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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize winning president slaughters civilians; U.S. progressives shrug

Afghan civilian dead
Whose life has value? Many Americans believe only their lives have value.

When other lives are taken, these individualists just shrug in silence; or worse, they deliberately refuse to make themselves aware of suffering, often suffering inflicted by their compatriots.
Editing, brief comment by
Carolyn Bennett 


United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Selected accounts of Afghan civilians from UNAMA’s 2012 midyear report on Protection of Civilians in Conflict 

Relative of 18 civilians killed in June 6 airstrike, Baraki Barak district, Logar province, Afghanistan 

 At around 1.00 a.m., I heard the noises of warplanes and helicopters and then numerous explosions within the village. 

 After the planes and helicopters left the area, I came out of the house and saw that my cousin’s house was completely destroyed. I ran screaming and shouting towards the house and searched for survivors.  

In the second room, I saw blood on the bricks and found Zarghona in the rubble, the four year old daughter of my cousin. She was dead.  

All the villagers came to help search for survivors.  

In the rubble of the third room, we found the nine-year-old son of my cousin. The explosion severed his head from his body. All people were shouting and screaming.  

We then found the dead body of his mother next to him, her face was completely destroyed. I could not continue.

Father of two girls killed April 10, 2012, in an IED attack, Herat province, Afghanistan 

My wife, our four children, my brother’s wife and her two children were waiting at the district administration centre to receive our Tazkeera (national ID). I asked my family to remain near the gate and so that I could go inside to check if the Statistic Department staff had arrived to work.  
I heard a loud explosion and I ran back to the gate. I saw people lying in blood on the ground.  
I saw one of my daughters dead on the ground and my other three daughters and their mother wounded. The police helped me put my daughters and wife in a vehicle and transferred them to the hospital.

Survivor of June 15 complex attack at Spozhmai Hotel, Qargha Lake, Kabul, Afghanistan
I was with my uncle in the yard of the Spozhmai hotel. It was around 11p.m. He asked me to get the camera from the vehicle to record our social activities. 
I went to the car; it was then when I heard the shooting. I saw a gunman firing randomly at people and saw him firing at a group of young men – they were singing, enjoying their music. Some of them were not killed instantly; the wounded were crying for help and the gunman came back and shot them, targeting their heads.   
He killed them all.   
I also saw how they killed my uncle; they shot him in his head. His brain had come out. You know, he had just arrived from Iran to visit his elderly mum.  
They killed him. They just went around the hotel yard and inside the building to search for people to kill.

In the first six months of 2012, conflict-related violence in Afghanistan continued to devastate civilians


Glenn Greenwald on callous aggression against Pakistanis
The west remains silent as “U.S. drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan”
Killer drones kill

“… U.S. policies justified in the name of fighting terrorism – aside from being rather terroristic themselves – are precisely those that fuel the anti-American hatred that causes those attacks.”

The United States likes to think of terror as something only ‘others’ engage in, not itself; and supporters of Barack Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, simply do not want to think about him as someone who orders attacks on those rescuing his victims or funeral attendees gathered to mourn them.

Mountain of evidence rises.  

“…Attacking rescuers (and arguably worse, bombing funerals of America’s drone victims),” Greenwald reports in the Guardian (UK), “is now a tactic routinely used by the United States in Pakistan.  

“In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that ‘the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.’ Specifically: ‘at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.’ That initial TBIJ report detailed numerous civilians killed by such follow-up strikes on rescuers, and established precisely the terror effect that the U.S. government has long warned are sown by such attacks: 

Those killed in the follow-up strike [Yusufzai re-reported on the attack] ‘were trying to pull out the bodies, to help clear the rubble, and take people to hospital.’  

Drone launch
The impact of drone attacks on rescuers has been to scare people off: ‘They’ve learned that something will happen. No one wants to go close to these damaged buildings anymore.

Secondary drone strikes on rescuers helping (the injured) after an initial drone attack─ those further attacks constitute “a war crime” said Christof Heyns, the UN special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, Greenwald reports. 

