In Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties Happen by Design, Not by Accident

The people of few conflicted countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria hardly seem to get out of bloody wars. Syria, which is battling the regime change, would land into the same bloody fate of Afghanistan if it undergoes this transition. In both cases – before and after the regime change- the natives of these territories should pay the price of the West’s ambitious and hegemonic conspiracies.

Afghanistan’s death toll from the US-led war is placed at 100,000 people. This startling figure sparks the speculation that the US and allies were just watching the people dying over this period. The US-based Brown University’s “Costs of War” study finds that at least 100,000 civilians have lost their lives to the war between 2001 through 2014.

It added to the injury when the year 2015 ended up with record-high human casualities than any single year since 2001. And then at the end of the following year 2016, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) described the causalities “shocking” and “unprecedented”. The rate is set to go up as the US mulls over sending further reinforcements and F-16 fighters jets that suggest fierce war.

The Brown University’s finding seems to be authentic, because it is strongly circulated among Afghan war experts that an average of 20 people die a day in Afghanistan that constitute the estimated number when calculated. On the opposite front, the UNAMA reports the Afghan fatalities about one third of the Brown University’s figure. This UN agency’s compilation of war victims is unfounded and impartial and it amounts to complicity or clemency towards war instigators – by not disclosing the right statistic or just by sufficing to call on warring sides to heed for civilians life.

The Brown University’s study concludes that over 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan since 2001. It also revealed that the costly war in terms of life and expenditure didn’t result in inclusive, transparent, democratic governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR), Syrian fatalities caused by war, directly and indirectly, amount to 470,000 people. It states the number is twice the UN’s figure of 250,000 victims collected nearly a year ago. The SCPR’s report estimates that 11.5% of the country’s population has been killed or injured since the crisis erupted in March 2011.

In Afghanistan, civilians are killed for certain causes, and it is not by accident. Last month, ten Taliban suicide infiltrates killed 170 soldiers in a military headquarter in northern Balkh province [the unofficial figure put dead between 300 and 400 soldiers]. The harrowing and murderous Balkh carnage could serve as a best example behind many civilian and military deaths in Afghanistan. In days after the massacre, the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived in Kabul and informed of a new Washington strategy on the way in a press conference with the top US commander, as a response to the incident.

The carnage apparently became a motive for the likely shift in US’s policy that might be deployment of further US troops, more military hardware and demanding additional NATO forces in Afghanistan. In this context, Australia has already said it is open to sending more soldiers after Berlin signaled reservations.

In a single sentence: it was not the carnage that caused the strategy change, but it was, indeed, the strategy change that caused the carnage.

Afterwards, in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, the US National Intelligence Chief Daniel Coats spoke of a downhill security in Afghanistan through 2018. He said:

“Even if NATO deploys more troops, the political and security situation in Afghanistan will likely get worse”.

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In spite of being the most powerful military in a recent ranking, the US casts the Taliban “unbeatable”. The US officials since long predict each coming year “dangerous” for Afghanistan. But how do they know that?

The other day, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford speaking at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont also followed the track of James Mattis and Daniel Coats and stressed on sending more troops to Afghanistan. While speaking, he hinted at the latest Afghan Army massacre and raised it as basis to lobby the audience. The US never bothers to deliver a statement repeatedly unless the issue is concerned for it.

These high-ranks’ back-to-back rhetoric speech comes as the US is vigilant of measurable Russian support of the Taliban fronts in parts of Afghanistan.

In October 2015, the Taliban militants rushed into the unseen mass-killing of civilians on the streets of northern Kunduz city and converted it into a ghost city. The war analysts believed it was the US’s intrigue to send shockwaves into the Central Asian countries and importantly Russia.

Following the Kunduz attack, Sen. John McCain appeared to say that:

“The Taliban’s strength has been fueled by the Obama Administration’s scheduled troop withdrawal”.

He critically directed the Kunduz attack’s blame to Obama administration’s “untimely” troop drawdown. He wanted the troops to stay behind and only such a tragedy was feasible to push the troop-pullout plan in reverse.

