Kandahar Massacre

Jesus:

A US soldier in Afghanistan has shot dead 15 civilians and wounded others after entering their homes in Kandahar province, Afghan and Nato sources say.

He reportedly left his base early in the morning to attack village homes. Nine children are among the dead.

Hold on to your hats. Afghanistan is really going to explode now.

It won’t matter in the long run, but I’ll note in anyway: in a decade of violent conflict, in which the distinction between friend and foe has been murky, this is the first time something like this has happened. Such incidents would have been routine for almost any other army in the world. And it is only Western nations that would and will hold a soldier accountable for this horrific act. Under the Taliban and under the rule likely to be in place after we leave, this kind of massacre is routine. The difference is that it will be their own countrymen committing murder, not foreigners. And it seems like the Afghans are OK with that.

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  1. Section8

    Well this is just horrible, and while the Koran and pissing incidents would leave me wondering why it would convince anyone to go back to the Taliban way, this won’t. No it’s going to be looked at as who would you prefer to be shot by? There is no upside.

    Obviously this guy needs full punishment, women and children? Jesus.

    We need to leave, and leave now. Staying one more year won’t do anything, and if one thing has been learned, nation building does nothing, and is a fruitless endeavor that just sucks up resources. If we must go to war, it should be justified, and I think 9/11 justified the Afghan invasion, but the goal should have been to get in and get out as quickly as possible, but then it became let’s rebuild them under a new model, and start spreading that model to other areas. That was and still is a mistake, we need to cut our losses on that idea and get out.

    Such incidents would have been routine for almost any other army in the world. And it is only Western nations that would and will hold a soldier accountable for this horrific act.

    Absolutely correct, as horrible as this is, in the history of warfare it would probably go unnoticed, but fact is, angry eyes around the world today are on us looking for any reason or excuse.

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  2. Poosh

    It’s time to accept defeat (a defeat created by the weak wills of the population) and get the hell out of there. Failure so single out the Islamic religion as the primary cause has been catastrophic. The moment we allowed Sharia into the constitutions of both Iraq and Afghanistan was the moment things went down hill. The failure to create liberal institutions that would foster a liberal mind set has been a great failure. There is much talk about winning the hearts and minds, but we have not even attempted to shape the MINDS of these people. We did so well. But we failed to cover all our bases. As usual Islamism is the primary cause. If it were any other religion in this country things would be very different.

    The best bet is to pack our things and make sure we’ve created enough divisions in that country to ensure they won’t be a terrorist base for a while – which they probably will be again, down the line in 15/30 years. Sharia is covering the middle east now.

    The West and our allies need a serious refresh of life-blood if we are to avoid being swept away.

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  3. Poosh

    IRONICALLY, if the West said these murders were retribution and punishment for the death our soldiers, we would not be subject to this inevitable anger and massed carnage that’s about to follow.

    Because they would understand we’d just kill even more of them. They can riot because they know their grievances are false.

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  4. richtaylor365

    I’m trying to remember when the Afghan war changed, from the “good” war to the unwinnable war, last year, maybe earlier. Once the free world turned a blind eye to Karzai, his corrupt government and his ever changing allegiance and left him in place, the mission was doomed.

    I saw this video a couple years ago, in the last few months I have read two separate accounts in the WSJ of retired (how else can they speak their mind?) high ranking military commanders who both said that nothing has changed, no nationalism to speak of, nothing that motivates the average Afghan soldier to become competent, and no hand over date in sight when they will be ready.

    Sometimes people deserve the government they get.

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  5. Poosh

    Sometimes people deserve the government they get.

    But is that fair? This is what I mean when I say we didn’t pay attention to the shaping of the minds in the “winning hearts and minds” thing. Consciousness to a large degree is formed by the culture – did we at all attempt to change the culture? Not really. If you or I were born in a shitty village with no means of having the thoughts that westerners enjoy daily, would we be so different? If you’re taught that women are lower than males and your entire culture is framed with that assumption, are you really *to blame* for your actions? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    If you’re not demonstrated reason, logic and taught that all things western are evil – including secularism – and don’t have the language or culture to even challenge that position, then one is really stuck with no way out.

    That’s not to excuse Islamist-terrorism. Many Islamic terrorists are highly educated people, university educated etc. but for the bulk of the peasants in Afghanistan, they’re not even given the language that one might use to challenge the thoughts impressed into their minds via their culture.

