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SAS War Crimes in Afghanistan covered up

The UK has been accused of a cover up during the time its forces were engaged in the war in Afghanistan, in an inquiry launched into how the SAS soldiers killed Afghan civilians dating back to the year 2010.

What is worse is that this involves more than 50 summary killings by members of the SAS, and even worse, it came when for years there were reports that elite British troops killed civilians in cold blood, indicating that authorities higher up were aware of it for some time.

Why was this covered up, and more importantly, why would British soldiers do such things, or, were they merely following orders?

An inquiry held into more than 54 summary killings by members of the SAS in the Helmand Province between the years 2010 and 2011 has concluded that this amounted to war crimes.

What is your immediate reaction to this and do you think this could lead to some form of prosecution?

Firstly, I don’t think there’ll be any prosecutions whatsoever. if you consider that this is already a decade after these war crimes and murders, extra judicial executions, have been carried out, and it’s only now that the second investigation is underway. The people in Afghanistan will never receive justice. The only justice they had was at the bayonet points of the British soldiers that gone halfway around the world to oppress and subdue the Afghan people.

I live in Belfast in Ireland and we all here know about British war crimes. In 1971, on the ninth of August, when the British reintroduced internment without trial, The British paratroopers ran amok in Belfast on the ninth of August 1971. And there were 11 people in what we call the Springhill Massacre. The inquests have only taken part last year. 50 years after those people were brutally cut down.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

Why has it taken so long for this to be looked into?

As part of the cover up, you see, they don’t have an inquest, and there’s no accountability as to how the people died.  The British government, and indeed the British army, claims that these people were armed, that these were terrorists, that these were insurrectionists, people who died in gun battles, which is all lies, and it’s all propaganda and its all cover up.

And in fact, six months after these murders in Belfast, we had thirteen unarmed civil rights protesters murdered in Derry and what was called Bloody Sunday on the 30th of January 1972. And the gentleman who was in charge of that was then later went on to become the General Officer Commanding of British armed forces. So you know, a soldier one day becomes a General Officer Commanding several years after committing war crimes in the streets of Derry.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

Evidence and disclosures show the Afghan men were detained by these SAS soldiers during night raids, often separated from their families, and were shot dead.

And this was routine, where the troops then went and planted weapons on them to justify the crimes so that’s an overall view of what happened.

The question is, why would they subscribe, these SAS soldiers, to such a method?

There are a few reasons; one is that they were given orders by their superiors, or supervisors, to do this, to terrorize the population by killing of the men in their homes. So, terrorize the population to subdue them and prevent any kind of resistance to the invading forces was, could have been, ordered by by their leaders.

The other reason is simply that these soldiers, many, many soldiers in the United States, UK and other places, are trained to kill, that is what they do. That is their job. And so they see anybody and they will kill them. They also, there is discrimination against the people of Afghan. Afghanistan is not a Christian country, it’s mainly a Muslim country, and in the West, Muslims are seen as different and dangerous.

And so these soldiers who are accused of killing, who allegedly killed these civilians, were probably part of or felt that in same way that these people weren’t worthy of life the same way as they were, and therefore they were free to kill them.

This is what we see in war frequently. So it’s nothing new. The fact that it’s been exposed or it’s being investigated after all these years, simply tells us that the British government doesn’t take it all that seriously.

Robert Fantina, Author

One of the things that is pretty much an eye opener, where you have an instance of two Afghan children at 8pm, British and Afghan soldiers burst into to a home, a 12 year old boy and a 14 year old who were staying there overnight, were taken. An eyewitness said: “when I entered the room afterwards, I saw bones and teeth all over the place. There were four altogether, the four of them were lying there; blood everywhere“. Is that what SAS soldiers are trying to do?

The brutality goes along with the mindset of people who are trained, specifically these Special Air Service personnel, are trained not to take prisoners. They’re trained to torture people. They’re trained to gather information and are trained to terrorize the local population.

I mean, you don’t have to go any further than Abu Ghraib. When you see what happened in the prison over the torture with, you know, with prisoners that were naked, that were attacked by dogs. You know, the dehumanization of other races and other religions and other nations is part and parcel of Western imperialism. So you know, the brutality, there’ll be nobody held to account.

These people will just basically get away with murder, and the victims and their families will never get any closure. And you know, let’s not forget what’s happening in Yemen. Let’s not forget what is happening in Syria, and in Libya. This is happening all over all over West Asia and further afield and the brutality that we witnessed in Ukraine, as well and the fascist slur, it’s a mindset and unfortunately, the one not held to account.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

You said that this may be, or that this is, how orders have been handed from the top down, which is why it’s executed by the SAS. It’s interesting that the sort of violence that occurs in a war, where brutality is encouraged from the top down, is precisely what Britain’s whole occupation is built upon it. Would you agree?

