ONTD Political

Taliban vow revenge for US soldier's attack on Afghans

8:57 am - 03/12/2012
Statement on website promises revenge for 'every single martyr', as questions are raised about military mission in Afghanistan

Afghans gather outside a Nato base to protest at the killing of civilians by a US soldier, in the Panjwai district in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Taliban have vowed to take revenge for a US soldier's "barbaric" killing of 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday morning, as Afghan lawmakers called for the American to be tried in a court in Afghanistan.

The murderous spree has prompted western and Afghan questions about the military mission in Afghanistan, and is likely to complicate efforts to seal a much-delayed strategic pact laying out the basis for US military presence and financial support after combat troops leave in 2014.

Funeral services were held in the victims' villages on Monday, and a presidential delegation arrived in nearby Kandahar city ahead of a larger memorial service, as the Taliban said in a statement on their website that they would "take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr".

The streets of Afghanistan were quiet, despite fears of a repeat of the violence that broke out in February when US forces were found to have burned copies of the Qur'an. Dozens of Afghans died in riots, and six US soldiers were shot dead by Afghan forces they served alongside.

But protests could erupt later; snow in Kabul may have kept some people at home and news can take days to spread in a country where electricity is limited outside urban centres and internet access an elite luxury.

US leaders, including President Barack Obama and General John Allen, the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, have rushed to express condolences over the killings of mostly women and children, and promised a thorough investigation. But many Afghans said they had little confidence in US justice.

"When Americans make a mistake here, at first they apologise, and promise investigations, but then there is no news and no results," said an editorial in Sokhan-e-Jadid, or New Word, newspaper.

"It was the same with the case of the burning of the holy Qur'an, even though Karzai put strong pressure on the foreigners."

Parliamentarians called for a trial in Afghanistan to answer some of these concerns. It is almost certain to be refused by the US military, but the attack is stirring up questions about the immunity of foreign soldiers from Afghan prosecutions, already a sticking point in talks on a strategic pact, and something that contributed to the departure of US troops from Iraq.

"The people who were involved in killing civilians have to be punished in front of the Afghan people, this is the desire of the Wolesi Jirga [parliament], for the Afghan government to follow this case and bring them to court," a spokesman for the lower house said after the day's session.

The scale of the rampage shocked the west, because although there have been far larger death tolls from air strikes in Afghanistan, they have been accepted in foreign troops' home countries as tragic mistakes rather than deliberate massacres.

But many Afghans saw it instead as part of a larger pattern of intentional killings by foreign forces. The villages were just a few dozen miles from where a group of US soldiers in 2010 killed three Afghan civilians for sport.

"This is not the first time they have committed such crimes. If you look around the country, maybe every month or every week such a crime happens in the countryside, but most of the time we don't hear about that," said Waheed Tanha, a 33-year-old, medical student at Kabul University.

"This is not the work of a soldier, this is not the work of a madman, it is the work of their government and we don't need the Americans in our country anymore."

The killings are likely to complicate the west's already difficult ties with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who has long criticised the Nato-led coalition for failing to prevent civilian casualties.

However, anger over the incident may also strengthen Karzai's hand as he tries to reach agreement with Washington about the last major obstacle to a strategic deal, night-time raids on Afghan homes.

Karzai says the raids do more harm than good and must end before he will sign a strategic pact, but western generals say they cannot beat the insurgency without them. Sunday's killings are almost certain to make more sensitive the question of western troops' presence in Afghan homes.

4eyedblonde 12th-Mar-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Well that's just fantastic
corroded_tears 12th-Mar-2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yuuup. I have a feeling that this will end well.
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Afghan lawmakers called for the American to be tried in a court in Afghanistan.

Wish this would actually happen. No less than these murderers deserve.
doverz 12th-Mar-2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
That would be nice. Bet you anything the number of murders like this would drop drastically.
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Being held accountable for your actions *gasp* actually works wonders.
doverz 12th-Mar-2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Not to mention the sentence in Afghanistan for this would probably be 1,000,000x worse than what they would get in the US if actually tried.
bellichka 12th-Mar-2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
It's just all that black-and-white, isn't it? I'm sure PTSD and the fact that troops are serving 2, 3, 4 tours in combat zones has *nothing* to do with it. They're just cold-blooded killers who deserve to die themselves!!
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying that there aren't incidences of that. There are plenty. And people who do things like this based on mental disturbance like that, deserve treatment and sympathy.

