AMERICAN occupation forces carried out a bombing raid on the village of Nawabad in the Shindand district of Herat province last Friday, killing 90 people, including 60 children, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Kai Eide, the UN’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan, said yesterday: ‘Investigations by UNAMA found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men.
‘The destruction from aerial bombardment was clearly evident with some seven to eight houses having been totally destroyed and serious damage to others. Local residents were able to confirm the number of casualties, including names, age and gender of the victims.’
The UN is not in the habit of putting its imperialist masters and financial sponsors on the spot, but it exposes the spokesmen for the United States’ forces who said, last Friday, that warplanes had targeted ‘30 militants’ in the village of Nawabad.
US attempts to shift the blame onto puppet President Hamid Karzai’s Afghan Army commanders is another blatant cover-up because the Afghans have no planes.
We can also be sure that the Pentagon will ignore Kai Eide’s appeal for the ‘protection of civilians’ and respect for ‘human rights law’. Blowing up 90 civilians, including 60 children, denied those people the most basic right, that of the right to life.
Massacres and other atrocities are an inevitable and integral part of NATO/US military operations aimed at trying to defeat the Taleban national resistance movement and maintain a puppet regime, like that of Karzai, so the imperialists can control Afghanistan.
These mass killings can be expected to be more frequent as the imperialist occupiers become more desperate as a result of the defeats they are suffering at the hands of the Taleban.
The strategic position of the country, next to the oil rich countries of Iran, the Arab peninsula and the Caspian Sea, makes it vital for Washington, Berlin and London to control it as a base of operations and a source of cheap raw materials.
Barack Obama, the US Democratic Party Presidential candidate and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have discussed concentrating their military operations on Afghanistan rather than Iraq.
However, the occupation of Afghanistan is not in the interests of the working class in the US, Germany, France and Britain.
The taxes workers pay are being spent on weapons of mass destruction, rather than on healthcare, education and social services. Working class youth are being recruited into the armed forces as ‘cannon fodder’.
Unfortunately, the oppressed peoples suffering the barbarism of imperialism, could mistakenly regard the workers’ movement as being complicit in the massacres and atrocities of NATO governments.
Workers must prove in practice that this is not true. It is time for the trade unions and all workers’ political movements in the US and Britain to take action to stop the imperialist barbarism in Afghanistan.
The unions in the US must tell Obama that any support in November’s election depends on a commitment to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. They should organise direct action, including strikes, to halt arms shipments.
In Britain, as the Trades Union Congress prepares for its conference next month, workers must demand their unions halt Labour Party funding until the government withdraws the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
They must stand their own candidates in parliamentary elections, pledged to restore essential services to public ownership and withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
If, as expected, the Brown government brushes aside demands to withdraw the troops, the trade unions must organise mass industrial and political action to bring down the government.
It must be replaced with a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, including a foreign policy that will result in the withdrawal of British troops from overseas.