Thursday, May 15, 2008

Afghanistan's Phoenix Programme?

The "Phoenix Programme" is straight out of Vietnam. It entailed covert, US special forces assassination squads that raided country villages to execute suspected Viet Cong officials and sympathizers. Postwar analysis revealed their targeting information was routinely poor and they wound up murdering a lot of innocents.

Now a United Nations official is sounding the alarm about something that sounds remarkably similar underway in Afghanistan. UN rights official Philip Alston met with reporters today to disclose at least three recent raids in the south and east by foreign ("western") intelligence agents that led to the deaths of innocent civilians.
Alston said the raids involved US personnel from a special forces base in Kandahar.

What's particularly troubling to Alston is that no one is taking responsibility and the killers are operating with total impunity, two other characteristics of the Phoenix programme.

Alston said government officials confirmed the victims had no connection to the Taliban.

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