Developing Story–US Soldier Murders 16 Afghan Civilians in their beds

This story is just now coming in.

Al Jazeera

MSNBC

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A U.S. service member killed at least 15 members of two Afghan families as well as a 16th person before turning himself in, witnesses and officials said Sunday. Nine of the dead were children, and three were women, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement.

The soldier, who has yet to be identified, reportedly left his base in the early hours Sunday and went to two villages just a few hundred yards away. He then opened fire on Afghan civilians sleeping in ther homes, Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid told Reuters. The service member entered three homes in the villages in Kandahar province, he said.

I want to remind everyone that we are in the very early hours of this thing and information that we are seeing is second-third-and fourth-hand.  What we know is a damn sight less than what we don’t know.  As information comes in, the story will evolve and things that we thought were true an hour ago will be known to be wrong tomorrow.  Ideas that we discard now in favor of others will turn out to have been correct.

NATO ISAF has categorically denied that this was a night raid by Special Forces.  One Soldier, most likely an American, has turned himself into his unit.  Reuters has reported that persons living in the village stated that they saw several foreign military personnel, possibly drunk, do this.

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252 replies
  1. 1
    Tom says:

    War is hell. That’s why we should avoid it at all cost.

  2. 2
    shecky says:

    Holy fuck. Does this nightmare ever end?

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    I think Allen West just found the replacement for his House seat.
    This guy makes West look like a piker!

  4. 4
    AA+ Bonds says:

    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  5. 5
    pablo says:

    Get the fuck out now! After the Koran burning,now this?
    Our troops cannot swivel their heads fast enough to survive!
    If you support the troops, bring them home…ALIVE!

  6. 6
    Brazilian Rascal says:

    Yeah, yeah, bad apples, lone nutcase, muslims kill muslims all the time, fake liberal outrage.

    Can we get back to parsing the Radical Communo-hug tape? That’s what really matters!

  7. 7
    nitpicker says:

    How does a soldier just leave his base?

  8. 8
    Anya says:

    Words fail. We should pull out ASAP. This is a nightmare.

  9. 9
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I liked the Good War better when it was us dropping cluster bombs and food packages that looked exactly the same from 30,000 feet.

    No, wait – actually, that was appalling too. Time to GTFO is long past.

  10. 10
    Soonergrunt says:

    @nitpicker: It wasn’t at all hard to do in the forward locations when I was there. In one location, we didn’t have much of a perimeter at all, and there were only four of us along with 130 Afghan National Army troops.
    In the bigger bases, you need convoy passes or mission passes that have been signed by the duty officer, and certain other requirements, such as element size and weapon load out in the operations center or the sentries won’t pass you out the gate.

  11. 11
    Elie says:

    Are we sure this simply is what it is? What the aich! The Koran burning was stupid and to me suspicious enough (you mean that the US Army doesnt spend any time briefing the troops on basics of what to do to avoid offending Muslims?)I’m just not buying the scene completely. Now this guy just wanders of the base, kills Afghanis and turns himself in? Why does this smell weird? What is REALLY going on and why?

  12. 12
    wilfred says:

    Nope. Tim to re-visit the SURGE and the politicization of death and murder.

    Enough insipid, vapid shit. Many Americans will die because of this.

    This is what people should have been talking about.

  13. 13
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Agree that we should’ve left a while ago, but when did this EVER happen?

    us dropping cluster bombs and food packages that looked exactly the same from 30,000 feet

    Actual source, please?

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    Can we get back to parsing the Radical Communo-hug tape planning the bombing campaign against Iran? That’s what really matters!

    FTFY.

  15. 15
    nitpicker says:

    Yeah, but this was the base in Kandahar, wasn’t it? I don’t remember that being easy to leave. Or is it just in the province?

    I guess if this was the guy on watch, though, you could leave any base.

  16. 16
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Elie: You know what I know.

  17. 17
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Can we please bring our soldiers home?

  18. 18
    Soonergrunt says:

    @nitpicker: We don’t know where this is, exactly, but if it was the big base in Kandahar city, he could never have left the perimeter by himself. The bigger bases have multiple people at the gates. I believe it was one of the dozens of patrol bases or ETT bases in the province.

  19. 19
    Frivolous says:

    It’s horrible, horrible.

    And they’re blaming Obama already on Hot Air for apologizing. Not sure what their logic is. Probably magical.

  20. 20
    Persia says:

    @Elie: Americans snap and pull shit like this all the time at home, why couldn’t it happen in a war zone?

  21. 21
    Elie says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Do these latest two events strike you as weird?

    Yes, I know our troops have had abuses and killed civilians unecessarily while reacting on patrol, etc. But these seem somehow schemes rather than incidental over reactions…

    I dunno… something is just not making sense. Yeah, we are getting out. Why would Americans make our exit even bloodier for the remaining troops protecting our exit? Or, alternately, is someone trying to scale things up again by causing an increase in hostility against the US — prolonging our exit? For some reason, these two events just don’t seem like our other abuse events…

  22. 22
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Frivolous: Of course they are.

  23. 23
    BO_Bill says:

    Soonergrunt; Yes, I’ve got my SW Asia medal, which I recently came to understand makes me a protected class under affirmative action. It also allows me to understand that when a guy named Asadullah Khalid, who is a ‘Tribal Affairs Minister’ makes claims, and communicates these claims through a reporter named ‘Mohammed Abdullah’ that one is to take his claims with a grain of salt.

    Regardless of what happened, we should pull all of our forces out of the Middle East and pretend that these tribesmen are grown-ups that can take care of themselves. Our collective response to their calls for more money, protection, food, cows, goats, blah blah blah should be one of indifference.

  24. 24
    Anya says:

    @nitpicker: According to Reuters it was a group of US soldiers, not a lone nut.

    Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

  25. 25
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Soonergrunt, I am on phone so no linky, but a Google on ”cluster bombs look like food” returns a number of warnings and articles from the Red Cross, CommonDreams, the BBC, etc., on the risk that Afghans were confusing unexploded cluster bomblets with food packets and/or toys.

  26. 26
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Elie: No, I don’t. I can see how the Koran burnings occured because some troops weren’t paying attention. They were told to dispose of the stuff and they threw it in the trash where it was discovered by Local National contractors instead of putting it into the classified burn bag.
    This latest thing doesn’t seem on the face of it like anything other than this guy just being pissed off and wanting to kill Afghans. He isn’t the first Soldier in a war zone to snap and shoot the wrong people, and he won’t be the last.
    If you think there is “something weird” then you probably have some reason for thinking so. What is the reason? What could possibly be gained by doing these things intentionally? What do you think is the motive behind these acts that you seem to think are the product of systemic thought?

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    Oh shit. Oh shit. This terrible tragedy was the last thing anyone needed. I’m pretty sure this case is going to wind up in the US military justice system (correct me if I’m wrong) but I wonder what the outcome could be. I doubt very much that the victims’ families will feel satisfied with anything short of a capital sentence. But I remember that the soldiers in Iraq who raped a girl and then murdered her and her family got less than that.

  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    inb4 Obama apology and faux outrage over said

  29. 29
    FridayNext says:

    @Tom:

    I agree war as hell. But as the story now stands, this is outside the box of even normal war hell. This isn’t even in the lieutenant Calley, thought I was following orders/heat of battle story. There has to be more.

    Why can I not get that scene from Hurt Locker out of my head? The one where Jeremy Renner goes off base to find the kid’s family to kill the dad (I think. Do I have the details right?)

  30. 30
    db says:

    Aren’t bases secured? How can one soldier walk out, fully armed and not get noticed?

  31. 31
    Elie says:

    @Anya:

    Do we actually KNOW these were Americans? The one story cites someone turning himself in.. if what you say is true (that it was a group, not an individual), is the first story correct that anyone turned themselves in? (I ask that rhetorically — I know you don’t know)…

  32. 32
    Soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: I know the Russians did that. I’ve seen American CBUs and Humanitarian Daily Rations. They don’t look anything alike. At all.
    While there have been situations where people were killed or maimed picking up CBUs that they didn’t know what they were, we have never designed either to look like the other.

  33. 33
    Anya says:

    @Elie: My grandpa who is a practicing Muslim (not a fanatic) says the way to dispose of unusable books of pages of the Quran is by burning. I’ll admit that I did not follow this story so I don’t know the intent of the solders.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Horrid as it is, something more primal is going on, as reports of the dead being from specific families and also being burned are now coming in.

    Twelve of the dead were from Balandi, said Samad Khan, a farmer who lost all 11 members of his family, including women and children. Khan was away from the village when the incident occurred and returned to find his family members shot and burned. One of his neighbours was also killed, he said.

    […]

    Residents in Alkozai village also demanded that Karzai punish the American or hand him over to the villagers. The four people killed in the village were all from one family, said a female relative who was shouting in anger.

  35. 35
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Amir Khalid: This will go the UCMJ, and the accused will, assuming he’s found competent to stand trial, almost certainly plead guilty for Life Without Parole.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    @Elie:

    Elie: that’s what I was wondering too. A true believer, or a few, in the ranks of our troops.

  37. 37
    Frivolous says:

    NotMax: If the story is true, the perpetrator/murderer must have been awfully familiar with the village to be so specific.

    It’s not like an Afghan village is going to have street signs and house numbers.

  38. 38
    Soonergrunt says:

    @BO_Bill:

    I’ve got my SW Asia medal, which I recently came to understand makes me a protected class under affirmative action.

    Then you understand wrongly, as per usual.

  39. 39
    Elie says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I see your point — I am probably just paranoid… its hard for me to think that trained soldiers stationed in such a sensitive and dangerous place would be that careless (with the Korans), but I know you are right in saying this happens. The second — well, its hard for me again to think that someone wouldnt know that he was placing his fellow troops in more jeapordy — making their lives harder and more dangerous. Do we have so many soldiers that off the nut, ready to crack?

