Within 48 hours of the Pentagon’s confirming the identity of the US soldier arrested for the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, there are mounting questions about the official explanation of the bloody events of March 11.

Nearly every fact asserted by US officials in Kabul and Washington has been challenged, either by the villagers where the massacre took place, by the Karzai government in Afghanistan, or by those acquainted with the arrested soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38.

The most important questions are those raised by the villagers who survived the rampage. They have been repeatedly quoted, both in Afghan government accounts and in reports published in the international press, as describing several uniformed American soldiers participating in the bloodbath, not the lone gunman described by the Pentagon.

In a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Friday, relatives of the victims reiterated their claims of multiple gunmen. Karzai told reporters, “They believe it’s not possible for one person to do that,” referring to the multiple killings in two adjacent villages in Kandahar province. “In four rooms, people were killed, women and children were killed, and they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire. That, one man cannot do.”

US embassy and military officials have refused to respond to these charges, and Afghan officials said the Americans were not cooperating with the Afghan investigation into the atrocity. Sergeant Bales was shipped out of the country before Afghan officials could interrogate him, and the Pentagon indicated that his trial would be conducted on US soil—making it unlikely that the Afghan witnesses can participate except by video testimony.

The New York Times admitted that despite the US claims that a lone attacker was responsible for the massacre, “most Afghans see it as similar to the night raids [by US special forces], including Mr. Karzai, who on Friday portrayed it as the latest in a long string of episodes in which coalition forces have killed Afghans.”

Karzai described the American forces as “demons” and the burning of Korans earlier this month as “Satanic acts that will never be forgiven.” He said the massacre in Kandahar province “was not the first incident, indeed it was the 100th, the 200th and 500th incident.”

He told a press conference, “This has been going on for too long. It is by all means the end of the rope here.”

Doubtless Karzai’s reference to the “end of the rope” was an expression of his own nervousness over the likely fate of his beleaguered and unpopular regime, entirely dependent on the American forces whose atrocities he is obliged to criticize.

In a further indication of the Afghan population’s hatred of the US-NATO occupation, the US military revealed that a 22-year-old Marine killed in Helmand province last month was shot in the back of the head by an Afghan soldier. This is the seventh acknowledged death of an American soldier at the hands of an Afghan “comrade” in the past six weeks.

The information on the alleged attacker released by US officials has been at least as dubious as their accounts of what took place March 11. For six days, the Pentagon sought to keep the name of the US soldier secret, an extraordinary and unprecedented act of political censorship that drew no criticism in the US media. Fox News finally made Bales’s name public on Friday, and the rest of the media then followed suit.

Initial accounts attributed to military sources claimed that Bales had been having marital problems, that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury during a previous tour of duty in Iraq, and that he had lost part of his foot there in the blast from an improvised explosive device. He was also described as under additional stress because his home had just been foreclosed on.

Many of these details proved to be false. Both Bales’s lawyer and local media in Seattle-Tacoma describe his marriage as apparently happy. There had been no “Dear John” letter from his wife Karilyn, as was initially suggested. The foreclosure was on a home that Bales and his wife were renting out, not the one in which she lived, although that home was put on the market for sale the week before the massacre.

Bales bought this home in 2005 for $279,000 and it was going on the market as a “short sale” that would have left he and his wife $50,000 in debt—a situation that is all too common for working class and middle-class homeowners in the United States.

The government account of the massacre was summed up by an unnamed official who told the New York Times, “When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped.” As Bales’s attorney John Henry Browne responded, “The government is going to want to blame this on an individual rather than blame it on the war.”

The Obama administration and the Pentagon want to dismiss the massacre in Kandahar province as an aberration, the action of a “rogue” soldier, someone who inexplicably carried out actions at odds with the US mission in Afghanistan. The truth is that the March 11 massacre is a concentrated expression of the role of the US military in Afghanistan, and in every impoverished country bombed, invaded or occupied by American imperialism.

Bales, if he committed the actions which he is accused of perpetrating on March 11, is a war criminal who deserves trial and punishment. But the more important war criminals are those in the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and throughout the US political establishment who are responsible for more than ten years of war in Afghanistan, and who are plotting new wars in Syria, Iran and elsewhere.

Source: Global Research, By: Patrick Martin

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A good post that takes up the recent report from Human Rights Watch- “Today We Shall All Die”: Afghanistan’s Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity.

