Dead Afghan civilians’ families protest against US bombs

This music video is Neil Young – Living With War.

A video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

Manchester, England. 24th June 2007. As Tony Blair hands over to Gordon Brown at an Emergency Labour Party Conference in Manchester, thousands of anti-war protesters march past the conference venue at the Bridgewater Hall.

From British daily The Independent:

US air strike killed 76 civilians, says Afghan president

By Jonathon Burch in Kabul

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, yesterday condemned a US-led coalition air strike which his government says killed 76 civilians, most of them women and children.

Coalition forces bombarded the Azizabad area of Shindand district on Friday. The US military said it was aware of allegations of civilian casualties, but said those killed were militants.

The US occupation forces in denial, as usually.

Demonstrations erupted in Shindand after Afghan soldiers arrived to bring aid to the victims’ families. The troops fired shots into the air and wounded six people after the crowd threw stones. Protesters said they would continue to demonstrate until “the attackers had been brought to justice”.

Correction: Karzai said the United States bombs killed “more than 89” civilians, according to the BBC. That BBC report continues:

Afghan tribal elders say a bomb was actually dropped on a large group of mourners at a funeral wake. Most of those dead were reported to be children.

“We went to the area and found out that the bombardment was very heavy. Lots of houses have been destroyed and more than 90 non-combatants including women, children and elders have died,” said Afghanistan‘s religious affairs minister, Nematullah Shahrani, appointed by President Karzai to lead an inquiry into the incident.

He said US forces “claimed that Taleban were there. They must prove it.”

“So far it is not clear for us why the coalition conducted the air strikes,” he added.

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7 thoughts on “Dead Afghan civilians’ families protest against US bombs


    “Last night, around 2 a.m. some people were attending a holy Koran recitation in Shindand district when Americans started bombing. Tens of civilians were killed.”

    [I]ncluding 50 children — in a village in western Afghanistan. . . . one of the deadliest airstrikes on civilians in nearly seven years of war. . . . “[T]here were no Taliban.”

    [F]ollowing the deaths of scores of civilians in an air attack by US-led coalition forces on Friday. . . . [h]undreds of angry villagers have reportedly attacked Afghan soldiers with stones who were bringing aid to the families of those killed in the attack.


  2. Wednesday, 27 August 2008 US FORCES MASSACRED CIVILIANS IN AFGHANISTAN AMERICAN occupation forces carried out a bombing raid on the village of Nawabad in the Shindand district of Herat province last Friday, killing 90 people, including 60 children, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

    Kai Eide, the UN’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan, said yesterday: ‘Investigations by UNAMA found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men.

    ‘The destruction from aerial bombardment was clearly evident with some seven to eight houses having been totally destroyed and serious damage to others. Local residents were able to confirm the number of casualties, including names, age and gender of the victims.’

    The UN is not in the habit of putting its imperialist masters and financial sponsors on the spot, but it exposes the spokesmen for the United States’ forces who said, last Friday, that warplanes had targeted ‘30 militants’ in the village of Nawabad.

    US attempts to shift the blame onto puppet President Hamid Karzai’s Afghan Army commanders is another blatant cover-up because the Afghans have no planes.

    We can also be sure that the Pentagon will ignore Kai Eide’s appeal for the ‘protection of civilians’ and respect for ‘human rights law’. Blowing up 90 civilians, including 60 children, denied those people the most basic right, that of the right to life.

    Massacres and other atrocities are an inevitable and integral part of NATO/US military operations aimed at trying to defeat the Taleban national resistance movement and maintain a puppet regime, like that of Karzai, so the imperialists can control Afghanistan.

    These mass killings can be expected to be more frequent as the imperialist occupiers become more desperate as a result of the defeats they are suffering at the hands of the Taleban.

    The strategic position of the country, next to the oil rich countries of Iran, the Arab peninsula and the Caspian Sea, makes it vital for Washington, Berlin and London to control it as a base of operations and a source of cheap raw materials.

    Barack Obama, the US Democratic Party Presidential candidate and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have discussed concentrating their military operations on Afghanistan rather than Iraq.

    However, the occupation of Afghanistan is not in the interests of the working class in the US, Germany, France and Britain.

    The taxes workers pay are being spent on weapons of mass destruction, rather than on healthcare, education and social services. Working class youth are being recruited into the armed forces as ‘cannon fodder’.

