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The mechanical conscience of imperialism
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Afghan residents and family members of the victims near damaged vehicle inside a house in Kabul on Monday, a day after a U.S. drone airstrike (Photo credit: AFP)


The United States has finally officially acknowledged that the men it killed on its way out of Afghanistan were innocent. Not just innocent; they were a family that had helped America until then. As US troops were leaving, 182 Afghans and Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on Kabul airport. IS-Khorasan (IS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack. In retaliation for this act, a drone strike targeted Samari Ahmadi on August 29. In fact, Ahmadi was an activist for the American NGO Nutrition and Education International. The drone, which had the same "intelligence" as the United States, determined that the water containers he had loaded in his vehicle were bombs and that he was a member of the ISK which was plotting another terrorist attack. Ten were killed in the blast, seven of them children. US officials denied reports of the crime at the time. They claimed that the drone strike had prevented another terrorist attack. Not stopping there, the head of the US military, Mark Milley, affirmed a judgement that the attack was "morally right". But in the face of evidence presented by the American media and the Afghan families, all these arguments collapsed. That is how Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the US Central Command, confessed.

The confession now is that they got convinced that the vehicle and its occupants were not affiliated to ISK and that they posed no threat to the American military. They now claim to express "deepest condolences" to the families and friends of those killed! How easy! This would have been seen as an isolated mistake, if not for the U.S. response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and the war on terror that ensued. It is a model of genocide in which innocent people are massacred in the same way as when someone takes revenge on the innocent for the crimes they have committed. In order to prove that Ahmadi was a terrorist, the US side lied that there was another explosion of explosives after the drone attack. It was only when the lie collapsed that the American authorities were ready to apologize. It is this same imperialist mindset that is unwilling to realize its own mistakes which has destroyed many countries over the decades. The United States has acknowledged that drone strikes on innocent people in Afghanistan. But how many other massacres they have committed in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Somalia that have not been apologized for! Other countries that have given tacit approval or open cooperation to this are also complicit in this crime.

The US confession, even though under force of irrefutable evidence, is welcome. This is at least a change from the previous style of not doing much. When they say they are ready to make amends, what they mean is that they will pay compensation. But the world said the same thing that the family of the deceased said: the victims will not receive justice with a single 'sorry'. That requires an independent and comprehensive investigation. That requires an independent and comprehensive investigation. Another demand is that countries, including the United States, should make necessary changes in the rules and regulations of war. Although unmanned systems such as drones are often portrayed as accurate and flawless, experience has shown that they have killed countless innocents and were written them off as collateral damage. Even in the Kabul incident, it was after hours of surveillance that the drone 'identified' Ahmadi as a terrorist. This should not be allowed to continue. Countries must abandon drone warfare. War should not be fought by machines that do not have to answer to anyone. As Amnesty International points out, the irresponsible warfare that the United States has perpetuated for two decades should cease. Moreover, there are a number of incidents that should be included in war crimes. The international community must take the responsibility to investigate them. The U.N. and the World Court, which have been mere spectators for years, need to wake up at least now.

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TAGS:Afghan drone attack Samari Ahmadi US confession Innocents killed 
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