Afghan civilians killed again


This 13 October 2014 video is called Afghan official says NATO airstrike killed civilians.

After 13 years, President Obama, ‘time to end our endless war in Afghanistan’. As ‘longest war’ hits another milestone, human costs continue to rise: here.

Afghan war soldiers’ survivors denounce war


This music video from England is called Jimmy Cliff at Glastonbury 2011 singing We Don’t Want Another Vietnam in Afghanistan.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Families of soldiers who died in Afghanistan say their loved ones lost their lives for nothing

“It’s been a total waste of British lives, Afghan lives, American lives,” said the grandmother of a soldier who died in action

Kashmira Gander

Friday 03 October 2014

As David Cameron visited Afghanistan and declared there was no prospect of UK troops returning to fight there, the families of soldiers killed in the conflict say it has all been for nothing.

Speaking to British troops at Camp Bastion, the Prime Minister thanked soldiers and acknowledged that the armed forces had paid a “very high price” for bringing “stability” to the country over the past 13 years.

But bereaved relatives have said that any improvement seen in the country would “come unglued”, and the lives of 400 British soldiers who died in the war have gone to waste.

Joan Humphreys, an outspoken campaigner against the war, lost her grandson in Afghanistan in 2009. The 69-year-old from Dundee said that British forces had not achieved anything in the Middle Eastern country.

Private Kevin Elliott, 24, of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, died alongside Sergeant Stuart Millar, 40, in an explosion while on foot patrol in southern Helmand on August 31 2009.

“In my opinion we should never have been there in the first place. I don’t think we’ve achieved anything, I don’t think there’s an improvement,” she said, and added that while there appears to be an improvement in Kabul, nothing has changed in other areas.

And although families would always be proud of their loved ones, she said many felt they had “died for nothing”.

“I was very proud of my grandson but never proud of him being a soldier, never proud of his involvement in the military. I supported him, of course I did, but I wasn’t happy with him being there.”

She added that the Taliban remain, and Al Qaida is likely to return to the embattled country.

“It’s been a total waste of British lives, Afghan lives, American lives,” she said, and went on to criticise politicians who initiated the war, claiming they have forgotten that Britain is not the power it once was.

“We should just stay back and if the Americans want to go in, let them go ahead, but don’t put our servicemen in there.”

“We should never have been there and when people say it’s a job well done, it’s just unbelievably crass. There’s no consideration for the families.”

Tony Philippson’s Paratrooper son Captain James Philippson died in a firefight in June 2006, making him one of the first British soldiers to die in the conflict. He echoed Mrs Humphrey’s sentiments, and said that while his son wanted to fight in Afghanistan, he never believed the mission would succeed.

“Though my son wouldn’t have missed going there for the world, he didn’t believe for one minute it was either worth doing or that we would succeed,” said Mr Philippson, 73, from St Albans, Hertfordshire.

“But he wouldn’t miss it. He joined the Marines and then the Paras because that was where the action was.

“He knew it was for nothing but I couldn’t stop him from going because he wanted to do some soldiering. It was his decision, he was the one who was willing to take the risk.”

“He didn’t think it was worth doing, just simply because of the cost, of human life and in dollars and pounds.

“What have they achieved?” he asked. “For the moment they think they have achieved a lot, but they haven’t.“

He predicted that the small improvements made in Afghanistan, such as women being able to go to school, would “all come unglued in the end.”

Additional reporting by AP

In fact, schools were already closing down in Afghanistan in 2012. Even the talk about girls being able to go to school is and was basically not reality, but talk. War propagandists’ talk.

NATO airstrike, at least 11 Afghan civilians dead


This 2013 video is called NATO Airstrike Kills 11 Children Under 8 in Kunar, Afghanistan.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany today:

NATO airstrike kills at least 11 Afghan civilians

At least 11 Afghan civilians have been killed in a NATO airstrike targeting Taliban fighters in the eastern province of Kunar. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the attack “in the strongest terms.”

A NATO airstrike late on Tuesday in Kunar, one of the Afghanistan‘s most volatile provinces, killed 11 Afghan civilians and wounded another 12, local officials said on Wednesday.

