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Savage new weapon in the U.S. war

By Eric Ruder | March 8, 2002 | Page 2

GEORGE W. BUSH may take credit for winning the war on Afghanistan. But that hasn't stopped the U.S. from using a new and savage weapon there that Human Rights Watch compares to "low-yield nuclear munitions."

In early March, the U.S. dropped a fuel-air bomb 20 miles south of the eastern Afghan city of Gardez--during a botched attack on a network of caves that are supposedly hideouts for Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

"The kill mechanism against living targets is unique--and unpleasant," according to one Pentagon document. "What kills is the pressure wave, and more importantly, the subsequent [vacuum], which ruptures the lungs…If the fuel deflagrates but does not detonate, victims will be severely burned and will probably also inhale the burning fuel."

Use of this weapon of mass destruction underlined the fact that the U.S. isn't finished raining death on Afghanistan. According to press reports, U.S. forces may be deployed to prevent Afghan warlords--the thugs that the U.S. claimed would bring democracy to Afghanistan--from going to war on one another.

But the U.S. isn't content with being a cop in Afghanistan alone. In the last couple of weeks, the White House expanded its military operations to other countries with incredible speed.

The Pentagon announced that it would send 100 to 200 military advisers to the former Soviet state of Georgia. A few days later, several hundred other advisers were sent to fight the "war against terrorism" in Yemen.

Even U.S. government insiders are having trouble keeping up. "I hadn't given a moment's thought to Georgia in the past year, and now I find out that we're sending 200 military advisers to some place called the Pankisi Gorge, right on the border with Chechnya," said one Congressional aide.

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