Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Kandahar Shootings: More Grim News from Afghanistan

with 13 comments

THREE VERSIONS

Version One, when I was 21:

A US soldier snapped under the pressure and went on a killing spree, gunning down at least 16 civilians in their homes as they slept. While this is a terrible thing, when it comes right down to it, the Afghans have only themselves to blame. It’s a primitive culture steeped in a  primitive religion, and despite being liberated from the Taliban and given a chance to be a modern democratic nation, many Afghans choose to blame their saviours and support the murderous Taliban. So it’s no surprise that the occasional American soldier, surrounded by a people who hate him and would kill him at the first opportunity, loses his cool. When the Afghans finally grow up and accept the gift of freedom and democracy, incidents like this won’t happen. .

Version Two, when I was 31:

A rogue American soldier, reportedly one who had had a mental breakdown, left his base in the middle of the night and killed at least 16 Afghan civilians in their homes. He was taken into custody when he returned to his base, and military officials have promised a full investigation. President Obama and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta phoned Afghan President Karzai to offer their condolences, Mr Obama said he would hold accountable anyone responsible for the “tragic and shocking” incident. Administration spokesmen took pains to point out that this was an isolated incident, and doesn’t reflect on the overall high quality of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, or the continuing success of their mission.

Version Three, today:

Look at the old fellow’s face. His grandfather fought the British. He and his father fought the Russians. He lost family both times. Now the Americans have taken more friends and family. I can’t imagine what he must be feeling. More innocent women and children murdered, slain by a soldier in an army that has no business being in Afghanistan in the first place. However much American war apologists want to wash their hands of this, we are all guilty of this crime. Our war with and occupation of Afghanistan are war crimes, because the USA and NATO control the UN and made this occupation “legal” doesn’t magically change right from wrong. In fact, it makes it even more wrong.

Conclusion:

War is sick and unnatural, and terrible things happen even in the most just of wars, which Afghanistan most definitely is not. There was a time during and after the Vietnam War when many Americans understood this, but war was way too profitable for the powers to be to let that continue. And here we are decades later, our “leaders” promising us war and more war … and delivering it. Will Americans wake up and stop this insanity before it descends into something that makes Vietnam look mild in comparison? Damned if I know, all I can do is be a voice for peace and hope for the best.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is central to illustrating the post, and is arguably a historically important image. It’s use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and Copyright: AP or Reuters, I’ve seen it credited to both on different mainstream news web sites, even the big boys make mistakes sometimes.)

Written by unitedcats

March 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

13 Responses

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  1. Thank you Doug for trying to work for Peace. I fought in Vietnam thinking I was making the world safe for Democracy and my kids wouldn’t have to fight in wars. I actually thought then we were the good guys and didn’t torture prisoners like the Commies did. What’s torture, well if our treatment of prisoners would be okay if done to ones brother or sister, Mom or Dad, its not torture. I’d not like to have seen my Mom in a Stress Position. Stress positions may or may not be a war crime, but damn sure is a crime against Humanity. Remember we are SUPPOSED to be the good guys. Make it so.

    Wade O Kane

    March 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

  2. When I saw this news, I lost my appetite. I’ve been trying to write something coherent about the war mongering thats pushing us towards attacking Iran, but nothing rational is coming. They lied about Iraq, no reason to think they are not lying about iran.

    Matt Johnsen

    March 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  3. War is sick and stupid? Uhhh… Maybe. That means that the majority of us sans Dennis Kucinich are sick and stupid… Because most of us as I recall, supported this war. My step son JUST got back from Bagram, and from what hecan tell me, we have been too NICE to these savages. Our R O E – rules of engagement- are just as stupid as theyve been since apologists started making them.
    Dont get mewrong- i think thedamn place is worthless strategically and we can do a better job of sending them to paradise vis Predator B… Only good thing I can see is that the US probably going to step down and start exiting. I only hope they dont use the place as a jumping off point for Iran, cause thats gonig to be WWIII

