(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India
War Crimes Exposed
thousands of documents released by Wikileaks in July which cover the
between 2004 and 2009 don’t reveal any substantial new evidence that
already there in the public realm, it details the killings of more than
Afghan civilians between the years 2001-2009. The Obama administration,
of introspecting, is threatening dire consequences for those involved
leak of the documents alleging that they now “have blood on their
government in Pakistan
though inured to a great degree by the continuous allegations of
sections of the insurgents, has now to fend off more criticism.
180 of the
pertain to the ISI’s help to the Taliban in training and arms supplies.
British prime minister, David Cameron on a visit to India
in the last week of July agreed with his hosts about Pakistan’s
involvement with terror
groups trying to destabilise the continent. The Wikileaks logs also
Indian development projects and diplomatic missions in Afghanistan
were of particular concern to the insurgents and were regularly
militants at the prompting of handlers from across the border.
logs were released it was clear that the Pakistani political and
establishment was far from happy with the growing Indian presence in Afghanistan.
Indian side had said that the attack on their embassy in Kabul was the
handiwork of the Haqqani
faction of the Taliban, which has close ties to the Pakistani security
establishment. After the Wikileaks expose, the Indian government issued
statement demanding that Pakistan
“cease forthwith its policy of sponsoring terrorism and stop the
its territory for recruiting and providing haven to terrorists”.
government has described the documents as “skewed” and out of touch
reality on the ground. The Obama administration will however find it
to gloss over the documented evidence of strong linkages between the
Afghan Taliban, despite the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton’s
assertions that Islamabad needed just a little more of friendly
fully subscribe to the American agenda in Afghanistan. The Pakistani
chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, who was given an unprecedented three year
mainly at the urging of the Obama administration, was the man
ISI’s activities in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the period covered by
The US and
allies have said that the leaked files have not revealed anything new.
Obama administration was quick to point out that the events covered in
“Afghan War Diary” as Wikileaks calls the leaked documents, occurred
previous Bush administration. But they do reveal some previously
massacres, like the targeting of a bus load of civilians by French
October, 2008 and a similar incident two months later involving US
innocent civilians were killed and seriously injured in both the
There is also an incident which occurred in 2007, when US
targeted a village to kill a Libyan fighter belonging to the Al Qaeda.
those killed were seven Afghan police officers.
numerous instances of serious indiscipline among the Afghan security
trained by the West. They include firing on innocent civilians,
the drug trade and infighting and mass desertions. The Afghan
Karzai wants the same Afghan forces to be completely in charge of the
security by 2014. At the “Kabul
in early July and attended by top officials from all the countries
involved in Afghanistan,
there was open support for this
deadline proposed by Karzai by none other than the US
secretary of state, Hillary
was that the Taliban had acquired heat seeking ground to air missiles
have resulted in the downing of a few US and NATO planes and
media had written about Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders being selectively
for assassination and the collateral damage that has frequently
such strikes. The “War Diary” however fleshes out the details. It
activities of Task Force 373, an American created squad specifically
eliminate individuals on America’s
list in Afghanistan.
Force 373 has become even more active after the Obama administration
over two years ago.
throws more light on the increasing use of Reaper and Predator drones
have rained bombs on thousands of unsuspecting innocent Afghan
50,000 feet. The Obama administration has considerably accelerated the
the killer drones and other forms of targeted killings.
militarily defeating the Taliban has been put on the backburner.
Taliban and al Qaeda leaders with whom the Americans and the Pakistanis
want to do business with seems to be the order of the day. Senior White
sources have told the American media after the leak of the documents
are hoping that the recent bonhomie between Karzai and Kayani will help
so called “good Taliban” on board, so as to facilitate a political
$300 million has been officially set aside by Washington and allies
middle ranking Taliban leaders to the negotiating table. The ISI is
do most of the arm twisting and cajoling to get the recalcitrant
occasions published top secret Indian government documents. They
classified documents on the unique identification authority which was
October last year. The other important document leaked by the group was
draft of the India-EU agreement and a report by the finance ministry on
environmental impact assessment norms. Wikileaks has said that it is
release huge amounts of documents pertaining to Afghanistan.
