Afghanistan: genocidal crossing of the Rubicon

Editorial Commentary of The Marxist-Leninist Daily

(3 November 2006) - The Marxist-Leninist vehemently condemns the wanton slaughter of civilians by the U.S. and U.S.-led coaltion forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. October 30, eighty-one young Muslim students, including many teenagers, and one teacher were assassinated in Bajaur, Pakistan by the U.S. and Pakistan armed forces. The school residence where they were sleeping early Monday morning was completely destroyed by missile strikes.

The cold-blooded slaughter of young Muslim males was hailed as a victory in the monopoly-controlled media. The U.S., British and Canadian governments and the mass media have reached the genocidal crossing of the Rubicon where mass imprisonment, torture and wanton killing of Muslims are deemed necessary in the endless "war on terror."

When imprisonment, torture and slaughter of an identifiable group become acceptable and routine, is that not well down the bloody road of genocide? Such cruel and backward activity and behaviour are well entrenched in European and U.S. state-organized practices and values. They form part of medieval politics and ideology that ooze forth when mass democratic opposition has been weakened or is not effective for whatever reason.

Monday night October 30, the U.S. NBC news with Brian Williams was triumphal in its report of the slaughter in Bajaur. NBC's Pentagon reporter Jim Miklaszewski gave a blow-by-blow rendition of the "deadliest-ever attack against suspected militants." Miklaszewski said unnamed Pentagon officials told him the initial strike on the school came from a CIA predator drone firing hellfire missiles. About ten minutes later Pakistani helicopters arrived and fired as well. This time frame is corroborated by villagers who report hearing the initial large explosions and then some minutes later hearing the helicopters arrive. (See excerpts from Dawn below.)

The U.S. government later denied the direct involvement of a CIA drone firing missiles although it did admit to giving satellite, drone and other intelligence assistance.[1]

Several articles in Asian newspapers have noted the premeditated nature of the Bajaur mass slaughter. The attack comes just weeks before the U.S. elections where the Bush political party is trailing its rival. The other coldly devious aspect is that later in the day leaders of the people of the Bajaur region were scheduled to meet with representatives of the Pakistan central government to sign a peace deal similar to others signed earlier in nearby regions. The meeting has now been cancelled and the peace deal put in doubt.

Canadian military forces are actively engaged in this slaughter of people of the Muslim faith. History has shown clearly that medieval genocidal practices will not stop without a mass democratic movement that negates this backward trend in Anglo-U.S.-European imperialist culture and politics.

It is reported that following the slaughter, on October 31, an estimated 20,000 tribesmen "crowded into Khar, six miles from where the school that was shredded in air strikes on Monday." Cries of "Down with America" rang out. Speakers vowed "to go to Afghanistan to oust American and British forces." The Guardian newspaper writes that the Khar rally "was the largest of several across the Northwest frontier, Sindh and Punjab provinces, where American flags and effigies of Geoge Bush were burned."

Excerpts from Pakistani Newspaper Dawn, October 30

Eighty-two people were killed, 12 teenagers among them, in an air strike at a religious seminary in Damadola in the Bajaur tribal region on Monday morning.

Local residents believe the air strike was carried out by fixed-wing U.S. drones which fired hellfire missiles at the compound, killing all those inside the seminary, including its administrator Maulvi Liaqat Ali.

"Pakistani helicopters arrived 20 minutes later and fired rockets at the hillside," one resident said.

Surprisingly, the strike on Damadola, the second since January, came the day the government was expected to sign a peace agreement with militants in Bajaur replicating the September 5 truce reached with militants in North Waziristan.

Locals in Chenagai, a small hamlet in Damadola, a village some 13km northeast of the regional headquarters, Khaar, said two loud explosions had woken them up at around 5am.

One missile hit the compound while the other landed in a nearby stream, they said. The seminary was completely flattened. That was followed by a third strike from a second drone, they said.

About 15 minutes later, they said, three helicopter gunships of the Pakistan Army arrived and fired a few rockets that slammed into nearby hills.

"Spy planes (drones) have been flying over the area for the last few days," Akhunzada, a local resident said.

"There were two big explosions. They were so powerful that they shook the earth and rattled our doors and windows," Sahibzada Haroon Rashid, the Jamaat-i-Islami member in the lower house of parliament, who lives barely a kilometre away from the bombed-out seminary, told Dawn on telephone from Khaar.

He said the helicopters arrived at the scene a good 15 minutes later, firing a few rockets before flying back.

"Those were small thuds -- nothing in comparison to the big explosions that preceded them minutes earlier," he said.

Like many other residents, Sahibzada Haroon is convinced the seminary was bombed by U.S. drones and Pakistan owned the air strikes up to cover up the whole incident and avoid embarrassment.

"Absolutely. I have no doubt in my mind that it was done by the Americans and we are now making a futile attempt to cover it up," he said.

Local residents rushed to the scene of the bombing and pulled out the dead. Few bodies were found to be unharmed as locals collected mutilated body parts from under the single-storey building.

There was no 'high-value target' or any foreign militant among those killed, local residents and government officials said.

Shops and markets were closed in the entire Bajaur region as news of the latest bombing spread. Thousands of angry Bajauris turned up at the first funeral of about 20 victims at 9am.

Maulana Faqir Mohammad, in his emotional speech, vowed to continue 'jihad' against the U.S. and alleged that the bombing was an attempt to wreck peace in the tribal region. He announced that a black day would be observed on Tuesday and asked his followers to vent their anger in a peaceful manner.


1. The original NBC story can be viewed at: .

Source: The Marxist-Leninist Daily, 3 November, 2006,

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