  40. 40
    balconesfault says:

    Yeah, but schools get to teach women there now in some parts of the country.

    I’m not sure why wingnuts seem to bring this point up all the time when the occupation of Afghanistan is criticized … it’s not like they particularly care if women get educated here, except about what might be growing inside their bodies.

  41. 41
    PaulW says:

    My prayers for what they are worth go out to the grieving survivors and loved ones of those killed.

    As for the politics and arguments over war, we are clearly past the point of being in Afghanistan for our own good. We are not winning hearts or minds, and we are losing our soldiers to madness and evil. It’s not that we should clear out entirely – we need to maintain a strong diplomatic presence, and do what we can to rebuild Afghanistan without a massive military presence. But we’re basically repeating the same mistakes as before – and the same mistakes other nations did trying to occupy that place – and at some point we need to think outside of the box and come up with different solutions and opportunities.

    And to any of the Far Right who think our nation shouldn’t apologize: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THERE WERE INNOCENT KIDS AND WOMEN WHO WERE KILLED. What part of our so-called Christian values say it’s okay to forget such sins?

  42. 42
    Anya says:

    @Elie: If the people Reuters is citing are to be believed then they were a group of possibly drunken American solders. Beyond that this story is still developing so we don’t have a lot of details.

  43. 43
    wilfred says:

    For fuck’s own sake this IS NOT a military problem, with the accused sent before a fucking court martial. It is yet another, progressively disgusting action committed against civilians in the name of American domestic politics.

    It is a worldwide political problem, and it has passed the edge already. Instead of discussing the objective, merits and failures of the SURGE you spent your time talking about the war on women, while a billion people saw a war against their women and their children.

    Your children and theirs will die in this one, you stupid shits. Forever war is here – more posts on why Rush is a twat and you’re not.

    Unfuckingbelievable.

  44. 44
    rlrr says:

    Have any conservatives come out say this guy deserves a medal? It’s only a matter of time…

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elie:
    Given the physical circumstances — this happened in the middle of the night — and the emotional stress the witnesses must have felt, it is not all surprising that we see this sort of confusion about how many soldiers were there. The reports all say a soldier turned himself in to US military authorities, and the NATO forces deputy commander quoted in them has not denied it, so an American probably was involved. I don’t think they’ll confirm his nationality until he is identified by name. There should be a statement soon from the US military on this.

  46. 46
    Soonergrunt says:

    @db: See my answer at #10

  47. 47
    cmorenc says:

    @pablo:

    Get the fuck out now! After the Koran burning,now this?
    Our troops cannot swivel their heads fast enough to survive!
    If you support the troops, bring them home…ALIVE!

    This. We are well and truly fucked in the eyes of the sort of people whose clans have kept chains of revenge killings going back and forth against each other for centuries, making the Hatfields and McCoys feud look like a brief playground scuffle by comparison.

  48. 48
    Elie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yes, early confusion in these instances is not unexpected. Still – I am so appalled but also mystified… why women, children and civilians? If they wanted to “get even”, why not pop a couple of the Afgani soldiers who have turned on Americans and other NATO troops? I know, I know — it all defies rationality…

    I keep trying to make sense of this world…

  49. 49
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    Yeah, yeah, bad apples, lone nutcase

    Which party are you pretending to be because I can’t tell

  50. 50
    Anya says:

    @Soonergrunt: Could it be that the solders where on petrol and one of them started shooting at the sleeping villagers? This is all too crazy to make any sense.

  51. 51
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Frivolous: I used to go into the villages around my patrol bases all the time. I never went alone (always had an interpreter and at least two ANA) and never at night, but I did go. We’d buy cigarettes (I smoked then) and you could get Marlboros for $4.00/carton. We’d buy orange soda, propane bottles, blankets, a small wood stove, and so on. My interpreter would go into the villages all the time.

  52. 52
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Anya: That’s possible. I just don’t know.

  53. 53
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Elie – I think all Afghan soldiers who turned on Americans or other NATO troops were killed immediately. Most news items I have read say such Afghans were killed.
    So, I am assuming the honorable American soldier had no chance to “get even” (after “reacting” all he wanted). “Reacting” had killed enough; so the only option was to go an kill some civilians. It had never been done before, after all.
    It does defy rationality that an AMERICAN would do this. Who would have expected that?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: The term here is “defies rationality.”
    That does not mean that he shouldn’t be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law, including the death penalty. Irrational does not necessarily mean insane.

  56. 56
    Frivolous says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    That makes even less sense then.

    If he was familiar enough with the village to navigate there in the dark, he had to know those houses were full of children.

    Makes his actions even more despicable and horrible.

  57. 57
    4jkb4ia says:

    The imam the NYT talked to said that you dispose of a Koran by burying it in the ground or in a body of water. Anya’s grandpa may still be correct but you may be talking about different interpretations/legal traditions and some Afghan soldiers who are going to suspect anything the US military does anyway.

    A UCMJ trial is a trial. It is a judicial proceeding where there is a chance that someone will be punished. Given the record of impunity thus far this represents something significant. I am aware that the Afghans wanted the Koran burners to be punished under Afghan law.

    This sounds absolutely horrible for its own sake. It looks as if policy makers were trying to salvage something like a negotiated resolution and the more of this kind of outrage, the less influence they have to get Karzai to do anything.

  58. 58
    amk says:

    The worst part of it is that the majority of those killed were young children. It’s time america got the fuck outta there.

  59. 59
    noodler says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    Red Cross Warns Afghan Children Off Cluster Bombs
    Reuters, June 29, 2002
    KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) – The Red Cross has warned Afghan children not to play with unexploded yellow cluster bomblets dropped on Afghanistan by the United States last year that look a little like toys. “The size and color of the bomblets are unfortunately very attractive, especially to children,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a newsletter.

    “Do not touch or play with them. As they are unstable, do not go near or throw anything at them.”

    Cluster bombs dropped from the air contain hundreds of yellow bomblets. A substantial number fail to explode when they reach the ground but they can go off later at the slightest touch.

  60. 60
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Thanks. My problem is with the implication that causing confusion between the two is or was intentional.

  61. 61

    BBC report:

    The soldier – who had reportedly suffered a breakdown before the attacks – is said to have handed himself over to the US military authorities after carrying out the killings.

    If, indeed, he had suffered a breakdown prior to the attack his immediate chain of command has a lot of explaining to do.

  62. 62
    Elie says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    I didn’t mean that it defies rationality that an American would do it. Americans have done bad shit all along…

    Again — I just keep wanting to make rational sense of the world — understand the why of things. Sometimes there is no “Why”. Just darkness.

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The GUardian has it too

    A US soldier has killed more than a dozen Afghan civilians, many of them women and children, in a night-time shooting spree in southern Afghanistan.[…]
    The victims of the shootings, which left up to 16 civilians dead, included nine children and three women, Karzai’s office said in a statement.[…]
    The attacks took place in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai, and the US soldier went into three different houses and opened fire, Associated Press reported. The area is a former Taliban stronghold that has seen years of heavy fighting between insurgents and coalition forces.

  64. 64
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    It does defy rationality that an AMERICAN would do this. Who would have expected that?

    I am not sure why an American would be less likely to do this than someone of another nationality, and I am a big fan of America

  65. 65
    SuperHrefna says:

    I’m so sorry for the victims, and the families of the victims. I don’t expect they’ll forgive us, and honestly, I don’t see why they should. And I’m sorry for all the people, brave enough to enlist, who were sent out to fight an unwinnable, under-resourced war in a nation known as the Graveyard of Empires for good reason.

    Every Tuesday the food pantry I volunteer for gives out food to returning veterans. Every. Single. Tuesday. It’s our busiest day! It makes me sick with fury at how badly our vets are treated, that they can’t even afford to buy food, let alone get all the medical & psychological support they need. And now this. They can find the perps and put them in jail, but it’s not going to make this unhappen, it’s not going to restore trust with the Afghanis, and it’s not going to ease the burden for the other troubled troops out there. The Pentagon needs to stop spending so much on hardware and spend more on looking after their people.

  66. 66
    AA+ Bonds says:

    This is, as some have been hinting at here, mainly a foreign policy question for us, as current policy will now force us to hand a propaganda victory to anti-American groups

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    Some of the articles are saying soldiers, plural.

  68. 68
    PTirebiter says:

    Sigh. I remember a short period when I thought maybe I was wrong. Maybe it would work out and our presence might do some good. We made big promises to these people that we never got close to keeping.
    It’s just sad. Neocon apologists will begin blaming Afghans as poor partners unwilling to fight for themselves. Ungrateful, corrupt, etc.
    I see Liz Cheney taking the lead and being well paid for her efforts.

  69. 69
    magurakurin says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    That isn’t some sort of supposedly secret thing that the government won’t admit to. I remember when it happened, and I remember the military stating why they were changing the colors. It was reported widely in the media.

    From the DOD

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2001 – Humanitarian Daily Ration packs being dropped into Afghanistan are still yellow despite media reports to the contrary, DoD officials said.
    Widespread news reports have said the ration packs are being changed to blue to avoid their being confused with unexploded yellow-colored from cluster bomb canisters. Not so, said Air Force Maj. Mike Halbig, a Defense Department spokesmanThe department is planning to change the color of the ration packs, he said, but it hasn’t decided on the new color. “We’re still evaluating and researching what the right color should be,” he said. “We want to avoid offending any cultural or religious sensibilities.”
    He said officials also want to make absolutely sure there are no similarities between the ration packs and U.S. or coalition munitions.
    U.S. C-17 cargo planes since Oct. 7 have dropped more than 1.2 million Humanitarian Daily Rations into Afghanistan, where officials say many people are in danger of starvation as winter descends on the country.
    DoD has no reports of anyone being hurt by confusing the ration packs with munitions, but officials still felt a color change to be prudent. Halbig said there are “very rare occasions” that the bomblets don’t explode on impact, “but because of the potential seriousness of the situation, we don’t want there to be any confusion.”

