One million Afghan civilians were killed in the nine-year conflict with the Soviets, along with 90,000 mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers. But these deaths, along with the destruction of Afghanistan, were “worth it” to cripple the Soviets.
Things are already dire. There are some 14 million Afghans – one in three – who lack sufficient food. There are two million Afghan children who are malnourished. There are 3.5 million people in Afghanistan who have been displaced from their homes. The war has wrecked infrastructure. A drought destroyed 40 percent of the nation’s crops last year. The assault on the Afghan economy is already seeing food prices skyrocket. The sanctions and severance of aid will force civil servants to go without salaries, and the health service, already chronically short of medicine and equipment, will collapse. The suffering orchestrated by the empire will be of biblical proportions. And this is what the empire wants.
UNICEF estimates that 500,000 children were killed as a direct result of sanctions on Iraq. Expect child deaths in Afghanistan to soar above that horrifying figure. And expect the same imperial heartlessness Madeleine Albright, then the US ambassador to the United Nations, exhibited when she told ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children because of the sanctions were “worth it.” Or the heartlessness of Hillary Clinton, who joked, “We came, we saw, he died” when informed of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s brutal death. Or the demand by Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia, who after the attacks of 9/11 declared: “I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there’s collateral damage, so be it.” No matter that the empire has since turned Libya, along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, into cauldrons of violence, chaos, and misery. The power to destroy is an intoxicating drug that is its own justification.
“The Cherwell memo described in quantitative terms the effect on Germany of the British bombing offensive on Germany between March, 1942-September, 1943. This paper laid down the strategic policy. The bombing must be directed essentially against German working class houses. Middle-class houses have too much space around them, and so are bound to waste bombs; factories and “military objectives” had long since been forgotten, except in official bulletins, since they were much too difficult to hit. (The meaning here is that more women and children could be murdered per bomb for lower classes as their homes were closer together.) The paper claimed that–given a total concentration of effort on the production and use of bombing aircraft–it would be possible, in all German towns (that is, those with more than 50,000 inhabitants), to destroy 50% of the houses.”
The US Air Force General Jimmy Doolittle vehemently opposed bombing women and children unlike General Curtis Lemay who supervised the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
NB: These crimes by Americans call for judgement. It cannot be avoided ~ oz
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