Monday, March 12, 2012

"anyone who is found to have committed wrongdoing is held fully accountable"

School children in Kabul are arout the age of several killed by a deranged gunman in uniform, supported by your tax dollars. Source: French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde
One could forgive the people of Afghanistan -- really, the world -- for thinking that U.S. soldiers are vicious beasts. This week's news that an Army man in at least his fourth deployment snapped and began executing small children in a gruesome night raid of his own making was chilling enough before details emerged of his attempted burning of several of the corpses. Did he mistake them for Qurans? Did he piss on them, too? We may never know.

We are told that he turned himself in. The Guardian reported:
It is not the first time that US soldiers have intentionally killed Afghan civilians but the toll is unprecedented for a single soldier. The soldier, who was reported to be a staff sergeant and father of three who has done three tours of duty in Iraq, was arrested after the assault. He appears to have made no attempt to cover up the shootings.

The commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, promised a thorough investigation. "I am absolutely dedicated to making sure that anyone who is found to have committed wrongdoing is held fully accountable," he said, but his response is unlikely to do much to dampen the fury of Afghan officials or people.
To assist General Allen I offer here a partial list of those who should be investigated for wrongdoing in this matter:

President Barack Obama -- his record on escalation of the horrors in Afghanistan is abysmal. Only a partial list would include sending in thousands more troops (many redeployed for the nth time), using drone strikes that kill civilians wantonly, continuing the odious night raids so rightly loathed by Afghan families, squandering U.S. tax dollars to, among other things, build an even bigger prison at Bagram, looking away while torture occurs in that prison, continuing pressure on the downward slide of Afghan life expectancy, and  failing to protect the legal rights of Afghan women under the regime he continues to support.

Former President George W. "I happen to think it was worth fighting" Bush, who oversaw the initial attack on Afghanistan following his post-9/11 speech warning that their harbors would no longer be safe (a D student in geography, apparently).

Former Vice President Dick "Hidden Hand" Cheney. When he speechified that, "“Freedom still has enemies here in Afghanistan" those listening must have felt pretty sure he was one of them.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The glue holding together the Bush era and Obama era Afghanistan strategies.  Photo op!

Defense Secretary Leon "Let me be very clear" Panetta. He said in February at the Univ. of Louisville: "The brutal attacks that we have seen over the last few days on our troops will not change and will not alter our commitment to get this job done.” What exactly is meant by "this job" I assume means permanent occupation a la Iraq. (A glance at a map shows we've got Iran in a pincher movement if we can just nail down Afghanistan.)
Former head commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal who is currently raking in bucks strutting around teaching Leadership (sic) at Yale. “The point of today is to understand trust and relationships, which underpin the difference between success and failure,” he told students.

Back to school, boys. You're going to lose this one, because you didn't understand trust and relationships.
Source: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images


Anonymous said...

Lisa this is very powerful...thank you for sharing!

chrisrushlau said...

They are all responsible for this individual's actions in the same way that all Gazans are responsible for someone's shooting mortar shells into "Israel"? Or was it forseeable that their commands would lead to this case: that giving out crazy orders would drive some soldiers crazy?
The legal approach that springs to my mind is to compare this soldier to the Army psychiatrist who killed a dozen people on Fort Hood. The legal flaw, as I see it, with the Global War On Terror (and "Israel") is racism.

by said...

I think it was entirely forseeable. What war doesn't drive men mad? I also think Obama, Bush, et al. don't give a crap about the cannon fodder.