Afghanistan officials sanctioned murder, torture and rape, says report
Human Rights Watch accuses high-ranking officials of allowing extrajudicial killings and brutal practices to flourish after fall of Taliban

Top Afghan officials have presided over murders, abduction, and other abuses with the
tacit backing of their government and its western allies, Human Rights Watch says in a
new report.
A grim account of deaths, robbery, rapes and extrajudicial killings, Today We Shall All
Die, details a culture of impunity that the rights group says flourished after the fall of the
Taliban, driven by the desire for immediate control of security at almost any price.
“The rise of abusive political and criminal networks was not inevitable,” the report said.
“Short-term concerns for maintaining a bulwark against the Taliban have undermined
aspirations for long-term good governance and respect for human rights in Afghanistan.”
The report focuses on eight commanders and officials across Afghanistan, some of them
counted among the country’s most powerful men, and key allies for foreign troops. Some
are accused of personally inflicting violence, others of having responsibility for militias
or government forces that committed the crimes.
Kandahar’s most powerful commander, the former head of the intelligence service and a
key northern governor are among those implicated. All of the accused have denied the
allegations against them.
Some have ties to the former president Hamid Karzai, who as early as 2002 warned that
security would be his first priority. “Justice [is] a luxury for now; we must not lose peace
for that,” the report quotes him saying soon after coming to power. While he was in
office, a blanket amnesty law for civil war-era crimes was passed.
There are also multiple links to America’s military and government, sometimes beyond
the liaisons that were essential for troops on the ground.
When Assadullah Khalid, the former head of the country’s spy agency, was badly injured
in a Taliban assassination attempt, Barack Obama and the former defence secretary Leon
Panetta both went to visit him in the American hospital where he was recovering.
In doing so they chose to ignore a long history of accusations of rape, torture, corruption
and illegal detentions, some of it from US diplomats or their allies, detailed in the HRW

A confidential Canadian government report from 2007 warned that “allegations of
human rights abuses by [Khalid] are numerous and consistent” and he was described as
“exceptionally corrupt and incompetent” in a leaked US embassy cable.
Khalid has previously dismissed the allegations against him as fabrications. “I know
there is nothing (in terms of evidence),” he said in 2012, when his nomination as spy
chief stirred up controversy about his past. “This is just propaganda about me.”
Another favourite of US forces, Kandahar’s police chief Abdul Razziq, was pictured last
year arm in arm with a beaming three-star US general, who credited him with improving
security in the political and cultural heart of southern Afghanistan.
Yet his rise to power he has been dogged by a trail of allegations of extrajudicial killings,
forced disappearances and torture, some described by HRW in gruesome detail. As early
as 2006, when still leading a unit of border police, he was accused of the abduction and
murder of 16 men, said to be in a revenge killing for the death of his brother.
“The acting commander of border police in Kandahar, Abdul Razzaq Achakzai [Raziq],
has acknowledged killing the victims, but has claimed (claims now proved false) that the
killings took place during an ambush he conducted against Taliban infiltrators,” a report
by the office of the EU envoy to Afghanistan said then.
Since he took control of the province’s police in 2011, the United Nations has
documented “systematic” use of torture in Kandahar’s police and intelligence units, and
the Human Rights Watch report lists multiple cases of men detained by Kandahar police,
whose mutilated corpses were found discarded days later. Raziq has repeatedly denied
all allegations of wrongdoing.
Raziq has categorically denied all charges of abuse, as attempts to undermine him.
“When someone works well, then he finds a lot of enemies who try to ruin his name,” he
told the Atlantic in 2011.
Last year he told the New York Times: “I don’t think people fear me … at least I don’t
want them to fear me.”
The report also details large-scale corruption, that is said to have eroded both security
and confidence in the government, while stuffing the coffers of abusive strongmen.
Lucrative contracts for logistics and security allowed some to maintain militias under
official cover, and pay off the Taliban instead of trying to defeat them, HRW said, while
other security officials were involved in drug production and trafficking.
Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency
International, and the compromised justice system also badly undermines
accountability, with little sense among ordinary Afghans that abusers will ever be held to
account.
“Initiatives ostensibly undertaken to curb corruption and other abuses have had
virtually no impact, for the same reasons there has been no progress tackling impunity in
other areas,” the report said. “Officially, the United States has backed anti-corruption
measures, while at the same time reportedly protecting officials accused of corruption
who have been deemed vital to the war effort.”

