SIX Iraqi primary schoolchildren have been slaughtered by a US helicopter spraying al-Nedawat village with machine gun fire and hitting a primary school, in Diyala province. Other children were wounded in the attack. It is just the latest incident in Iraq where the occupation forces have been massacring civilians as part of their ‘surge’ against the insurgency.
In recent weeks there has been an escalation of imperialist violence in Diyala and all over northern, western and central Iraq, as thousands of US reinforcements are being let loose on the Iraqi people.
The mental state of US troops is shown by the latest survey, which shows that one third of them think that it is okay to torture Iraqis, while the treatment of Baha Mousa by British troops speaks for itself.
The US last-gasp effort is to allegedly win Iraqi hearts and minds. It is in fact a last-ditch, desperate effort to win the war by the mass slaughter of Iraqis, over 650,000 of whom have been killed since March 18, 2003.
US generals are now explaining that since their forces are taking on the insurgency head-on in its strongholds, that rapidly rising US casualties must be expected.
The US and the UK are now carrying out the same military policy in Afghanistan – using massive firepower in engagements with the Taleban, in the course of which hundreds of Afghan civilians are being murdered.
Here again, a very brief flirtation with ‘winning hearts and minds’ has given way to brutal traditional imperialist slaughter.
US officers have already had to apologise for the slaughter of up to 30 Afghan civilians who were killed after US troops opened up on unarmed Afghans after they had escaped from a Taleban ambush.
On Tuesday, at least 21 civilians were massacred by a NATO air strike in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. The massacre took place in the Sangin district, where the US-led NATO coalition is fighting insurgents.
The decisive weapon that is being used is air power for bombing and machine-gunning villages and killing women and children in the main.
The massacre of civilians is now a central part of the US-UK terror effort to bring huge fire power to bear on the Afghan people to end the war.
The continuing slaughter is causing such an outcry that even the so-called Afghan Senate has urged a a negotiated settlement with the Taleban.
The Senate passed a bill which will now go before the lower house and, if passed, to President Hamid Karzai.
The Senate pleaded for NATO to halt its military operations while efforts got under way to open talks.
The killings by NATO have sparked angry protests all over Afghanistan, with effigies of George W Bush being burned amidst the chanting of anti-US, anti-NATO slogans.
The bloodletting in Iraq and Afghanistan is not going away, it is increasing. The occupation armies’ murderous tactics have united the vast majority of the Iraqi and Afghan people against the US-UK occupiers.
US casualties have risen to almost 3,500 dead soldiers, and many thousands more wounded. The numbers of Iraqis killed is rising towards three quarters of a million, with two million fleeing the country and two million more internally displaced.
More British troops are due to be sent to Afghanistan and British casualties are now rising rapidly.
Blair, one of the main architects of the Iraq and Afghan wars, is to announce his resignation today. The trade unions must seize this opportunity to tell Gordon Brown and the remnants of the Labour government that they must withdraw all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan or face a general strike that will bring them down.