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America's Criminal Legacy in Afghanistan

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM


America's Criminal Afghanistan Legacy

by Stephen Lendman

Over 12 years of war left millions dead. Violence, displacement, deprivation, starvation and diseases killed them.

Many others suffer horrifically. Media scoundrels ignore high crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. America turned Afghanistan into a wasteland.

No end of conflict looms. It can continue for another decade or longer. It'll do so as long as America is involved.

World Food Program's Health and Nutrition director Carrie Morrison reported more on America's disturbing legacy. Around 55% of Afghan children suffer severe malnutrition, she said.

An entire generation is affected. Their bodies and minds are stunted. America bears full responsibility.

Wherever US forces show up, mass slaughter, destruction, environmental contamination, disease epidemics, birth defects, and horrific human suffering follow. More on the World Food Program's assessment below.

In its 2013 Annual Report on Afghanistan, Amnesty International (AI) highlighted indiscriminate violence, thousands of civilian deaths, numerous injuries, torture, other ill-treatment, and hundreds of thousands displaced and forgotten Afghans.

Many live in "informal settlements with inadequate shelter, access to water, health care, and education," said AI. Millions of refugees remain internally and externally displaced.

Thousands of women and girls continue to be beaten, raped and murdered. Humanitarian assistance enough to matter is sorely lacking.

Children die from exposure to bitter cold. America's war still claims thousands of lives. Air and ground attacks are responsible.

Civilians suffer most. They're killed indiscriminately. Horrific incidents go largely unreported. Afghan lives and welfare don't matter.

A previous article discussed US war crimes. Drones murder civilian men, women and children. So do ground forces.

Deaths, injuries, torture and other atrocities reflect daily life. Ordinary Afghans suffer most. US aggression is one of history's greatest crimes.

America's rap sheet includes numerous ones too grave to ignore. Trillions of dollars go for one war after another. Targeted countries are ravaged and destroyed. Homeland needs go begging.

Rule of law principles are ignored. Imperial priorities alone matter.

Imagine murdering children while they sleep. Imagine US soldiers raping women before killing them. Imagine media scoundrels reporting nothing. Imagine daily war crimes going unnoticed.

Imagine no accountability. Imagine human suffering words can't explain. Imagine war without mercy. Imagine it without end.

Imagine starving a generation of Afghan children. According to WFP's Morrison:

"After the age of two years, stunting is largely irreversible, and has an impact on growth and development and cognitive function."

"Over the long term, it can have a very damaging effect on the national recovery."

"Young people are not able to attain what they" could under normal conditions. "Women who marry young and are stunted themselves give birth to a small infant, and the cycle goes on."

Imagine impacting an entire country this way. An entire generation of Afghan children suffering chronic malnutrition.

They're denied proper food. They don't get enough. Some starve to death. Their ill-nourished bodies are vulnerable to illnesses and diseases.

America doesn't give a damn about Afghan children. Resources go for warmaking. They're for commercial development benefitting US corporations. They're for exploiting Afghan resources.

They for maintaining permanent US super-bases. They're for torture prisons. They're for permanent occupation.

Mass impoverishment and unemployment go unnoticed. Nutritious food, healthcare, housing, education, proper sanitation, and other vital needs are lacking.

Hegemons have other priorities in mind. Afghan Dr. Alam Mohammad said:

"We have whole families where food insecurity means they are all malnourished." Even more well off families have sick, ill-nourished children.

Mohammad treats dozens of Afghans like Mojabeen. She's a 19-year old mother. She has three children. Her life reflects constant hardship.

She and her family live in one room. When he's able to find work, her husband earn $2 to $3 a day at most. He can't properly feed his family.

"My second child is living with my mother, as we can't provide for him," says Mojabeen. Her children were disadvantaged before birth.

She was severely malnourished. Her fetuses lacked nutrients. In 2013, Afghanistan's population numbered around 31 million.

Nearly half are aged 15 or younger. One in five children die before their 5th birthday. Most perish from preventable diseases, malnutrition or both.

UNICEF's Daniel Toole calls Afghanistan today "without a doubt the most dangerous place to be born."

It's the world's longest major conflict. Humanitarian aid enough to matter is sorely lacking. Millions of Afghans are on their own.

They're imperial US victims. They suffer horrifically. Only 6% of Afghans have reliable electricity sources. Only 30% have semi-safe drinking water. Nearly 80% of Afghan children lack access.

Only 6% of them are registered at birth. The vast majority are nonpersons. They have no legal identity. They're vulnerable. They're unprotected.

Few Afghans have telephones. Most of them are in Kabul. Millions of internally and externally displaced refugees are largely on their own.

According to WFP, life expectancy is 44.5 years for men. It's 44 for women. After Sierra Leone, Afghanistan has the world's highest maternal mortality rate.

Around 24,000 women die annually. They do so from no access to obstetrical and other health services. Infant mortality is high. Around 165 deaths per thousand births occur before age one.

If hell on earth exists, it's in Afghanistan. In his book titled "Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire," John Pilger called the nation more moonscape than functioning country.

It's hard imagining a more long-suffering people. "Throughout all the humanitarian crises in living memory," said Pilger, "no country has been abused and suffered more, and none helped less than Afghanistan."

No one is sure from day to day who'll live or die. Millions are vulnerable to preventable diseases. Epidemic levels of malnutrition persist.

Vital infrastructure is lacking. Severe poverty is overwhelming. So is environmental contamination. Hunger is a national disease. Unemployment affects millions.

Thousands starve to death for lack of food. Millions suffer chronic malnutrition. Tens of thousands of children have protruding bones.

They resemble famine victims. They have distended stomachs. According to Morrison:

"You might see a child who appears underweight or short for their age, but it doesn't really tell you much unless you line them up against a well-nourished child."

Chronic malnutrition denies millions of Afghan children from "growing up to lead a" normal life.

Iron deficiency alone disrupts brain development. Around 75% of Afghan children are affected.

It shows up in "stunting, sickliness, poor school attendance, and lower levels of concentration and memory."

Iodine deficiency is the world's leading cause of mental impairment. Insufficient vitamin A harms immune system functioning.

Micronutrients deprivation causes enormous harm. Millions of Afghans can't afford minimally healthy diets. In some provinces, only one in five have anything close to balanced diets.

Conditions were woefully inadequate before America's war. They're far worse now.

In October 2001, George Bush said "the United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith."

"We are a peaceful nation." He promised to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. Is Afghanistan today what success looks like?

Is America's war on Islam friendship for Muslims worldwide? Is dystopian hell on earth? Is America's presence? Is its dark side?

Its legacy in Afghanistan includes permanent occupation, extreme violence, daily killing and destruction, mass impoverishment and unemployment, rampant preventable diseases, starvation and malnutrition, and overall horrific human suffering.

Obama shares full responsibility with Bush. Hegemons operate this way. America is by far the worst in world history.

Obama has lots more death and destruction in mind. Lots more conquests are planned. Millions more deaths will follow. So will horrific human suffering.

Hegemons are unapologetic. They never say they're sorry. They call ravaging and destroying one country after another success. Too  much of it risks humanity's survival.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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