The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations abhors the actions of the US soldiers involved in the killing of Afghan men for sport.
At the same time, however, we know that their actions are reflective of US society which is violent on so many levels; we know that their actions are reflective of a military that is not bound by international rules; and we know that their obscene actions go hand in hand with an imperialist war whose only objective is to control the resources of the Middle East at any cost.
Media reports state that the US soldiers who took part in the killings allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies and that some of them also posed for photographs with the bodies.
Reports further allege that 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs came up with the plan to form the “kill team” since he had already gotten away with abusing and/or killing innocent people while serving in Iraq.
As people still grapple with these allegations, new information has recently surfaced about yet another US soldier who was taken into custody after an Afghan prisoner of war was found dead in his cell, apparently from a gunshot wound.
Since the start of the Afghan war in 2001 and the subsequent US occupation, there have been many well documented instances of war crimes.
Continued use of unnecessary air strikes and night raids have killed and maimed thousands of innocent people, including many children and women, some of whom have been pregnant.
Nighttime raids of private homes have also led to the detention, torture, and ultimately the imprisonment of hundreds of innocent Afghan nationals at Guantanamo Bay.
Because of the US soldiers’ conscious involvement in this unwarranted terror any respect that they may have for Afghan life has been completely obviated.
And so we will continually grapple with the unacceptable behavior of US soldiers as long as the US remains in Afghanistan.
In some cases, the awareness of the far-reaching turmoil that this war has had on innocent people has led to acts of defiance and desperation on the part of US soldiers.
Late last year, US Major Nidal Malik Hasan – who went through a pretrial hearing this month – killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood less than a month before he would have been deployed to Afghanistan.
The media has characterized the shootings as an act of terrorism however his actions are a lucid indication that the terror in Afghanistan is so severe that even those who are part of the US war machine want no part in it.
Without question, the US’s long history of war and oppression is a history of unbelievable barbarism.
The original inhabitants of North America who were killed for resources were often times mercilessly scalped. During Dummer’s War (1721-1725) John Lovewell, a so-called British explorer and soldier, was known to have paraded Indigenous scalps through the streets and at times even wore a wig made of their scalps.
African people in the US have been killed in the thousands by blood-thirsty lynch mobs.
Any act that asserted our humanity was seen on the part of the white majority as an act of insurgency and so lynching became an accepted institution where white people openly celebrated the act of murder.
As the US’s hegemonic aspirations grew stronger and stronger and as the US engaged more and more and more in imperialist wars this barbarism was exported.
Perhaps some of the most shocking evidence of the perverseness of the US military’s actions abroad occurred in Vietnam.
The My Lai Massacre was conducted by a unit of the US army of about 500 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, all of whom were civilians and a majority of whom were women, children (including babies) and elderly people.
Many of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated.
In Iraq, the well publicized Mahmudiyah killings are additional evidence of the disrespect for human life that imperialist wars breed. In 2006 five US soldiers gang raped 14 year old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi and then murdered her together with her 6-year-old sister, mother and father.
They set fire to the family home as they left the scene.
We are all also very familiar with the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison where physical, psychological, and sexual abuses were committed by US armed forces and governmental agencies.
These heinous acts come from centuries of brutality by the US power structure.
And the exportation of this brutality is a consequence of imperialist wars that are equally as barbarous as these evidently routine war crimes.
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations knows that there will be no peace in Afghanistan and Iraq until the US withdraws and the people of those countries are able to control their own destinies.
We say no to all imperialist U.S. wars! We say no to US occupation, domination and exploitation!
These US wars of aggression, plunder and mass murder must end.
Join us in Washington, DC on November 13 to demand the US out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and victory to the oppressed people of the world.
FORWARD TO WASHINGTON NOVEMBER 13th!
STOP THE TERROR IN AFGHANISTAN NOW!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
What You Can Do:
- Join us in Washington, DC on November 13 to demand the US out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and victory to the oppressed people of the world.
- Donate to the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.
- Email your statement of solidarity with the March to email@example.com