  70. 70
    techno says:

    Spare me!

    For historical perspective, on March 10, 1945, the USA conducted a firebomb raid on Tokyo that resulted in 100,000 civilians being incinerated in one night. Killing civilians is what the USA military does. This soldier is small fry.

  71. 71
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    I don’t understand the “war is hell” statement. It is not appropriate when your country’s soldier shoots up children. Al-Qaeda declared war on America. 9/11 happened. I did not hear anyone say war is hell then. I understand then that we get into arguments about state actors, non-state etc, but surely if we did that we would not be saying “war is hell”?
    It seems completely insulting to the victims, just because someone identifies with the soldiers, than with the victims.

  72. 72
    Elie says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    ..and quit with the sarcasm… i think most people that post comments here can totally believe that an American would do it.. It PAINS us that an American/s would do it, but we KNOW they can and do. Of course, all other players in this horror also carry some blame/responsibility. Or do you hold the Afghani as the ultra innocents?

    I say that the US should bloody well get out of there asap. That means leaving behind any hope that many Afghani women and girls will have for fair treatment and education. The Taliban will make sure of that. Good thing, eh?

  73. 73
    salacious crumb says:

    as usual, the soldier will probably just get jail and maybe dishonorable discharge …he wont be held to account by the authorities in Afghanistan..which will piss them off even more. Killing brown people doesn’t cost anything.

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Yea, it’s better from the sky.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wilfred: Bullshit. It appears to be a vile crime that took place in a war zone. Sadly, things like this have taken place throughout history. Any and all people responsible for this should be punished appropriately and we should remove our troops from the area. But don’t pretend that this was some action taken for domestic political purposes.

  76. 76
    amk says:

    This.

    The Pentagon needs to stop spending so much on hardware and spend more on looking after their people.

    Stop paying fucking mercenaries like fucking erik prince and spend that money on your own fucking troops.

  77. 77
    HRA says:

    We most certainly need to start bringing the troops home. Some of them have been sent back 4 or 5 times.
    Even once in what happens to some of them is once too many. I say this by having experienced what happened to a relative and a neighbor’s son. One committed suicide. The other one has greatly messed up what was a very good life. Both had a look I find hard to describe other than haunted. Both had been given psychiatric help that failed for them.

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: That’s my thinking. If he is mentally ill, there needs to be court-martials up the chain of command.

  79. 79
    Soonergrunt says:

    @magurakurin:

    That isn’t some sort of supposedly secret thing that the government won’t admit to.

    Never claimed it wasn’t. My problem was with the implication that painting both of them in high-visibility yellow was an intentional trick to lure civilians to pick up CBUs.

  80. 80
    magurakurin says:

    @Soonergrunt: Nobody has ever said it was done on purpose. It was a fuck up. One of many that would follow as Donald Dumbsfeld went on to fuck up one thing after another until that let OBL walk over the mountains into Pakistan never to be seen again until Obama finally sent out the hit squad. After which they just said fuck it altogether and invaded Iraq instead.

    I too, realized that things were going to go very, very wrong soon after they started talking about the yellow rations and yellow cluster bombs. It was right around the time the second wedding party was bombed by mistake.

  81. 81
    wilfred says:

    Cluster bomb rationalization:

    http://qwstnevrythg.com/2011/0.....mb-treaty/

    “as usual, the soldier will probably just get jail and maybe dishonorable discharge”

    As usual? You haven’t been paying attention. A dead wog is a dead wog. It’s not like he or she is a white woman, or someone without health insurance, or gay.

    He’s just a dead motherfucking, Haji wog who doesn’t know or care that it’s the economy, stupid. G-d is on our side.

  82. 82
    hilzoy says:

    “its hard for me again to think that someone wouldnt know that he was placing his fellow troops in more jeapordy—making their lives harder and more dangerous. Do we have so many soldiers that off the nut, ready to crack?”

    If he was crazy, he would not have been thinking that clearly.

    Look: once upon a time, I was living in Israel during a war. For some reason, at that time it was as though I had a sign on my head saying: You can talk to her! You can tell her anything! It was very odd.

    Anyways, a number of the total strangers who responded to that invisible sign were soldiers. Israel is, or was then at any rate, a fairly macho place where soldiers are not supposed to complain about stuff. These guys didn’t want to complain; they just needed someone to talk to, and I was a sympathetic-looking total stranger who wouldn’t have been able to repeat what they were telling me to their friends and families even if I had wanted to.

    Obviously, they were not dead, or hospitalized, or in any other way on someone’s casualty list. But they were just broken. They couldn’t sleep except in short snatches, sometimes for months. At least one seemed to me to be borderline psychotic (hallucinations, etc.) They were panicky and hypervigilant, and they got angry in ways they couldn’t begin to understand. And that was one of the tough bits for most of them: they couldn’t really understand anything about what was happening to them. And, as I said, they had no one to talk to about it at all.

    Ever since then, I’ve thought: never, never, never assume that you have understood the damage caused by war. The part you recognize is almost certainly the tip of a huge iceberg of horribleness.

    I assume that most soldiers are decent and professional. But I also assume that war puts enormous pressure on people, and when they snap, I am absolutely not surprised. One reason I’m very reluctant to go to war is because of the local people who get killed or wounded or traumatized, but another is because of what it can do to the soldiers. It’s just ugly all around.

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    @amk:

    Stop paying fucking mercenaries like fucking erik prince and spend that money on your own fucking troops.

    To be fair, it’s the State Department that shells out for the Blackwater/Xe/whateverthefucktheycallthemselves now, not the Pentagon. They just lurve their nice shiny toys and sweet defence contractors. Troops are fodder to them, and treated as such.

    GTFO now. After this, we’re done.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    is there a reason why we can’t hand him over to the Afghani’s, if this is true?

  85. 85
    magurakurin says:

    @Elie: why wouldn’t someone believe an American is capable of going out and shooting 15 random people? Fuck, it happens all. the. fucking. time. I mean, christ, “going postal” is part of the lexicon and that refers to the multiple times that a postal worker has gone off the rails and slaughtered people. It just happened two weeks ago in a high school for fuck’s sake. Mall shootings are practically a national pastime.

  86. 86
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Elie – I hate to say this Elie, but your comments in this thread went in the order of:
    1. There is some sort of conspiracy behind this (may be conspiracy is a strong word, but you did imply some other agent).
    2. In your comment you said:

    I know our troops have had abuses and killed civilians unecessarily while reacting on patrol, etc.

    The “reacting” is not very nice to all the victims shot dead in their beds.
    3. You said in your comment that it may be understandable to get even by killing Afghan soldiers who had turned their guns on NATO – what kind of “justice” is that?

    For any person familiar with colonialism, any of your above comments will be recognizable and definitely insulting to Afghans.

  87. 87
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @rikyrah: Because we have a military court system to take care of these things. As much as that might seem like a nice gesture, would you really want to trust the Afghan judiciary for anything?

    And that’s ignoring the politics.

  88. 88
    wilfred says:

    “But they were just broken.”

    Piss off. Did your ever speak to a Palestinian? Let me guess.

    ” And that was one of the tough bits for most of them: they couldn’t really understand anything about what was happening to them. And, as I said, they had no one to talk to about it at all.”

    Go visit a refugee camp and talk to people without guns, you stupid twit. The poor things, sob! Another apologist for bullying and wholesale murder.

    What a fucking joke.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @techno:

    Thanks. That makes it all okay then.

  90. 90
    Marduk says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    My problem was with the implication that painting both of them in high-visibility yellow was an intentional trick to lure civilians to pick up CBUs.

    I read no such implication into the original post.

  91. 91
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Belafon – you could hand the soldiers over to the “real” Afghan judiciary – the village elders. The Afghans would love that.
    Ignoring the politics, again.

  92. 92
    handsmile says:

    With updated reports now being filed by the Guardian, Agence France-Presse, the BBC and other international news organizations, many of the details of this atrocity seem to be evident and indisputable. As always, I will look to these sources first for reputable reporting on this incident.

    http://www.afp.com/afpcom/en/t...../actuality
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....-civilians

    Notmax (#34), thanks for linking to that updated and informative CBC news report.

    A major shitstorm is about to erupt here. And having the accused soldier spirited out of the country to face a state-side UCMJ proceeding is not going to be satisfactory to the unstable Karzai government or the volatile Afghan citizenry. It only adds to the horror of this incident that the US and Afghan government just on Friday signed a long-debated agreement on transferring authority of the US prison at Bagram air base.

    ETA: Just saw that Jim, Foolish Literalist (#63) linked to the Guardian article.

  93. 93
    amk says:

    would you really want to trust the Afghan judiciary for anything?

    as opposed to what ? that one can trust that american military personnel would not engage in wanton murders ? or that american military court system is transparent and has so far publicly held those responsible for such dastardly acts to justice ?

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wilfred: There was no apology for bullying and wholesale murder in Hilzoy’s comment. The fact that she perceived Israeli soldiers as psychologically damaged by war does not mean that others do not have things worse. It means that she perceived Israeli soldiers a psychologically damaged by war.

  95. 95
    Soonergrunt says:

    @amk: There are a whole bunch of guys in prison right now for various crimes.
    Some of them for pretty lengthy sentences. It’s not the revolving door you seem to think it is.

  96. 96
    wilfred says:

    “would you really want to trust the Afghan judiciary for anything?”

    Paging Macauley. Fucking brilliant, that. Subsitute woman, gay, black, African, anything for Afghan and time the pc thought police for hysterical intervention.

