The American exit from Afghanistan was as chaotic and reckless as its invasion of the country 20 years ago – and again it was Afghani civilians who paid the price.
The hellfire missile attack on a car allegedly containing two terrorists about to strike Kabul airport has been reported by CNN to have killed nine Afghani civilians – including six children.
These most recent civilian deaths at US hands brings to almost 50,000 the number of Afghani civilians killed in the 20-year US-led invasion/occupation which was supported throughout by the Aotearoa New Zealand government.
This murderous last-gasp attack by the US was carried out to appease US President Biden who wanted blood after his promise to “hunt down” the terrorists who earlier conducted a suicide attack at Kabul airport from which a dozen US soldiers were killed.
What an inglorious end to two decades of brutish US imperialism – the lashing-out murder of six more Afghani children.
But it’s not these children the US cares about – or the 50,000 other Afghani civilians killed in the occupation. On the eve of leaving Afghanistan, General Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said “my heart is broken over the losses we sustained three days ago”. He was referring to the killing of a dozen US troops in a suicide attack at Kabul airport last week.
Meanwhile Biden has described the US evacuation as an “extraordinary success”. That man could make an Armani suit from a piece of dung.
The killing of civilians is of no account. I have a t-shirt which says “the first casualty of war is truth and the rest are mostly civilians.” How true.
The “nation-building” exercise which justified the 20 year occupation was always a charade. The US promoted so called democratic elections but only US puppet leaders could stand for President and in last year’s Afghanistan election fewer than two million people voted from a registered voter base of 9.6 million in a nation of 39 million people.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani was “democratically elected” by less than one million votes from a population of almost 40 million people. It was never an exercise in democracy but the imposition of imperial rule from afar.
Meanwhile the architects of the invasion – people such as George Bush, John Howard, Helen Clark and Tony Blair – have variously decried the chaotic withdrawal saying we are abandoning Afghanistan.
Al Jazerra columnist Andrew Mitrovica has suggested George Bush should be sharing a bunk bed with Ratko Mladic at The Hague and that former British PM Tony Blair should follow up by personal example on his calls not to abandon Afghanistan.
I think former Australian and New Zealand PMs, John Howard and Helen Clark should do the same to help with reconstruction in Afghanistan. And Willie Apiata should join them.