There is a possibility
that the covert activities of other countries including India,
figure in future disclosures. Assange recently said that his
“several million files” waiting to be released on every country in the
having a population of more than a million. Out of the 92,000 documents
the secret Pentagon files still in its possession, only 76,000 have
online. Wikileaks has said that it is carefully screening the rest of
documents before releasing them as it does not want any harm to come to
individuals whose names figure in them.
Robert Gates, recently said that Wikileaks is already responsible for a
of deaths. The Taliban has already announced that they will hunt down
“informers” whose names figure in the documents. However, so far, there
been no known revenge killings or deaths reported as a result of the
documents. Gates has said that the “battlefield consequences” of the
“potentially severe and dangerous” for the American army in Afghanistan.
alarmist view of the defence secretary is not however shared by Major
John Campbell, the US
in eastern Afghanistan.
told reporters that the release of the documents have not changed
operations or tactics in Afghanistan.
Senior American officials tend to forget that the leaks of intelligence
assessments have only substantiated the scale of civilian carnage in Afghanistan.
The 20,000 deaths that have been accounted
the document are only a fraction of the civilians who have died in Afghanistan
the last nine years under occupation.
proves that the resistance has popular support and does not have to
groups like the Al Qaeda to carry the fight to the enemy. There are
more than 27,000 enemy actions and more than 23,000 “explosive hazards”
placed by the enemy. The documents also show that there were 273
held by Afghan civilians against the presence of occupation forces.
civilian casualties were understated in the US
army documents. For instance,
only 56 insurgents were reported killed in the NATO air attack in
September 2009 in the documents released by Wikileaks. In actual fact,
number of civilians killed, among whom were a number of women and
behind the expose has said that many of the informers whose names
figure in the
leaked documents were any way acting in a “criminal way” by providing
information to their American paymasters with the aim of “creating
themselves”. Assange has justified his actions on the grounds that “the
sweep of abuses, everyday squalor and carnage of war ----the continuous
of children, insurgents, allied forces----and (many) thousands of war
needed to be exposed for the sake of accountability and justice. He has said that the documents provide more than
enough evidence for war crimes tribunals to prosecute the leaders of
western world. UN Security Council resolution 917 adopted in March 2010
“for full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms and
humanitarian law throughout Afghanistan”.
working under tremendous pressure and increasing threats from Washington, has
said in interviews that the
archives will have a decisive impact on international public opinion
decision makers in western capitals. “There is a mood to end the war in
information won’t do it alone, but it will shift political will in a
significant manner”, he told the German magazine, Der
Spiegel, which along with the Guardian and the New York
Times, were made privy to the documents.
opinion in the
West, including the US,
turned overwhelmingly against the war in Afghanistan. July was the
month for the US
with 66 killed in action. 102 Democratic Congressmen voted against the
of the war in the US Congress in the late July, signalling to the White
that their support should no longer be taken for granted. They were
12 Republican Congressman who voted against the additional $33 billion
sanctioned for the Afghan war. Senator Richard Lugar, an influential
Senator warned that Washington
could go on spending billions of dollars “without reaching a satisfying
conclusion”. Senior Obama administration officials have been quick to
Pakistani and Afghan leadership that they are not going to leave Afghanistan
a hurry. The US
secretary of defence and the military chief, admiral Mike Mullen issued
statements that they will stay in the region for as long as it takes to
the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The US defence secretary Gates specifically
that the US
was not making a substantial withdrawal of troops anytime soon. He
that the Obama administration is re-emphasising the message that the US is not leaving Afghanistan
in the July of 2011. He
said that the date only signified “a transition process and a thinning
ranks”. US vice President, Joseph Biden, told television that the
troops to be withdrawn next year would be as low as 2000. The “exit
president Obama has been talking about has evidently still to be
The impact of the Wikileaks documents on public opinion may yet force
administration’s hand and make the occupation forces leave Afghanistan
2014 as promised.