    Racist bigot twat.

  97. 97
    hilzoy says:

    “Piss off. Did your ever speak to a Palestinian? Let me guess.”

    Piss off yourself. When you assume, you make an ass of u and me. In this particular case, I won’t bother telling you exactly how wrong you are. I’ll just note that if you think that empathy comes in finite quantities, so that if you use some up on one group of people you don’t have any left for anyone else, that explains a lot.

  98. 98
    amk says:

    @Soonergrunt: some low level grunts as the proverbial scapegoats ? yeah, that is the system one can “trust”.

  99. 99
    Elizabelle says:

    @wilfred:

    Racist bigot twat.

    You can make your point without saying this.

    And if you can’t, scat.

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @wilfred:

    Racist bigot twat.

    Okay now you’re going off the rails here. I know you love playing purer-than-thou all the time but descending into misogynistic insults just makes you look like a jerk.

    @Elizabelle: Refreshing fizzy beverage, you are owed. :)

  101. 101
    scav says:

    @Soonergrunt: It has let some jaw-dropping exceptions slide through though, and those were noticed. And America as a culture has rather earned its reputation for violence, especially gun violence. I don’t see this going well for anyone.

  102. 102
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @amk:

    that one can trust american military personnel would not engage in wanton murder

    This particular statement is an overreaction that makes it seem like VIKI from I, Robot is correct.

    As for the other statement, the answer is that since we have to trust some group, I trust the military court system. If the soldier has truly snapped, would you rather have him executed by the Afghan’s as a nice piece of propaganda, or put in a white jacket and locked away? And if he hasn’t snapped, would you rather have him handled by a court system that is at least declared to follow our rules, or, once again, that will make his case into a show trial where he represents all of America to the Afghan people?

  103. 103
    Soonergrunt says:

    @amk: No, I’m talking officers and senior career NCOs in most of the cases that I’ve been following.

  104. 104
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Belafon – but why do you think he will have a show trial with the Afghans?

  105. 105
    gwangung says:

    @wilfred: You ARE an idiot, aren’t you? Takes someone special to piss off hilzoy.

    Try experiencing the real world.

  106. 106
    magurakurin says:

    @scav:

    I don’t see this going well for anyone

    Indeed. There aren’t going to be any happy endings with this one.

    I wouldn’t want to be President Obama right now. There is going to be some serious soul searching going on about the war now. Not that they haven’t done so already, but this is a major shocker.

    Time to GTFO. Double time.

  107. 107
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yutsano:

    It would be a pleasure to collect it, Yutsano.

    I shall remember that!

  108. 108
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @scav: As compared to what, the American court system? Do you want to go to a court system where 9 innocent people are locked up in order to make sure that 1 guilty man is convicted? (Yes, that’s a bit of hyperbole.) What kind of trial would you like this guy to have?

    This is an emotional issue, folks, but do you really want that emotion playing out in the proceedings of the case itself?

  109. 109
    Elizabelle says:

    Wonder what will happen if it turns out the accused is on his 3rd or 4th deployment. (Or even 2nd.)

  110. 110
    amk says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): “overreaction” ? Really ? You do understand we are talking about murdered kids, don’t you ?

    As for “propaganda” you seem more worried about, what the fuck do you think is gonna happen either way ?

    Pahdon me for not having the same trust in american military court system. Too many, especially up the command chain, have gone scot-free to earn that trust.

  111. 111
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @magurakurin:

    Time to GTFO. Double time.

    Totally agree.

  112. 112
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Belafon – why do you think the Afghans will be more emotional?

  113. 113
    wilfred says:

    @Hilzoy:

    Oh, shut the fuck up.

    Even today, your precious, neurotic Israeli soldiers are lighting up Palestinian ‘militants’, according to the press releases.

    Piss the fuck off. Take a goddamned position. You want to support Israeli soldiers and their angst over their systematic abuse of an unarmed population, go ahead.

    Save your rationalizing “oh, the poor, poor things” for people who don’t know any better.

  114. 114
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin:

    Time to GTFO. Double time.

    THIS. AD. INFINITUM.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: I have little doubt that this is the case. We simply need to get out as fast as logistics permit. Whatever good we could have done in Afghanistan has been impossible for quite a while now.

  116. 116
    4jkb4ia says:

    @wilfred:

    hilzoy has spoken for herself. However, elsewhere she mentioned being in a relationship with an Israeli Arab.

    As one of EW’s readers you have seen the comments along the lines of we don’t torture because of what it does to the torturers as well as what it does to the tortured. You do not send ordinary kids to do this kind of evil. It is with them the rest of their lives. I would recommend “Company C” by one of the South Jerusalem co-bloggers (Haim Watzman). He didn’t kill anybody. But he was very aware of the moral ambiguity of what he was doing.

  117. 117
    amk says:

    @magurakurin: +1. Fuck the wot.

  118. 118
    scav says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I said nothing about the individual systems of justice as systems, merely worried about this particular instance. I’d go international with this hairball but I’m non-standard issue and my helicopters come in all colors. I don’t find it out of line to suggest that there have been instances specifically to do with the behavior of American soldiers, that delivered seemingly rather mild sentences and were undoubtedly noted and remembered (in fact, probably remembered more than instances where stiffer sentences where handed down, life isn’t fair.) So, international distrust of the American system when dealing with this specific issue may not be entirely as unexpected and irrational as we might hope.

  119. 119
    amk says:

    @Soonergrunt: Being an ex-military, you probably are more aware of such punishments and I will take your word for it. But the public ? Not much. That’s what I meant by transparency.

  120. 120
    wilfred says:

    “I think this thread is officially over now.”

    Oh dear, the offical story has officially been challenged. G-d help us. Hilzoy has an Israeli Arab boyfriend. Which type – say it in Arabic – there are all kinds, you know.

    I mean, surely you are not suggesting that an Israeli Arab is, or could never be a zionist, or an informer. Or someone who for some reason, might betray his or her own kind for their own benefit. Heaven help us.

    Fecking idiot.

  121. 121
    magurakurin says:

    @wilfred: dude, like, she’s basically on your side, but you seem to insist on insulting and attacking people who would be, but for your assholishness, totally in your favor since nearly everyone here supports the idea of and the need for a genuine Palestinian State.

    but, you know, your way is probably better…

  122. 122
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    It is a bad idea, in general, to walk into a comments section about innocent civilians being slaughtered; and then start discussing the following:
    1. How war is hell
    2. How soldiers are “broken”
    3. How it may be their multiple deployments causing this
    4. Bring in a much hated occupation force’s soldiers and then start commenting on THEIR PTSD.
    And so on. I have noticed it happens in every thread, but it does not make any sense. First of all, at least pretend to care about the victims. The soldiers are not the victims. The children are.
    In this thread, the first comment about the “victims being in our prayers” came at #41. All the previous were about impact on America; or the soldiers.
    Socilogists must have an explanation for this. May be it is an “in group – out group” thing. It does seem awfully that the victims are dehumanized to that extent. I know this community and respect most, but it does SEEM that way.

  123. 123
    Roger Moore says:

    @magurakurin:

    Time to GTFO. Double time.

    Well past time.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin:

    but, you know, your way is probably better

    Of course it is. The way of the pure is always better in their minds. You just refuse to see their true brilliance and are therefore worthy of derision. See how this works? He’s not interested in dialogue, just spouting his moral platitudes and denigrating those who dare defy his orthodoxy. No better than a right-wing authoritarian.

  125. 125
    honus says:

    @Frivolous: I was looking for the ACC Tournament game Friday and caught a few minutes of Laura Ingraham and some other nitwit talking about the Koran burning. How it was old books they were throwing away, there had been an apology, no way there should be anybody disciplined, etc. For all their talk about “fog of war” and stress and “you don’t know what theses guys go through” in excusing such incidents they really didn’t get that in a war zone what really matter is what will get your people killed. And burning Korans did get soldiers killed and it was a fuckup by whoever did it and whoever let it happen.
    This is worse, and maybe Obama apologizing will make it a little less so, and save a life or two. He understands that, and it is another contrast with GWB’s stupidity in saying “Bring it on.”

  126. 126
    Mino says:

    Woof. And we thought the street mobs were bad with the Koran burnings.

    I just don’t see how this can be papered over. We’ll be forced to leave unless we want to start machine gunning civilians. Though that probably wouldn’t bother a certain contingent back here.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: FWIW I think there is an element of trying to understand how or why this could happen involved.

  128. 128
    amk says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Agreed.

    Another thing I’ve noticed. They have international forces there. How come it’s only the americans that are mainly doing these horrible/stupid deeds like killing unarmed civilians, pissing on the corpses and burning copies of Quran?

    And the excuse of “but we have more soldiers out there” doesn’t cut it.

    A serious introspection about how the american military conducts itself is needed, from Obama downwards.

  129. 129
    Soonergrunt says:

    @amk: I think you are correct that there needs to be more public awareness. I’ll definitely give you that.

  130. 130
    g says:

    @Frivolous: Right. Because something like this should be defended? Gah.

  131. 131
    Mino says:

    @amk: Well, it’s Americans who have had multiple deployments.

  132. 132
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: I think part of it is that the mind boggles at the horror. My mind does. All those defenseless innocents slaughtered in their beds. It is heartbreaking – so in self defense the mind starts thinking about things that are easier to bear and/or things that can be acted upon: changes in policy, trying to prevent this happening again, that sort of thing. It won’t bring those poor murdered people back, but it is hard to stare into an abyss for any length of time. My young niece died recently, and it was the same way. Sitting with the horror of it all was just too hard, and we all reached for mental busywork to keep us away from that black hole of despair.

  133. 133
    hilzoy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No particular desire to wade back in, but: note that I was replying to something someone else had said.

