After 20 years of "War on Terror", the US has withdrawn from Afghanistan. The Taliban, as was to be expected, have taken power. The war "ended" as it began: with a drone strike, in which supposedly terrorists were liquidated, but in which the US ultimately had no idea who they were killing here. The drone strike on August 29 killed not two" high-ranking " ISIS officials, but ten civilians, including seven children. With the announcement of his"over the horizon" strategy, US President Biden has now made it clear that drone killing will continue beyond the withdrawal of troops into all eternity – Afghanistan: the war that never ends.
29. August, Kabul, Afghanistan, 16.50 Local time. In the middle of the city center of the four and a half million metropolis, the Biden administration fires a Hellfire missile at a residential district near Kabul Airport by drone. A spokesman for US Centcom claims "several suicide bombers" from ISIS-K have been liquidated. Two" high-ranking " ISIS officials were among those killed. The Pentagon spokesman further claims that the drone strike "stoppedan immediate threat to the airport from ISIS-K." Over several hours, the vehicle was spied out by drone, it has approached several positions in Kabul during the day, the shelter of an ISIS cell below, and has loaded and unloaded various people, according to the reconstruction of the Pentagon. Several men were seen loading explosives into the car. When the latter was parked in the backyard of a neighborhood, the Reaper drone fired its deadly charge. Immediately after the drone strike, there had been "significant and strong explosions due to the destruction of the vehicle" and indicating "a large amount of explosive material inside" the car. Considerable doubts quickly arose about the story.
This latest US drone strike in Afghanistan coincides with the final withdrawal of Western troops from the country, which was supposed to end the war on the Hindu Kush after 20 years of "War on Terror"; President Biden also boasted in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday:
"I stand here today-and for the first time in 20 years [the United States is not at war]."
The US drone strike in Kabul on 29 August was an act of revenge – retaliation for the devastating attack at Kabul Airport three days earlier, which ISIS-K claimed for itself. In that heinous carnage at the airport on August 26, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the midst of thousands of people desperate to get into the airport area to be evacuated from the country after the Taliban took power. At least 169 Afghan civilians(https://theintercept.com/2021/08/28/deconstructed-afghanistan-isis-k-kabul-airport/ "ANDREW QUILTY AND REP. ILHAN OMAR ON AFGHANISTAN") were killed, as well as 13 U.S. soldiers-the first U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan since February 2020 and the deadliest attack on U.S. personnel in more than a decade.
Our report from last night on the awful ISIS attack outside Kabul airport as families still search Kabul's morgues for their loved ones..— Secunder Kermani (@SecKermani) August 28, 2021
Many we spoke to, including eyewitnesses, said significant numbers of those killed were shot dead by US forces in the panic after the blast pic.twitter.com/ac5nUVeJ4x
On-site investigations also reveal a slightly different course of events here: According to investigative research, the BBC journalist Secunder Kermani and the Australian photojournalist Andrew Quilty, among others, raise the serious accusation that many of the 182 fatalities did not die by the suicide bomber-in any case a precedent high number of victims for a single explosive belt – but by US soldiers shooting in panic after the detonation. In addition to various witness statements, clear evidence supports this thesis, as reported by the two reporters, steeply from top to bottom running bullet channels of rifle volleys in several killed. These clearly indicate that the shots were not fired from the ground by ISIS fighters - which the US government claims-but by US soldiers on bridges and watchtowers. This requires comprehensive information from neutral bodies.
The murderous attack of ISIS-K served only one goal: to provoke once again the drive to revenge, yet another massacre of Washington, which can be exploited propagandistically. And Biden - the US president can't get out of his skin-willingly fell into the trap of the jihadists. We'll hunt you down. And you will pay for it," Biden martial said to ISIS-K.
The last act, soaked in blood
The drone strike described at the beginning, this for the time being Washington's last act on the Kabul stage, stands so bitterly and exemplarily for 20 years of Afghanistan, for 20 years of American criminality: lies, war crimes, mountains of corpses. In an excellent piece of investigative research, the New York Times was able to meticulously determine what actually happened on August 29. Every central aspect of the Pentagon fairy tale should completely collapse into itself:
The white 1996 Corolla, which drove for hours through Kabul's city center, supposedly to finally commit an assassination attempt on US soldiers at the airport, belonged to a man named Zemari Ahmadi. The 43-year-old had nothing to do with ISIS or any other armed group, but has been working as an electrical engineer for the US aid organization Nutrition and Education International (NEI) since 2006. When Ahmadi drove back and forth in Kabul, he did not coordinate with ISIS terror cells, but drove his colleagues to the various hotspots of the city and distributed food to hungry refugees. The alleged ISIS safehouse was the office of the aid organization NEI. The" explosives " that were loaded were water canisters that Ahmadi took with him, since after the fall of the government, water supplies in his neighborhood broke away.
Also, the secondary detonation, which the Pentagon cited as evidence of their explosive history, may never have existed, among other things, based on forensic analysis of the crime scene. And the" high-ranking " killed ISIS fighters? In addition to Ahmadi, nine members of his extended family were killed by the drone: three of his children, his brother, his daughter and two sons, as well as two three-year-old girls. Ten civilians, seven of them children, were killed that evening by the US government, the youngest among them was Hayat-the name of the two – year-old is the Arabic word for "life".
NEI, a Pasadena, California-based charity that Ahmadi worked for, is dedicated to combating malnutrition in high-risk areas in Afghanistan, especially children and women. As an engineer, Ahmadi was involved in the construction of eleven soy processing plants, in particular to combat the devastating protein deficiency of those suffering from hunger. The US government has "disgracedhis honorable name," NEI chief Dr. Steve Kwon tells the British Independent. Kwon describes Ahmadi as a" talented, dedicated and long-time employee "who was" highly regarded by his colleagues and compassionate towards the poor and needy." "They were all innocent," Emal, Zemari Ahmadi's brother who survived the attack, said of his ten family members killed. "You say he belonged to ISIS, but he worked for the Americans."Sometimes, you might think, the difference is hard to tell.
"Over the horizon"
Anyone who thought that US hostilities in Afghanistan, drone strikes such as the one against the Ahmadi family, would come to an end with the withdrawal of the armed forces on September 1, was quickly misled. Immediately after the withdrawal, President Biden delivered a sultry-militaristic speech in which, although he boastfully proclaimed "the end of an era of large-scale military operations," "My dear Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over."But then Biden, seemingly without wanting to recognize the obvious contradiction in his words, threatens those Afghans who want to "harm America" in the future:
"The United States will never rest. ... We will chase you to the ends of the earth."
The resolution of the contradiction of waging war without waging war, Biden calls "over-the-horizon capabilities", meaning: "We can attack terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground.""Air strikes in Afghanistan, coordinated from military bases outside the country so-drones.
Regarding the effectiveness of these "capabilities", Biden refers in the next sentence to the drone strike in Kabul, which he practiced above, in which he killed seven children. So the children, women and men in Afghanistan can be prepared for this in the future: no more occupation of their country, no more boots on the ground, but air strikes in densely populated residential districts, drone deaths civilians. "Human rights", the US President continues, "are at the heart of our foreign policy". It may seem stale to bring international law into play, but these future air strikes will undoubtedly be illegal: after all, the Taliban, as the country's de facto ruler-unlike the puppet governments of Karzai and Ghani in the previous 20 years-will certainly not give the US official permission to bomb the country in the Hindu Kush.
At a recent press conference in Doha, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made it clear that the new "over-the-horizon capabilities" are not limited to Afghanistan, but rather to be understood globally: "There is no patch of earth that we cannot reach and tackle if we have to," Austin describes the extent of the new strategy and thus the US claim to be able to carry out air strikes anywhere in the world at any time if this is in Washington's interest.
The first time
The first drone strike in human history occurred on October 7, 2001 in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Less than four weeks after the September 11 attacks, Bush's CIA fired a Predator drone at the home of the fabled Taliban founder Mullah Omar, who was the de facto president of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan during the Taliban's first rule in 1996-2001. The U.S. initially claimed Omar was killed in drone fire, but more than a decade later he died of natural causes, presumably from tuberculosis. (No talib has been "killed" as often as Mullah Omar in the following years ...)
The military leadership at the time was "98 percent sure" that it had just bombed Mullah Omar, a lieutenant general in charge in 2001 told The Atlanticyears later. In a speech at the Military College of South Carolina in December 2001, George W. Bush also praised the" extreme accuracy " of the Predator – at that time still an unknown CIA secret weapon. The drone myth of" surgical precision "was born – the unmanned aerial vehicles only kill "the bad guys", like a scalpel remove the tumor with millimeter precision. The Predator drone with the number 3034, which made history in Kandahar at the time, is now on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington – as a military-historical milestone, it heralded a new era of modern warfare. Who their Hellfire missile actually killed at the time – after all, Mullah Omar survived, but at least two deaths have been documented-is unknown; according to some reports, possibly Omar's ten-year-old son. Who knows? And-just after 9/11 we are in the weeks and months of blood revenge and fair game mentality - who cares?
It is characteristic of 20 years of US war in Afghanistan that the first act of war and the supposedly last are so similar: The US leadership simply has no idea who it is tearing to death with its high-tech tool. And with his recent announcement, Joe Biden once again proves his ineptitude, assuring that this madness will continue" beyond the horizon " for all eternity – Afghanistan: the war that never ends.