The Afghan People’s Right to Resist

Massacres are the Rule not the Exception for an Occupying Force

The news of the latest U.S. atrocities against the Afghan people struck like a thunderclap over the weekend.  Here were whole families killed for sport by a U.S. soldier – although many reports say it was a detachment of soldiers and that seems the more likely story.   The news awakened even the most confirmed Obamabots from their torpor if only temporarily.

As FAIR reported here, the media treated this as simply a public relations disaster like the urination on the bodies of slaughtered Afghans by the soldiers of the Empire or the “accidental” burning of the Koran.

The Mainstream Media assured us this latest atrocity must be an “isolated incident.”  Or they simply took it for granted in their coverage as they dutifully repeated Obama’s line.  But this is certainly not the case – not even close.   Much of the progressive media was almost as bad.  United for Peace and Justice blared in the opening of its statement on the massacre “The surge has not worked,” the precise words also used by the Center for Creative Nonviolence which urges the Afghanis not to resist with force as they watch their families massacred by the imperial occupation.  Leftists should be opposing the occupation of Afghanistan because it is unjust and immoral – not because it “has not worked” for the Empire.

Consider a similar imperial atrocity in Iraq caught in detail on video and published by Wikileaks under the heading of “Collateral Murder.”   As those murders proceeded, the helicopter gun ship crew got approval from their commanders via radio every step of the way.  Certainly the commanders were watching the same video scenes remotely as the gunship crew.  Approval was given for the atrocity by the off-site commanding officers.   It was no accident and no rogue operation. Now consider this.  There are thousands upon thousands of videos of such encounters.  We have seen only one!  Where are the others and why are they hidden?  How many atrocities they must reveal!

Leon Panetta, commenting on the massacre, said “War is hell,” and conceded that such incidents were bound to occur in the future.  But he is wrong.  This is not war; it is an occupation.  And every occupation since the Romans and before is a bloody business.  That is no less true of U.S. occupations whether in Iraq or Afghanistan. Every occupation is built on a mountain of corpses – mainly of those who struggle to throw off the yoke of occupation.  This latest massacre which has touched a nerve in the US and Afghani body politic is no exception – it is the rule for occupations

Let us be perfectly clear.  The right to resist occupation by any and all means is enshrined in international law and somewhere deeply in the human brain.  And that includes resisting by force. Libertarians recognize this right to self-defense, and so did the Left once upon a time before it fell under the spell of “humanitarian” imperialism during the presidencies of Clinton and Obama.

Afghanistan did not attack the U.S.  If the terrorist attack on 9/11 was hatched anywhere, it was in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Florida and Minnesota – by Saudis for the most part.  And also in the White House and the Pentagon since Al Qaeda was created and funded there.  (Even Jimmy Carter has crimes against humanity for which to answer since he and Zbigniew Brzezinski aided, abetted and funded the formation of Al Qaeda by their own admission.)

So whose cause is just?  It is the cause of those Afghanis who are fighting to throw off a bloody Occupation. That has to be recognized.   It may not be a slogan around which to build a movement of millions.  But it is surely the truth and we must point it out at every turn.

And we would also do well to remember that Afghanistan was labeled as “smart” war by Obama, the kind he says he likes.  It is not a “smart” war at all – but a brutal, murderous occupation.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..