Wednesday, 14 March 2012

How do you solve a problem like.....A US soldier going on a killing spree an Afghan village

Not an easy question to answer is it?

Today I read that the US soldier who went on a killing spree in Zangabad village in Afghanistan was flown back to the US today.

He shot dead 16 civilians, 9 who are children (according to this guardian article, the numbers vary between articles you read).
The eye-witness reports state that it happened at night when people where sleeping.  Some bodies were found burnt, with bullet holes in the foreheads/faces etc.

I'll spare you the rest of the gory details, I'm sure you've all seen/read/heard about it via the news on your TV/radio/internet or word of mouth of whatever.

Firstly, I'll make clear to point out that my feelings towards this individual do not represent how I feel about all US soldiers.
I know that it is not fair to paint a group of people with the same brush, especially in a case like this.

But this is not the first time we've heard about US soldiers acting undutifully (e.g. the pics/videos of soldiers peeing on dead Taliban members  Fair enough they're not the nicest guys in the world, but seriously? have some respect).

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

There is never a good time to go on a random village killing spree, but when tensions are already high after it was discovered that US troops burnt copies of the Qur'an at a military base, then this just adds to the massive pile of poop that is the resentment and anger felt between the troops and the afghan people.

Afghans have vowed to get revenge for these unjust deaths.  I Sincerely hope that they can find some kind of peaceful way to protest or get their point across to the world.
Responding with violence will just add to this painful never ending circle.

Now this soldier who committed this horrible crime, is being flown back to the US, obviously for his own safety and blah blah.

But since the crimes where committed on Afghan soil, shouldn't the problem be resolved officially, like by NATO in Hague or wherever the official place of carrying out the trial would be by whoever should deal with it?

More importantly, doesn't this tell the American government that it's time to pull their troops out of this bullshit war and send them home, where they belong.

If it's getting to the point where soldiers who are supposed to 'serve and protect' can't distinguish real life threats from innocent civilian, then it's really saying something about the frame of mind and mental health of these soldiers.

Please don't get me wrong.  I am not undermining the work that these brave people do.  I mean I can't imagine putting myself in the position that these people do.  But seriously, the government need to start asking themselves what we've been asking ourselves these last 11 years,
'What the flying f**k is the point anymore?'

Fair do's.  International intervention by the US, UK and other countries have limited the Taliban and there ridiculously strict rule, but even the most liberal of Afghanis are resenting the occupation of their country.

The deep rooted cultural problems that are present in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq etc. are not going to disappear and magically resolve with the presence of US and UK military.  
It's a problem that can only be resolved by the Afghan people themselves.  

And I quickly want to highlight the differences between culture and religion.
Half of the stuff the Taliban and other extremist Islamic groups implement are NOT islamic.  
Islam does not forbid women from leaving the house/working
it does not force women to hide their faces behind veils, this is something that is optional and is something a woman can do if she chooses to do so, but it is not obligatory. 

I could go on for ages but that's a whole other post for another time.

Back to the point....which was......hmmmm

Ah, yes.  I think this is clear evidence that it is time for the US and UK to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.  I'm pretty sure the family of these soldiers want them home safe and sound, and seriously, it cannot be good for these soldiers mental health to be living on edge 24/7.  

That's just my opinion anyway.
I don't fully get why troops went in the first place, but oh well.  What's done is done now.

This kind of leads me to the show 'Homeland' that's on C4 at the moment.
you guys been watching it? I think it's been aired in the states a while back, right?
It's only been aired in the UK recently, I think the 4th episode was this week.
It is sooooooo good! Very interesting.  I'm not really a big drama fan, but the story is very unusual and so makes for good viewing.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, It's about a US soldier who has just been released as a prisoner of war after 8 years by some extremist islamic group (I think they're based in Afghanistan), and a CIA agent played by Claire Danes suspects him of being 'turned' whilst in captivity, as she got some inside info when she spend some time in Baghdad.  
So the series is based on her unravelling whether he really has turned and is an enemy of the state, which, by the way the show is going, looks to be true!  So she goes to all lengths and measures, breaking rules and laws to prove that this guy is a terrorist like she suspects.  