Yes, Britain has a long history as a colonial nation of hundreds of years. And throughout that colonial history it’s been very violent. Just, look at what the British did in India and other places. So violence is always part of war, it’s always part of colonialism, occupation.

We can look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians, and have been for decades now; violent, oppressive, cruel, really inhumane. And these are the components of war and of occupation. They simply come with the territory and they’re all criminal. They’re all crimes against humanity.

They’re all war crimes. But countries, governments continue to perpetuate them (the crimes) and we don’t see them (the countries or governments) being held to account in really any circumstances whatsoever.

Robert Fantina, Author

Considering the revelation that the UK was aware of for years of these SAS soldiers basically committing war crimes but criminal investigations were closed without any prosecutions being brought forward, which could be taken a green light for them to continue in any other war scenario, or any other scenario, may not even involve a war scenario.

Why would these reports not be investigated?

Well, I think there’s several parts of this model will be that the British government does not want the British people to know what’s being done in their name, by their army and their Special Air Services. And the other one is that we in the North of Ireland have gone through our own kind of post conflict amnesty. The British government last year actually bought into, or is bringing onto, the statute books a law that would give amnesty to war crimes carried out by British personnel over the 30 years of conflict here in the North of Ireland and it’s been suggested that the amnesty will be more wide ranging than the amnesty that was offered by Pinochet to cover human rights violations in Chile, when he was in charge.

Queen’s University in Belfast, and the Committee For the Administration of Justice have both said that this amnesty, as proposed by the British government on behalf of the British armed forces, would go much further than another 300 post conflict amnesties.

So what we have is not only no accountability of British soldiers being above the law, but now the law is going to be changed in order to protect them from war crimes. If I was in Afghanistan, I would actually be bringing cases before the ICC, the International Criminal Court, in The Hague rather than trying to get justice from the British government when none will be forthcoming.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

You have the UK Ministry of Defense that created what was the other war that the UK was involved in which was based on the false premise of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which turned out to be unfounded.

They actually created a team called the Iraq Historic Allegations Team, which looked into accusations of abuse committed by the British in Iraq between the years 2003 and 2006; they have discovered 280 victims of alleged unlawful killings, and 1235 cases of “ill treatment”, which included rape and torture. .

And then you have the government come up with a UK and Peace Committee, which said, you know what, that’s not true. That can’t be right. And they said it’s an unstoppable self perpetuating machine, deaf to the concerns of the armed forces. And that it had to be shut down.

How do you explain that?

This is only explained by the fact that the UK Government, like most other governments, doesn’t want to be constrained in any way, by going to war wherever they choose to go. And as your other commentator mentioned, they want their people to think of the military, and members of military, as noble and going around the world to help people.

This of course, is a huge lie, a complete myth. They don’t want them to know the savagery that these soldiers commit on a regular basis. The fact that the UK established a committee, identified war crimes, crimes against humanity, and then simply with the stroke of a pen voided those findings, is beyond appalling.

 The innocent victims received no closure. And no, there can be no compensation for loss of life. Nothing will compensate for that. But there’s no accountability and this just gives the military free rein to commit whatever crimes it wants to in the future. So soldiers know from this, that anything they do, they will not be held accountable for, and there’s there’s no limit to the cruelty they can inflict on their victims.

Robert Fantina, Author

So let’s take a look at some of the wars and let’s pick the two that really stand out; the one in Afghanistan, obviously, and then, of course, the Iraq War.

For example, when we take a look at Afghanistan, for 20 years you had UK soldiers, soldiers from ISAF, you had US soldiers, but they lost.

As former US Commander, General Flynn, once said they wanted to win the hearts and minds but they didn’t.

These types of actions were, in part at least, contributory to them not winning the war, weren’t they?

Yes, they’ve used violent repression in order to stop resistance. So what they’ve done is they’ve invaded against the will of the Afghan and Iraqi people. The people have reacted and resisted this foreign military intervention and occupation. And in order to stop and try to prevent the resistance, then they bring about more repression, more fear, more murders, more torture, more violence, and the more that they use that, the more people react.

if you killed someone in cold blood who is innocent, their brother or friend or son, that’s not about revenge. People will just at some point say this is not acceptable, and in order to stop this, we must make these foreign invaders leave our country. But the fact is that Britain and America and other people involved in this, watch the trade hearts and minds here in Ireland as well. It’s nothing more than propaganda, giving sweets to children, visiting people in hospital, trying to bring aid and soccer and comfort to people in small communities. It’s all PR, it’s all propaganda. It’s all a manipulation of the reality of what’s happening on the ground.

