The New York times have published an article today which sheds some light on how U.S. Special Forces and their Afghan proxies operate.
According to locals in Wardak province, of 17 people who were detained by U.S. Special Forces during mass round ups last year, 14 of them have now turned up dead. Apparently the bodies are being discovered, badly mutilated, buried a few hundred metres outside of a former U.S. Special Forces base in Wardak province. Afghan military investigators suspect that an Afghan-American named Zakaria Kandahari has been ‘responsible for the torture and killing of many of the victims’, but that ‘the Americans maintained he was a low-level interpreter’. Well they would, wouldn’t they?
The New York Times had reported back in February on ‘claims that civilians had been killed, abducted or tortured by Afghans working for American Special Operations forces in Maidan Wardak’, and this latest discovery would seem to be of a piece with that. The Times say that ‘throughout the war, the United States military and the C.I.A. have organized and trained clandestine militias. A number still operate, and remain beyond the knowledge or control of the Afghan government’.
Human Rights Watch have documented some of their depridations elsewhere in Afghanistan, saying back in 2011 that Afghan militias (known as the Afghan Local Police) formed, trained and advised by U.S. Special Forces had been committing ‘serious abuses, such as killings, rape, arbitrary detention, abductions, forcible land grabs, and illegal raids . . . in Baghlan, Herat, and Uruzgan provinces’.
What has been reported about their activities to date is surely just the tip of the ice berg.
Their reported conduct reminds me very much of the so-called Shabiha militias in Syria, who have been implicated by human rights groups in similar abuses (while some of the reports of their crimes may just be rebel or Western government propaganda, i’d say they’ve been too widely documented to be dismissed altogether).
Of course, when the Assad regime deploys militias implicated in major atrocities, that’s because they are callous, blood soaked and brutal butchers who are trying to suppress a whole nations desire for freedom. And who ‘We’ must, perhaps, stop in the name of humanity.
When ‘We’ ourselves do it, that’s because we’re trying to bring human rights and democracy to Afghanistan, and defending ourselves against fanatical terrorist savages who deserve everything that’s coming to them.
And one can’t help but notice the lack of shrieking outrage and concern about these atrocities from the usual ‘humanitarian bombing’ suspects.