NATO’s Afghan Disaster: A Human Life is Worth $2,000

Pravda.Ru | 14.03.2010

Three hundred civilians killed in Kandahar alone in just two years, vast areas of Afghanistan out of control, NATO massacres and cover-ups… Had NATO invaded last year, the chaos would be understandable, but nearly nine years on? What is NATO doing in Afghanistan, apart from overseeing a massive spike in heroin production?

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“If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. You don’t have to be fired upon to fire back”.

Tangibly, what has NATO’s campaign managed to achieve in Afghanistan? There have been 1,685 deaths of NATO soldiers and CIA operatives, 259,308,000,000 USD (Two hundred and fifty-nine billion dollars) spent, thousands of civilian casualties, the wholesale discrediting of the Karzai regime which amounts to a gaggle of warlords, heroin traffickers and smugglers and an increase by 40 times of heroin production. Not bad. Oh, and NATO payments to the Taleban not to attack.

As the toll from Saturday’s bomb blasts in Kandahar reaches at least 35 dead and 57 injured, it becomes obvious that the Taleban have the capacity to carry out such attacks at will, striking where, when and as they wish. The latest attack comes in retaliation to a NATO offensive in southern Afghanistan. Taleban spokesperson Yousuf Ahmadi stated to AFP that “This was to sabotage the operation and to show we can strike anywhere, any time we want”.

“If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. You don’t have to be fired upon to fire back”.

So nine years after the attack was launched in 2001, exactly what is NATO doing? Has a credible government been installed? No, it is full of warlords, criminals and drugs traffickers. Has heroin production been wiped out? No, it has increased by 40 times. Is the civilian population protected? No, in Kandahar alone nearly 300 people have died in violence in the last two years.

NATO massacre and cover-up

Fresh evidence has been unearthed about an attempted NATO cover-up of a massacre of civilians on February 12 near Gardez, Paktia Province, Eastern Afghanistan. The Times newspaper reports interviews with civilians in the area who discredit the official NATO line that shortly after the operation, a “gruesome discovery” was made of women’s bodies tied and gagged.

“If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. You don’t have to be fired upon to fire back”.

What in fact happened, according to the newspaper report, was that NATO made a botched night-time raid (since then night raids and air strikes have been scaled down) using US and Afghan forces, which resulted in the slaughter of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two male civilians.

The report was based on interviews with a dozen civilians in the area, including a police chief and a religious leader who stated that the “gruesome discovery” was not perpetrated by insurgents, but by NATO and Afghan troops. False intelligence or intelligence which has not been properly investigated have led to a series of NATO massacres in Afghanistan.

The male civilians were the police commander Dawood, Head of Intelligence in a district of Paktia and his brother Saranwal Zahir, mowed down as he stood in the doorway protesting their innocence. The women were cowering behind him and were all killed in the same burst of machine-gun fire: Bibi Shirin (22) with 4 children under 5 years of age, Bibi Saleha (37), with 11 children. Both were pregnant. Gulalai (18) was engaged to be married and the family had prepared the wedding meticulously.

“If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. You don’t have to be fired upon to fire back”.

NATO denies that its troops were involved and denies any attempt at a cover-up. However, according to The Times report, Rear Admiral Greg Smith stated, when interviewed about the incident, that he did not know if the “hostile” elements had fired any rounds, yet admitting that “they were not the targets of this particular raid” and justified the incident by claiming that “If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. You don’t have to be fired upon to fire back”.

And if NATO was not to blame, then why was the family offered 2.000 USD per victim by the American compensation fund?

For NATO, a human casualty is worth 2.000 USD.

If after nearly nine years NATO is incapable of controlling Afghanistan, if after nine years senior NATO commanders admit the war is lost, if after nine years Afghanistan does not have a credible government, if after nine years the civilians in Afghanistan are neither safe from sectarian violence and certainly not safe from NATO massacres, if after nine years the heroin production is 40 times higher than it was, if after nine years NATO continues to perpetrate massacres and lie, then what exactly is NATO doing in Afghanistan, where a human life is worth 2,000 USD in American compensation?

And, while we are asking questions, what exactly is NATO?

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru

http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/112577-1/