Ellsberg spoke Saturday in San Francisco, and said something arresting, which he said I may quote: "I don't believe there is a single official in the Pentagon or CIA or in Afghanistan who believes that 40,000 more US troops or 80,000 more US troops would be enough to bring anything that could be called success in any sense. If Obama starts on this path of open-ended war -- as LBJ did in July, 1965 -- 40-80,000 troops would be only a first installment, with the limit at any time over the next decade set only by what can be made available. The Taliban will be growing stronger concurrently, whatever the body count."

There was a story in the USA Today on demoralization among the 10th Mountain Division, which has taken heavy casualties in Afghanistan recently. Joe Urgo, who was a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, responds to the story in Colonel to Troops: I'm Lying to You:

"In response to this potentially dangerous situation, the commander of the unit, Col David Haight, wrote a letter to the Third Brigade on Oct 12. The Colonel starts his letter addressed:" To All Spartans", {a bloody warrior society in ancient Sparta that held slaves} and goes on to praise "the tremendous sacrifice of all......and it is appreciated." When he gets around to explaining the US military's mission in the region, it is full of "imperialist speak," the language of a condescending, invader bully that portrays the people as helpless pawns that the mighty US had to go in and save from the enemy - the Taliban and Al Quaeda.

Haight says Afghanistan has a "culture of corruption that runs deep in this society." Included in this charade is the phrase "execute projects to build economic and infrastructure capacity and increase the quality of life for the Afghans and create jobs." I think the majority of jobs that have been created are for the folks burying all the tens of thousands of civilians the US has killed on the ground and from the drones bombing mass gatherings of Afghan like wedding parties."

Jane Mayer asks in her New Yorker piece "The Predator War," why Congress investigated the Bush administrations' use of predator drones, but a widening effort by both the military and the CIA goes virtually unnoticed, and implicitly supported? One chilling paragraph, "The Air Force's fleet has grown from some fifty drones in 2001 to nearly two hundred; the CIA. will not divulge how many drones it operates. The government plans to commission hundreds more, including new generations of tiny 'nano' drones, which can fly after their prey like a killer bee through an open window."

This may be how the US occupation of Afghanistan/Pakistan is continued under President Obama. One of the poorest countries of the world, crisscrossed by the highest tech weapons the imperialist world has produced, all in our name. Unless we stop it!


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