Provincial police chief Abdul Habib Sayedkheli said the NATO airstrike in the district of Narang had been requested by Afghan soldiers and police after coming under attack from the Taliban.

Tensions

A statement from the Afghan presidential palace said President Hamid Karzai had condemned the attack “in the strongest terms.”

Civilian casualties caused by misguided NATO aircraft remain highly sensitive in Afghanistan, occasionally triggering street protests and heightening tensions between NATO and Karzai’s government.

According to Assiocated Press, the death toll is fourteen.

United States warplane killed own soldiers in Afghanistan


This video from Afghanistan is called 500 Pound Bomb Dropped on U.S. Soldiers By Mistake.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Afghanistan: US bombing that killed five US soldiers and an Afghan was ‘avoidable mistake’

Saturday 6th September 2014

A US bombing in Afghanistan that killed five US soldiers and an Afghan in June was an avoidable mistake, the military admitted on Thursday.

US Central Command, which oversees operations in Afghanistan, cited a collective failure by soldiers, commanders and aircrew members to communicate and execute the fundamentals of the mission.

As a result, the soldiers and the Afghan were mistaken for enemy forces and were hit with laser-guided bombs.

The crew of the B-1 bomber were faulted by investigators for not taking reasonable precautions to identify where friendly forces were located.

Despite discrepancies in reported US troop locations, the aircrew did not take necessary steps to validate its information before launching the bombs, the command said.

Ground forces were blamed for incorrectly communicating troop positions.

They were also criticised for not knowing that the bomber’s targeting gear was incapable of detecting friendly marking devices.

War crimes in Afghanistan not investigated, Amnesty says


This video is called ‘Untried war crimes': Amnesty slams US military actions in Afghanistan.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

‘Flawed US military justice fails to recognise war crimes, says Amnesty International

Amnesty claims civilian deaths in Afghanistan have not been properly investigated

Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter

Monday 11 August 2014

Dozens of potential war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan have gone uninvestigated by Washington because of a “deeply flawed” military justice system, Amnesty International alleges today.

The human rights group says thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces, who are due to pull out of the country at the end of this year, but have little chance of forcing the Pentagon to hold those responsible to account where deaths were unlawful.

In an 84-page report published today, Amnesty calls on the US to end what it says is a culture of secrecy surrounding military discipline and consider replacing its “commander-driven” investigations, which rely on soldiers’ own accounts of their actions, with civilian-managed courts martial.

The organisation studied 10 American military operations which resulted in the deaths of 140 civilians between 2009 and 2013 but said none had resulted in prosecutions, despite apparent evidence of atrocities. It said that since 2009, there had been just six trials of US personnel for the alleged illegal killing of Afghan civilians.

Richard Bennett, Amnesty’s Asia Pacific director, said: “The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses. None of the cases we looked into were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.”

Amnesty said it had interviewed 125 witnesses and family members in connection with the Afghan cases, many of which involved operations by US special forces.

In two cases there was “abundant and compelling” evidence of war crimes, including the attempted cover-up of the shooting of pregnant women and torture of captives, according to the group.

American troops shot or fatally wounded five people during a night-time raid on a house where a family celebration – attended by guests including an Afghan police investigator and prosecutor – was taking place in the eastern Paktia province.

The dead included two pregnant women – one a mother of 10, the other a mother of six – and a 17-year-old girl. Witnesses told Amnesty’s investigators that after the raid in 2010, the American forces removed evidence, including digging their bullets out of walls and the bodies of the dead women.

A press release issued on behalf of US forces claimed that the troops had found the “bound and gagged” bodies of the three women in the house and suggested they may have been victims of a “traditional honour killing”.

The claims were later withdrawn and Nato admitted responsibility for all five deaths but no prosecution ever took place.

In the second case, the human rights group said there was evidence that an elite special forces unit – known as ODA 3124 – had carried out extra-judicial killings and torture during a three-month period ending in February last year in the central Wardak province.

Under international law, not every civilian death in war is unlawful. But if they have been targeted deliberately or indiscriminately then a full and impartial investigation must be held, Amnesty said.

THE families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice, Amnesty International said in a new report released on Monday: here. And here.