Afghanistan: A Savage Occupation

The UN states that half of Afghan children under the age of five face malnutrition as the war economy sustained by the United States and its partners has evaporated.

A generation of Afghan children will be blighted with stunted growth and the death of siblings. This is the price that the Afghan people are paying for the US crime of appointing a corrupt coterie of politicians to preside over the slaughter of at least a quarter of a million Afghans over the last 20 years.

The Afghan economy has been under constant attack since 1978 by the USA and the former USSR.

The US has driven a stake through the heart of the country’s economy by withholding Afghanistan’s national reserve which could help resolve the dire situation facing the ordinary people.

Let us not forget that the Ghani regime failed to pay salaries of government workers, including those in the health sector for many months as the funds were siphoned off for the elites. The consequence was that the depletion of the savings of ordinary Afghans.

Should it be a surprise that the USA, having failed to subdue the Afghan nation through 20 years of war, now tries to starve the people into submission? The short answer is no, since the nature of US acts against Afghanistan can best be described as extremely savage.

Western propaganda about failure of the Taliban adherence to human rights deliberately diverts attention from the crimes committed by their own troops.

The narrative is being changed by the defeated powers who present themselves as the saviors of the Afghan people, and in particular women, through the evacuations which occurred at Kabul airport in August 2021. We have all seen the images of Western troops at Kabul airport carrying or cuddling children, giving Afghan women water, but the Western press did not depict those scenes that showed a group of approximately four US troops manhandling a young woman and throwing her about ten feet off an embankment where they were situated down into an open sewage ditch.

It is also true that far worse atrocities were meted out to the Afghan people. The US conducted brutal military operations all over Afghanistan, but never managed to eliminate the resistance or their supporters who saw the struggle as an ideological battle between their Islamic way of life and an alien oppressive invader.

The arrival of the US and UK troops in Afghanistan should cause no surprises that they committed war crimes. Shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan, a US marine named Toby Studebaker, who participated in the mission, came back from Afghanistan. What did this US Marine, an all American ‘hero’ do? He abducted a twelve-year-old British girl from the UK and fled to France with her. If these US troops behaved this way in Europe, it is not surprising that they would also commit war crimes in Afghanistan.

An Afghan woman suspected of infidelity by her husband had her nose cut off. The US lost no opportunity in falsely blaming the Taliban for this crime. The disfigured woman was flown to the US and benefitted from the best plastic surgeons the US had to offer to remodel her nose. The woman was feted as a victim of the Taliban becoming famous by being illustrated on the front cover of Time magazine with her missing nose. The USA may have fixed the woman’s nose but cannot escape from the nauseating US atrocities scarring innocent Afghan lives.

Oppressive Rulers And The Pashtuns

When Mountstuart Elphinstone came to Peshawar in 1809, bringing the first Western diplomatic mission to the Afghan winter capital, a Pashtun told Elphinstone, “We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master.”

Elphinstone’s ‘Kingdom of Caubul’ was originally printed as an intelligence gathering work by the East India Company and was first published after popular demand in 1815. It appears that the US would have done well to read this classic work before embarking on an invasion which cut off their nose to spite their face. The US and NATO stand today as defeated powers in the eyes of the world.

When the Mongols descended on Afghanistan, they would sever the top portion of a person’s skull, then clean of all the flesh and use that upper section of the skull as a bowl from which to eat and drink from. While George Bush Junior brought the modern Mongol army to Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the Mongols thankfully did not return to Afghanistan. However, the US troops behaved little better than the Mongols. A disabled Afghan man with a prosthetic leg was murdered during a night raid by US Special forces who then stole the prosthetic leg and used the hollow prosthetic leg as an alcohol drinking vessel.

“US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their (female) victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened, Afghan investigators have told The Times.” Rather amazingly the US special forces had originally claimed that these bodies were discovered by them tied up and lifeless when they raided the house. The blame for the killings was placed upon the Taliban by ISAF. None of the trigger happy highly trained special forces soldiers in this massacre have had action taken against them. This is despite the fact that a commander of the Afghan national police lived at the house in question and was one of two men also killed by US forces in that murderous incident.

The US claimed to have come to Afghanistan not only to seize Bin Laden but also to improve women’s rights. Given the treatment of women in night raids, the US claims in relation to promoting women’s rights simply do not stand up to scrutiny. What would Rudyard Kipling himself have made of the behaviour of the US troops and how would he have re-worded his famous poem: “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.”

Afghan women did not remain in their own country as victims but stood tall and fought shoulder to shoulder in this war alongside their men against the NATO forces. One Afghan woman targeted a US convoy as a suicide bomber perhaps avenging lost loved ones.

