Child Slave Labour in NATO's Afghanistan

How long has NATO been in Afghanistan? Three months? Five years? Or since 2001? Before NATO countries armed, aided and abetted the Mujaheddin terrorists against the socially progressive Governments of Afghanistan, women had full rights, girls went to school and slave labour was something relegated to the past. And now?

Full marks to NATO in Afghanistan. They have been there since 2001 because the Government of Mullah Omar refused to allow the USA to build a pipeline across his country back in the 1990s in exchange for 5 billion dollars, whoops! Sorry, because Osama bin Laden demolished the Twin Towers. No, really.

Well, bin Laden is dead now - he was zapped in an attack on some "compound" (nice word that) in Abbotabad in Pakistan in a silent operation involving six SEALS on four helicopters, one of which crashed on cue but never mind, nobody heard - US choppers crash silently these days, and the one point five SEALS per remaining aircraft (strange none of them died in the crash, eh what?) carried out the mission successfully against the totally unarmed and unguarded world's most wanted man. No really. Ah yes then they dumped his body at sea to be eaten by the little fishes. Allahu Akhbar!

And what has NATO achieved in Afghanistan since 2001? Well, quite a lot actually. The opium production has increased 30-fold and is rising, whereas the Talebaan had started to curtail the practice, girls are hand-grenaded if they dare to show up in a classroom, women's rights have gone back to the Stone Age, summary executions are back, murder runs rife and men can get their noses lopped off in public just because...just because. Wow, a vast improvement on the Progressive Governments in the 1970s, well according to NATO anyway.

And militarily? Well, NATO continues to strafe wedding parties to win hearts and minds - after all if you kill enough kids, then tomorrow you have than much fewer terrorists. Terrorist strikes from drones continue to hit targets across the border in the wrong country (well, what the heck, they all have moustaches, don't they?) and well, if you can't beat them, join them, the Talebaan are actually being paid off not to attack and in some cases to escort NATO convoys around the country. What chums.

What? They didn't tell you that? They didn't tell you that Gaddafi was to receive an award from the UNO for his excellent humanitarian record either did they, and neither did they tell you about his humanitarian and development projects in Africa which freed millions from the yoke of imperialist tyranny. Such is the free and fair western media. Tried posting any remarks on the readers' columns on one of their publications? It's censored. Not here. And what was that about the Russian press? Yeah right.

Yes, military they are preparing to run the hell out of it as fast as they can, because they are losing the war. Thousands of deaths later, swathes of the country de facto ruled by a bunch of drugs traffickers, the ethnic composition of Government is turned upside down and reflecting minorities ruling over the majority - a typical western mistake, a throwback to colonial times -, women out of work, girls out of school. Cool. Ace job, eh? Just like those sterling military advisors in Georgia a couple of years ago.

And to cap it all, we now have UN reports of slave labour. And child labour. Well actually forced child labour...or to be more exact, child slave labour. In Afghanistan, under NATO's nose.

The latest report "Buried in Bricks: Rapid Assessment of Bonded Labour in Afghan Brick Kilns" reveals that most workers in the brick kilns in Afghanistan are bonded child labourers, in which children from bonded families are tied to a kiln to work for free to pay off their families' debts, in many cases, debts contracted to buy food to stay alive.

The UNO claims: "Article 49 of the Afghan Constitution prohibits bonded labour while the Afghan Government has also ratified ILO Convention 182, which came to force in Afghanistan last year and identifies bonded labour as one of the worst forms of child labour". Right, but let us be honest, where NATO is involved, the law doesn't really count for that much, does it?

"We will strafe the Libyan water supply in mid-Summer to break their backs," as in imposing a no-fly zone. Eh, what?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey