Soldiers still dying in the Peace Prize winner's war

Jayel Aheram
Aug 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Afghanistan, credit REUTERS

More depressing news out of Afghanistan as Afghans continue to kill each other with American weapons. In the same weekend, an Afghan police officer guns down 10 of his fellow officers and 6 civilians died in a roadside bomb attack, including women and children:

 "Women and children were among the victims," Helmand police spokesman Farid Ahmad Farhang said, adding that they had been travelling in the Musa Qala district of the restive province.

Roadside bombs are a favourite weapon of Taliban fighting government forces and their NATO backers, but often miss their targets and kill civilians.

The latest deaths come two days after a report by the United Nations said 1,145 civilians had been killed and 1,954 wounded in the war in the first six months of this year.

Of course, it is not just brown-skinned Muslims that are needlessly dying in that unnecessary, purposeless war. In news reports that are sure to pull heartstrings, American lives have been been lost in Afghanistan as well. As reported by Antiwar.com's John Glaser, there have been two separate incidents in the past two days where Afghan soldiers have turned their U.S.-funded military training and weapons against American soldiers:

Three more US soldiers were shot and killed on Saturday by an Afghan trainee at a base in Helmand province, raising to six the number of American troops killed by their Afghan partners in just 24 hours.

On Friday, gunmen in Afghan uniforms shot and killed three US special operations forces in southern Afghanistan, marking the 28th killed by so-called green-on-blue attacks this year.

In the first attack, US troops were lured to their deaths by an Afghan police commander who invited them to dinner Thursday night. The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks and said the gunmen had defected to the insurgency.

We need to be clear here: uniformed Afghan soldiers are shooting back at our own soldiers and they are targeting the security apparatus of the puppet government in Kabul -- that is, targeting the military and the police, and killing many civilians in the process. The United States is wasting its sons and daughters to enforce peace on a region on the brink of a civil war. And for what, exactly?

Of course, our military leaders and the politicians in Washington, D.C. will probably conclude that in order to prevent these incidents in the future, our military will just have to screen Afghan trainees just a little bit more carefully to make sure they are not infiltrators, as opposed to concluding that these incidents will not stop, and are the logical and inevitable result of 11 years of America's brutal war in Afghanistan. What do we expect from Afghans after a decade of enduring bombings, rapes, and mass murders under U.S. occupation? When would we recognize the rights of foreigners to resist imperialism, to resist occupation, to resist the various crimes against humanity perpetuated against the most powerless of their people in our name?

I hadn't heard about uniformed Afghan soldiers shooting Americans.  Eesh.  Unfortunately, this will probably become an excuse to stay longer -- so we can get the situation really under control, of course.

Bonnie Kristian's picture

The war is pretty much Afghan patriots attempting to expel an occupying power, if you go with the Geneva Conventions and our own Military Commissions Act of 2006's definitions--that is, these are lawful enemy combatants. Yet we are treating them as anything but and committing war crimes in the process.

aheram's picture