News Release

Killings in Afganistan


KATHY KELLY, kathy.vcnv at
Kelly is just back from Afghanistan and may be sentenced to prison today along with other peace activists for protests outside the base. She is with the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She was on “Democracy Now!” this morning along with a representative from the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. She said today: “President Obama and U.S. military brass are depicting a U.S. soldier killing 16 Afghan civilians as an exceptional event. But in fact, this tragedy reflects and encapsulates the U.S. war of choice in Afghanistan. Groups of U.S. soldiers have been breaking into Afghan homes and killing people, without cause or provocation, for the last 11 years. Civilians have been afflicted by aerial bombing by helicopter gunships, drone surveillance and attacks, and night raids.

“In the recent past, Afghan civilians have been appalled and agitated by news of U.S. soldiers that went on killing sprees, cutting off body parts of their victims to save as war trophies. They’ve been repulsed by photos of U.S. soldiers urinating on the corpses of Afghans whom they have killed. The burning of the Quran further enraged civilians. One of the greatest factors contributing to public dismay and hostility towards the foreign forces is the practice of night raids. As many as 40 of these raids happen around the country on some nights, and the U.S. military reports an average of 10 a night. U.S. /NATO soldiers burst into people’s homes and attack people in their sleep.

“The U.S. wants the Karzai government to sign a Strategic Protection Agreement that will allow U.S./NATO forces to stay in Afghanistan until 2024 and possibly beyond. This agreement will very likely frustrate possibilities for a negotiated settlement since Taliban forces have repeatedly stated their demand that all foreign troops leave Afghanistan. The Strategic Partnership Agreement has never been presented to the Afghan Members of Parliament for their consideration. No one in the U.S. or Karzai government seems concerned about how ordinary Afghans might view the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

“Arguably, people in Afghanistan are looking for ways to vent long-suppressed anger over having their future dictated by their invaders and occupiers.”

Kelly recently wrote the piece “The Ghost and the Machine: Drone Warfare and Accountability” along with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.

Also see from the The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers: “2 Million Candles to End the Afghan War.”

See by Anand Gopal “Night Raids, Hidden Detention Centers, the ‘Black Jail,’ and the Dogs of War in Afghanistan.”