Other documented drone attacks on
civilians and helpers 

Since that first Bureau of Investigative Journalism report, there have been numerous documented cases of the U.S. using this tactic. 

U.S. drones on June 4 attacked rescuers in Waziristan in western Pakistan minutes after an initial strike. Sixteen people died (BBC).  

Fifteen drone attacks on rescuers (“reported by credible news media”) occurred between May 2009 and June 2011. 

Drone killing of 16-year-old Tariq Khan and his 12-year-old cousin, Waheed, in December 2011, occurred days after the older boy attended a meeting to protest U.S. drones. No pictures exist because “drones often target people who show up at the scene of an attack.” 

This scene-cleaning tactic “not only intimidates rescuers,” forcing them to stop helping the wounded and removing the dead, “but it also ensures that journalists will be unwilling to go to the scene of a drone attack out of fear of a follow-up attack.” 

“Flurry of drone attacks” 

Drone from below
The weekend of August 18 in three separate [drone bombings], thirteen people died in northern Pakistan. Pakistanis were celebrating “the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the festival of Eid al-Fitr.” At least one of these strikes was reportedly “the type of ‘double tap’ explosion aimed at rescuers which, the U.S. government says, is the hallmark of Hamas [Greenwald re-reporting Reuters]. 

Those killed by U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan are more or less automatically deemed ‘militants’ by unnamed ‘officials,’ and then uncritically called such by most of the western press – a practice that inexcusably continues despite revelations that the Obama administration has redefined ‘militants’ to mean ‘all military-age males in a strike zone.’

“It is telling indeed that the Obama administration now routinely uses tactics in Pakistan long denounced as terrorism when used by others, and does so with so little controversy.  

Attacks in the past several months on funerals of victims have taken place in Yemen (purportedly by al-Qaida) and in Syria (purportedly, though without evidence, by the Assad regime). Understandably, such attacks sparked outrage; yet, in the west, the silence about the Obama administration’s attacks on funerals and rescuers is deafening. 

In the targeted area, though, “there is anything but silence.” Some offices of the United Nations also continue to respond to the United States’ extralegal killings. 

Speaking about last Sunday’s drone attacks, the UN special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson, said the United States “‘must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in.’” 

In the period after 2003, Greenwald suggests, U. S. progressives have fallen silent on U.S. slaughter of the defenseless demonstrating that they could care less about what the UN thinks. 


The UN Human Rights office reports that in the period January 1-June 30, 2012, more than three thousand civilians died and suffered injuries in the Obama government’s war-torn Afghanistan.  

Of those civilian casualties of the president’s violent exercise in foreign relations (terrorism creating terrorism creating terrorism), more than nine hundred (30 percent) were women or children. This means the U.S. president, in Afghanistan alone, has destroyed the future of generations.  

Oh, well, I guess uncaring U.S. “progressives” agree with their early twenty-first century unconscionably bloodletting Nobel Peace Prize winning President. How sad.


Sources and notes 

Afghanistan: Conflict Continues to take a devastating toll on civilians despite decrease in civilian casualties during first six months of 2012 – UN Report

KABUL/GENEVA (8 August 2012) – In the first six months of 2012, conflict-related violence in Afghanistan continued to take a devastating toll on civilians, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today, releasing its 2012 Midyear Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. 

Between January 1 and June 30, 2012, conflict-related violence resulted in 3,099 civilian casualties ─ 1,145 civilians killed and 1,954 injured ─ a 15 percent decrease in overall civilian casualties compared with the same period in 2011 [when UNAMA documented 3,654 civilian casualties (1,510 killed and 2,144 injured).] Of the 3,099 civilians killed or wounded, 925 were women or children representing 30 percent of all civilian casualties. http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12416&LangID=E

Full report available on the OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/HRReports.aspx

“U.S. drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan – and the west stays silent ─ Attacking rescuers, a tactic long deemed by the U.S. a hallmark of terrorism, is now routinely used by the Obama administration (Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, Monday 20 August 2012 10.33 EDT), http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/20/us-drones-strikes-target-rescuers-pakistan


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