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Afghanistan — The underlying crime

Published Mar 13, 2012 6:39 PM

Not even the most vicious warmonger can defend the inhumane actions of a U.S. sergeant who stormed into the homes of Afghan civilians and blew away 16 people, including babies. But the war makers will try to find a way to use this as a reason to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which is the underlying crime.

There’s only one way to stop the crimes of this occupying force: U.S. troops get out! And let’s add: Washington, pay reparations!

So many horrible acts by U.S. troops have been blamed by the Pentagon brass on the individual soldier’s state of mind. But they all fit a pattern characteristic of colonial occupations. Soldiers urinating on the bodies of captured Afghans showed the utmost contempt for the people the Pentagon claims to be helping. Burning the Quran showed contempt for their beliefs. And now, breaking into their homes and murdering children breaks down all boundaries to horror.

This act is the culmination of 10 years of U.S. war crimes against the Afghan people. It’s not that shooting babies up close is more criminal than bombing them from a helicopter or a drone. But it has brought the true nature of the crime of occupation before the world — even before the people of the United States.

Editorials in the ruling-class press express the fear that the people of the U.S. are fed up with this war, and will demand it stop. The top generals and politicians are making a desperate attempt to buy more time in Afghanistan by talking about executing the soldier charged with this heinous slaughter.

The generals may try to scapegoat the sergeant, but the higher the rank, the more true responsibility exists for the crime.

This was the inevitable result of 10 years of occupation. Every day the U.S.-NATO soldiers feel the hatred of the Afghan people. The generals and politicians have told them their only moral choice is to be “professional” — professional killers.

On the contrary, their only moral and political choice is to refuse criminal orders to oppress the Afghan people — and mutiny.

Mobilize to end occupation

At home, we have a simpler choice. Let’s test the fears being expressed in ruling-class editorials that the people are fed up. Let’s get out to the people and mobilize them to demand that U.S. and NATO troops leave Afghanistan now.

On March 23-25, organizers will attend the United National Antiwar Coalition’s national conference in Stamford, Conn., to plan the next steps against this war.

On May 20, all anti-war forces of this continent will gather in Chicago to confront the top meeting of NATO. U.S. and other NATO generals and leaders — those who give the orders — will be there in one place.

Tell them: U.S.-NATO troops get out. Washington, pay reparations.

It’s only over when it’s over. Let’s mobilize to make that happen.