In Memory of

 

Hussain Nawaz, boy, 5

Nadia (Mehda) Bibi, girl, 9

Sadiqa Bibi, girl, 10

Tayyeb, boy, 9

Zahid Ullah, 7

Amer Muhammad, 20

Nazir Muhammad, 25

Noor Pari, 50

Shahi Baden Bibi, 40

Tahira Bibi, 30

Qari Saeed Ullah, 30

Bakhtpoor Khan, father and family elder

Mohammad Noor’s two sons

4 other un-named civilians

 

 

killed at ~ 3 AM, January 12/13, 2006

in the ethnic Pashtun hamlet of Damadola Burkanday inhabited by the Mamond tribe, in the Bajaur Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Territories. Bajaur has a history of strong jihadi sentiments. U.S. aircraft (possibly Predator drones which carry four Hellfire AGM-114 missiles made by Boeing) flew in from Kunar Province and fired at least four missiles at homes in the hillside hamlet located ~7 kms inside Pakistan. The U.S. “precision” onslaught killed 13-20 civilians, injured another 5-6, destroyed the homes of Bacha (Badshah) Khan, Bakhtpoor Khan, and Mohammad Sadiq (who survived the assault and is the younger brother of Bakhtpoor Khan), all jewelers with shops in the nearby town of Inayat Qala, and killed some two dozen cattle. 13 members of one family that of Bakhtpoor Khan, a laborer, were killed. Bacha Khan, a flour mill worker whose home was destroyed, said: “we don’t have anything to do with al-Qaeda and it was a cruel act of the Americans to attack my house without reason.” The known dead include 4 women, 8 children and 6 men, all victims of another night-time “precision” air strike. Information provided by the independent journalists Behroz Khan (The News) and Anwarullah Khan (Dawn). A resident, Waheed Gul, said the three destroyed homes were owned by a jeweler Abdul Ghafoor, whose nephew’s children and female relatives were killed. Another survivor, Shah Zaman, a jeweler, lost two sons and a daughter in the U.S. attack. He escaped death by running towards a nearby mountain with his wife. Sami Ullah, 17, a student lost his parents (incl. his father, Bakhtpoor), 4 brothers, 3 sisters-in-law, 3 sisters, and 5 nephews. Mohammad Noor lost two sons.

Characteristically, the United States corporate media led by C.N.N. blathered on about this alleged CIA-strike being aimed at Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri said to be an Eid “dinner guest” in one of the destroyed homes. In typical fashion, no sources are named for such (dis)information. The dinner event seems to be a story made up after the deadly opportunistic U.S. attack. Would Mr. Zawahiri really risk going to attend such a festivity in a region heavily patrolled by U.S. aerial craft? U.S intelligence must think that both Bin Laden and Zawahiri have nothing better to do than “attend dinner parties”. For days no mention was made in the U.S. corporate press about innocent villagers being killed. The first photo (by Mohammad Zubair, AP) shows a Pakistani doctor fixing a tube of Shabana Gul, 5, injured in Damadola, at a local hospital in Khar, Bajaur Agency. Shabana is just another faceless and nameless victim of the U.S. “precision” air war, an unworthy person in the mainstream U.S. media, the C.I.A.’s Global Response Center on the sixth floor of C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and for the U.S. military’s targeting personnel at CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida. The second photo (by Mohammad Zubair, AP) shows a home in Damadola wrecked by the U.S aerial attack. The U.S. corporate press continues to proclaim that 3-4 “top Al Qaeda leaders” were killed in the deadly attack. No evidence whatsoever is presented and vague references abound to “un-named sources.” The corporate press triumphantly proclaimed that nonetheless a major Al-Qaeda figure in Pakistan, Abu Marwan al-Suri, wanted by the U.S., had been killed in the Damadola strike. Three months later, on April 20, 2006, the mainstream press reports that the same Abu Marwan al-Suri is killed (again) in the Bajaur region.  As Derrick Z. Jackson comments in The Boston Globe, “…The incident remains bloody proof that we are repeating the Vietnam mistake of destroying villages to save them. If the correct reports hold up, we still killed three times more civilians than terrorists in the attack, a ratio we would not accept from our local police, no matter how desperate we are to curb youth violence or organized crime” (in his ”Making Enemies in Pakistan,” at http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0121-20.htm  ). The conclusion is obvious: the U.S. cares not for Pashtun lives, they are unworthy bodies (a point elaborated upon in my essay, “What is the Value of a Dead Afghan?” at http://www.cursor.org/stories/afghandead.htm ). Such intended U.S. extrajudicial killings are strictly prohibited under international human rights law according to Amnesty International. Anyone accused of an offence, however serious, has the right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty and to have their guilt or innocence established in a regular court of law in a fair trial.

The media and political responses to this barbaric attack are analyzed in Rev. William E. Alberts, “Another Sign of America’s Moral Decay. Remembering Damadola,” Counterpunch (March 4/5, 2006) at http://www.counterpunch.org/alberts03042006.html 

A night-time opportunistic attack by U.S. aircraft which fired 4-9 missiles