September 9, 2010 – The citizens of Afghanistan have for eight years realized that the foreign army forces and NATO have been more of a threat then a support to the average Afghani civilian. Despite the mountains of evidence and countless events involving civilian deaths, NATO has managed to ignore the truth of their actual relationship with the Afghani civilians for the entire time. The ability to ignore and cover-up these actions, much like the budget coming from the taxpayers at home to continue to support this mission, has worn thin.
To highlight the extent to which foreign soldiers’ misperceive why they are in Afghanistan, The Guardian UK this week reported that “twelve American soldiers face charges over allegedly blowing up and shooting Afghani civilians at random and collecting their fingers as trophies”. While the official line is to democratize and bring peace to a developing nation, incidents like this one are becoming impossible to spin or cover up. It makes it clear that the PR lines from mission control are not in synch with the actions of the soldiers on the ground.
A sketch analysis of the details of this case may signify that the soldiers on the ground are not even aware that they are in Afghanistan to serve and protect an allied civilian population; not to maim, kill and injure members of an opposing army.
In May of 2010, a new US army recruit arriving in Afghanistan, was shocked to encounter members of his platoon stealing and smoking hashish from Afghani villagers and consuming smuggled alcohol. The recruit did not originally report any wrongdoing but finally did report the actions to his superiors when he found members of his unit smoking hashish in his bunk.
This was just the tip of the iceberg. After receiving a physical beating from the members of his platoon for informing the superiors about the drug-related breaches of code and conduct, the soldier, who has remained anonymous for his own protection, dropped an even more explosive metaphorical landmine.
The soldier, in one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the occupation of Afghanistan, alleged that members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar (where Canadian soldiers are posted), killed Afghani men for sport in at least three separate attacks this year. The soldier also alleges, according to the Army Times, that at least one of the perpetrators collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.
Five soldiers, including a Staff Sergeant, were originally accused in June of murder and aggravated assault among other charges by the US army. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted. Since last month seven more soldiers have been charged with attempting to cover up the murders and the violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of the hashish
One of the twelve soldiers charged, Adam Winfield, reported to the Associated Press that he was so disgusted with the actions of his fellow soldiers that he sent messages on the Facebook to his father at home in the US warning his dad that the troops in his unit were knowingly murdering civilians. . It sounds to me an awful lot like the Canadian Airborne regiment after the torture its members put Somali civilians through in 1993 came to light and the regiment was shut down.
-Slowly, but surely, all the truth will come out and the price that is being paid by Canadian and American taxpayers to prolong this mission is not worth the cost in embarrassment, hate and lack of credibility generated, through these actions, by our country and the US.
Recent video and photographs, being circulated on ABC News, show security guards, contractors and soldiers engaged in “drunken sex orgies” at the US embassy in Kabul. Furthermore, new arrivals to the US embassy in Kabul have testified that they were asked to perform sexual favours as a form of initiation and in order to get preferential working shifts.
The US embassy is investigating these allegations but what is abundantly clear is that the majority of security force members responsible for instigating this behavior and instilling a “lord-of-the-flies” culture within the American compound had mainly served in Iraq where the same racist, war-mongering ideology was transcribed.
-ReliefWeb.int issued a report last month that points out the rising price of domestic food staples and necessities throughout Afghanistan. Wheat grain and wheat flour continued to increase in price by about 30% since 2007. All cereals increased across the board by about 15% during the same time period.
-According to ABC News, more than 25% of translators employed by the US army cannot speak local languages and failed their proficiency tests. The source of the ABC News piece was a former employee of a company that holds $1.4 billion worth of US government contracts specifically to provide interpreters to the US army.
-On Monday, September 13, 2010 there will be a meeting hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, England that will discuss plans for an eventual partition of Afghanistan. Now it should be clear why all Afghanis who love their country as much as we love ours want all foreigners out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Canada’s Role in Afghanistan
-Despite a US military kangaroo court announcing last month that it feels that Omar Khadr was not tortured into making false confessions and perhaps due to the fact that Omar was only 15-years old at the time he was taken prisoner, it is more important now than ever to demand that our Canadian government repatriate Omar Khadr back to this country.
“Apparently (the judge) was listening to different evidence than the rest of us,” said one of Mr.Khadr`s Canadian lawyers, Nate Whitling.
What the kangaroo US military court decision means is that if the Canadian government`s absolute lack of any action whatsoever on behalf of Omar Khadr fails to repatriate his judicial process back to this country, where our Supreme Court has twice said it belongs, the false confessions made by the 15-year old Khadr under duress and imprisonment will be permitted at his Guantanomo trial.
-We reported last week about the situation of the drug trade and control over drug resources playing a larger-than-acknowledged role in the tactics and strategies used by the foreign occupying powers in Afghanistan. Just a note to remind all about the irony that Canadians will be facing for the next couple of months as Remembrance Day approaches on November 11th.
We must remember the sacrifices of our soldiers so that the tragedy of their deaths need never be repeated. The “red poppy” debate will once again invade our consciousness through the collaboration of the meanstream media. Our Canadian soldiers have been risking their lives and dying, in 150 cases, to eradicate and eliminate the poppy from the Afghanistan landscape. Yet, despite this reality, Canadians will be urged to cling blindly to tradition and display the poppy to honour our soldiers, even as our soldiers are dying to eliminate and destroy the poppy.
The Weekly Update into the Afghanistan Situation and Canada’s Role in Afghanistan are published every Thursday at www.jeeroburkhan.wordpress.com