But the people who burn the Korans and many people who do go on these killing sprees, do not have that. They've mentally dehumanized innocent people and they should be punished for murdering them.
yeats 13th-Mar-2012 03:37 am (UTC)
i feel like this article is especially even-handed... was there something in particular you objected to, or just the idea that criminal acts committed in wartime should be treated as such?
bellichka 13th-Mar-2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
The article definitely is, the comments here, not so much. I may be particularly sensitive to the issue considering that my best friend is an Iraq vet with PTSD, but I think it's very easy for us to simply paint the shooters as war criminals, etc., from the comfort of our living rooms. A large number of us simply have no idea what our soldiers are actually going through... we're asking them to serve two, three, four times in high-stress combat zones, and then we're surprised when they snap? If anything we should be decrying the military war machine and its inability to offer proper mental health screening & services, not the soldiers who are pushed to their breaking points and then snap.

But, that's just my opinion. Is it possible whoever did this is just an asshole? Sure. But I personally think there's more two it than that, and it's not always as black-and-white as it seems. Like I said, though, it's an issue I'm particularly sensitive to, so I might just not be seeing things clearly. I hope this all makes sense, though.
bellichka 13th-Mar-2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
more to* it
hera_bearrra 13th-Mar-2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
The only problem I have with the PTSD argument is when we ONLY apply it to American soldiers. It seems to me like whenever Afghans do something to our soldiers, we can't really come up with an explanation. But when soldiers commit atrocities, we use the PTSD argument. The reality probably is that a lot of Afghans are also suffering from PTSD or some sort of psychological problem. But there seems to be less sympathy for Afghans when something goes wrong.

I have limited knowledge of PTSD but can it drive a soldier to systematically murder women and children in their homes? I feel like whatever is going on with this guy, it's more than just PTSD.
bellichka 14th-Mar-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
I have limited knowledge of PTSD but can it drive a soldier to systematically murder women and children in their homes? Among other things, yes. And I wholeheartedly agree that it's very problematic that we only apply the PTSD argument to American soldiers.
d00ditsemily 14th-Mar-2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
My husband has some mental illness issues from his time in so far in the military, and he still thinks that this guy should be charged as a murderer, since he is one.
bellichka 14th-Mar-2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
And that's definitely a valid opinion. I personally have not heard enough about this case, specifically what the Marine did, to make a judgment or a blanket statement. What may be valid for one soldier is not necessarily valid for another. I'd just like to find out more about his actions, as well as his history - all I've heard about that is that it's his fourth tour (three in Iraq, one in Afghanistan), which imho speaks volumes.
chaya 12th-Mar-2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
On top of everything else, I'm sure the Afghan people feel extra loved getting defended by a group that has no problems murdering them for their own agenda.
benihime99 12th-Mar-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Such a wonderful news.
Why do I have the feeling that the taliban don't really care for the victims and only used them as an excuse???
Really this kind of retaliation won't end things and will only make them worst.
Drag those soldiers to court, judge them and show to everyone that there's some justice and hope.
theguindo 12th-Mar-2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Why do I have the feeling that the taliban don't really care for the victims and only used them as an excuse???

Because that's absolutely correct.
pluckedflowers 12th-Mar-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Let's spare the moralizing here. If there were any justice to be had, Afghanistan wouldn't be under military occupation.
benihime99 12th-Mar-2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much a given
girly123 12th-Mar-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Why are we still over there?
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
1. White Savior Complex
2. Western Imperialism/Colonialism
3. Strategic military placement for future incursions into other ME countries
4. Proximity to oil-rich turrurist countries
5. Brown people

Feel free to add anything I missed.
benihime99 12th-Mar-2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure to understand n°5.
What do you mean by "brown people"?
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
Ah sorry, by that I meant "the institutional dehumanization of poc by the American Imperialist conscious." Because the Afghani people are not white, they do not get as much sympathy, if not being outright villainized according to racist dogma.
benihime99 12th-Mar-2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh ok.
I thought you meant something like that but I wasn't sure.
Then, I think you can add the religion factor maybe.
jettakd 12th-Mar-2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, religion definitely plays a factor as well, I agree.

