UNITED STATES' WAR WITHOUT AN END
On Thursday, October 15, President Obama announced that the expected drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan will not happen and that 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in the country for a year and then be reduced to 5,000. This means that the 14 year Afghanistan war, the longest in U.S. history, will continue into the next U.S. administration.
Even these high troop numbers are deceiving because they do not include the troops from other U.S. allies that remain in Afghanistan and they do not include the 30,000+ contractors and mercenaries paid for by the U.S., a number that increases each time the U.S. announces a drawdown of its troops.
After 14 years of war and occupation, the U.S. Afghan policy has resulted in further Imperialist involvement and more human suffering. Today, the country is more unstable than when the U.S. invaded. As much as half of the country may be under Taliban control. The rest of the country is under the control of a group of U.S. backed and financed corrupt and reactionary war lords. Before the invasion, no heroin was produced in Afghanistan. Today more than 90% of the world's heroin production comes from Afghanistan, destroying lives in Afghanistan, the U.S. and other countries around the world. Afghanistan today is one of the poorest countries in the world, with one in three living in absolute poverty, and half the urban population without access to potable water.
The cost of the war has already exceeded a trillion dollars and is climbing. This money could be used to meet people’s urgent needs in the U.S. or to aid the refugees in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon as well as those pouring into Europe fleeing from U.S. wars and policies.
The criminality of the U.S. war on Afghanistan was demonstrated by the targeted destruction on October 3rd of the only regional hospital following the Taliban takeover of Kunduz. U.S. bombs pounded the city and a U.S. gunship repeatedly and with precision bombed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) for over an hour, while hospital personnel made desperate calls to Kabul and Washington to stop the attacks. At least 22 people were killed (12 staff members and 10 patients, of which three were children), 37 were injured, and 30 are missing. According to eyewitness accounts, some patients were burned to death in their beds. MSF calls the bombing of the hospital a “war crime” and has demanded an independent investigation by a humanitarian fact finding commission tied to the Geneva Conventions. The U.S. says that it will conduct its own investigation along with the Afghan government.
Additionally, on October 15, a “U.S. tank” forced its way through the hospital gate and “destroyed potential evidence.” In an email to NBC news, MSF claimed the tank contained a delegation of a “U.S./NATO/Afghan investigation team.”
This incident is the inevitable result of U.S. imperialist wars in the region. An arrogant disregard for the lives and welfare of the people of Afghanistan underlies the actions of the United States and its allies in the country where drones bomb weddings and funerals based on cell phone metadata.
President Obama ran for office on the promise of ending the wars and closing Guantanamo. Neither has happened. The U.S. “war on terror” has left the world with more terror and more terrorists. While these wars have amassed huge profits for Wall Street, oil companies and the Military Industrial Complex, they have cost the lives of thousands of Americans and millions in the countries that have been destroyed. They are the cause of the present refugee crisis and have led to attacks on our civil liberties and security.
Bring all U.S. troops home now from Afghanistan and elsewhere!
Allow an independent investigation of the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz!
Reparations for all victims of U.S. imperialism!