War has always been a battle for minds as well land, resources, and political power. The rules — portray our warriors as noble innocents, bravely sacrificing themselves for a higher cause; demonize the other side — call them fanatics, terrorists, murderers.
It helps if you don’t speak the enemy’s language, don’t know their history and culture and can hardly locate them on a map. Add a natural sympathy for our soldiers and a compliant news media and it is no wonder that we get such a one-sided view of things.
The truth is, war is murder, no matter who is pulling the trigger. In the case of Afghanistan, we (the “Western We”– the Americans, the Canadians, the Brits, etc.) bear most of the responsibility because we invaded Afghanistan, a land already destroyed by decades of war and civil wars that arose out of the Cold War.
Under the pretext of fighting a post 9-11 “war on terror” and rooting out Osama bin Laden, we joined in an unholy alliance with corrupt, autocratic, woman-hating, drug-running Afghan warlords to rout the Taliban “evil-doers” who, in reality, were no less anti-woman or autocratic, but who, at least, took a dim view of the opium trade.
In joining forces with the so-called Northern Alliance we became partners in their atrocities as did they in ours.
“Afghan Massacre: the Convoy of Death” tells the story of a Northern Alliance war crime perpetrated early in the war. Produced and directed by Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran, the film documents the cold-blooded murder of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military’s Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz in November 2001.
The film describes how some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport. When the prisoners began shouting for air, Northern Alliance soldiers fired into the trucks, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.
Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.
The only antidote to propaganda is the truth. While this film has had wide distribution in Europe, Canadians and Americans have had to rely on the Internet to see it.
Pass it on.