Project start:  September 25, 2004

The Afghan Victim Memorial Project:

An Online Memorial to the civilians killed by the U.S. Bombing, Invasion and Occupation of Afghanistan after September 11th


List of Individual Victims – The Bush years- October/2001 - January 20, 2009


A Revealing Incident Where U.S/NATO Militaries 

Have Killed Afghan Civilians in the Ongoing Afghan Conflict


The civilian dead in Afghanistan can also be seen as victims of September 11, 2001 – a twin tragedy. The purpose of this site is to create an online memorial as a gesture of love and support to the families of the deceased. The aim is to list as many as possible of the persons killed, with details of their lives, the circumstances of their deaths. Hard copy files are kept of all reports detailing each incident. This may take many years to complete, and we cannot anticipate the final number of authenticated victims of the bombing, invasion and occupation.

With your help, this online memorial for some of the thousands who died at the hands of the United States will be created. The Afghan Victim Memorial will both pay tribute to these victims and create an accurate resource for the future

Your help is needed, especially from persons in Afghanistan or Pakistan

Please help us in collecting information about the families of the dead and from any reliable sources that would stand as authentication. This is also an invitation to anyone already engaged in creating such a memorial to pool resources or contribute.

Contactmwherold@cisunix.unh.edu .

The data base is arranged chronologically though by name. Each entry is recorded on a separate page with the following details:  name & biography; day of death; place of death; and U.S. weapon which resulted in death.

The United States and NATO aerial bombing in Afghanistan (and Iraq) is clearly violating Articles 48 and 50 of the Geneva Conventions on War and hence the parties are guilty of war crimes (as convincingly documented in this data base).

 Article 48 states: “The Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants.”

 Article 50 adds: “The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilian does nor deprive the population of its civilian character.”

 

….and the parallels in Iraq: U.S. raid kills 11 civilians in town of Ishaqi near Balad, 80 kms north of Baghdad, March 15, 2006

Faiz Mratt, 27, father and school teacher

Faiz’s wife

Faiz’a mother, Torkiya Majid, 90

Hawra, 4, child of Faiz

Aysha, 2, child of Faiz

Hussam, 4 mos old, child of Faiz

Faiza, sister of Faiz, a school teacher

Osama, 6, Faiza’s son

Asmaa, 5, Faiza’s daughter

Aziz Khalil, 30, a family friend

Nidhal Mohammad, 23, his fiancée

 

 

 (photos from Reuters)

At 1:30 A.M. on March 15, 2006, U.S. air and ground forces attacked a house, in which an insurgent suspect was alleged to have been hiding. U.S troops stormed Faiz’s home, tied up the family members, beat them, and then shot them dead. The troops then planted explosives and blew up the house, even killing farm animals. Reporters’ photographs showed the bodies of two men, five children, and four others covered in blankets. The victims were covered in dust with bits of rubble tangled in their hair. A brother pf Faiz, Ahmed, said nine of the dead were family members who lived in the house. Ahmed Khalaf continued,

“the killed family was not part of the resistance; they were women and children. The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death.”

Ishaqi's town administrator, Rasheed Shather, said the town was shocked: "Everyone went to the funeral. We want the Americans to give us an explanation for this horrible crime."  

Iraqi girl tells of U.S. massacre in Haditha, November 19, 2005

A first-hand account by Iman Walid herself may now be seen and heard at http://alternet.org/blogs/video/36962/

Original U.S. military report (a lie): roadside bomb strikes Humvee killing a marine of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, and 15 Iraqi civilians and a firefight follows.

Actual event: a roadside bomb hits a Humvee killing one marine. No firefight takes place. Marines go on a rampage in revenge (as in My Lai, Vietnam) in the village, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their home, including 7 women and 3 children.

A young Iraqi girl has given a shocking first hand account of what witnesses claim amounts to mass murder by US troops in the war-torn country.

Ten-year-old Iman Walid lost seven members of her family in an attack by American marines last November 2005. The four young men who died were on their way to college.

Iman tells of screaming soldiers entering her house in the Iraqi town of Haditha spraying bullets in every direction.

Fifteen people in all were killed, including her parents and grandparents. Her account has been corroborated by other eyewitnesses who say it was a revenge attack after a roadside bomb killed a marine.

bodies at morgue

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0706-37.htm

 

Haditha Victims’ Kin Outraged As Marines Go Free

by Leila Fadel

 

HADITHA, Iraq - Khadija Hassan still shrouds her body in black, nearly three years after the deaths of her four sons. They were killed on Nov. 19, 2005, along with 20 other people in the deadliest documented case of U.S. troops killing civilians since the Vietnam War.

Eight Marines were charged in the case, but in the intervening years, criminal charges have been dismissed against six. A seventh Marine was acquitted. The residents of Haditha, after being told they could depend on U.S. justice, feel betrayed.

“We put our hopes in the law and in the courts and one after another they are found innocent,” said Yousef Aid Ahmed, the lone surviving brother in the family. “This is an organized crime.”

No one disputes that Marines killed 24 men, women and children in this town in four separate shootings that morning. Relatives said the attack was a massacre of innocent civilians that followed a roadside bomb that killed one Marine and injured two. Marines say they came under fire following the bomb.

Nonetheless, military prosecutors filed charges that ranged from murder to covering up a crime. Three Marines were relieved of their duties then, and U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a former Marine, famously called the incident “murder” on television.

One by one, the cases fell apart. American and Iraqi witnesses provided conflicting accounts. The investigation began months after the incident, and many Iraqis who could have testified were unable to travel to the United States. Furthermore, several Marines were granted immunity.

Last week, a judge dismissed charges of dereliction of duty and failure to investigate filed against the highest ranking officer implicated, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani. The Marine Corps plans to appeal.

The dismissals have deepened the victims’ relatives’ grief. Many say they feel deceived after having collaborated with U.S. investigators who came into their homes, collected evidence, took testimony, and ultimately failed to hold the Marines accountable.

“Right now I feel hatred that will not fade,” said Ahmed. “It grows every day.” Charges against two Marines who allegedly killed his brothers were dropped in August 2007.

All charges of murder in this case were dropped and at least seven Marines were given immunity to allow them to testify against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the squad leader. His charges now include voluntary manslaughter of at least nine people.

Wuterich has always maintained that he made the right decision, believing his Marines were under threat.

While other Marines’ accounts have differed from his, Wuterich told the CBS News program 60 Minutes last year that he shot at five unarmed men outside a white car because he believed they were a threat when they started to move away from the car. At the first home they raided, where women and children were inside, he said he told his men to “shoot first and ask questions later”, because he believed the Marines were coming under “sporadic” fire from the dwelling.

Wuterich said that he didn’t consider killing 24 people a massacre and that he did what he did to protect his Marines from what he perceived to be a threat.

“I remember there may have been women in there, may have been children in there,” he told 60 Minutes. “My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died … and at that point we were still on the assault, so no, I don’t believe [I should have stopped the attack].”

This is how the residents of Haditha recall that day: U.S. Marines were apparently bent on revenge after a roadside bomb killed one of their own. They killed four unarmed men and an unarmed taxi driver. Then they threw grenades and entered two homes. In the Younes’ household, they killed eight people, including two toddlers, a 5-year-old and a mother recovering from an appendectomy.

In an adjacent home, they killed seven people, including a 4-year-old and two women, according to death certificates and one of the children who survived. Across the street, residents of two houses shared by a family were pulled out. The men were separated from the women as the Marines asked them about weapons.

Family members said they had one AK-47 in each house, which Iraqi law allows. The Marines forced the women and children into one house at gunpoint, then took four brothers to a back bedroom and executed them, the family said.

Yousef Aid Ahmed was not at home when the killing occurred. He is now the sole breadwinner for his mother and extended family.

His father became ill after the shootings, and later, the family said, went blind from grief. Ailing, he lingered in a small bedroom where his sons were killed. One was gunned down to the left of the bed, a second to the right. The third man’s body wound up inside a closet and the fourth was propped against the wardrobe. Despite a fresh coat of paint, the ceiling still bears grey spots where the men’s blood spattered. They were all shot in the head.

The relatives seldom go into this room.

The Marines told a different story. Lt. Col. Paul J. Ware, an investigating officer with the Navy Marine Corps Trial Judiciary gave this account: Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, a Marine who acknowledged killing three of the brothers, told investigators that the four brothers were holed up in a back bedroom where the Marines later found two AK-47s. Ware wrote in the report that the evidence made the Iraqi’s story implausible and their accounts were inconsistent.