  134. 134
    ericblair says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    It is a bad idea, in general, to walk into a comments section about innocent civilians being slaughtered; and then start discussing the following:
    1. How war is hell
    2. How soldiers are “broken”
    3. How it may be their multiple deployments causing this
    4. Bring in a much hated occupation force’s soldiers and then start commenting on THEIR PTSD.

    Because then you have the building blocks of an argument on how wars and occupations almost inevitably lead to this and we need to GTFO faster than we are. Otherwise, the argument seems to regress to “evil soldiers, shoot them” and then nothing. I’m assuming you feel we should get out of Afghanistan; do you realize that the argument you hate supports what you want?

  135. 135
    amk says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Exactly. Justice should be done and more importantly, it should be seen as being done.

  136. 136
    Gwangung says:

    @Yutsano: The SAME as a right wing authoritarian. Just a different object of obsession.

  137. 137
    wilfred says:

    “but, you know, your way is probably better…”

    Yeah, well, it is. Mainly because I’ve spent most of the past 4 years in a Arab Muslim country and have seen the effects of this “who, not me, not ever, I like black, muslim, latino, or whatever the fuck else” rationalization in the minds of people who are most definitely not conditioned to forgive themselves their worst transgressions at the drop of a nationalist hat.

    The total here is: “Oy, I likes Muslims, me.”

    Fuck off.

  138. 138
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus – sure, but isn’t this too early for that kind of analysis?
    What Americans see is probably that. But for me (Indian), it seems that:
    1. Some commenters are either a) in denial or b) defensive
    2. The fallout is more important than the tragedy
    3. The soldiers are victims too.
    This sometimes enrages people who look at the world through anti-imperialist or anti-colonialist eyes (as I mostly do). After all, such incidents have happened all through colonial history(and I am sure – when seggregation and slavery existed). It should not come much as a surprise that a soldier of an oocupying empire went and massacred kids. Similar incidents have happened throughout colonial history.

  139. 139
    amk says:

    @Mino: Then it’s a disgusting systemic as well as a policy failure. Both inexcusable.

  140. 140
    trollhattan says:

    Can’t help wondering whether a President Romney would apologize for America to the Afghans?

    Children? Women? Whoever did this is a sick fuck and our responsibility.

  141. 141
    Yutsano says:

    @wilfred: Beautiful. Argument from authority. That doesn’t give you the right to be a misogynistic asshole. I suppose we’re just to be in total awe of your brilliance and knowledge now?

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @hilzoy: I took RA’s comment as being broadly aimed and was responding accordingly.

  143. 143
    Soonergrunt says:

    @hilzoy: You weren’t pure enough or self-hating enough. You learn that with him after about three interactions. Facts don’t matter much to him either.
    You’ve joined a pretty good (and big) club. His female counterpart of shotgun-style hyperemotional factless purity gibbering is called “mclaren”.
    HTH.

  144. 144
    MikeBoyScout says:

    And how many deaths will it take till we know,
    that too many people have died?
    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
    the answer is blowing in the wind.

  145. 145
    wilfred says:

    There’s a wonderful old poster from WWII of a brave, Tommy lad explaining the justness of the Allied cause to a typically greasy looking fellah in a Cairo tea house. The good, white Tommy is jabbering away at the dull Egyptian while his mug of beer rests on, you guessed it, a Koran.

    11 fucking years on in a devoutly Muslim country and people don’t know how to dispose of a Qur’an. They’re either ignorant or they don’t give a shit.

    For Americans, that’s not good enough, frankly. I won’t even accept free desk calendars because they contain Qur’anic references and I don’t want to be in a position of having to dispose of them properly.

    Ignorance is arrogance – 11 fucking years on and they don’t know?

  146. 146
    Yutsano says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: I just want to say I sincerely appreciate your perspective here. What you’re seeing is the more subtle side of American exceptionalism. We get too focused on our own to forget mothers and children were needlessly slaughtered. We may have killed the great hope for Afghanistan because he or she will never grow up now. Thank you for the re-focus here.

  147. 147
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: It’s not even good authority.
    I live somewhere, therefore I am better.

  148. 148

    I know too little of the developing news to comment on it. I will note, however, that it takes a special kind of emo-arrogance to condescendingly chastise hilzoy. Holy rollerskating fuck; that’s demonstrating some kind of titanium balls.

  149. 149
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    @ericblair – Not exactly. Not bad soldiers. But the recoginition that America is an imperial power, is then, lost. That is very important, because (when I was in the US), Americans do not see themselves that way.
    The second problem is the myth that democracies are very sane and benign in their foreign policy.
    Both these myths are NOT addressed by the statements I listed.
    Therefore what happens now, will be repeated elsewhere, later. That is why people like me (I can see others in the comments) emphasize that statements like “war is hell” are not made.

  150. 150
    amk says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Thank you for that rational questioning.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: I see your point.

  152. 152

    @Ramiah Ariya: Fair point, and I appreciate your explanation. Thank you.

  153. 153
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: If you’d said this earlier, more people would’ve agreed with you then and you’d have spent less time going over the same plot.
    BTW–many of us are capable of holding more than one thought at the same time.
    We can see that war is hell, and that American colonialism, no matter how it’s dressed up, is bad. And saying one does not require the denial of the other.

  154. 154
    wilfred says:

    “Facts don’t matter much to him either.”

    Any time, motherfucker. Anytime you want to compare your knowledge of this part of the world with mine, I’m right here. You don’t know a fucking thing about Arabs or Muslims.

    As for Hilzoy – take a goddamned position. In this part of the world, with this time, in this place, with this people, you either stand in front of the guns, or behind them.

    Where are your tortured Israeli friends

  155. 155
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @ 138 Ramiah Ariya: Peace be with you & thank-you.

  156. 156
    PTirebiter says:

    @hilzoy:

    I’ll just note that if you think that empathy comes in finite quantities, so that if you use some up on one group of people you don’t have any left for anyone else, that explains a lot.

    Exactly. “War Is He’ll” is a truism that applies to all sides and was meant to give sobering pause to anyone considering it.

  157. 157
    Someguy says:

    We should definitely impeach Bush over this. Oh wait…

  158. 158
    aimai says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The idea that any person “just snapped” and is therefore immune to execution is a really problematic one. Just because US law has an exception for some kinds of people judged to be some kinds of insane doesn’t mean that Afghanistan is obligated to share that belief or to share that legal system. We had this issue in Pakistan and, of course, we had it in Iraq. The whole point of the issue is that when you claim you are working with a Sovereign nation you don’t get to decide that their justice is so ugly that your criminals/murderers/crazy people are exempt from it. Of course it would be very sad if a nice American soldier were put on a “show trial” by those nasty Afghans and his actions were made to “stand in” for all of the rest of our Soldiers and our country. But I’m not sure why the sadness of this potential event…up to and including his execution for mass murder…is supposed to make it unthinkable or even unrealistic or immoral.

    He committed a mass murder, for whatever reason, in someone else’s country. The fact that he may have been off his rocker is a matter for Afghanistan’s criminal system to decide and to handle. If not: they are not a sovereign nation and all our blathering about working with them and educating the wimmins and etc… is some kind of–farce?

    aimai

  159. 159
    Soonergrunt says:

    @wilfred: You don’t give a fuck any of those things, except as a rhetorical bludgeon. You are a rage monkey. Nothing more. If you lived in the states, you’d go rage monkey about the laws in one state vs. another, or why Kansas City bbq is superior to Memphis style, and how nobody knows what you know about it because you lived in Arkansas. It’s what you do.

  160. 160
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Mino: That’s a crock of shit. There have been Canadians who’ve been there seven times that I know personally. I can say that it has messed some of them up very deeply.

    Stop making excuses.

  161. 161
    hilzoy says:

    @wilfred: Why not use the same telepathic powers that you used to figure out first that I managed to live in Israel for a year without speaking to a single Palestinian, and then that the ones I did get to know were all collaborators, and ask them? For that matter, why not use your telepathic powers to find out what positions I’ve taken?

    For my part, I don’t see the point in arguing with someone who doesn’t see a problem with slandering unknown Arabs to score points on a blog.

  162. 162
    Soonergrunt says:

    @aimai:

    He committed a mass murder, for whatever reason, in someone else’s country. The fact that he may have been off his rocker is a matter for Afghanistan’s criminal system to decide and to handle.

    It really isn’t.
    We have these treaties and agreements that state which sovereign has jurisdiction. Right now, the US has jurisdiction over the actions of US personnel in Afghanistan. The Afghans will definitely want to make changes to those in light of this and other events. As well they should. But the Afghan court system has no say in this event at all.

  163. 163
    wilfred says:

    “We can see that war is hell, and that American colonialism, no matter how it’s dressed up, is bad. And saying one does not require the denial of the other.”

    What the fuck does that even fucking mean? Is anyone on earth in their right mind asserting that war is bad but American colonialism isn’t? Or does it mean that if someone thinks that American colonialism is good that means that war is NOT hell?

    Fucking retard.

  164. 164
    4jkb4ia says:

    @wilfred:

    As I remember (I don’t even remember what blog that comment was on anymore, though I am guessing TNC’s) this person was alienated from BOTH Arabs and Israeli Jews. Now, it ought to be obvious that an Israeli Arab is not technically a Palestinian (they took Israeli citizenship), but an Israeli Arab represents enough of a grey area that it is not true that all Hilzoy knows is Israeli Jews and how they see the world. It ought to be so obvious that I didn’t write it. You have the first Arab justice on the Israeli Supreme Court(part of the Israeli establishment surely), who refused to sing Hatikvah and created a mini-controversy, and the discussion at DovBear’s years ago over whether Oslo would have passed without Arab MKs and whether that mattered. Even people who are in power represent Israeli Arabs as both Arabs and Israelis. An Israeli Arab being a Zionist is the same kind of situation as an Israeli Jewish anti-Zionist living in the state of Palestine because it is still the land of Israel no matter who is governing it–the important thing is that it’s your home and so you recognize that the government is legitimate and represents a legitimate claim. It’s possible but it’s very few people.