    But liberalism teaches that all cultures are equal and worthy of the same dignity, so perhaps we were defeated before that first ship set sail for the middle east.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    You know, I’m sure the Chomsky wing of the Left is going to jump all over this as yet more proof that American soldiers are baby-killers and monsters. But it always bears repeating that (1) these things can happen in war; if you don’t like it, don’t go to war; (2) the United States has done more than any other nation to minimize these kinds of incidents and punish those who commit them. The reason we remember names likes My Lai and Haditha and Chenogne is that they are so rare. In countries like China and Germany and the former Soviet Union, no one would remember these names because there would be no reason to distinguish them from the hundreds of other incidents.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    Employing the 48 hour ‘smell test’ to this disturbing incident may be helpful (from a blogger perspective).
    As everyone here has said this isn’t typical behavior for an American fighting man. And from personal experience the heat of battle not the dark of night triggers this type of heinous response.

    Asking questions like who was this soldier, what is his history, where is he from culturally, socially, even politically. Of course we won’t ask his race because that would just be … racist but so far we have no indication as to the who, what or why. That bothers me, especially so soon after the Quran burnings, and the Taliban pissings just before that, or the…

    I’m sure I’ll just be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist by the ‘usual suspects’ tho.

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  8. mrblume

    (2) the United States has done more than any other nation to minimize these kinds of incidents and punish those who commit them. The reason we remember names likes My Lai and Haditha and Chenogne is that they are so rare.

    Please. Yes, the modern United States military has done very well in that respect, and better than many (not that it should get too much credit, because there is always a certain taken-for-grantedness in doing the right thing, even if everyone else is doing the wrong thing). But that’s no reason to retreat to some exceptionalism defense.

    The reason you remember these names are 1) as an American, you are more likely to be informed about the events and 2) they were significant enough to stand out.

    Plenty of war crimes by individual American soldiers have been documented that are not attached to a mnemonic name, and plenty of massacres by other nations are well known, precisely because the stand out.

    The Wikipedia Massacre list has 6 entries for Nazi Germany by my count, which is far from “in the hundreds” (though some considerably worse than My Lai).

    Finally, let’s not pretend that the US military as an organization, like any other, does not have every incentive to sweep things under the rug wherever possible, and in many of the incidents that are known, it is clear that they did attempt to do so. Without a doubt, a lot of people, on this blog as well, would even defend this on national security grounds.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    I’m trying to remember when the Afghan war changed, from the “good” war to the unwinnable war, last year, maybe earlier.

    It was shortly after Obama decided to fuck the generals over and not give them what they needed.

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  10. Kimpost

    Nation building in Afghanistan was always going to be unimaginably difficult. It’s difficult to win hearts and minds of people in such an undeveloped region. And to be keep their hearts and minds, when you fail to even protect the converts. I think that we need to step back, and start working Afghanistan from other angles. I’m sure there are good forces there. Find them, help them in establishing havens, if the Afghani government wants them. Let’s be generous to refugees. We can still give some targeted humanitarian aid. Eventually, even a place as fucked up as Afghanistan will come around. It might just take a decade or eight.

    Asking questions like who was this soldier, what is his history, where is he from culturally, socially, even politically. Of course we won’t ask his race because that would just be … racist but so far we have no indication as to the who, what or why. That bothers me, especially so soon after the Quran burnings, and the Taliban pissings just before that, or the…

    I’m sure I’ll just be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist by the ‘usual suspects’ tho.

    Hi, usual suspect here.

    I’m sure all those questions are being asked, as part of the normal investigation. What we seem to know now, is that there was some kind of melt down involved prior to this. And that he handed himself over. Not much to go on, yet you are already implying that this could be some kind of liberal plot aiming towards something unclear…? Perhaps to getting US troops out of there, even though that’s already been decided? Fuck if I know. Yes, that is some crazy conspiracy theory driven shit.

    Employing the 48 hour ‘smell test’ to this disturbing incident may be helpful

    Absolutely, yet you couldn’t help yourself…

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    Not much to go on, yet you are already implying that this could be some kind of liberal plot aiming towards something unclear…? Perhaps to getting US troops out of there, even though that’s already been decided?

    I made no such implications. Or assumptions.

    What I did say was:

    as to the who, what or why. That bothers me, especially so soon after the Quran burnings, and the Taliban pissings just before that, or the…

    But rant on, evidently it’s your assumption of my view.

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  12. Poosh

    As a westerner, you know, this is pretty horrible and evil.

    But for the Muslim world who pretends to be outraged – go fuck yourselves.

    You don’t bat an eye lid when an Islamic suicide bomber kills women and children.

    And you didn’t give a fuck when that Pali slime killed those Israeli kids in a similar manner (though I believe he did it with a knife) – sneaked into their homes and killed them.

    These fuckers don’t give a fuck about the actual deaths. The girls who were murdered were only going to live a life on enslavement anyway. So, go fuck yourselves, with the false claim that you’re outraged. You’re only uppset that an American did the killing instead of yourselves.

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