The report didn’t say whether there was any evidence that the AK-47s were fired. The report also implied that the family may have made up their story for the $10,000 in compensation for the deaths of civilians and that their credibility should be questioned because they were women and a teenager.

“Witness accounts are not credible,” the report said about the case of one Marine accused of killing three of the brothers. “Although $10,000 does not appear to be a large amount of money…such a sum of money was equal to 4 times the average annual salary of a typical resident of Haditha. Prior to making these claims, no payments were made to the Ahmed family.”

Relatives said they accepted the money after authorities told them it would help the case. Now they wish they’d never taken the cash.

“Right now I feel hatred that will not fade,” said Yousef Aid Ahmed. “It grows every day.”

“I have no brothers and sisters,” Khaled Jamal said. “Now I have no father and my uncles are gone. Put yourself in my shoes.” Once a stellar student, Khaled is now failing.

The sense of betrayal has made family members reluctant to keep telling the story.

At the house where Safa Younes now lives with her uncle, her uncle refused to allow her to talk about that day.

Safa, now age 14, is the sole survivor of the Younes family household. She passed out in fear when the shootings began and awoke under the dead bodies of her family members, she and her uncle Yaseen recounted to McClatchy in a 2006 interview four months after the slaying.

She heard the moaning of her brother Mohammed and tried to get him to stand up to go to her uncle’s home. Bleeding profusely, he couldn’t move. She cradled him in her arms until he died. Then, covered in her brother’s blood, she ran to her uncle’s home, her uncle and Safa recounted to McClatchy in 2006.

This week he refused to allow Safa to speak of the tragedy again.

“It’s enough. We spoke to many journalists and human rights groups,” Safa’s uncle said. “It brought us nothing. I lost her whole family; I don’t want to lose her too.”

Iman Waleed lost everyone in her family save her little brother. The 12-year-old tells the story quickly and matter-of-factly now. She’s told it at least 20 times to journalists, investigators and human rights groups.

“The Americans came in and they entered through the kitchen door. My father was in the room reading the Quran and they shot him,” she says in a monotone voice, her green eyes looking at the floor.

Then, she continued, they threw a bomb and killed her grandfather, and then they killed her grandmother. Her uncles were next, she said. The first died instantly and the second was shot more than once. Finally the Marines came to the living room where Iman cowered with her mother and two young brothers. They shot her mother and her three-year-old brother that was cradled in her arms. She and her brother Abdul Rahman, nine at the time, were wounded but survived.

Her brother still does not speak of that day. According to Iman, he’s afraid to talk about it. He plays with his cousin of the same age in the house where they live with an uncle and pretends that it never happened.

For Iman it is the memory of the family that she lost that is hardest to talk about. Everything is “normal,” now she says. Her life continues.

“I miss every one of them,” she said. “I wish I could forget it … I think about it less now.”

The legal rationales behind the dismissal of many charges against the Marines don’t matter to the Iraqi families. They told the world there was a massacre, they said, and still no one listened.

“What should we do?” Abdul Razak said. “They are all found innocent. What more do they need?…They shouldn’t have been found innocent.”

She dropped her head.

“I’m one of a million … I am nobody.” she said. “Why did they choose us from everyone? Why did they separate us and kill us. … Why did they come and kill our young men and leave us alive?”

Charges Against Marines Related To The Haditha Investigation

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani

Violation of a lawful order and willful dereliction of duty were both dismissed on June 17, 2008. The Marine Corps plans to appeal the recent decision.

Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz

The charges of unpremeditated murder for five people and making a false official statement were dismissed April 2, 2007. He was granted immunity after the charges were dropped.

1st Lt. Andrew A. Grayson

Grayson was found not guilty of all charges after being accused of obstructing justice in the Haditha case on June 3, 2008. On Dec. 27, 2007 the charge of dereliction for failing to investigate a suspected violation of the law of war was dismissed

Capt. Lucas M. McConnell

The charge of unpremeditated murder in the killings of three brothers and dereliction for failing to “ensure” a “thorough investigation was initiated,” were dismissed on Sept. 12, 2007. He was granted immunity and ordered to cooperate with “all parties” looking into the 24 killings in Haditha.

Capt. Randy W. Stone

Charges that include failing to ensure an investigation and accurately report a suspected violation of the law of war were dismissed.

Lance Corporal Stephen B. Tatum

Charges of Involuntary manslaughter of two people, unpremeditated murder of two others, negligent homicide of four people, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment were dismissed on March 28, 2008. Tatum was given testimonial immunity in the Haditha case.

Staff Sgt. Frank D Wuterich

Charges against Wuterich for unpremeditated murder of 17 people were dismissed on Dec. 27, 2007 and another was withdrawn on Aug. 29, 2007. Now he is charged with voluntary manslaughter for killing or ordering the killing of at least nine people. He is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, obstructing justice and dereliction. The charges were referred to the general court-martial on Dec. 31, 2007. He has yet to go to trial.

Source: Iraq Investigations

 

A world-class liar, then and now

This lieutenant Colonel James Yonts of the U.S. Army, graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pa., has been in the forefront of creating news as the Pentagon wants it – strategic communication. Yonts has been serving at Central Command in Tampa and later as U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, spending great effort to cover up the civilian deaths caused by U.S. military actions. On March 30, 2006, he affirmed the absence of any civilians in the village of Qala-e-Gaz, Helmand Province, which was being severely bombed by U.S (and British Harrier) aircraft. Reports from the field indicate some 20-30 civilians had been killed in the “torrent of air strikes.” On August 12, 2005, the New York Times reported the results of a raid by a U.S. warplane on the remote village of Mara Kale in southern Afghanistan. According to survivors in a Kandahar hospital, four people died in the attack. Muhammad Yar told the newspaper that his mother had been killed and his house destroyed in the raid. US military spokesman Colonel James Yonts responded by declaring that he doubted that there were any civilian casualties as the area was uninhabited. Four years ago, Col. Yonts had created news for the Pentagon when commenting on another series of U.S. air strikes, carried out between 7 – 10 P.M. just outside Tarin Kot, Uruzgan Province. He said, “we verified the target and on the night of the 21st, we dropped some precision-guided munitions on the target and destroyed that target. All the munitions were accounted for – on the target.” In the real world, the U.S. air strikes killed 21 civilians fleeing on a tractor including 17 children and 3 women (for a detailed account see entry in the Afghan Victim Memorial Project, under “Abdul Ghani, 22/23”). On the day of that murderous attack, Willian Arkin a former military intelligence officer and defense establishment pundit, penned an article for the Washington Post glorifying the new-found military prowess reassuring the American public that precision-guided munitions would prevent most civilian casualties (“Civilian Casualties and the Air War”).

 


Hy Rothstein. [Source: Center on Terrorism and Irregular Warfare]

January 2004: Critical Internal Report of US Military Efforts in Afghanistan Is Suppressed


In late 2002, the Defense Department asks retired Army Colonel Hy Rothstein, a leading military expert in unconventional warfare, to examine the planning and execution of the war in Afghanistan. Rothstein travels to Afghanistan and interviews dozens of military personnel at all levels. The New Yorker calls his report, completed this month, “a devastating critique of the [Bush] administration’s strategy.” While Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has described the US military to be mostly reliant upon unconventional forces,
Rothstein sees a reliance on heavy aerial bombing that results in large numbers of civilian casualties. He sees a poor effort at winning the hearts and minds of Afghans, and many mistakes such as allying with corrupt, drug-dealing warlords who oppress the population. One military expert calls the US strategy “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” When Rothstein presents his conclusions to Rumsfeld, he is told to dampen his criticisms before the report can be published. He refuses to do so, and so the report is left sitting in bureaucratic limbo. Many other officials privately agree with the report’s conclusions. One former senior intelligence officer says, “The reason they’re petrified is that it’s true, and they didn’t want to see it in writing.” [New Yorker, 4/5/2004]

“I really love it………it was the first time I had come under fire……I was  excited and I was smiling because I had dropped my bombs and they had definitely hit…”

Spoken by Lieutenant Ashley, 26,  a U.S. Navy pilot of a F-14 Tomcat aboard the carrier, U.S.S. Carl Vinson, after her bombing Afghanistan in early October 2001

 

“I and all my classmates are very sad because of the situation in our homeland. When our teacher said in class that many people had been killed in Afghanistan, I and all my classmates started weeping because everyone has relatives there. I expect America not to kill poor Afghans. They are hungry and poor…..”