    Unfortunately, the oppressed peoples suffering the barbarism of imperialism, could mistakenly regard the workers’ movement as being complicit in the massacres and atrocities of NATO governments.

    Workers must prove in practice that this is not true. It is time for the trade unions and all workers’ political movements in the US and Britain to take action to stop the imperialist barbarism in Afghanistan.

    The unions in the US must tell Obama that any support in November’s election depends on a commitment to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. They should organise direct action, including strikes, to halt arms shipments.

    In Britain, as the Trades Union Congress prepares for its conference next month, workers must demand their unions halt Labour Party funding until the government withdraws the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    They must stand their own candidates in parliamentary elections, pledged to restore essential services to public ownership and withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

    If, as expected, the Brown government brushes aside demands to withdraw the troops, the trade unions must organise mass industrial and political action to bring down the government.

    It must be replaced with a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, including a foreign policy that will result in the withdrawal of British troops from overseas.


  3. 30 civilians killed in Afghan air strike: Pentagon

    Updated at: 2000 PST, Thursday, October 09, 2008

    WASHINGTON: A military investigation has found that more than 30 civilians were killed in an August 22 air strike in western Afghanistan — not five to seven as the US military had long insisted.

    A Pentagon spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the report, saying that the investigation by Brigadier General Michael Callan was not yet finished.

    The incident has angered the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai which has charged that 90 civilians were killed in the raid on the village of Azizabad, far more than acknowledged by the US military.

    An initial military investigation concluded that 30 militants and five to seven civilians were killed in the raid and a subsequent air strike by an AC-130 gunship.

    Callan, however, concluded that more than 30 civilians, including women and children, were buried under rubble, the Times said, citing an unnamed US military official.

    He found that the earlier military investigations did not — or could not — establish the full extent of the civilian killings, military officials told the Times.

    Callan and his team were able to review the scene of the attack more extensively, interviewing villagers for the first time, according to the Times.

    The US military said US special forces and Afghan troops came under fire as they approached what they believed was a Taliban compound, and called for close air support.

    The military’s initial estimates of the dead came from a battlefield review conducted by army Special Forces who conducted a building to building search but made only a limited assessment because they feared retaliation from villagers, according to the Times.

    Four days later, a US Special Forces major led a team of investigators who visited six burial identified from satellite photographs within a six-mile radius of the village, but found about 18 to 20 freshly dug graves at only one location, the Times said.

    “We were wrong on the number of civilian casualties partly because the initial review was operating under real limitations,” the Times quoted a military official as saying. “They were definitely not welcome there.”

    A spokesman for the US Central Command said Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey had not yet signed off on Callan’s report.

    “There is nothing we can say about the investigation or its finding until it’s complete,” said Major Joe Kloppel, a command spokesman.


  4. Afghans reject US military finding

    10 October 2008

    HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) – Afghan investigators rejected Thursday a US military finding that 33 civilians were killed in air strikes on a village in August, standing by their conclusion that 90 had died.
    A US military review released Wednesday increased the force’s original toll of five to seven civilians killed in Shindand in western Afghanistan to at least 33 civilians, including a dozen children.
    “This is totally wrong,” parliamentarian Mohammad Iqbal Safi, part of an investigation team appointed by President Hamid Karzai, told AFP.
    “We investigated that incident and found that 90 people, all civilians, were martyred. We stand by it, we have evidence to prove our claims,” he said. Humayun Azizi, head of Herat provincial council who also took part in the investigations, echoed the dismissal.
    The Afghan toll, endorsed by a UN investigation, makes it one of the worst incidents of civilian killing by foreign soldiers since they invaded to oust the Taliban regime in 2001, remaining to fight a rebel insurgency.
    Gul Ahmad Khan, a tribal chief who claims to have lost more 50 relatives in the strikes, reiterated a challenge to the US military to dig up graves and count the bodies, which he said numbered 90. “We’re ready to open the graves to anyone who asks,” he told AFP by telephone from Azizabad village.
    Khan confirmed US investigators had visited the village and were shown evidence.
    “The US soldiers came to our village and called through a loudspeaker, ‘We want to talk to the elders’,” he said.
    “We told them, ‘There’s no elder left that you could talk to, you killed all of them’,” he said.
    The review came as mobile phone footage emerged of bodies laid out in a mosque and after the US military had steadfastly kept to its numbers, saying about 30 militants were also killed.


  5. Pingback: Afghans protest US killing children | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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