    This thread was over because it had become a discussion of I/P and assholes. Also notice that I edited that.

  165. 165
    Elie says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    I think that you interpreted my comments as defending horrible, immoral behavior on the part of Americans. If there was some way that I phrased my comments that conveyed that, then my words were horribly inaccurate. Let me say one more time — there is no justification for American behavior of this nature at any time. Never. When I say that I “understand” that Americans have undertaken revenge, that was in no wat to condone their taking revenge..

    I am not a right winged American apologist not are many who post here. There are a few trolls. I am not one of them. Pull your fangs in.

  166. 166
    wilfred says:

    @Hilzoy:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Ok, what’s your position. Let me guess – a neutered Palestinian Bantustan?

    Save the discourse. At least you can get into Palestine, I can’ anymore.

    Positions, please. Enlighten me – or stay perpetually wounded as a “I really, really care, about Palestinians, too – sniff, sniff” well meaning pseudo-Leftist.

  167. 167
    MariedeGourany says:

    I have nothing to add but sorrow.

  168. 168
    wilfred says:

    “This thread was over”

    That’s twice. Stop trying to silence people, or passioned debate. For fuck’s sake there are enough hasbara sites, arent’t there. Jesus.

    Better, let people speak for themselves. Or shut just the fuck up.

  169. 169
    hilzoy says:

    @4jkb4ia: “this person was alienated from BOTH Arabs and Israeli Jews.”

    This isn’t right.

  170. 170
    Elie says:

    @magurakurin:

    You might actually try reading my comments next time. I am not “surprised”. I was more expressing frustration about not understanding why — since this makes it much harder on their fellow soldiers.

    Read — try it!

  171. 171
    Martin says:

    @trollhattan:

    Can’t help wondering whether a President Romney would apologize for America to the Afghans?

    Of course not. Their criticism of Obama has been, specifically, that he shouldn’t apologize for American soldiers.

  172. 172
    Trakker says:

    WHY? Why are we still there? I would love to see Afghanistan at peace, with kids going to school and women given rights, etc., but WE can’t do it for them. Only they can do it.

    Bring our kids home (and don’t allow Israel to get us involved in another war). Haven’t our politicians noticed that America is becoming more like Afghanistan than they are becoming more like us?

  173. 173
    PTirebiter says:

    @wilfred:
    What the fuck does.that even mean?
    It means try selling your fundamentalist bullshit somewhere down the road. You belittle people you have no understanding of for their supposed lack of understanding of you.

  174. 174
    Svensker says:

    @wilfred:

    Wilfred, I understand what you’re saying and to some extent agree. But those of us against these wars have protested and phoned and written letters until we’re blue in the face and not much has happened. Yet I would argue to you — and to my husband who feels as you do — that bringing down Rush Limbaugh is a win in the larger battle against this endless war. He has been one of the biggest megaphones for war, for hatred of Muslims, etc. Enfeebling him lessens the vileness that permits this war.

    It’s too little, too late, you say. Well, I got nothing else. We do what we can and hope for more.

    Peace.

  175. 175
    wilfred says:

    @PTirebiter:

    Actually, I’m treating an imbecile with more respect than he deserves by reading the semi-literate crap he writes and asking him what he really means.

    You, on the other hand, are just a fucking moron.

  176. 176
    CaseyL says:

    Other than agreeing that it is long past time to leave Afghanistan, I can’t think of anything to say; can’t imagine having any moral or intellectual authority to say anything other than “We should leave. Now.” And the killers should stand trial, because – as an allegedly civilized nation – we’re supposed to hold people accountable for the things they have done. It’s my wish everyone truly accountable for this atrocity – like the politicians who started the war and keep the war going, the brass to refuse to understand what multiple deployments have done to the troops entrusted to them, neither of whom have apparently ever made an intelligent decision about the war – should be in the dock as well.

    Also: this is a serious discussion about an atrocity, and I can think of no reason why a nasty piece of goods like wilfred – who has been a troll for longer than there has been a Doug Jay, and has never ever engaged in anything but trolling – should be allowed to participate at all.

    wilfred is like Loki: someone who is nourished by malice. Please starve him.

  177. 177
    AA+ Bonds says:

    America’s government takes the position that its soldiers are only accountable to America when it comes to war crimes, which is necessary to preserve our interests against those who would hold our soldiers accountable to their own laws

    People in some other countries, ludicrously, have the belief that just because we punish murderers with three months reduced pay, we need some sort of “international law” to apply here

    The gall of these lesser peoples is immense and tiresome; if their laws were worth following, we would have decreed it so when we invaded

  178. 178
    srv says:

    If only a drone had done this, we could find an excuse for it.

  179. 179
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:

    The whole point of the issue is that when you claim you are working with a Sovereign nation you don’t get to decide that their justice is so ugly that your criminals/murderers/crazy people are exempt from it.

    Actually, we do. Our soldiers in Afghanistan are subject to US Military justice, not Afghani civilian justice. The similar situation in Iraq- we would only agree to stay if our troops were protected from Iraqi justice- was the ultimate sticking point that got us out a bit earlier than expected. It’s a major problem; Iraqi and Afghani civilians see our soldiers doing terrible things and being acquitted or punished only lightly, and they’re naturally enraged.

  180. 180
    Rome Again says:

    @Tom:

    That’s not war, that’s a hate crime for no other reason than to do damage to a group (ethnic, religious, philosophical, whatever) group that is different from oneself, better known as “other” and this act was most likely against Geneva Conventions (and if it’s not, it SHOULD be).

  181. 181
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @srv:

    It was really his fault for choosing to be a human instead of a flying robot airplane

  182. 182
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Actually, we do. Our soldiers in Afghanistan are subject to US Military justice, not Afghani civilian justice.

    Actually, they are regularly subject to acts of supposed justice, carried out by Afghani civilians; incredibly, there appears to be disagreement between the parties on the meaning of “justice”

  183. 183
    wilfred says:

    “wilfred is like Loki: someone who is nourished by malice. Please starve him”

    Do you want some digital kleenex you pathetic fecking shite? Fight for something, asshole, or go watch television.

    Or call Cole. Defend this war and others, or denounce them and the people who make and continue them while you get what you want.

  184. 184
    AA+ Bonds says:

    What confuses me is all these terrorists who consider themselves freedom fighters: the CIA now has its almanacs online so anyone, anywhere in the world, can easily check to see if they themselves are one or the other, based on our intelligence agencies’ purely objective assessment

    Similarly, you can see our dedication to law and order from our strong concern whenever our intelligence operatives or hired guns are charged with a crime in another country; we refuse to allow the application of inferior, non-American laws, when our own laws, courts and concrete barricades are now so close at hand!

  185. 185
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    When are these brown people going to be held accountable for getting right in the middle of our glorious permawar?

  186. 186
    Rome Again says:

    @wilfred:

    Why should we get rid of a Koran? Is your book so much better? Why do you insist on others having the same spiritual values as you? Who told you that everyone had to believe in the same God through the same exact means as you? Don’t you think that sounds totalitarian? If you tried to force me to believe in your version of God, I’d tell you to go fuck yourself (and I’m an American who still accepts some parts of Judeo-Christian biblical perspective, just not YOUR perspective… trust me, it’s so not like your perspective).

  187. 187
    Mino says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Whoa. Sorry, I had no idea. I thought we were the only ones overstretched to that point. Christ, is Canada that short of soldiers?

  188. 188
    wilfred says:

    @ Svensker:

    I always reckoned you a man. I’m sorry to tell you that it’s later than you or your husband think. Ah, fuck me, it’s even past that. It’s blood upon blood.

    I wouldn’t know Rush Limbaugh’s voice if I heard it – 17 years out of Homeland. Way too late for anything now. A worse crime I never heard. The Arabs tell the story of the bedu, the camel and the tent. The tent is gone.

  189. 189
    Svensker says:

    @srv:

    Sadly, yes.

  190. 190
    virginia says:

    Disaster.

  191. 191
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Rome Again:

    Judeo-Christian

    This term is a Christian Coalition/AIPAC myth to perpetuate an alliance that will persist until the Right returns, inevitably, to its lifelong history of antisemitism

    Witness the strong support for Ron Paul among the enlisted armed forces – do you think this is a coincidence

  192. 192
    Corner Stone says:

    @srv:

    If only a drone had done this, we could find an excuse for it.

    Motherfucking ouch.
    It’s not at all odd that the Parsing Patriots(tm) can find any justification for “shit happens” when it’s by drone, yet wring their blankies when it’s done by a real human being.
    And it’s even more not at all odd that they never seem to understand why some people find drones and drone attacks so dangerous to our society.

  193. 193
    Rome Again says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I added the Christian part for HIS benefit, not mine.

    Let me put it another way, my belief system is set upon the very earliest of Torah, and ONLY on the very earliest part.

  194. 194
    USndn_vet says:

    Reuters report 1342hrs. that Western forces kill 16 Afghan civilians…were drunk and laughing.

  195. 195
    Svensker says:

    @wilfred:

    I’m afraid you’re right but, as I said, one does what one can. And hopes.

    If you’ve been away 17 years, you have no idea what a toxic stew it is now. Seriously. Reading blogs just doesn’t convey it.

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    If you lived in the states, you’d go rage monkey about the laws in one state vs. another, or why Kansas City bbq is superior to Memphis style, and how nobody knows what you know about it because you lived in Arkansas.

    This is too rich. Coming from the guy who uses “Brazil” to impugn Greenwald, you’re now discounting perspective from the actual region we’re discussing.

