Monday December 06, 2021

Murderous mistakes

November 11, 2021

Minutes before the US military fired on [Zemari] Ahmadi and his kids, surveillance video reportedly showed a child near where the missile struck.

Lieutenant General Said’s explanation for this appalling ‘error’ is as wanting as it is absurd. “The physical evidence of a child was apparent at the 2-minute point,” he said at a news briefing. “But it is 100 percent not obvious; you have to be looking for it.”

Well, sir, was that not the job of the US soldier or soldiers who were watching Ahmadi come and go that day: To look closely. To watch closely. To see and then to warn or call off the strike to prevent civilians from being annihilated.

Fuelled by anger and the urge to exact what they were convinced was a necessary and commiserate measure of revenge, it is my ‘genuine belief’ that US soldiers did look, did see, but did not care who they murdered, as long as Afghans died to avenge quickly the murders of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Lieutenant General Said and his allies inside and outside the Pentagon will dismiss anyone who dares suggest that Ahmadi and his family were not killed by mistake with the same certainty that once heralded the killings as a just, eye-for-an-eye response to terror.

Lieutenant General Said and his cocksure confederates must answer this question: How do they explain that from 2015 to 2019, the US government made – by conservative accounts – so-called ‘condolence payments’ totalling more than $2m to 455 Afghan families?

If they truly buy the, by now, perfunctory claim that Ahmadi and his family were killed by ‘mistake’, please also explain how the US military kept making ‘mistake’ after ‘mistake’ after ‘mistake’ that resulted in the deaths of Afghan women, children and men again and again and again and, apparently, after each ‘mistake’ failed to make sure not to make any more ‘mistakes’?

On October 22, 2020, a US air strike targeting a religious school was reported to have killed 12 children and wounded 14 civilians. Were the deaths of those 12 children a ‘mistake’, too?

Four days later, a US air strike on the Taliban killed three children and a Taliban commander. Were the deaths of those three children a ‘mistake’, too?

Like the other, long train of instances where US soldiers killed Afghan children, women, and men, we are expected to accept, without question, Lieutenant General Said’s finding that not a single US soldier violated any laws, including the rules of war, in the destruction of Ahmadi and his family.

We are expected to accept, without question, the word of this devoted member of the same US military that told lie after lie after lie day after day after day about who it had, in fact, destroyed as Ahmadi arrived home by car with precious jugs of water in tow, to be greeted by a gaggle of happy and excited children.

Excerpted: ‘Justice denied for the victims of Afghanistan’s Mai Lai massacre’