Spoken by a young girl, Feriba, a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan, in early October 2001

 

"We just sit in the dark, watching the sky, waiting to die," said vegetable vendor Jamal Uddin, shutting down his shop as the lights went out Tuesday night (October 9, 2001). Power was cut in Kabul, and Taliban radio has been off the air since the second round of U.S strikes wrecked the transmitter of Radio Shariat.

 

A Pentagon spokesman speaking on condition of anonymity told CNN about the attack at 11 P.M. on October 22-23, 2001 on the small village of Chowkar Kariz in Kandahar Province.  The U.S assault killed 52-93 innocent civilians.  The unnamed Pentagon official said, 

“the people there are dead because we wanted them dead.”

 

An old man, Mohammad Qasin, said (on March 14, 2002), he could barely walk through the rubble of his village. The vision of the torn bodies of women and children was still too real in his mind’s eye, ”every time I walk through here, I see the scene all over again.” His voice shaking and eyes tearing, he told of helping pile the bodies onto a tractor wagon the next day. “I can’t do the numbers,” he said as he walked away.

 

After an air strike on March 7, 2002 upon two pickup trucks filled with 30 Kharoti tribes people heading to a Sufi shrine in the hills near Landai Doag, Paktika, which killed 23 tribes people (including at least 10 women and children), a U.S. commander at the Bagram Air Base was quoted in the New Orleans Times Picayune as saying he had not known that women and a child were in the vehicles. He said that had he known, we would have gone ahead and attacked anyway.

 

Sgt. James Anyett of the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division shouted as he made his way into Falluja on November 9, 2004, “I got myself a real juicy target…..dude, give me that sniper rifle. I can take him out – I’m from Alabama…”  Two minutes later….”Yeah….I got my kills,……. I just love my job.” (from  “I got my kills….I just love my job,” News.Telegraph.com (November 9, 2004) at:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/09/wirq109.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/11/09/ixnewstop.html)

It’s sort of the immaculate conception to warfare,  was how Professor of Strategy, Col. (ret. U.S Marine) Mackubin Owens at the U.S. Naval War College (Newport, R.I.) described the U.S military campaign in Afghanistan in November 2001.

 

Bill Moyers interviewed Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun and National Catholic Reporter columnist in November 2004 (source: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1126-04.htm ): 

Moyers:  Somebody said to me the other day that Americans don’t behead, but we do drop smart bombs that do it for us. 

Chittister:  And that are not as smart as we think they are.

 

“While only days ago I was horrified by the use of massive bombs on residential neighborhoods because U.S. intelligence "suspected" that maybe some "bad guys" were "holing up" in a "safe house" nearby (the same code words are used in every bombing of every country), I'm too numb to feel that now. Instead, I simply repeat to myself the hypnotic phrase that Bush and Rumsfeld and Allawi and military psy-ops experts sing in tune: ‘We don't target civilians’.” (from Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, “Thanksgiving in a Culture of Death,” Antiwar.com (November 23, 2004) at http://www.antiwar.com/orig/whitehurst.php?articleid=4022 ).

Army Private Matt Guckenheimer, an assistant gunner in the U.S Army 10th Mountain Division, upon returning in April 2002, from two tours in eastern Afghanistan, in an interview with the Ithaca Journal in his hometown, made a most revealing honest comment. He said, “we were told there are no friendly forces…if there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children to kill them” (my emphasis added, as reported in http://www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/20020525/topstories/380284.html  ).

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert under the ...

afghan massacre the convoy of death 50 minutes

Watch video


 

 

Sgt. Paul Dominguez (of Hillside N.J.) is reported by Barry Bearak (of the New York Times) to have observed in early 2002, “….they won’t give up no matter how many bombs you drop. They’re not right in the head. Obviously, they don’t think the way normal people think” (in http://www.uexpress.com/richardreeves/?uc_full_date=20020315 ).

Major-General James N. Mattis of the U.S. Marines, known to his troops as ‘Mad Dog Mattis’ who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq (the Falluja massacres) expressed his personal military ethos in the following terms as was widely reported, “Actually, it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people, I’ll be right up front with you. I like brawling…You go into Afghanistan, you’ve got guys who slap women around for five years because they don’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway, so it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.” These were the Marine General’s public words (more details in Brian Cloughly, “ ‘It’s Fun to Shoot Some People.’ A General as Knuckle-Dragging Buffoon,” Counterpunch (February 8, 2005), at: http://www.counterpunch.org/cloughley02082005.html ).

