Afghan My Lai Massacre

What Really Happened

On December 27, 2009, an unusual event in an already dirty war brought its standards to new depths. It happened in a deserted area in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar. Does it mark a turning point in this war?

The headmaster of the local school, Rahman Jan Ehsas, explained:

“Seven students were in one room. A student and one guest were in another room, a guest room, and a farmer was asleep with his wife in a third building. First the foreign troops entered the guest room and shot two of them. Then they entered another room and handcuffed the seven students. Then they killed them. Abdul Khaliq [the farmer] heard shooting and came outside. When they saw him they shot him as well. He was outside. That’s why his wife wasn’t killed."[1]

At first, media reports mentioned that the crime was committed by foreign troops, not Afghan ones. Then, rather soon, it emerged that American troops were involved. The regular troops thereupon declared that they were not involved [2], thus suggesting they were part of an elite Special Forces unit.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai demands US hand over gunmen who killed children. It is the first time that Mr Karzai has tried to hold foreign forces directly accountable for killing civilians. The US were repulsed by the immediate reaction and referred to a later investigation. They insisted that its men had come under fire and that all the victims were part of an Afghan cell manufacturing bombs [3].

Assadullah Wafa, who led the Afghan investigation, said that US troops flew to Kunar from Kabul late on Saturday. NATO sources said that the foreigners involved were non-military, suggesting that they were part of a secret paramilitary unit based in the capital. They landed helicopters outside the village and walked in at the dead of night before shooting the children at close range.

The New York Times cited the same investigation: “The delegation concluded that a unit of int. forces descended from a plane Sunday night into Ghazi Khan village, in Narang District of the eastern province of Kunar, and took 10 people from 3 homes, 8 of them school students in grades 6, 9 and 10, one of them a guest, the rest from the same family, and shot them dead” [4].

To this, the Times, cited above, brought the contrasting statement:

Western military sources said that the dead were all part of an Afghan terrorist cell responsible for manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have claimed the lives of countless soldiers and civilians.

Three days later, a suicide bomber killed 8 CIA-agents in South Afghanistan. Compare for yourself the reference of the two events in the mainstream media. It took also some time for the My Lai massacre to be appropriately referred.




[This photo is from another American massacre...]


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