Basically it's just tactics of dehumanization used, including racism and Islamaphobia, in order to further an imperialist military industrial complex.
kyra_neko_rei 12th-Mar-2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
6. Full funding no-questions-asked for the bloated military budget.
7. Steady supply of Republican talking points for future elections.
8. I'm-not-sexist-but cred regarding the treatment of women over there.
9. Out of the same hole, why-are-you-complaining-about-conditions-here cred regarding the treatment of women over there.
10. Increased distrust of Muslims in America which feeds othering narratives of various conservative agendas.
11. Potential for terrorist attacks on American soil creating excuses and market for oppressive security measures here.
roguebelle 12th-Mar-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
I want to compress "I'm-not-sexist-but cred regarding the treatment of women over there" to just plain butt cred, and it shall be my new phrase. No, you're just using butt cred. Credentials that you pulled out of your butt.

kyra_neko_rei 13th-Mar-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
The giant shit I took earlier finds this offensive.
doverz 12th-Mar-2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Just wonderful.

It would be awesome if the soldier(s) responsible for this were tried in an Afghan court. Bet you anything that if this started happening more frequently that the number of murders like this would drop drastically.
kyra_neko_rei 12th-Mar-2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
ook 12th-Mar-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Bet the soldier who is the accused murderer is still treated better than Bradley Manning. >:|
doverz 12th-Mar-2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
You betcha. I'll go even as far to say that the probability of the accused murderer not actually getting punished is fairly high.
kyra_neko_rei 12th-Mar-2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
Tell the world about the murder of civilians, get locked up, tortured, and charged with treason.

Commit the murder of civilians, get held for a few months and let off after the furor has died down.

And people wonder why they don't welcome us with flowers.
kyra_neko_rei 12th-Mar-2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
I have no problem whatsoever with handing the person(s) who pulled the trigger over to an Afghan court.

And I know this statement is kind of borked a bit by it being two different countries, but how about somebody prosecutes the assholes who stoned those emo teens the other day in exchange?
angelus7988 12th-Mar-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I believe the stonings in Iraq were done with the blessing of the Interior Ministry, so it's unlikely that anyone other than the kids being attacked will face legal repercussions.
kyra_neko_rei 13th-Mar-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's part of why the two-different-countries thing makes it a problem. If they were Afghani instead, somebody could say "Prosecute these guys, and we'll give you this guy."

Wouldn't, of course, but could.
pluckedflowers 12th-Mar-2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Well I know for certain that if my country was under military occupation and something like this happened, I would send the occupiers cupcakes and roses and ask them real nicely to consider maybe putting the person on trial. Cuz, you know, that's sensible.
londonsquare 12th-Mar-2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Give him over to the Afghan court. He killed fucking innocent CHILDREN and other civilians (for reasons we currently don't know, but let's face it, they are not good ones no matter how you look at it).

When you kill someone on the soil of another country you become their business and their criminal.

But I'm sure the American government and military will call him insane and take pity on him and give him a slap on the wrists and give him a discharge.

It's this kind of shit that infuriates me and it's no wonder why people over there and in other countries hate our country.
very_veggie 12th-Mar-2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
January--a video surfaces showing American troops urinating on the bodies of dead Afghan soldiers.

February--American troops burn copies of the Koran.

March--an American soldier goes on a shooting spree, killing 16 civilians.

Really, I'm amazed the Afghan people aren't rioting.
elobelia 12th-Mar-2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Probably because we'd "accidentally" murder them and then "accidentally" piss on their corpses. Sigh.
jugglingeggs 13th-Mar-2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
This. I also heard on the radio that there *are* riots going on in Afghanistan, calling for the soldier to be tried there and not be sent back to "land of the free" where he will be just set free after a few weeks of jail time.
tabaqui 12th-Mar-2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
This whole thing makes me sick. Are we deliberately *trying* to start another war? Or goad someone into another attack so we can *then* start another war? Just...wtf? Give him to the Afghan courts. And if that's totally off the table, then have his trial *now*, publicly, and punish him to the fullest extent. Just - fucking hell.

The scale of the rampage shocked the west, because although there have been far larger death tolls from air strikes in Afghanistan, they have been accepted in foreign troops' home countries as tragic mistakes rather than deliberate massacres.

'tragic mistakes'? Utter bullshite.

And the original report I read said there were several soldiers, not just one. When did that change?
mdemvizi 13th-Mar-2012 12:07 am (UTC)
Let me just say that I am glad my brother is out of there. He might have to go back in October but crossing my fingers he makes it through SF.

I am just outraged by all of this crap.
grazie 13th-Mar-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
I just can't even fucking believed this happened, so SOON after the burning. What the FUCK.
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