‘Total Massacre’ as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan

Eoin Higgens – Common Dreams Sept 19, 2019

A U.S. drone attack killed 30 pine nut farmers and wounded at least 40 others in Afghanistan Wednesday night, the latest killing of innocent civilians by American forces as the “war on terror” enters its 19th year.

The farmers had just finished work and were sitting by a fire when the strike happened, according to tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul.

“Some of us managed to escape, some were injured, but many were killed,” said farm laborer Juma Gul.

Retuers reported that there may be more farmers missing:

Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured.

A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened.

In a statement, Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, said the attack was aimed at “Da’esh (IS) terrorists in Nangarhar” province.

“We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts,” said Leggett.

However, Leggett said, the blame for the massacre is squarely on IS and the Taliban—not U.S. forces.

“We are fighting in a complex environment against those who intentionally kill and hide behind civilians, as well as use dishonest claims of noncombatant casualties as propaganda weapons,” Leggett said.

Human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement, said that the strike was “unacceptable and suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life.”

“U.S. forces in Afghanistan must ensure that all possible precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties in military operations,” said Amnesty.

In a tweet, journalist Emran Feroz said his reporting from the region indicates that the reality of U.S. policy with respect to attacks in Nangarhar is different than Leggett’s claims.

“Seems that recent drone strikes in Nangarhar’s Khogyani district ended in a total massacre killing far more than 30 civilians,” said Feroz. “When I visited Khogyani in 2017, locals told us that drone strikes against farmers and other civilians are taking place regularly.”

Rita Siemion, the director of National Security Advocacy at Human Rights First, told Common Dreams that the U.S. military cannot knowingly continue to use a process that repeatedly kills civilians by mistake.

“Mistakes can happen, but this strike is part of a pattern that suggests that there are serious flaws in the Pentagon’s targeting processes that need to be addressed,” said Siemion. “Knowingly using a process that fails to adequately distinguish between civilians and combatants would violate the laws of war and be detrimental to the overall mission.”

In a tweet, The Intercept‘s Mehdi Hasan noted just how little attention the massacre perpetrated by the U.S. military was likely to receive.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted Thursday that Americans should pay attention to the attack and try to put themselves in Afghan shoes.

“It is so easy to read this and be upset or shake your head and still see it as an abstraction,” said Hayes. “But take a second to play through a missile from, say, Iran landing in Iowa and killing 30 farmers and what that would do to domestic politics.”

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8 responses to “‘Total Massacre’ as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan”

  1. The whole world is turning against america
    the people just cannot see they are israels poodle and the jews are laughing at us.
    Some jews belive the battle against the gentile has already ben won, and many gentiles did not even know there was a war on
    This is why so many jews are now admitting the holocaust hoax, 9 11 JFK and all the rest
    jews think its funny. Moshe solomons on conspiracy news interviewed a jew who said
    its prophecy that each jew will have 3000 goy slaves, and the pic of the prettiest under age boys to be bumbadillos.
    I find all this very disheartening

  2. The USA were never much in Combat, only if there was Innocent Civilians Involved, that is why they Created the Cold War with Russia, After Russia won more than three quarters of the Last World War it was too much for America to Bear so they started a Big Propaganda Programme of Bull shit and Misinformation to make believe that it was them who Saved the World, instead They frightened some Countries like China And Russia into have their own nuclear Weapons because of America’s Irresponsible Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima 16 Hours After the Surrender and Cease fire of Japan, which Showed the rest of the World that the USA is not A country to be Trusted Under any Circumstances.

  3. A disgrace and shameful at best.

  4. The United States is in Afghanistan on false pretensions to begin with. The U.S. came up with the B.S. story the attacks on 9/11 were coordinated in Afghanistan. That was a lie to cover up for the real party primarily responsible for those attacks designed to start the phony war on terror and advance the interests of Israel. I’m sure you get the picture.

  5. Harriet Harman ) lord Longfords neice ) is from a hugely wealthy jewish banking family
    and diverted money from New Lablour to PIE, the pedophile info exchange
    where they swapped info on underage and vulnerable boys.
    This evil woman wants to become the leader of the Labour party.
    BTW Prof Ruth Seiffert the jewish psychiatrist from the London Psychiatric hospital
    said some time back that her freind Lord levy brought a man to her who had some very serious mental problems, she said Levy told her try and sort this man out he is going to be Prime Minister, that man was Tony “arsole” Blair

  6. The drone strikes found their climax under president Obongo, remember, the Special One from Kenya.
    Everything that moved and he didn’t like was droned.

    It is coming more to light now because the hatred of DNC toward the current President of the US, Mr Trump. It is now presented as if his Administration found out how to bomb and murder innocent civilians without getting your hands dirty.

    No sir, it is an exponential habit act of Democrats to murder people they do not like by drone.

    The current US administration is “only protecting its poppy-fields-interests”.

  7. More than ~340 cases of US drone attacks in Pakistan and many more in Afghanistan with high collateral damage, often hitting wedding parities, funerals, farmers… this has been going on for years. This recent one is yet another reminder that US will continue such drone operations with impunity and can get away easily no matter how many innocents are killed.

    Pakistan is a nuclear armed country, yet you see poor Pakistanis not only burn relevant effigies and flags but they also burn paper drone models to show their anger.
    https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2013/10/rtr2mdgr/facebook.jpg?1522773663
    In comparison Iran has no nuclear WMDs and no drone dares to even get close, you know the stories with drones! This shows that nuclear weapons are overrated.

  8. It’s too late to complain.

    When the towers fell the American public and citizenry as a whole asked for blood.

    Then they opened their eyes to the fact that those 3000 people were killed by their own.

    You’re too late now. You sat by ate your effing popcorn while innocent Muslims were being raped and murdered. And you cheered.

    Now Muslims are being driven out of their homelands into yours. And still. You’re asking for blood. But now it’s because they’re taking your jobs

    Be careful what you wish for.

    I don’t feel sorry for Americans. I don’t hate them. Or wish for their blood and demise. But I don’t feel sorry for them. This is their bed they made. Now I will eat the popcorn. And watch as Rome implodes upon itself in spectacular fashion.