Terrorism of a sovereign deadly force

A soldier of an illegal US army detachment fired and murdered 16 civilians in cold blood in Afghanistan. Amongst the murdered are nice children.

US soldier’s killing spree puts Afghanistan on a knife-edge

Tensions increase as nine children among 16 shot dead by lone gunman in Zangabad village in Kandahar

US soldier detained over killing of Afghan civilians

Bodies of women and children killed by a US soldier lying in a van. Photograph: I. Sameem/EPA

A US soldier has shot dead 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children, in a night-time shooting spree in a village outside his base in southernAfghanistan, a rampage the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said was “impossible to forgive”.

The unprecedented attack on families asleep in their homes came as anti-foreign sentiment was already running high after Afghans discovered US troops had burned copies of the Qur’an at a militarybase.

That discovery prompted days of deadly violence. The killings in the early hours of Sunday morning are likely to fuel more anger across Afghanistan and raise questions in Kabul and the US about the future of an increasingly unpopular war.

About 1,000 people gathered to protest outside the Zangabad military base, in southern Kandahar province, on Sunday as the bodies were prepared for burial and news of the killings spread throughout the area, a ribbon of mud adobe compounds interspersed with pomegranate orchards, vineyards and fields of opium and marijuana.

Among the dead was a young girl in a green and red dress who had been shot in the forehead. The bodies of other victims appeared partially burned. A villager claimed they had been wrapped in blankets and set on fire by the killer.

It is not the first time that US soldiers have intentionally killed Afghan civilians but the toll is unprecedented for a single soldier. He was arrested after the assault, and appears to have made no attempt to cover up the shootings.

The commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, promised a thorough investigation. “I am absolutely dedicated to making sure that anyone who is found to have committed wrongdoing is held fully accountable,” he said, but his response is unlikely to do much to dampen the fury of Afghan officials or people.

Ustad Abdul Halim, who lives in the same village in Panjwai district, said: “It is not the first time foreigners have killed Afghans. Even if the Americans kill Karzai, they won’t be killed.” The district, a former Talibanstronghold, has seen years of heavy fighting between insurgents and coalition forces and is still volatile.

Reports that the soldier, a staff sergeant, might have suffered some kind of breakdown before embarking on his killing spree were rejected. “If the US say this man has mental problems it raises questions for them, as they don’t register anyone in their army if they have mental problems,” said a Kandahar government spokesman, Javed Faisal.

The US embassy warned of “a risk of anti-American feelings and protests in coming days, especially in eastern and southern provinces”.

Karzai, listed the dead – nine children, three women and four men – and described the killings as intentional murders that could not be forgiven. He has long criticised the western military for failing to do enough to prevent civilian casualties.

One family bore the brunt of the losses. When the gunman broke into their compound at around 3am, he killed all 11 people inside, villagers and officials said. The father of the family, Wazir, and one child survived because they were away from home.

Four people from one family, headed by a man called Fahed Jan, died along with one child from another family. Two injured children had head wounds and would struggle to survive, Faisal said.

Some villagers reported that more than one US soldier was involved, but Afghan officials and the Nato-led coalition said they believed the killer worked alone.

A string of abuses has soured attitudes to foreign military. A group of US soldiers killed three Afghan civilians for sport in 2010 in a different part of Kandahar province. In January, a video surfaced showing US marines apparently urinating on the corpses of three insurgents, and in February anger flared over the burning of the Qur’an.

The latest incident, together with the rising number of US and other coalition troops killed at the hands of Afghan security forces, has pushed ties between Karzai and his backers to a low point.

The US president, Barack Obama, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, are due to discuss UK and American plans for Afghanistan at a meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

Obama said he was deeply saddened. “I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering. This incident … does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.”

Writing in the Guardian, the shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, argues that Cameron appears to have abandoned any intensive diplomatic effort to secure a stable Afghanistan before British troops leave in 2014. He claims he “has an end-date, but still no end-state: no clear and realistic vision of what will be left behind”.

“Afghanistan is becoming Britain’s invisible conflict, yet the prime minister came to office promising Afghanistan would be his ‘number one priority’,” Alexander writes.

Mokhtar Amiri contributed to this report


If civilians kill people in small numbers, then they are called murderers. If they kill slightly more than that, then they are terrorists. They are subjected by the usual punitive code against murders. What about professional soldiers who kill unarmed non combatant civilians and children?

What laws should they be tried and if found guilty, punished?

What about their superiors, who have the fiduciary duty to the stakeholders, which include in this case diplomatic relationship?

In the past, US soldiers have killed civilians in their military engagements. No Gun Ri during the Korean War and My Lai in the Vietnam War were classical examples. During the illegal Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, US military’s cruelty on civilians were clearly demonstrated with the Abu Ghraib prison tortures.

If the Nazis during 1933-45 were globally loathed for these same reasons, why shouldn’t the world rise against the United States of America? Their acts of terrorism and cruelty have been consistently ‘re-appearing’ since sixty years ago.

There are enough evidence for the  international community strongly  must impose that it is illegal for the US to have any forms deadly force outside their own borders.