Like I've said, I've only seen up to the 4th episode (or 5th maybe?), but I'm guessing he is a terrorist but before he goes through with his plan of blowing up the white house or whatever, his love for his country and what he stands for returns, and he doesn't go through with it or something.   

Too predictable? ah well, I'll have to wait and see :D

'Going nowhere fast, we've reached our climax'
describes the presence of soldiers in Afghanistan?

eh, either way, good tune. 



  1. I hadn't heard this story actually. I need to keep another eye on the news. It's not a good thing to happen at all, and while they should bring everyone home, I don't see it happening any time soon. If the guy had done three tours though, and they had never caught that he had the capacity to do this, something has gone wrong somewhere.

    1. Agreed, a huge blip on their radar to miss that.

  2. With the kind of pressure these troops are under on a daily basis it seems inevitable that some of them will crack. I agree the troops should be brought home. If there is American military on the scene they would be more effective if they were "invisible" (i.e. speical forces and advisers rather than combat troops)...having occupying troops on the ground just aggravates the Afghan people. It seems like the United Sates could still help the Afghanistan government in other ways that make more strategic sense than having so many troops there. The troops are clearly under too much if you can't put them in a situation where they can succeed, just bring them home.

    1. Agreed, agreed and agreed. People are at breaking point now. No good :(

  3. I didn't even want to comment, I am so embarrassed. There's nothing I can say, but still feel the need to apologize. I don't understand why this happened anymore than the next person.

    1. Hey don't apologies, there's always someone who has to go and misrepresent a bunch of people. Happens in every country culture and creed unfortunately :( i just think this story in particular shows that the army's presence isn't doing any side either good

  4. I think, when you have time, you could do a piece in a-raw-deal, perhaps debunking some of the myths that pertain to women and Islam. Most of the images we see are a kind of western propaganda against Islam, when it is inherently untrue. Yes there are organisations such as the Taliban, al Qaida etc that clearly aim to falsely subjugate women to a curious male stereotyping exercise. It horrifies me that we as Muslims allow these people to go unchallenged, yet at the same time it encourages me that there are women out there in places like Afghanistan, and dare I say Pakistan, who, at great risk to their safety, continue to campaign for women's rights as enshrined in the Noble Quran... There's a mission for you, go for it girl and do us proud!

    1. I'd love to do a piece on A-Raw-Deal about that! Again I apologies for the neglect, but once uni's over I shall try to contribute as much as I can :)
      It's true there are many brave women out there trying to spread the correct mission, I shall do my best to highlight such! Amnesty international are brilliant at that kind of thing in Afghanistan.

  5. It looks like the us soldier has lost the plot & hit the point of total craziness...whatever his reasons to go on this killing spree they were innocent civillians & mainly children so it was a loss of innocent lives...what was he trying to prove by this...maybe we will get some answers from him....

    1. I know. I hope he's punished justly and isn't just let off with a small punishment.

  6. You have a great point here. If a foreigner did that here in the US, our government would spend any amount of money to seek them out and bring them to the US for justice. In this case our government thinks it's "their" place to decide justice in a foreign land.

    The Mi Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass murder of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, by United States Army soldiers of "Charlie" Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division. Most of the victims were women, children (including babies), and elderly people. Some of the bodies were later found to be mutilated. While 26 US soldiers were initially charged with criminal offenses for their actions at Mi Lai, only Second Lieutenant William Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but only served three and a half years under house arrest.

    Where was the justice?

    1. Exactly, this kind of thing would not be tolerated if it happened anywhere else.

      Omg I had no ideas about the Mi Lai Masssacre! He horrific :(
      It's unbearable that people don't receive the punishment they deserve, it leaves them thinking what they did was fine!!

  7. It kind of pisses me off because that was a village that Canadian soldiers worked hard in to gain the trust of the villagers and they spent years there.

    And guess who messes it up. :\

    1. Ahhh really? I had no idea about the Canadian presence there.
      Takes one person to destroy years of hard work in a single moment. Crazy huh?