  197. 197
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung:

    @wilfred: You ARE an idiot, aren’t you? Takes someone special to piss off hilzoy.
    __
    Try experiencing the real world.

    Devastating rebuttal.

  198. 198
    Maude says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    With Bush, sure. With Obama, don’t think so.

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @Rome Again: He’s talking about disposing properly of a desecrated Koran, and the desk Calendars go out of date every year and would need to also be disposed of at some point.
    Not a superior holier than thou position.

  200. 200
    wilfred says:

    @ Rome Again:

    You know, in the interest the dodgy future of the human race I’m willing to pay for the your removal from the fucking gene pool. I will pay your ticket to where I live so that you can wipe your genitalia with the Qur’an at a mosque of your, not my, choice. This last to maintain the sacrosanct air of materialist objectivity that we all cherish. You know, lest people think it’s a set-up on my part. Any mosque you want, really.

    I’ll even film the goddamned thing and send it viral so people can see what a FUCKING retard you are since, and do I have to say this you stupid shit, that we are talking about a place where people don’t believe in what you believe in but actually treat the Qur’an with the reverence they think it deserves.

    A more priceless example of Macauleyesque- fuck the wogs – self importance – will never be found.

  201. 201
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I can be snide forever, I love it, but the simple truth: that town, that province, that country, and the entire world will see another American child-butcher raised above the laws of a country that we have controlled through military force for an entire decade

    So practically, sucks to be us – war brings with it our murderers, madmen, and psychopaths, and we judged the goal to be worth the risk . . . was it? What was that goal again?

    A public execution would not satisfy at this point; through allowing this person to commit this act under the auspices of our military, we have already lost this battle

    There’s really only one way we can prevent out-of-control killers in uniform in other countries: don’t invade them.

    Because when you go in to take down the Jerries for Churchill, you are going to end up with American madmen committing spree killings, so you better be goddamned sure that it is a price you are willing to pay

  202. 202
    Trentrunner says:

    @srv: Horribly true, I’m afraid.

  203. 203
    Rome Again says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Then I stand corrected, thank you.

  204. 204
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Rome Again:

    I added the Christian part for HIS benefit, not mine.

    I am really at a loss as to how that is “for his benefit”

    Let me put it another way, my belief system is set upon the very earliest of Torah, and ONLY on the very earliest part.

    It really pales in comparison to how a Muslim regards the written verse of the Qur’an, I know that, but I think Americans would probably think twice before throwing Torah scrolls into a furnace

    There really is no comparison, but the consecrated Host might be another example where someone might possibly point out, hey, we maybe shouldn’t throw this into a refuse fire, even if a suspected terrorist had touched it with his terrorist hands

  205. 205
    nitpicker says:

    Rule of thumb I’ve always followed in danger zones, folks: The first three reports are always wrong. It will be another few hours, I’m guessing, before we find out what happened.

  206. 206
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Afghan soldier kills Americans – terrorism, barbarians, can’t trust these people.

    American soldier kills Afghans – lone nut, too much stress, can’t understand it.

  207. 207
    Rome Again says:

    @wilfred:

    That’s some major shit you put there. Congratulations.

    Now, let’s be clear. I would never do anything to harm ANY Koran because it’s wrong to do so. I read your statement as saying that it needed to be disposed of without actually realizing that there were such rituals. I will admit to ignorance (I’ve not studied the Koran, and I have no intention to, but I don’t have any motivation to stop others who wish to do so – I believe in freedom of thought, and not any kind of forced conversions).

    I would be willing to forgive you for what you stated, had I not read your trashy description of me using my “genitalia” to do something to someone’s holy book.

    Fuck you, asshole!

  208. 208
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @nitpicker:

    It will be another few hours, I’m guessing, before we find out what happened.

    Or years, or decades, or never, depending on the situation

    Two beliefs are floating around here:

    1) Americans are less likely to murder without provocation during wartime than all others
    2) Our government is dedicated to discovering and sharing all of the facts about these incidents

    All historical evidence goes much to the contrary of both of these and I would think liberals, at least, would have this in the back of their minds

  209. 209
    Rome Again says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I am really at a loss as to how that is “for his benefit”

    Because while you and I agree it’s not, many people don’t understand this and trying to make that point is very painful for them. It stops communication. It’s a deal breaker when I mention it, so I don’t mention it.

  210. 210
    Raven says:

    (Reuters) – Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

    One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

    Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

  211. 211
    Rome Again says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I have no consecrated paraphernalia. That said, many who do have rituals of consecration realize the importance of doing such to the “other” that doesn’t believe as they do. They do it on purpose.

  212. 212
    wilfred says:

    @ Rome Again:

    Ooh. Well, I don’t really give a shit about your ‘foregiveness’, frankly. But now that you know how Muslims feel about the Qur’an, well, then you know. But that was the whole point of what I wrote, right?

    Didn’t you used to be Thymezone’s flame of sorts, way back in the day when 10 people posted here? I seem to remember being the only voice for certain things. Have you grown new skin, or discovered a new sensitivity?

  213. 213
    Rome Again says:

    @Raven:

    If this really was a planned raid and not a loner going rogue, why would so many news sources be reporting that a soldier turned himself in?

    I’m not so sure Reuters has this right either.

  214. 214
    Rome Again says:

    @wilfred:

    You think far too highly of yourself.

    I knew that the Muslims thought highly of their Koran before your lesson Wilfred. I just was unaware of the proper method of disposal. I did learn something, yes, but you didn’t teach me much more than that you’re an obnoxious prick.

  215. 215
    peggy says:

    @wilfred:
    Hiltzoy can defend herself quite ably. You may not be aware of the Arabs who have been sympathetic to the trauma endured by the enemy soldier. I assume you never heard of Frantz Fanon, whose The Wretched of the Earth(1961) described how he, as a black psychiatrist, treated the French soldiers driven mad by their job of torturing Algerian revolutionaries. Fanon invented African anti-colonial literature. He’s rather famous.

  216. 216
    bourbaki says:

    200+ posts and no has mentioned Haditha yet.

    Honestly I think we all know how this is going to end.

  217. 217
    Corner Stone says:

    @bourbaki:

    Honestly I think we all know how this is going to end.

    Scotch and cigars on the veranda overlooking the plantation?

  218. 218
    Raven says:

    @Rome Again: Neither am I but there seems to be some confusion.

  219. 219
    eemom says:

    @hilzoy:

    I’ll just note that if you think that empathy comes in finite quantities, so that if you use some up on one group of people you don’t have any left for anyone else, that explains a lot.

    Well said.

  220. 220
    peggy says:

    @aimai:
    Immunity from prosecution for US troops is the issue that finally got us out of Iraq. We lost that protection and had to make tracks.

    As to the crime, according to Al Jazeera he is a staff sergeant and I would call him nuts. The victims; RIP

  221. 221
    wilfred says:

    @ Peggy:

    Wow, intellectual wankery. As it turns out, a great of my doctorate – on the poetics of Muslim-American literature, revolves around some of Fanon’s ideas, at least as they were absorbed and used by whatever counts as the Black Muslim intelligentsia. Fanon actually loved Islam, even if he understood imperfectly as the means of resistance.

    But I digress. A better text is Sartre’s “Racism and Colonialism as Praxis and Process”, which better deals with the rationalizations of the oppresor, instead of his guilt.

  222. 222
    wilfred says:

    “I’ll just note that if you think that empathy comes in finite quantities, so that if you use some up on one group of people you don’t have any left for anyone else, that explains a lot.”

    I like that, in principle. It reminds me of Tertullain – you know, I am human, whatever is human, etc.

    Direct me, if you would, to your empathetic considerations of Hamas, say, or the Taliban, or the SS, many of whose soldiers were drugged with speedballs, apparently, to overcome their aversion to carrying out orders.

    And in the interest of necessary reductionsim, please get to the “we were only carrying out orders part” as soon as you can.

    Take your time.

  223. 223
    Corner Stone says:

    GCHQ civilian staff face war crimes charge over drone strikes in Pakistan
    “Civilian staff at GCHQ risk being prosecuted for war crimes as a result of a legal action being launched tomorrow over the alleged use of British intelligence in the CIA’s “targeted killing” programme.”

    This should be fun, however briefly it lasts.

  224. 224
    Hob says:

    There was a regular commenter on Obsidian Wings also named Wilfred, who sounded the same (if slightly less rabid) and had the same concerns. If that’s the same guy then there’s no way in hell he is really unfamiliar with what Hilzoy has written, publicly and often, on the Palestinian and Afghan occupations; if not, it’s certainly easy to find out, so I have to conclude he doesn’t care. In any case, he sure is good at persuading everyone to make the discussion all about him.

  225. 225
    Rome Again says:

    @wilfred:

    While I can certainly agree with what you say, the way you present it makes me reject it. Nobody has to have empathy for detestable things to prove they can have infinite empathy. Empathy is reserved for those that one somehow feels connected to, not all people or all situations.

    Personally, I can hold empathy and disgust at the same time. I can hold empathy for those members of this group of people that were killed, while being disgusted by you for the pompous way you argue valid points about this issue.

  226. 226
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: Oman is not Afghanistan.
    This thing you are using to miss the point of the conversations on Balloon-Juice can be used to find maps of the world. You should try it sometime.

  227. 227
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soonergrunt: Thank the gods I didn’t say “country”, but “region”.
    Reading comprehension, you should try it sometime.
    Unless now you’re saying he has to live in Afghanistan to give perspective on Afghanistan, and live in Israel/Palestine to opine on I/P?
    I wouldn’t put that past you as when you have nothing to argue you use GPS location to make some kind of reductionist point.

