the Murderous Intent Towards Afghan Civilians Leaks Out
Reported by: TheRationalRadical.Com
11/7/2001 : In the most well-managed war, through the thickest veil of propaganda, the truth will leak out.
Despite the Bush administration's claim that it means the Afghan civilian population no harm, statements have recently started cropping up that put the lie to that assertion.
For example, there are these kind words from Admiral Michael Boyce, Chief of the British Defense Staff. Speaking of the bombing campaign, he said
The squeeze will carry on until the people of the country themselves recognize that this is going to go on until they get the leadership changed.
In other words, we'll squeeze -- meaning blow up, starve and otherwise terrorize -- the people of Afghanistan until they get rid of the Taliban. Note to Admiral: starving, sick people are unable to conduct a revolution.
Another example of loose lips sinking the Bush administration's propaganda ship comes from the Pakistani dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who until recently, of course, was the Taliban's (and hence Osama bin Laden's) main supporter.
Apparently feeling quite loquacious in a Reuters interview the other day, General Musharraf indicated that heavier bombing, even if politically difficult to sustain in the short run, was the most likely way of weakening the Taliban to the point where widespread defections would occur.
"One has to achieve the objective of a military operation," he said, adding: "Afghanistan has suffered, the people are suffering so much that I am reasonably sure that there are many people who question the wisdom of suffering for somebody who is there and not an Afghan, like Osama bin Laden and his people."
All his verbiage boils down to: when the people suffer enough from the bombing, the Taliban will fall.
Finally, there is the following chilling example, which gets to the most basic truth of the matter.
Chowkar-Karez is a small farming village about 35 miles from Qandahar, the so-called "spiritual home" of the Taliban. The village was demolished in a U.S. bombing raid October 22, with great loss of civilian life.
Witnesses talked to by the Western reporters claimed there were no Taliban troops in the village and that U.S. planes opened fire on people as they attempted to flee the bombs.
The Pentagon has confirmed that Chowkar-Karez was attacked by AC-130 Spectre gunships, which fly low and are armed with cannons. But it has made no further statements, even though the attack was raised in three different press briefings.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- asked again this week about the incident after the journalists visited the site -- professed ignorance. "I cannot deal with that particular village," he replied. [emphasis added]
This would be bad enough, deliberate gunning down of fleeing civilians. Administration apologists, however, would say it was a mistake, or a rogue pilot. But they couldn't get away with such dissembling after this admission:
Later, unidentified Pentagon officials told CNN that Chowkar-Karez was "a fully legitimate target" because it was a nest of Taliban and al-Qaeda sympathizers. "The people there are dead because we wanted them dead," an official said.
In other words, if unarmed civilians sympathize with the Taliban, we will kill them. That morally repugnant concept violates every modern rule of warfare.
Our valid goal of eliminating the threat of Osama bin Laden and his group al Qaeda has been twisted by the Bush administration into a general attack on the Afghan civilian population.