The United States and the license to kill

The killing program, introduced primarily by George W. Bush and then expanded by Barack Obama is now apparently accepted as a given in the world.

Source: AP

The author of the article is Florian Rötzer. Florian Rötzer works as a freelance author and publicist with a focus on media theory and aesthetics in Munich and as an organizer of numerous international symposia. The original article has been published in Telepolis. Translation and editing by Defenseweek’s team.

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In Afghanistan, the commander of a Taliban faction was killed by a US drone, and many civilians are also believed to have been killed or injured.

The US made clear with the assassination attempt on General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Brigades, that Washington is claiming to kill those who have been declared terrorists or suspected of terrorism worldwide. For the sake of simplicity, companions of the person who is to be executed with drones or undercover special units are also killed as a kind of by-catch. In the case of Soleimani, four Iranians and five Iraqis, including Brigadier General Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, vice-commander of the Iraqi government’s militia al-Hashd al-Shashbī and commander of the Kataib Hizbollah, were allegedly destroyed in two cars by several missiles. Whether it was just employees or bodyguards, as the US media say, is unclear.

US President Donald Trump’s motto was that legitimate attacks could be carried out on members of terrorist organizations that are listed by the United States as unauthorized. In contrast to the killing of al-Baghdadi, Soleimani and al-Muhandis were members of state security forces. Washington sees the state of terrorism here, but it can and must be turned against the United States if it kills people without an immediate threat. So far, Soleimani has allegedly come to Iraq to launch attacks on US facilities, but even then, there is no immediate threat, but at best a preventive strike.

The killing program, introduced primarily by George W. Bush and then expanded by Barack Obama (US strategy: Better to kill than to take prisoners), is now apparently accepted as a given in the world. The only thing that is striking is the double standard, for example when Russia is indignantly indicted for the nerve poisoning on Skripal, even if the “evidence” of who the client was is still very thin and, fittingly, not by the British police, but by the dubious Bellingcat group come.

Trump, on the other hand, is openly committed to commissioning the murder of Soleimani – with whom the Americans cooperated against ISIS in Iraq. The other member countries of the supposedly value-oriented NATO apparently find that all right – even if Trump has loosened the reins even more and protects US soldiers who have committed war crimes: the protective hand of the President.

No consideration for collateral damage?

Another bad guy has just been killed by the United States. On Wednesday, a US drone killed Mullah Nangyalay, the commander of the 2015 Taliban faction led by Mullah Rasul, “High Council of the Islamic Afghan Council”, in the Shindand district near the Iranian border. In addition to 30 Taliban fighters, around 60 civilians are believed to have been killed or injured in the attack, Toryalai Tahiri, vice-chairman of the Herat Council, passed on the reports of the local population to Tolo News. Other reports estimate 30-35 Taliban killed and 40 civilians killed. The victims attended a funeral ceremony for Mullah Nangyalai. But it also says the Rasul Taliban wanted to attack a government checkpoint. There was a first missile attack here, but civilians were killed in a second missile attack after going to the casualties.

The NATO mission Resolute Support reports nothing of this on the website, a spokesman told AFP only that there was a “defensive airstrike to support the Afghan armed forces”.

There are different representations about the use of drones. He was consulted with him after the Afghan Ministry of Defense, but local officials have spoken of a mistake, including Abdul Qayoum Rahimi, the governor of Herat, and General Aminullah Amarkhel, the chief of police at Herat. An investigation has been launched.

The attack occurred in a government-controlled area. Tolonews wonders why Nangialai was killed because the Taliban group leader is said to be linked to the government and has been fighting groups under Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada. This is also mentioned in Stars and Stripes. The Rasul group is said to have attempted an attack in the summer to kill Hibatullah in a mosque near Quetta, but was unsuccessful.

The Americans have been holding peace talks with the Taliban for some time. Trump hired them in September after several Taliban attacks, but they were reinstated in late December. On the other hand, it is said that Nangialai has recently come under Iranian influence.

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