    Steve

    March 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

    • I’m a Nam vet, door gunner on a helicopter, in country during Tet ’68, Battle for Hue, Relief of Khe Sahn. When I was “caught up in the race” (was there or for the first ten years back) I thought we did great work saving the Vietnamese from themselves, and I went rapidly from going to Vietnam to help the people fight the commies, to thinking a Dead GOOK is a good GOOK. Don’t blame the soldier, blame Panetta. Panetta a couple of days ago was all for bombing Iran. Think tens of thousand of innocent Iranians and some dead US pilots because he wants to show he’s got balls. The last two Presidents, Bush and Obama have committed war crimes and should resign NOW. They both have a DUTY to defend the Constitution of these United States against all enemies foreign and Domestic. Yes Domestic, if a President works to undermine the bill of rights, he’s his own enemy. Having shot himself in the foot figuratively, he should do the right thing and shot himself (literally) in the head.
      Never blame the soldiers blame the CIC, and Congress, except Kusinich and Ron Paul

      Wade O Kane

      March 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

  4. If “most of us… supported this war”, why did the congress not vote for a war declaration, as required by the constitution?

    You think you can deal death legitimately from a remote controlled plane? I pity your ignorance.. savages?

    Try, for just a moment, to imagine that the roles were reversed. Would you not act the same way? You would be the ‘savage’. These savages are the very same people Ronald Reagan called ‘freedom fighters’ when they were doing the same thing to the Russians that where occupying their country.

    At least you seem to get the WW3 part right.

    John Galt

    March 13, 2012 at 6:14 am

  5. Sad.

    Pyrodin

    March 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

  6. One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter, John Galt, and BTW no I wouldn’t be chopping the heads off of journalists and kids on television. As far as being ignorant? These people are FUCKING SAVAGES!!! They believe silly things and kill if you burn a book. Please, stop defending them. Ronald Reagan called them Mujahadeen- holy warriors also. Alot of thanks we get for helping them against the Soviets.
    While we’re on the subject though- I dont think we have the right (or more important-the balls) to have an empire. We should vacate the premesis immediately, and YES DEAL DEATH FROM A remote CONTROLLED PLANE if necessary. If you like em so much, why not drop in and say hello?

    Steve

    March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

  7. I don’t understand how we’re “all guilty of this crime.” I barely leave my house, much less walk into a village in a foreign country on the other side of the planet. This event, terrible as it is, has nothing to do with me or anyone I know.

    Resent the crime, but don’t take on someone else’s guilt. Your cross is heavy enough already.

    Zandoren

    March 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

  8. Well, one of the funny things about the i ternet is things arent always as They seem… Im 6’5 270 lbs and in decent shape. If you mean mentally- i guarantee Ive got more letters after my name than you. Finally- you are correct- and you don’t think these people hate us more? They are absolutely without any redeeming qualities save for the fertilizer value of their bodies…

    Steve

    March 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

    • That’s what the Nazi’s said about the Jews, they were just offal. You aren’t a Christian are you. Do they hate us more, probably, we are occupying their homeland not the other way around. Osama’s men attacked the USA not the Afghanistan people. Get a grip.

      Wade O Kane

      March 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  9. Wade clearly your head is empty. Al Qada, Bin Laden, et al have killed As many Arabs as we have, if not more. Im not talking about the Iraq war, mind you. Think before you speak.

    Steve

    March 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

    • I wish my head was empty, not PTSD, or rather more correctly no PCR (Post Combat Reaction). CR is what kept me alive in ‘Nam. Your just limited on your facts since 1990, first Iraq war (a war of aggression by the USA) we’ve easily killed a million Arabs. Could they be piss at us, sure. Iran’s still pissed about the CIA overthrowing their democratically elected President in 1953. There would be no Israel if we had not in 1973 replenished their heavy armor with C-141 flights and given them F-4s…..

      Wade O Kane

      March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am


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