And you know, any colonial power who invades and occupies and a sovereign nation, there will always be resistance and that resistance, normally, always wins. It’s just a matter of time, be it five years, 10 years, 20 years, or in the case of Ireland 800 years, when eventually people will fight and seize their freedom.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

We have the accusations, and then the proof that is out there, yet the respective governments don’t want to follow through with the prosecution.

In the case of the UK, even the ICC court at The Hague has said testimony by hundreds of Iraqis showed a systemic pattern of beatings, sleep and sensory deprivation, stress positions, deprivation of food and water, sexual and religious humiliation.

This sounds like a rap sheet for the American soldiers in Abugyraib and what they did there. So when this happens and so much time has gone by with no prosecutions, doesn’t that imply that there’s a flaw in the system and that needs to be rectified?

Who do you go to to do that? Because obviously, these soldiers or whoever is committing these war crimes are immune to prosecution. They’re being shielded by the governments.

It’s not a flaw in the system; the system is working the way that governments want it to work. They want to avoid and evade the timeline investigation. Hopefully, people forget, hopefully, stories will (fade away)… then they can sweep these atrocities under the rug and commit them again.

Now this new investigation that (will be) launched early next year, will be probably another show. Some testimony given, some witnesses (called to testify) and then minor findings may be determined or decided upon that there were some abuses, here and there, but nothing that was typical (systemic). And then there might be one or two soldiers getting a slap on the wrist but the people who lead and are responsible will not be held accountable. And they will be free to commit these crimes against humanity again and again and again, simply because, as I said, this is the way for the governments.

They want this free reign to do whatever they choose in whatever they’re involved in a foreign invasion and holding people accountable for their crimes against humanity would constrain them. It’s as it should work, but it’s not how the governments want it to work. So they have set up the system so that there will be no accountability.

Robert Fantina, Author

What are your thoughts on what was called the “Chilcott Inquiry”, where you had the false notion of WMDs in Iraq, and yet you have the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, or the former US President, George W Bush Jr., who have walked away scot free despite having been responsible for so many deaths.

And still the remnants of that war are echoing in the hospital chambers of people who are suffering from nuclear radiation remnants from ammunition that was used that was tainted with nuclear material.

Yes, you’re probably referring to the massacre in Fallujah, where we used depleted uranium. I mean, Tony Blair, in my mind is a war criminal and so is Bush. And all the deaths that occurred are all about foreign Western corporations, going in and taking oil and gas and gold and whatever else it is that they took and Iraq of need take millions, if not billions of gold, pounds worth of, dollars worth of gold bars that were popular in Iraq.

And then on top of that, we can see through all through all this pain that still continues today. I mean, they’re still land mines, there are still people losing their legs on a frequent basis in these countries, from all the from all the landmines that have been kind of abandoned all over the country, in order to inflict further pain and torment, kind of post conflict, after the war has been resolved. But there weren’t only, you know, victims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You mentioned the Chilcott Report and it made me think straightaway of David Kelly, David Kelly was the British scientist who was claimed to have sexed up the dossier in order to make it appear that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, which was the excuse used for the war, he walked off out into the woods near his home and didn’t come back. They said he committed suicide.

But in the film, “The Killing of Kelly”, by George Galloway, there are persistent rumors that he was murdered. So the British government didn’t just murder people in Iraq and Afghanistan they quite possibly murdered a pretty sad this in order to cover up what he might have told any future enquiry as to how they came about, with this whole notion of the weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to invade Iraq.

Fra Hughes, Journalist

Are we looking at the continuation of the status quo for any future endeavors in a war scenario, that in particular the US or the UK may be involved in? Because usually, with this special relationship they have, they usually work hand in hand.

Yes, and most of the wars on the planet do involve the United States in one way or another, and yes, sadly, we are going to see a maintenance of the status quo.

There will be some minor findings from this current investigation, as there were from US investigations about abuses in Iraq, but then the next war will see the same kinds of crimes, the same kinds of cover ups, and the same kinds of pseudo investigations.

When you have the British government investigating its own soldiers, the US government investigates on soldiers that i is not an impartial judge. There needs to be … these things need to go to the ICC so that they can be viewed impartially. Otherwise, we’re gonna see the same continuing.

Robert Fantina, Author



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