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October 11, 2008

New Tomdispatch


The Surge That Failed
Afghanistan under the Bombs

By Anand Gopal

A bit past midnight on a balmy night in late August, Hedayatullah awoke to a deafening blast. He stumbled out of bed and heard angry voices drawing closer...

The intruders blindfolded Hedayatullah and, screaming with fury, forced him to the ground. An Afghan voice told him not to move or speak, or he would be killed. He listened for sounds from the next room, where his brother Noorullah slept with his family. He could hear his nephew, eight months old, crying hysterically. Then came the sound of an automatic rifle, after which his nephew fell silent.

The rest of the family -- 18 people in all, including aunts, uncles, and cousins -- was herded outside into the darkness. The Afghan voice explained to Hedayatullah's terrified mother, "We are the Afghan National Army, here to accompany the American military. The Americans have killed one of your sons and his two children. They also shot his wife and they're taking her to the hospital."

"Why?" Hedayatullah's mother stammered.

"There is no why," the soldier replied. When she heard this, she started screaming, slamming her fists into her chest in anguish. The Afghan soldiers left her and loaded Hedayatullah and his cousin into the back of a military van, after which they drove off with an American convoy into the black of night.

The next day, the Afghan forces released Hedayatullah and his cousin, calling the whole raid a mistake. However, Noorullah's wife, months pregnant, never came home: She died on the way to the hospital.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at October 11, 2008 02:32 PM

Oh Afghanistan
Save us from Babylon
If they can take
YOUR name away
Can they take
US too?
(They do, Mon)---The Fighting Clowns

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 11, 2008 02:56 PM

I remember the mob frenzy that was whipped up at the rumors of Saddam's goons ripping out babies out of incubators in Kuwait. Will anyone take notice now that our brave boys are killing babies in foreign lands?
The outrage can't find proper words to release itself. Not at killing infants, since infants have been killed and hooked on spears and bayonets since time immemorial, but at the self rightousness. At calling this senseless and barbaric mass slaughter a noble cause.

Posted by: Omar328 at October 12, 2008 07:40 AM