Published in: on March 12, 2012 at 05:31  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonder when will the Americans shrug off their proxy duty to the jewish lobbies …

  2. The OIC probably will have another “Oh! I see!” response. Judging from the past response and current experience with Iran,even Saudi Arabia the guardian of Islam will still continue to be the strong supporter of the great America.

  3. Apa agaknya pandangan Anwar Ibrahim? – I support all measures to protect American Security???

  4. The US so called war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq had inflicted plenty of casualties among civilians. In the beginning the US forces used airstrikes , tanks and used fire power losely. In 2003, in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq, the US bombed a civilan festive gatherings killing 13 civilians. Such madness created anger among civilians and created insurgent groups amongst populations in Iraq and also Afghanistan. Such madness created greater madness and trigger happy soldiers among the US forces. The invidents of civilians being killed had occurred from day one of the US military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The irony is there are Afghans and Iraqis who accepted US help in creating new govts there. And what do they get? Uncertainty and instability in both countries right up till today. The US thought it could simply change regimes like they changed clothes and installed those aligned to them but 10 years on, as the US pulled out, situations are still not stable and secure. And we see incidents of trigger happy US soldier treating his environment like the wild, wild west. The US forces should pull out of Afghan immediately and bring that moron and others like him to justice.

    • Wars are generating support for their weapons industry … and yet they declare themselves as champions of human rights.

      Their so-called “progress and advancement” renders them uncivilised, resorting to bully tactics, in the words of Bush “you are either with us or with them”.

      Such infantile concept from the great country.

      • Sure the US had the power and might to conduct conventional warfare with ugly names like Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2002 and Operation Iron Hammer in 2003 in Iraq. So certain of its might the US fought wars on 2 fronts for 10 straight years. That was made possible by the hardline albeit naivety of Bush and his Doctrine propped up by the more sinister Dick Cheney’s grand strategy for global leadership esp in strategic oil rich regions namely the Middle East. But at the same time its conventional weapons became obsolete in the wake of insurgency wars fought by the resistance groups in Iraq and Afghanistan. It created an assymetrical war which the US and its allies simply cannot win. They are leaving behind an Afghanistan so insecure with the raging Taliban and its sympathisers still as active as before. The assymetrical wars create a culture of madness that pervade the military and the insurgents. The civilians as usual are caught in the middle.

    • What about Syria? Homs? Not a peep from you self righteous bastards? What about the people dying there? Piss off la

      • Now, now, this son of a bitch comes out again with rude and crude words. The only way to teach this ill-mannered, kurang ajar and no upbringing pig is to give him a dose of his on medicine, Every time he comments in blogs he’d spew unpalatable words and thoughts. Making me react here in the same manner to fu.. him off hopefully permanently.

      • The Syrian “rebels” are backed and funded by the western imperialist powers through NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, etc, so I have no sympathy for them.

        For me, it’s not a matter of “self righteousness” but anti-imperialism.

  5. Correction: used fire power loosely , not losely.

  6. The region of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran has been the route of foreign conquests since ancient times. The Greeks under Alexander the Great were there over a thousand years ago. The Mongols led by the grandchildren of Genghis Khan – of China conquest and occupation fame – passed through there to ransack the then centre of civilization, Baghdad, and brought down the 500 years of Islamic glory in the 13th Century. The Russians tried the back-door attempt at widening their sphere of influence by getting into Afghanistan until thrown out by the Talibans only in recent years.

    Then the Americans, British and others under NATO tried to hold the relative peace there somewhat by the thread. Ben Laden has been shot dead but the Talibans keep disturbing the peace. US Barrack Obama had a campaign promise of taking American troops out as much as possible and he is facing re-election shortly. British David Cameron doesn’t have the means nor the political will to take over US role. And Germany doesn’t want to be stuck holding the fort if most of the others pull out.

    The Russians have not abandoned their interest in a physical presence in Afghanistan, surely. And the newly powerful Chinese must not have been oblivious to the prospect of going in where angels may have been tired out. And no vacuum can exist for long. They all know that in the game of international power politics. So, whatever the irritants in US-Afghan relations may be, the agreement that’s due to be signed with the US will get signed. The NATO presence will somehow be maintained.

    This may be a simplistic observation of the political situation in that region of frequent turmoil. Any facts and arguments suggesting a different trend for the area would be welcome.

  7. “Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said was “impossible to forgive”.

    So the US-imperialist puppet is upset by what an agent of his master did to his people.

    The US imperialists want an oil pipeline through Afghanistan, so they will try anything to get that.

    Anyway, when a member of an oppressed people fight back against the oppressor, they are called “terrorists” but when the armies and air force of an aggressor nation bomb and kill people from a safe height and distance, they are called “liberators.”

  8. Haba – very brave on the net ah? If only you could have
    Ivied your life without a 30% handycap…

    Charles – stupid logic

  9. US is real terrorist..invading many countries without being charged – Vietnam; Japan; Korea; Iraq; Afghan; Libya; Sudan; Yaman;

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