Throughout the war in Afghanistan innocent men, women and children continued to be killed by US forces, sometimes by bombing and other times at close range. In 2013, a US soldier, Sergeant Bales was convicted of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in the dead of night and he received a mere life sentence. “If someone loses one child, you can imagine how devastated their life would be,” said Haji Mohammad Wazir, who lost 11 family members, including his mother, wife and six of his seven children. In 2012, another witness stated that she saw “the man drag a woman out of her house and repeatedly hit her head against a wall.” Bales has the chance of parole so will live out his days in freedom.

Whilst the US insisted only Bales had been involved in the shooting, the Afghan survivors were clear that there were more than one. If an Afghan had killed 16 Americans, then the sentence would with no doubt at all be death. This is exemplified by the case of the Palestinian American Major named Nidal who killed 13 troopers as they were preparing to leave the US for missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unlike Bales, Nidal was sentenced to death in 2013. The discrepancy in sentencing of the two is a clear example of prejudice at work.

In the fog of war, controversy surrounds what exactly happened in the villages where the killings of 16 Afghan civilians occurred. Hamidzai Lali who was an Afghan member of Parliamentarian for the area in question, has stated that villagers told him 15 to 20 US troops attacked the village and raped two women before commencing the massacre. The bodies of the victims were burnt to hide the evidence of the crime. As long as US troops are tried by their own military, the truth will be as elusive as justice for the victims of this massacre.

US forces have shown a consistent pattern of scant respect for the bodies of deceased Afghans. Bodies of Taliban soldiers with their feet pointing towards Mecca were burnt in 2005 in the village of Gonbaz near Kandahar as a means to insult the religious beliefs of the people. The actions were completely contrary to the Geneva Convention.

The Rapists At Bagram

The Mongol Chieftain Genghis Khan is said to have remarked there is no greater joy than binding a man to a tree and ravishing his wife and daughters as the husband watches on helplessly at the plight of those dearest to him. In Bagram Airport’s torture centre, Moazzem Beg, a British captive abducted from Pakistan, faced his US tormentors. He was led to believe that his wife was also in the camp. The shrieks of a woman reached Beg’s ears, an American voice could be heard shouting “open your legs bitch!” A US soldier in front of Beg mocked him as he heard what he thought was his wife being ruthlessly raped by US troops. The depth of horror that Beg suffered and the poor woman suffered cannot be imagined. The captives at Bagram were brave men and women whose will would not be bowed by their torturers’ misdeeds.

One Afghan captive at Bagram retorted to the US torturers what worse things can you do to me, when my very own father was buried alive by the Soviets in this airport.

Even in such dire circumstances, the human spirit can soar in defiance against oppression.

Americans Love To Party

As Afghanistan burned and the US lost hopes of a victory, the Americans continued to party away in Kabul, US embassy guards engaged in strange rituals. Photos have since circulated on the internet showing embassy guards in various states of undress, including some in which they grope each other naked. In one case, a supervisor wearing underwear and brandishing bottles of alcohol abused an Afghan national by grabbing his face and using strong language to humiliate him.

For all those who were martyred while they had yet to reach adulthood and enjoy a life of peace, for all those martyrs whose bodies were burned after they fell resisting the US troops, those whom the US marines urinated over, the many who were slaughtered without mercy in their homes and the people who were taken by NATO troops in the dead of night, never to be seen again – let us not tarnish their memory by forgetting who the savages really are.

Standing Tall Like Wazir Mohammed Akbar Khan

During the US war, the Taliban in one of their propaganda efforts against the current regime asked, “Do you want to be remembered as a son of Shah Shuja or of Dost Mohammad?” Zahir Shah’s choice for his first son’s name Mohammed Akbar Khan illustrates the decision of the Afghan people who will choose to be the son of Dost Mohammed.

The Future

Negotiations between the parties to the conflict need to achieve the following:

First, no further direct or indirect aggression by the USA in Afghanistan. Second, closure of Guantanamo and release of detainees to their countries of origin or for settlement in the USA or other appropriate third country. Third, release of all other prisoners detained by the US as part of the war on terror. Finally, reparations; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan have an opportunity to engage in closer trade relations to improve their economies. The future can be bright despite the horrors of the last 43 years of war that have befallen Afghanistan.

With the decline of Western powers never again will a fourth-rate military power like the UK or France ever darken Afghanistan again with their evil shadows. Nor for that matter will the US empire dare to step foot in Afghanistan, since the emperor has no clothes. The inhumane policies of sanctions and starvation have failed against Saddam’s Iraq and will fail against the Afghan people.


The writer is the author of Afghanistan in the Age of Empires