Bush helped murderous Afghan warlord

This video says about itself:

New reports from a human rights organisation and the German press have substantiated charges that US troops, aided by local and international allies, massacred thousands of defenceless Taliban in the course of the war in Afghanistan.

The international press first reported treatment of Taliban prisoners that systematically breached the Geneva Conventions at the end of November. At that time, American aircraft and helicopters quelled an apparent revolt by prisoners at the fortress of Qala-i-Janghi near Mazar-i-Sharif, which was bombed from the air. Several hundred prisoners died as a result of the bombardment, with just 86 surviving the attack.

The victims were members of the Taliban, who had previously surrendered in Konduz to troops led by the Uzbek general, Rashid Dostum, an ally of the Americans. Having surrendered, the Taliban were prisoners of war entitled to full protection under the Geneva Conventions.

From the approximately 8,000 fighters who surrendered in Konduz only 500 to 800 were taken to Qala-i-Janghi. Soon information emerged that other Taliban had been murdered.

Last January and February, a team from the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), based in Boston, visited a number of graves in the Mazar-i-Sharif and Sheberghan area. They established that two of the mass graves that they investigated were of recent origin. The team quoted testimony from inhabitants of the region, who claimed to have seen scores of bodies unloaded from container trucks and buried in the desert by bulldozers.

In a May 1 letter to the provisional Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the PHR wrote: “The forensic team also found evidence of recently disposed human remains in two of the nine gravesites that were visited. While we are not in a position to verify the provenance of the remains in these sites, we heard speculation from well-informed international observers that one of these sites, near the city of Sheberghan, could have been a disposal ground of Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the Northern Alliance in November and December 2001.

From the New York Times in the USA:

U.S. Said to Have Averted Inquiry Into ’01 Afghan Killings


Published: July 10, 2009

WASHINGTON — After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.

American officials had been reluctant to pursue an investigation — sought by officials from the F.B.I., the State Department, the Red Cross and human rights groups — because the warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, was on the payroll of the C.I.A. and his militia worked closely with United States Special Forces in 2001, several officials said. They said the United States also worried about undermining the American-supported government of President Hamid Karzai, in which General Dostum has served as a defense official.

“At the White House, nobody said no to an investigation, but nobody ever said yes, either,” said Pierre Prosper, the former American ambassador for war crimes issues. “The first reaction of everybody there was, ‘Oh, this is a sensitive issue; this is a touchy issue politically.’ ”

It is not clear how — or if — the Obama administration will address the issue.

See also here.

Campaigners have announced they will stage an emergency protest calling for British troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan: here. And here.

The Obama administration has announced that it will not investigate the 2001 killings of thousands of Afghan prisoners of war who were allegedly slaughtered by US-backed warlords: here. UPDATE: US President Barack Obama has ordered an investigation into reports that warlords allied to the US slaughtered up to 2,000 Afghan prisoners of war in 2001: here.

Britain: Three 18-year-olds among troops killed on Afghan mission’s bloodiest day: here. The Stop the War Coalition is saddened by the tragic deaths of young soldiers in Afghanistan: here.

Labour MP Alan Simpson has warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown that British troops in Afghanistan are “defending no-one apart from war lords and drug barons”: here.

9 thoughts on “Bush helped murderous Afghan warlord

  1. Obama orders probe of killings in Afghanistan
    13.07.09 10:56

    US President Barack Obama said in an interview to be aired Monday that he has ordered a probe into attempts to quash an investigation into the mass execution of Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan, reported AFP.

    The New York Times had reported Friday that top officials from the previous administration of president George W. Bush discouraged separate probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and the Pentagon.

    They wanted to hush up the killing of up to 2,000 prisoners in 2001 because it was carried out by the forces of General Abdul Rashid Dostam, an Afghan warlord then on the Central Intelligence Agency’s payroll, it said.

    “The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama told CNN television during his visit to Ghana over the weekend.

    “So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up,” Obama said, according to excerpts released by CNN.

    “I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war, Obama told CNN.

    “And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that.”

    The network plans to air the full interview at 10:00 pm Monday (0200 GMT Tuesday).

    A powerful commander in control of a section of northern Afghanistan, Dostam first allied with the Soviets during their invasion of the country in the 1980s.

    But later he sided with the Americans and received military and CIA support after the United States invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    Dostam’s militia worked closely with US Special Forces and was part of the Northern Alliance, which helped the United States topple the Taliban.

    The killings took place in late November 2001, shortly after the invasion that ousted Kabul’s Taliban government.

    Taliban prisoners captured by Dostam’s forces after a major battle in northeastern Kunduz province were allegedly packed into shipping containers and left to suffocate, or were shot through the container walls, before being buried in mass graves.

    Estimates on the number of people killed have ranged from several hundred to several thousand.

    According to The Times, the Bush administration was concerned that an investigation into the killings could hurt Afghan President Hamid Karzai because Dostam had served as a defense official in his government.

    The Obama administration has maintained frostier relations with Karzai, whose government is seen as corrupt and unpopular, although the new president has dispatched 21,000 fresh troops to Afghanistan ahead of elections there in August.

    Dostam, whose alleged killings may have amounted to the biggest war crime in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, was reinstated to his post last month after being suspended last year for allegedly threatening a political opponent at gunpoint.

    But he remains in exile in Turkey, and US officials have pressed his sponsors there to delay his return to Afghanistan, the Times said, citing an official briefed on the matter.



  2. Civilians among dozens killed in Afghan violence

    Web posted at: 7/12/2009 2:3:41

    Source ::: AFP

    Kabul: US-led troops killed a former high-ranking policeman in a raid near Kabul overnight, officials said yesterday, as four security guards and dozens of rebels died elsewhere in Afghanistan.

    Mohammada Jan, retired director of traffic police in the province of Logar was killed as US-led troops and Afghan police attacked his house in an overnight raid, provincial police chief Ghulam Mustafah said. “We had intelligence reports about his sons’ involvement in destructive activities but we had no information about him being involved in such activities,” Mustafah said.

    Troops detained two sons of the retired police official during the raid, Mustafah said. Another civilian was killed and seven injured when gunfire from a NATO-led base hit their home in the eastern province of Kunar overnight, a local police official said. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could not confirm this immediately.


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