Marc Garlasco (photo) is currently Military Analyst for Human Rights Watch. Before joining Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, Garlasco was an Intelligence Officer and Senior Intelligence Analyst in the Pentagon’ Defense Intelligence Agency where he specialized on Iraq. He is an expert in Iraqi leadership and security forces. He is knowledgeable in military targeting as well as weapon systems.  In a radio interview with KALW-FM public radio in San Francisco, 1:30 PM EST, May 4, 2005, Mr. Garlasco said that the Pentagon assessed the probability of U.S. bombing strikes killing civilians. In the Iraq conflict (2003-4), the go-ahead was given if the Pentagon estimated 30 or fewer civilians would be killed. If more than 30 civilians were assessed to be killed, authority for the intended air strike needed to be secured from Secretaries or the President. One only wonders what the cut-off number was in Afghanistan where the visibility of civilian casualties was/is much lesser. 100?  In other words, the Pentagon ordered bombing strikes knowing full well that civilians would die, which is de facto pre-meditated murder.

 

“….the hits were great” - pilot of a Harrier

“…Oh, dude…” - pilot of a F-16

U.S pilots have systematically dropped bombs and fired projectiles both in Afghanistan and Iraq putting innocent civilians in harm’s way. But the conversations between the U.S attackers during these acts remains largely shrouded in secrecy, however two examples have eluded the censors (and those screening for political correctness) and have entered the public domain. You may see such acts of ‘precision’ bombing and listen to U.S pilots’ conversation in two such cases by clicking on the appropriate phrase below.

1. a 7-minute video of an attack by an AC-130U Spectre gunship upon an Afghan village in October 2001. The video depicts U.S gunners firing directly upon people leaving the mosque, at :

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/AC130_Gunship.wmv

2. a 30-second video of a U.S. F-16 jet fighter attacking a group of persons in Fallujah in April 2004. The video was broadcast on October 5, 2004 by Britain’s Channel 4 News. At no point during the exchange between pilots and air controllers does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are posing a threat.

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/MassacreofCivilians.wmv

On November 3, 2001, four U.S Marine Harrier jets took off from the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship in the Arabian Sea, and dropped 500 lb “precision” bombs in Afghanistan. Upon getting out of the cockpit, one of the pilots said, “the hits were great.”

On November 10, 2001, U.S crewmen on the USS Enterprise in the Arabian Sea, inscribed bombs destined for Afghanistan,…..”With Love.” Shannon and Kevin Oliver did the same on a Mark 84 bomb being readied for Afghanistan.

 

Had the burning of dead Taliban not been recorded by Australia’s reporter, Stephen DuPont employed by SBS Dateline, the outrageous action would no doubt have gone un-noticed (as have presumably numerous other such actions by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan). The incident took place on October 1, 2005 above the village of Gonbaz, Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar Province. The day before, the U.S. unit had been ambushed and the firefight had left one U.S occupation soldier dead (Staff Sgt. John Doles). The U.S. occupation forces of the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Army Airborne Brigade laid out the bodies of two Taliban also killed on September 30th on a ridge line facing Mecca, then burnt the dead bodies and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in a manner profoundly offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva Conventions. Cremation is not a Muslim custom and the Geneva Conventions stipulate that enemy dead should be honorably buried. A U.S. Army psychological operations unit then taunted villagers in the local language,

 

You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be…You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Taliban but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are!

 

The video showed U.S. military vehicles fitted with loudspeakers broadcasting the taunts. The SBS footage showed flames licking two charred corpses and a group of five U.S. soldiers standing watching from a rocky ledge

U.S. soldiers later said they burned the bodies for hygiene reasons, but such an explanation made no sense given they were in an isolated area. But the “rationale” was sufficient for the U.S. military to drop its own investigation. The link between burning and taunting was conveniently forgotten. Case closed.

A far more effective, least cost way of fighting US/NATO occupation is by using suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. A Taliban DVD released showed the suicide attack on March 3, 2008 upon a U.S occupation base in the Sabari district of Khost which caused serious casualties to the US/NATO forces. The video may be viewed at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/world/asia/17warlord.html?partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all [click on video, accessed June 21, 2008]. The following still photo shows the powerful effect of the vehicle exploding inside the government base. To cause similar damage by using a land attack would have no doubt resulted in numerous Taliban casualties.