  228. 228
    fuzz says:

    The Times and other news outlets are saying it was a regular army staff sergeant and that it happened in Panjwaii, the same district in Kandahar the Canadians had so much trouble in for years until turning it over to us this summer. The other thing from the articles I’ve read (not many, just 2, the BBC and the NYT) is that he targeted a village elder and the elder’s family, so this may not have been as completely random as it seems. Again though who knows if that’s true.

  229. 229
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    It’s annoying how this has turned into the Corner Stone and Wilfred thread, when a far more relevant discussion was over why are we talking about the stress of war rather than the victims of this shooter. And I’m one who believes that the trial of the soldier should be handled by the US military and that it’s one more sign that it’s time to get out.

  230. 230
    Corner Stone says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’ve posted 7 out of 229, and am hardly dominating the discourse. I’ve attempted to add context to a couple posts by wilfred, although he has no need of my assistance, nor has he asked for same.
    I think you need to back the fuck up a little.

  231. 231
    Ruckus says:

    @hilzoy:
    I’ve posted about this before but I was in a military hospital for 2 months in 73 and spent a great deal of that time listening to very broken men talk about their lives. That is the ones who could bring themselves to talk. This is one of the things that will stay with me for ever, and not in a good way. And I was just an observer in their memories. The main theme that I saw was most people with these kind of experiences is that they want to forget and can not. Ever. Medication, therapy, drugs, alcohol, a person will try anything to forget. But the best anyone seems to be able to do is to learn to live with it. Some of the men had done things that sound similar to this story. Some were feeling guilty, some had no idea why or even what they had done. As I said I was just listening and I am haunted to this day. I can still see some of these men 40 years later as if I saw and listened to them yesterday.
    We are all capable of atrocities, it is only that we push them back that makes us able to live as members of better societies.

  232. 232
    Ruckus says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:
    A very good point.
    Maybe it’s because many have a hard time comprehending that anyone could do such a thing.
    Maybe because we don’t know the details and are speculating.
    Maybe it’s because some see the damage done to this country in our names and the idea of children being shot is so abhorrent that we can’t wrap our minds around it.
    Not that these should be excuses but we are human as well.

  233. 233
    Thymezone says:

    @wilfred:

    Hm. I read all of your posts to this thread and still have no idea what point(s) you are trying to make. Good job. Maybe if you used all caps, it would make more sense. I don’t know.

    Other than that,

    @Persia:

    That about sums up the shooting story. After you have spent a certain amount of time around people who are seriously mentally ill, it all starts to look the same. Crazy is crazy. Trying to associate “meaning” to any of it is an exercise in perpetual futility. Compassion is necessary, but it doesn’t help much to repair the damage crazy can cause.

  234. 234
    IM says:

    @Gwangung:

    All nationalists and we seem to have a quite severe case here are right-wing authoritarians.

  235. 235
    aimai says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Uh, yeah, obviously. I don’t know why people keep treating this as a matter of settled law rather than as a matter of political might. We faced exactly the same situation with the US government agent who shot the Pakistani Intelligence Agents who were following him. We negotiated his release–that is, we bought him free. We fought this battle in Japan where it, for years, got our soldiers off for charges of rape of Japenese women. Its not particularly moral and its entirely historically contingent. My point, which was obvious, was that all the blather here about how sad it is that this guy snapped is just absurd. He killed a bunch of people. Lots of people in Afghanistan have killed a bunch of people. We can continue to pretend that when our guys do it they are just “crazy” and when the Taliban do it they are “criminal” but its a distinction that makes no difference to the Afghans who are dead. If we don’t turn this guy over to the Afghans–regardless of our soi disant rights–we are explicitly spitting in the eye of Afghan sovreignity and our so called allies. Its just this sort of special exception for our troops, or our CIA agents, that made the entire “rendition” and gitmo periods of our history so galling to the entire of the world.

    aimai

  236. 236
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    If we don’t turn this guy over to the Afghans—regardless of our soi disant rights—we are explicitly spitting in the eye of Afghan sovreignity and our so called allies. Its just this sort of special exception for our troops, or our CIA agents, that made the entire “rendition” and gitmo periods of our history so galling to the entire of the world.

    That would be the end of the Obama re-election hopes.
    That will never, ever, happen.

  237. 237
    Elie says:

    I can remember a couple of years ago hearing that the Army had been lowering its standards due to the difficulty of recruiting — that there had been an influx of people with white supremacist and other related gang affiliations. Do any of you remember that or is my memory inaccurate?

  238. 238
    Elie says:

    Maybe time for an update on this study?

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-i.....ng-a-brown

  239. 239
    Catsy says:

    @wilfred:

    Actually, I’m treating an imbecile with more respect than he deserves by reading the semi-literate crap he writes and asking him what he really means.

    No, you’re thoroughly beclowning yourself by making a ton of ridiculous and counterfactual assumptions about someone you demonstrably don’t know the first thing about based on a complete misreading of her comments.

    If you had the faintest idea who Hilzoy actually is and what her body of writing (especially on I-P issues) from the past decade is like, you’d be crawling back under your rock with your ears burning in humiliation at how idiotic you’ve managed to make yourself look to, well, pretty much everyone else.

    Since you obviously don’t, though, feel free to keep on the way you have–completely oblivious to how hard the rest of the blog is laughing at you, or why.

  240. 240
    wilfred says:

    @ Thymezone:

    Hm. This was my first post:

    “Nope. Time to re-visit the SURGE and the politicization of death and murder.
    Enough insipid, vapid shit. Many Americans will die because of this.
    This is what people should have been talking about.”

    But since you are a vapid, insipid shit, it went right by you.

    @ Catsy:

    Are you in the fucking 9th grade? Yes, I don’t know who Hilzey is and care less. But if you want to march your self over to my table in the cafeteria and tell me that all the kids are laughing at me, sniff, feel free.

    Beyond belief.

  241. 241
    samara morgan says:

    @aimai:

    We faced exactly the same situation with the US government agent who shot the Pakistani Intelligence Agents who were following him. We negotiated his release

    rescuing Raymond Davis plus droning has cost us Pakistan.
    interesting times.
    ;)

  242. 242
    samara morgan says:

    @wilfred: exshually no.
    Islam is a Mynard-Smith uninvadable strategy.
    nothing we do makes any difference.
    time to fold our tents and silently slip away.

  243. 243
    samara morgan says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: meh.

    this is a trend.
    collateral murder, garani massacre, fallujah massacre, haditha massacre, Iraqi Rape Squad, Afghan Kill Squad……
    10 years is just too long.
    OIF and OEF were immoral, unjust and unwinnable.
    the unwinnable part is what spawns atrocities by american troops. They are told they are there, OVERSEAS, to “help” the iraqis/afghanis, yet they daily see their comrades ungratefully turned into halal hamburger.
    do you really blame them?

  244. 244
    samara morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: yup, and THE REASON we are dicking around in A-stan STILL is that Our Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Israel is shitting bricks over our ignominous exit from Iraq.
    no permanent airbases for you Uncle Sam.

  245. 245
    Paul in KY says:

    @Soonergrunt: This is where being marched to the firing squad & executed by members of your former unit (after a courts martial) plays so much better (for those Afganis wanting justice) than being tried months later & geting to live out your worthless life in a walk-in closet.

  246. 246
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Back in the old, old days (maybe before the Civil War) that might have been a possibility. However, control over the military specifies that you must punish your own, in an accepted manner (to the other troops).

    Even though this person probably deserves it, sending him to be staked out for vultures to eat alive would set a bad precedent to the other troops (surmizing that the brass would see it that way).

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing him handed over. Might get through to some of these soldiers that exceptionally bad deeds have exceptionally bad consequences.

  247. 247
    Paul in KY says:

    @Soonergrunt: It is a lot more ‘slapping them on the wrist’ than it should be. See ‘Wuterich, Frank’ etc. etc.

  248. 248
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Excellent points. Don’t give a shit about the person who commited these crimes.

    My prayers are with the loved ones of those who were murdered.

  249. 249
    samara morgan says:

    @Paul in KY: relly Paul?
    Nine Children

    Nazim Shah returned to his home in Panjwai district from a trip to Kandahar to find his entire family killed. Sobbing into the phone, he told The Independent: “All my family is dead … We will get revenge on those who killed my family. We won’t let this rest easily.” The attack comes at a crucial time, as President Hamid Karzai and US officials, under strained relations, negotiate a future role for foreign forces after Nato troops hand over security to Afghan forces in 2014.
    __
    Witnesses and officials gave differing accounts of yesterday’s events, but it appears that the soldier, as yet unnamed, left the joint US-Afghan Zangebad base at about 3am. He walked to the villages of Balandi and Alkozai, about a kilometre away, and began the killings which left nine children, three women and four men dead. Five more were wounded.
    __
    “The US soldier attacked three different houses, killing 11 people in the first house, four in the second house and one in the third house,” said Mahammad, a tribal elder in Panjwai. “The 11 people who were first shot dead were brought together in one home and the soldier put pillows, sticks and blankets on them and burnt them.” Photographs of the victims showed burn injuries.

  250. 250
    Paul in KY says:

    @samara morgan: yes, I blame them. If you can’t stand the heat, don’t get in the fire.

    Being an armed soldier is a tough proposition. You cannot act like a barbarian freebooter. You have to be able to obey orders and restrain your primal urges.

    That is why (IMO) military discipline has generally been much harsher over the last several hundred years. You absolutely must have complete control over soldiers walking around with lethal weapons.

  251. 251
    Paul in KY says:

    @samara morgan: I don’t think you understand what I was saying there. Will wait for your apology.

  252. 252
    kdaug says:

    @Paul in KY:

    This is where being marched to the firing squad & executed by members of your former unit (after a courts martial) plays so much better (for those Afganis wanting justice) than being tried months later & geting to live out your worthless life in a walk-in closet.

    Live. On Afghani TV.

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