The Acts of the Democracies
In mid-February it is reported that at least 17 civilians are killed in bombing raids by USA led forces in Helmand province. The Western media hardly report these continuing attacks.
In March, USA military officials admit that two Afghan prisoners captured the previous December had died under interrogation at Bagram air base. The cause of death for the two men is given as "homicide" contradicting earlier reports of death by a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism. The death certificates indicate that one of the victims (known only as Diliwar, aged 22 from the Khost region) died of "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease". The other victim, Mullah Habibullah (aged 30) died from a blood clot in the lung exacerbated by a "blunt force injury".
USA officials have previously admitted using "stress and duress" on prisoners including sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to stand or kneel for hours on end, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light, and engaging in culturally humiliating practices such as having them kicked by female officers. The USA claims that these practices are "humane" while groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced these practices as torture as defined by international treaty.
Human Rights Watch has also criticised the USA practice of handing over subjects to countries such as Jordan, Morocco or Egypt where torture is a normal part of the security aparatus. Legally, it says, there is no difference between using torture and "subcontracting it out". The USA continues to refuse to recognise captives as Prisoners of War subject to protection under the Geneva Convention.
In an address to his nation, the USA president George W Bush, said that Al-Qa'ida suspects would "no longer be a problem to the United States and our friends and allies". The USA continues to refuse to allow its citizens to be subject to the International Criminal Court.
On the same day as the USA invades Iraq, 1000 USA troops supported by helicopters attack a region of the Sami Ghar mountains. Hundreds of homes are searched in several villages in the district of Maruf.
The chief of USA forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-General Dan McNeill, accuses the West of failing to rebuild the country as promised before it was attacked. The Prime Minister, Hamid Karzai (supported and protected by the USA), only controls the area around Kabul, the country's capital.
19 prisoners are released without charge from military detention in Guanatanamo Bay in Cuba by the USA without charge or explanation after they had been held as "battlefield detainees" for more than a year.
In Loi Karez, 40 people are killed by USA forces.
Dozens of homes are demolished by the USA backed police chief, Basir Salangi, in Kabul. The homes were in Wazir Akhbar Khan, an area wanted for the development of luxury accommodation. Buldozers flattened 13 mud brick one room houses with the families' possessions still inside. At the same time, all but four of Hamid Karzai's 32 cabinet ministers are given plots of land worth up to $170,000 in the Shir Pur district of the capital.
Ten nomads (including women and children) are killed when their tents are attacked by USA helicopters in Naubahar district. One of the survivors, Haji Lawang, complained that no USA official had been to the site of the bombing: "They had nothing to do with politics. This is a disaster. People said the Americans came here to help us build our country, but they are not. They are killing our people."
Although, little is reported about the country in the Western media, in a two month period between August and September, 300 people are killed, including civilians, aid workers and USA soldiers. Schools for girls are attacked and set on fire.
Amnesty International produces a report about the lives of Afghan women two years after the USA led invasion of the country. The report states that women continue to the victims of forced marriage (often to settle disputes), domestic violence (including honour killings), abduction and rape (often by the groups loyal to the war lords backed by the USA). Prosecutions for violence against women and virtually unknown. Women are routinely detained for adultery or asserting their rights.