Afghanistan & Guernica
Published May 13, 2009 1:40 PM
THE FACTS: The U.S. Air Force bombed and strafed villages
with heavy machine guns in the Farah province of Afghanistan on the evening and
night of May 4. Col. Greg Julian, a spokesperson for the U.S. military in
Kabul, admitted it.
The governor of the province, Rohul Amin, told the Afghan parliament that as
many as 130 civilians had been killed, according to Mohammad Naim Farahi, a
member of parliament. He reported that survivors buried 113 bodies, including
many women and children. Later, more bodies were pulled from the rubble and
some victims who had been taken to the hospital died.
“The governor said that the villagers have brought two tractor trailers
full of pieces of human bodies to his office to prove the casualties that had
occurred,” Farahi said. “Everyone at the governor’s office
was crying, watching that shocking scene.”
Ghusuldin Agha, who lives in Granai village in the Bala Baluk district, said
the bombing started at 5 p.m. and lasted until late into the night.
“People were rushing to go to their relatives’ houses, where they
believed they would be safe, but they were hit on the way.” Body parts
were strewn over the ground.
Local farmer Muhammad Jan said: “Women and children had sought shelter in
orchards and houses.” The bombardment completely destroyed houses and
people “still remain under the rubble. Now I am working with other
villagers trying to excavate the dead bodies.” According to a report on
this atrocity in the May 6 New York Times, “Villagers, crazed with grief,
were collecting mangled bodies in blankets and shawls and piling them on three
tractors. People were still missing.”
Jessica Barry, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross,
reported the dead included a volunteer for the Afghan Red Crescent and 13 of
THE LIE: “We have some other information that leads us
to distinctly different conclusions about the cause of the civilian
casualties,” said the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David D.
McKiernan, who was just fired by President Obama.
U.S. Defense Department officials who wouldn’t allow their names to be
reported said investigators were looking into reports that the Afghan civilians
were killed by grenades hurled by Taliban militants, and that the militants
then drove the bodies around the village claiming the dead were victims of an
“We cannot confirm the report that the Taliban executed these people. ...
We don’t know if it’s true, and we also don’t know how many
civilians were killed as a result of this operation,” said Capt. John
Kirby, spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
THE BIG LIE: The town of Guernica, a historic symbol of
the Basque nation, was attacked by Nazi German and fascist Italian bombers on
April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, killing up to 1,600 civilians.
The German Nazis supported the Spanish fascists, led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
World-famous artist Pablo Picasso depicted the massacre in his painting
“Guernica,” which has kept the fascist atrocity in people’s
Germany’s Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was well known for using the
“Big Lie,” a brutal fascist repression of the truth. Franco,
borrowing from this tactic, blamed the deaths in Guernica on Basque
anti-fascists, and repressed the truth about German responsibility until his
death in 1975.
Hitler and fascism arose in a time of capitalist crisis and decaying economic
relations. Then and now the reality is a decaying capitalist system accompanied
by burgeoning militarism. This time people are more interconnected worldwide
and it’s difficult to cover up the monstrous crimes and the
Pentagon’s big lies.
The problem is how to stop them. It can be done, and the struggle of the
world’s people to overturn the U.S. military complex needs to be here in
the belly of the beast.
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