Rape and Murder in Afghanistan
by Stephen Lendman
On March 11, up to 20 US forces murdered 16 Afghan men, women, and nine children, aged two to 12. Children were massacred while they slept. Two women were also raped before soldiers killed them.
Major media scoundrels whitewashed the crimes by shamelessly blaming one soldier to absolve others, and most of all, higher-ups responsible for permitting a culture that condones and encourages them.
A transparent March 11 Pentagon Secretary of Defense Panetta statement said the following:
“Today I spoke to President Karzai to offer my deepest condolences and profound regret for the tragic incident in Kandahar province that resulted in the loss of life and injuries to innocent Afghan civilians, including women and children.”
“A full investigation is already underway. A suspect is in custody, and I gave President Karzai my assurances that we will bring those responsible to justice. We will spare no effort in getting the facts as quickly as possible, and we will hold any perpetrator who is responsible for this violence fully accountable under the law.”
“I condemn such violence and am shocked and saddened that a U.S. service member is alleged to be involved, clearly acting outside his chain of command. I told President Karzai that the American people share the outrage felt by President Karzai and his fellow citizens. This tragic incident does not reflect the commitment of the U.S. military to protect the Afghan people and help build a strong and stable Afghanistan.”
“As we mourn today with the Afghan people, we are steadfast in our resolve to work hand in hand with our Afghan partners to accomplish the missions and goals on which we have been working together for so long.”
“This terrible incident does not reflect our shared values or the progress we have made together. As I told President Karzai, I am fully committed to ensuring that our cooperation continues. It is essential to forging a more peaceful future for the citizens of both our nations.”
Like similar Pentagon, White House, and other official statements, Panetta’s words ring hollow. They also reflected damage control cover-up, not only of a crime too grave to ignore, but just the latest in a systematic ongoing pattern wherever America shows up.
Like others, this one included rape and murder. According to Pajhwok Afghan News:
“A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday’s killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province.”
It spent two days interviewing surviving family members, witnesses, and tribal elders. They also gathered evidence where killings took place.
Two groups of US soldiers were involved. Attacks occurred in separate villages one and a half kilometers apart.
“We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time.”
Most victims were women and children. Parliamentarian Hamidzai Lali demanded that the UN and international community ensure those responsible are prosecuted in Afghanistan.
Lali said the Wolesi Jirga, Afghanistan’s lower House of the People, won’t stay silent until prosecutions occur, adding:
“If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga would declare foreign troops as occupying forces, like the Russians.”
Soldiers Committed Rape and Murder
On March 18, India’s Siasat Daily headlined, “US Forces raped two Afghan women,” saying:
The Afghan probe team said US soldiers systematically went from house to house in two villages, raped two women before murdering them, and at least 14 others. Some victim bodies were then set ablaze.
On March 17, Russia Today called the Kandahar massacre “preplanned” murder, according to Afghan Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Sher Mohammad Karimi.
He and President Karzai said multiple assailants were involved. They also stressed that US commanders stonewalled Afghan demands to interrogate those responsible and hold them accountable locally.
Surviving family members and witnesses said assailants had air support. Helicopters brought them in and remained overhead during the carnage.
Kandahar Massacre Reflects Earlier Ones
Analyst Rick Rozoff called the incident “particularly egregious” because of its “cold-blooded, calculated” nature. It evoked echoes of past ones like Vietnam’s My Lai, Iraq’s Haditha, and two Fallujah slaughter incidents in April/May 2004, then in genocidal numbers in November/December.
Survivors and witnesses confirmed industrial scale mass murder. Children saw parents shot. Adults lost spouses and children. Homes and stores were looted.
Thousands of others were destroyed. A government committee found 26,000 houses damaged and another 3,000 completely demolished. They included 70 mosques, 50 schools, and Fallujah’s power plant. The city depended on it for electricity, 50% of its drinking water distribution, and 70% of its sewer system.
Overall, indiscriminate slaughter, destruction, and environmental contamination occurred. It was followed by looting, mass arrests, torture, and deaths from ill treatment and disease. A cancer epidemic followed and numerous previously unknown or rarely seen illnesses, severe congenital malformations, and more.
Since 2001, millions of Afghans and Iraqis died. Libya’s enduring its own nightmare. Syria and Iran are next. American wars show no mercy.
Rape as a Weapon of War
In all US war theaters, slaughter, sadism, and other atrocities are institutionalized. Rape becomes a weapon of war. On June 19, 2008, the Security Council agreed, adopting Resolution 1820.
It demanded an “immediate and complete halt to acts of sexual violence against civilians in conflict zones.” It said:
“women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group.”
These offenses also “constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide.”
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manifred Nowak said rape constitutes torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment used as a weapon of war to inflict greater pain and suffering.
Author Slavenka Drakulic described it as “slow murder.” The Nuremberg Tribunal called it a crime against humanity.
Nothing, however, stops it, and UN resolutions fall woefully short. The latest Afghan rape and multiple murder atrocity reflects countless others. It’s because US soldiers are trained to be violent in war theaters and show no mercy. Anything goes and does. Women and young girls are especially vulnerable.
In May 2009, Britain’s Daily Telegraph said former US General Antonio Taguba said the Obama administration sought to suppress images of US soldiers raping and sodomizing Iraqi prisoners.
He called photos he saw explosive, saying they “show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency. The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough. Take my word for it.”
These and similar incidents aren’t isolated. Nor are a few “bad apples” alone involved. They’re widespread, tolerated, and sanctioned up to the highest government, military, and intelligence levels in all US war theaters.
Victims are helpless targets, including young girls and boys sodomized with phosphorescent tubes, clubs, wire, and other implements to inflict pain.
Instead of holding those responsible accountable, Obama suppressed their crimes. As a result, they continue. The latest Afghan victims represent a drop in the ocean. International and US law principles are ignored. Atrocities follow others repeatedly.
Wars reflect more than hell. They manifest generations of condoned US barbarity. It’s been institutionalized to permit wanton rape, sodomy, torture, sadism, murder, and virtually all other imaginable atrocities with impunity.
America the beautiful is an illusion only young children and fools believe. Ugly war theater wickedness reveals its true dark side. Its victims attest to how monstrous.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.