By: Abdullah Azzam

On August 29, 2021, a US drone airstrike hit a residency in a densely populated area of Kabul, taking the lives of 10 civilians including 7 children. The attack took place amid the US’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan, just days after a suicide bombing near Hamid Karzai International airport, claimed by ISKP, took the lives of around 160 civilians and 13 US service members.

Allegedly, the attack was launched to eliminate an ISKP bomber who was loading explosives into a white Toyota Corolla, plotting an attack against the US members at airport. But it immediately turned out that the prey was not as it was perceived, but was, rather, a family whose members had been burnt so badly that they could not be identified, as a relative, Ramin Yousufi, said.

The expectations were that the perpetrators of this ruthless attack would not go unquestioned, but the US, unfortunately, designated the act as not violating any laws of war and left the decision about punishment up to the commanders. Days ago, according to The New York Times, the two senior commanders – Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, and Gen. Rich Clarke, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command – recommended no punishment for the troops involved in the crime, to which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also agreed and the news was confirmed by Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby.

Kirby said, “It was not an outcome that we came to without careful thought and consideration. There was not a strong enough case to be made for personal accountability.”

It is quite peculiar, and at the same time barbaric, that when Americans are targeted, the US pursues the killers to the other corner of the world. In 1993, Amal Kasi was convicted of the shootings at a CIA headquarter in Virginia. Kasi took the lives of two CIA employees and wounded another three. To retaliate for the killed Americans, the CIA tasked a whole team to hunt for Mr. Kasi and recruited paid agents to assist the team find him.

Likewise, the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in the pursuit of 9/11 to revenge for those killed in twin towers. To bring a person, or group, to justice, the US-led coalition pulverized towns; took the lives of thousands of those who were incognizant of the narrative of war and burnt humans’ bodies to a char. In the search of their prey to decrease the potential threat to American citizens’ lives in the future, they pounded towns in Afghanistan indiscriminately for 20 consecutive years. We have to accept that the lives lost in 9/11 incident were innocent, it is also irrational and tyrant to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children to revenge for your victims.

It is no wonder if the US has announced no punishment for the conductors of the latest Kabul strike, because in American law, even the amnesty was announced by the President for who killed 16 civilians deliberately in Panjwaye district of Kandahar and then burnt their bodies.

Every human being, regardless of his race and identity, deserves human rights and justice to be served. Human rights must not be defined by region, identity or race, nor should these things be the source of priority over one another. If Americans’ assassinators are pursued to the last extent and taken to the US to be trialed, the killers of Afghans should be brought to justice at their home, as well, and must not go unpunished.