Consequences for New Zealand’s military in the illegal US-led war on Afghanistan — international law & civilisation under threat

Lawless Afghanistan war leads to continuing human rights abuses

Given the hours-long avoidance of the truth on the 18 October 2019, after years of public focus on the human rights concerns expressed in the book, Hit & Run, published in 2017, seven years after this particular tragic event occurred in 2010, could it be that there’s a problem negatively affecting the integrity of the entire US-led war on Afghanistan, which has drawn NZ’s military inevitably into human rights abuses, coverups and deceptions?

Why is the rule of law important?

Benjamin Ferencz in an interview in 2018 said:

Bombing Afghanistan: illegal acts of aggression

Writing a month after the start of the attack on Afghanistan, Marjorie Cohn, a professor of law at California’s Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the US National Lawyers Guild, described the US and British attack as “a patently illegal use of armed force.”4 The bombing was not a legitimate form of self-defence under article 51 for two reasons, according to Cohn. Firstly,

Wars incentivise recruitment to extremism

A further consequence from the illegal US-UK led wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, is the understandable hatred they generate in countries they attack, where people see their families and friends killed, year after year by invading forces. This is shown in studies such as The People’s Perspective: Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict, which in 2015 reported on interviews with 250 people who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya. They concluded : “The most common motivation for involvement, described by interviewees in all four case studies, was protection of self or family.” (5)

Recent deaths in Afghanistan

An update on the continual violent deaths of civilians in the allies war on Afghanistan, includes a report in September 2019, that a US drone strike aiming to hit an Islamic state redoubt, killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labour in the fields, the attack also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and labourers just after they had finished collecting pine nuts in the mountainous region of Wazir in Eastern Nangarhar province (7). Also, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on 20 July 2019 reported more civilians were killed by the US and allied forces than by the Taliban and other militant groups in the first half of 2019 (8). The UN has urged forces in Afghanistan to immediately “reduce the terrible harm being inflicted” on civilians in the 18 years-long war.

Threats to civilisation, international law & justice

Recently this year in 2019, the U.S. threatened International Criminal Court judges with travel bans because of ICC efforts to investigate American war crimes in Afghanistan where US-led forces have been deployed since 2001.10 German Judge Flugge resigned after these threats, the ICC has now abandoned efforts to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan saying it would be impossible without cooperation. This is tragic for justice for Afghanistan’s people who have suffered greatly from this long illegal invasion and attacks since 2001 with many war crimes being reported and the US preventing any investigations. What will happen to New Zealand’s inquiry into allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan? The US has declared it won’t accept war crime investigations of its forces or its allies’ forces.

References

1. How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars? Part 3: Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen by Nicholas, J.S. Davies. Counterpunch

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Pacific Ecologist magazine

Pacific Ecologist magazine

Published by the Pacific Institute of Resource Management