Killing Afghans, ‘Pakis’, Iraqis, Somalis…WHY???!!!
Updated March 13, 2012…
When the news of a US soldier going out to kill Afghans, first broke, American media were focusing on TWO deaths even as they also reported that the Afghanis were saying about 17 had been killed. Almost immediately other diffusers and excuses began to pour forth, giving “News Coverage” a new meaning.
The New York Times can STILL not bring itself to report the 16 murders without offering some softening words; in the headline, the US soldier is said to kill civilians even as NYT goes on to describe what the soldier (from our Puget Sound area) did:
New York Times: “U.S. Sergeant Is Said to Kill 16 Civilians in Afghanistan”
- “…the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses. The man gathered 11 bodies, including those of 4 girls younger than 6, and set fire to them, villagers said.”
As if to justify the murders or at least, to minimize the tragedy, Super-Patriot, Angry-Bird John McCain shamelessly shifted the focus to 9-11 instead of offering even a few grudging words of regret or sympathy.
“We should not forget that the attacks on the United States of America originated in Afghanistan,” Senator John McCain told CNN. Inferring of course, that a few deaths of the unwashed, here or there, should not be a cause for concern.
PTSD! Some exclaimed (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
One psychologist from Oregon noted that the Staff Sergeant had served THREE tours of duty in Afghanistan (what else to expect?).
Coffee Strong, a coffee house for veterans and a peace activist business near JBLM, organized a vigil close to the base, against the murders, but cancelled the event because they did not wish to be seen as “unpatriotic” and they did not wish to “target a soldier” (the unnamed perpetrator).
So much for peace and justice.
I looked at numerous reports of the murders, but could not find the Staff Sergeant’s name noted in any reports as of this writing. In Contrast, Maj. Nidal Hassan of the Fort Hood notoriety, had his name, his faith and re-configured aspects of his life plastered all over the media before the echoes of his gunshots had barely died down. Who is to say Maj. Hassan’s state of mind was any different from this Staff Sergeant’s state of mind?
We will probably agree that both men broke down mentally. In such a case, each attacked the people who in his mind, represented the threat to people like himself; The unnamed soldier attacked Afghans because he had been trained to regard them as “the enemy”. Maj. Hassan attacked soldiers because he was counseling returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan who, in all likelihood, told him about the terrible things they saw or did against the Iraqis and Afghans (Muslims).
On March 13, a Lieutenant Colonel from the same base, was arraigned on charges that he was planning to blow up the Capitol building in Olympia (Washington state) and of hiring a gunman to kill his estranged wife. Already we are hearing “reasons” why he was mentally-deranged.
Maj. Hassan was treated as mentally competent and sentenced as a murderer, the Colonel is already being positioned as not being in charge of his mental faculties; no bets on how the unnamed soldier is treated.
It appears to me that everyone is so anxious to do their patriotic bit and to Support and Defend the Troops, that even acknowledging a bad deed done by the troops, is a terrible thing to do. This was evident after the Soldiers urinated on dead Afghans that they had killed; thought-leaders in the US were falling over themselves to again, Support and Defend the Troops. Republican Presidential candidates even took to criticizing Obama for apologizing for the behavior of the US soldiers who urinated on the dead Afghans.
Okay, so just what should be done, what should have been done?
The first order of the day would be to apologize profusely, repeatedly and sincerely, for the murders committed by a US soldier…without any qualifiers, without any hearkening to US soldiers who have also been killed in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan need to know that America regrets this act, America sympathizes and America cares.
The 800 Kg gorilla on the table needs to be recognized.
If soldiers are trained to believe that Islam and Muslims pose the greatest threat to the US and to the world and if they are trained to believe that the only language the Afghans will understand is violence…
…if they are told that we are there to help the people of Afghanistan who are ungrateful enough to just want to kill us…
…if they see their comrades being injured and killed in doing what they believe, is the GOOD cause…
Are they not likely to view all Muslims, all Afghans, as mindless animals who are just going to destroy America and will continue to kill their comrades? Are they not likely to believe that only the language of the gun will calm things down?
We are sending entire cadres of soldiers who sincerely believe the propaganda that Afghanistan is responsible for 9-11 and that is why we are in Afghanistan.
These soldiers sincerely believe that they are doing GOOD deeds by being in Afghanistan and they are bringing “Freedom” and “Democracy” to these ungrateful people.
These soldiers have been trained to believe that there is endless violence in the Quran, that forces Afghans and Muslims, to kill the “Unbeliever” no matter where he is.
Under such circumstances, it should not be astonishing that even slight pressures will bring the worst out in our soldiers and a lot of pressure will bring out the unimaginable in them. Most of the horrors perpetrated by US forces in Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and others) goes unnoticed because in war, a lot of the victors misdeeds are overlooked even by their superiors.
At some point in time and I hope it is soon, America needs to urgently examine the training being imparted to our soldiers and to our law-enforcement agencies and to take immediate and urgent measures to stop all anti-Muslim, anti-Islam training.
The immediate next step is to urgently de-brainwash our soldiers, our Police, our FBI and all other security arms and the make sure these men and women target their actions against crimes, not against a certain group of people such (today) as the Muslims.
To get to this point of healing, we need political leadership that are willing to grab this bouquet of nettles in their bare hands and lead. Tragically, on one hand, we have the Teapublicans who have nailed their colors to the mast of Islamophobia and hate. On the other hand, we have the Democrats who are too gutless to take bold stands because they don’t want to risk being voted out of office.
How and when can we Muslims expect to be treated as equals and expect that attacks against us will not remain an institutionalized policy?
I rather think this is something in the hands of Muslims; unless Muslims get involved in the body politic of this country and unless we start to act together in the defense of our common concerns, the recognition we will get will not be one of respect but one of an outsider (“Why don’t you go back where you came from?”) and a threat.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire