Sunday, May 28, 2006

US massacre of civilians at Hajiyan and manipulation of public opinion

Traprock Peace Center has published a new paper by Professor Marc Herold on the May 22nd massacre of civilians at the Afghan village of Hajiyan. The massacre provides a case study in US manipulation of public opinion. His analysis is available as a pdf download with photos of civilians wounded by the US attack on the village.

"A growing disconnect exists between the daily reality of war experienced by the common Afghan and how this war is represented to the American general public by the corporate media, many non-governmental organizations favoring "humanitarian interventions" around the globe (e.g., Human Rights Watch), and the U.S. military and its defense minions. The war in Afghanistan - as most other wars beginning with Vietnam - is waged both on the ground there and in the living rooms here. The recent midnight assault upon the small village of Hajiyan (also called Alizi) along the Arghandab River in Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province provides a case study to explore this disconnect. No doubt many similar cases exist, but the U.S. military strategy to contain and stonewall succeeded there." --- Marc Herold, May 24, 2006, from "Grab News Headlines, Isolate Bombed Area and Stonewall: U.S. Military’s Virtual Reality about Afghan Civilian Casualties. A Case Study of the U.S. Assault upon Hajiyan" -

International media reported extensively on the civilian casualties caused by the US midnight raid on Hajiyan, while US media largely downplayed the killing of civilians.

A report in the Melbourne Herald Sun described the exodus: "bleeding and burnt children, women and men started arriving at Kandahar hospital early yesterday. They were ferried by truck, taxi and minibus – any vehicle that withstood the coalition bombardment of their village in southern Afghanistan…only those who could find a working vehicle had been able to make the 35 km journey to Kandahar for help, with many left behind…"

Herold concludes: A reasonable counting of the dead in the village of Hajiyan indicates that at least 35-40 innocent Afghan civilians perished in the hail of 'precision fire' by A-10 Warthogs..."

(A-10's have used radioactive munitions, so-called 'depleted' uranium (DU), to devastating and tragic effect in Iraq and elsewhere. DU munitions are pyrophoric and release an ultra-fine radioactive and highly toxic dust that threaten health through inhalation and contamination of the environment. Uranium is a known carcinogen. It is not reported whether the US used DU in its attack on Hajiyan.)

Marc Herold is a professor in the departments of Economics and Women's Studies at the University of New Hampshire and pioneered extensive examinations of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.


Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342