The United States has finally ended its twenty-year war in Afghanistan, putting a halt to the interminable slaughter of thousands of civilians every year and perhaps giving a new generation of Afghans the opportunity to experience peace for the first time in their lives. But a new report from the New York Times reveals that we left the very same way we came in — lying to the public and with our hands covered in the blood of innocent children.
In the wake of the ISIS-Khorasan bombings at the Kabul airport that killed over a hundred Afghans and ten U.S. servicemembers, the Biden administration was under heavy pressure to act. So it was unsurprising to hear two days later that an airstrike had targeted a suspected ISIS-K car bomb, a reprisal bombing that would temporarily appease the warmongering jackals in the media and the Republicans howling for blood.
Reports of civilian casualties, always ignored by a political media industry and an American public that doesn’t care to think about the humanity of the thousands that we leave dead wherever the “War On Terror” is waged, were explained away by the military as the result of a secondary explosion from explosives inside the vehicle.
But an investigation has revealed that it is likely that there was no ISIS bomb at all. The reality is that the Biden administration murdered an Afghan man who worked for a U.S. aid organization, along with nine members of his family — including seven kids, all aged 7 or younger.
The target of the strike was identified as Zemari Ahmadi, 43, who had worked as an electrical engineer for a California-based aid group called Nutrition and Education International since 2006. That day, he went to meet with his boss to drop off his laptop, picked up breakfast, drove his co-workers to a police station to get permission to distribute food to refugees, filled water containers for his family, dropped off his coworkers, and then went home. Because one of the locations was suspected to be — but not confirmed — an ISIS safehouse, the U.S. military marked him for death.
“…the people who rode with Mr. Ahmadi that day said that what the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves was simply a normal day at work” reports the Times. The military claims that they only saw a single adult male greeting Ahmadi as he got home — but relatives say that “several of his children and his brothers’ children” went out to see him.
Then the drone fired its missile, brutally murdering them all. The Times’ examiners found no evidence of a secondary explosion, exposing Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Milley’s public assertion as a lie.
It’s fairly clear at this point that the military acted without bothering to confirm the identities of the people involved, the strength of the “intelligence” that tied Ahmadi to the “suspected” ISIS safe house, or whether there were any civilians around before firing a Hellfire missile into the middle of a packed residential neighborhood.
This is a war crime, through and through, and the Biden administration openly lied to the American people about it because they needed an eye for an eye and didn’t have any better options because we never bothered building up the networks of human intelligence that a place like Afghanistan requires at any point during the past two decades.
“I have no visibility into who the bad guys are…we are woefully deficient in human intelligence,” complained Donald Rumsfeld in 2003, according to cables obtained by the Washington Post. It would appear that we still are, and seven kids are dead because of it.
The American military and the public have shown an appalling disregard for the lives of innocents on every battlefield that the War on Terror has been waged; now we must bear the burden of having accomplished nothing but prove to the world that we are exactly what they always said we were.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.