March 27, 2010

Botched raid in Afghanistan covered up by NATO

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 9:46 am

In the predawn hours of Friday, February 12, two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials were shot to death in their home in Afghanistan.

The first person to die in the assault was Commander Dawood, 43, a long-serving, popular and highly-trained policeman who had recently been promoted to head of intelligence in one of Paktia’s most volatile districts. His brother, Saranwal Zahir, was a prosecutor in Ahmadabad district. He was killed while he stood in a doorway trying to protest their innocence.

Three women crouching in a hallway behind him were hit by the same volley of fire. Bibi Shirin, 22, had four children under the age of 5. Bibi Saleha, 37, had 11 children. Both of them, according to their relatives, were pregnant. They were killed instantly.

According to journalist Jerome Starkey, writing for The Times UK, at first no one claimed responsibility for the killings. A US official in Kabul refused to identify the force involved, citing “utmost national and strategic security interests”.

Starkey’s reporting forcefully rebutted this claim. Instead of simply retracting their story, however, NATO went so far as to attempt to damage Starkey’s credibility by telling other Kabul-based journalists that they had proof he’d misquoted ISAF spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith in an interview. When Starkey demanded a copy of the recording, NATO initially ignored him and eventually admitted that no recording existed.

Local elders delivered $2,000 in compensation from the occupying authorities for each of the five victims to the head of the family, Haji Sharabuddin, after protests brought Gardez, the capital of Paktia, to a halt. He refused the money, responding “I don’t want money. I want justice. All our family, we now don’t care about our lives. We will all do suicide attacks and [the whole province] will support us.”

Regardless of the details, it is probably not a good idea to fight a “war on terror” by terrorizing the population and giving locals an incentive to do suicide attacks. Nice job, NATO – if the goal in Afghanistan is perpetual war.

For more details on this incident, please check out this video produced by Rethink Afghanistan:

Read more here:

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