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Even though McCain and others have long sought more troops or continued war on terrorism, Afghanistan loses more inhabitants to the fake war with every year going by.

Even the waves of so-called “terrorists attacks” in Germany, Holland and France last year underscores that these are the conspiracy theories aimed at continuous war in Syria and elsewhere. Many Europeans would still keep faith with the war-mongers’ cooked-up stories and back the US and NATO’s intervention in Syria. The sole purpose of all these planned attacks was and is to demonize the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda and draw a whole support to wage a filthy war against “the nations” where these terrorists operate.

Unrest in Afghanistan is a recipe for more US weapons’ sales to war-exposed countries, viable drug trafficking that generates a profit far beyond measure, unearthing of underground resources worth of several trillion dollars, restraining of the regional military and economic rival powers and so others.

The insurgent groups – be it in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq depending on the nature of war – have always chanted their slogans against the military forces or the incumbent governments – not civilians. But the wars have instead largely cost the ordinary people’s lives.

In almost every Taliban attack where the NATO and Afghan forces or government officials were targets, quite a few normal people have fallen victim. Typically, in a recent suicide attack on NATO fleet in Kabul, no international servicemen died or injured, but dead were only passersby and passengers of a minivan running behind the convoy.

The terrorist groups have left almost no public establishment un-attacked over this period, from hospitals and TV stations to universities and restaurants have tasted the undue violent killings. In March, Kabul’s Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan hospital was penetrated by several suicide bombers. Every war front including the Taliban leadership understands the immunity and neutrality of hospitals having no issue with war, but the armed men indifferently set off a killing spree and shot dead every one they came across in the hospital including ailing and elderly people and children.

The militants are, of course, aided and abetted by external and internal elements and this is just a show of distorted reality in Afghanistan used by war architects to hold a foot on the ground. While the terrorist groups have nothing in mind to achieve by slaughtering innocents, it rather give birth to grounds for the West’s presence and drag the fake war well into the future.

This war is stoked or afloat thanks, in most part, to the “kill and then blame” policy. This is well captured in Syria’s Khan Sheikhon chemical attack. First the gas attack that was over-amplified in the world media was fabricated and later the ground was prepared for the US to carry out Tomahawk missile strikes on Syrian Shayrat airbase without finding that the Khan Shaikhon chemical attack was launched from this base.

According to Afghan Human Rights organization, the Afghan war has claimed some 40,000 lives only between 2009 and 2016. Laal Gul an Afghan Human Rights expert says:

 “The Afghan and NATO security officials never disclose a true statistic of victims of an attack”.

It is aimed to simmer down public fury.

In Afghanistan, another excuse for civilian causalities is that the Taliban loyalists bury IEDs or landmines on public avenues allegedly for striking Afghan Army or the NATO’s convoy, but in many instances a civilian vehicle often packed with people has run over the explosives and torn apart. In an extremely disturbing episode, a footage released earlier showed that an old man rushes to the scene where his entire family’s car was blown up by a roadside bomb and desperately looks to women and children’s blood-soaked corpses that litter around the explosion point. Later it features that the man burst into tears as he lifts a lifeless child’s body.

People of Afghanistan are put to suffer this way along the one-and-a-half-decade-long US “war on terror”.

This is while Trump is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan. In 2011, there were 100,000 US soldiers on the ground with almost the same causality rate of present day. Fewer more troops are not up to making a twist in civilian life.

Many years ago, an Afghan journalist who was not named over security reasons learned about a mind blowing fact after contacting a Taliban spokesman and asking about those innocents killed in the Taliban suicide bombing, who replied:

“Those Afghans [other than foreign troops] killed in the blast would go straight to the heaven along with the suicide bomber”.

The intensifying conflict tells that another huge bulk of people is about to perish in the future. The people of Afghanistan and other war-wrecked nations can no longer tolerate such a vortex which is putting them on agony.

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Articles by: Sami Karimi

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