Atta Mohammad Noor, the influential governor of northern Balkh province is one of
those the report says profited from Nato projects to expand the security forces, using
them to absorb and fund his own militias, hundreds of men strong. They have been
accused of abuses for which HRW says Atta bears responsibility, even if he is not head of
a formal chain of command. Atta denies the allegations in the report.
“The informal nature of militias can make it difficult to establish who has ultimate
command responsibility for their actions,” the report says. “However, the available
evidence indicates that they could not operate without Atta’s consent and have been
effectively under his control, including at the time of the alleged abuses.”
It quotes him telling one villager who complained about killings by a militia group under
his command in 2011. “Please forgive [the killer], it was just a mistake.”
Atta in 2011 said that two of the militias he ran were needed to secure his province
because Karzai’s government refused to increase police and army ranks there. “The
people who complain about militia are people who have links with the Taliban,” he told
the Wall Street Journal.
Human Rights Watch called on the Afghan government and its international backers to
do more to hold the security forces to account. Despite meticulous documentation of
many cases of abuse, there has not been a single prosecution for torture.
Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, said his government would not tolerate
torture and thanked HRW for the report, but did not respond to the individual
allegations.
Source: The Guardian

Afghanistan’s new government should prosecute officials and commanders whose serious human rights abuses have long gone unpunished.

Read the whole report here: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2015/03/03/today-we-shall-all-die-0

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Paying Afghanistan’s Bills

October 6, 2014

By the end of the year, Congress will have appropriated more money for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, when adjusted for inflation, than the United States spent rebuilding 16 European nations after World War II under the Marshall Plan. A staggering portion of that money — $104 billion — has been mismanaged and stolen. Much of what was […]

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Ensamkommande flyktingbarn

September 11, 2014

Jag har tidigare skrivit om ensamkommande flyktingbarn från Afghanistan. Jag har fått en hel del negativa kommentarer kring ämnet då jag utmärkande pekar ut en specifik etnisk grupp från Afghanistan. Av de efterforskningar jag har gjort har det visat sig att över 90% av de ensamkommande “flyktingbarn” från Afghanistan utgörs av den etniska gruppen Hazara. […]

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Dangerous ‘truth’: The Kabul women’s poetry club

November 17, 2013

In Afghanistan, women are determined to protect new-found freedoms. For the BBC’s 100 Women season, I met the women poets who face great risk, including death threats, to express their deepest thoughts. In a little room tucked behind a Kabul cinema bedecked with Bollywood billboards, Afghan women are waging a literary war that is both […]

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Analysis of “CIA World Fact Book” (1981-2012): Dimensions of anti-Pashtun Conspiracy

November 17, 2013

 Copyright. April 6, 2013 By: Dr. Rahmat Rabi  Zirakyar, Independent Scholar, USA zirakyar1234@yahoo.com دا زموږ قسمت دی چې په ویـنو کې مزل وهـو       یو قـدرت چې ووهـو بیا بل وهـو بیا بل وهـو Destiny demands we wade through pools of blood. We have defeated the powerful repeat we must defeat, and yet once more.  –A Pashto couplet   […]

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An Afghan Poet Shapes Metal and Hard Words

August 22, 2013

By AZAM AHMED KHOST, Afghanistan — The poet guided a strip of sheet metal into the ancient steel clippers, cutting shimmering triangles that fell with a dull clang on the shop floor. In the background, a workman’s chorus filled the yard: a handsaw planing a log beam; a generator humming and catching; the groan of a […]

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Assassinations and CIA Drug Money

August 15, 2013

Bruce G. Richardson CIA: Global Drug Trafficking, Terrorist Affiliations, Political Assassination…Resolution by other (Unlawful, Unethical and Immoral) Means Assassination is one of the oldest tools of power-politics, dating back as far as recorded history. Osama bin Laden: The execution-style killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1st in Abbottabad, Pakistan has raised objections and outrage […]

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April joke or what? Mullah Omar can contest Afghanistan election, says Karzai

April 2, 2013

Saw a news clip where Hamid Karzai says that Mullah Omar can contest Afghanistan election. The only problem is that no one has seen or heard from Mullah Omar for many years now. Second problem is that Taliban has never accepted the constitution of Afghanistan that has been dictated by Northern Alliance together with “Invading […]

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Obaidullah Obaid minister of higher education – deep in corruption

March 10, 2013

  The Afghan minister of higher education Obaidullah Obaid was recently exposed by buying a car for more 7,7 million afghanis. By digging deeper it showed up that he had granted and sent 1000 Hazaras to Malaysia by selling scholarships to them.  By favoring  and take a stand for the Hazara and simultaneously discriminate Pashtoons […]

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