jump to navigation


Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA.

So far no explanation has been given for  why a US Army Sergeant would attack and kill civilians in Kandahar, Afghanistan. We can expect to be told that he was insane. People usually show symptoms of insanity before the breaking point.

According to Nick O’Malley in The Sydney Morning Herald, Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, has reassured the Afghan President that person involved will be brought to justice, and given previous experience that will be very assuring. Prime Minister Gillard makes the same comments she does every time soldiers are killed that “the incident was distressing but would not alter Australia’s commitment.

The report notes:

But Afghans have expressed doubt that a single soldier could have carried out the shootings in houses more than two kilometres apart.

In a statement, the Taliban said ”sick-minded American savages” committed the ”blood-soaked and inhumane crime” in two villages in Panjwai, a rural region outside Kandahar that is the cradle of the Taliban and where coalition forces have fought for control for years.

The assailant, as yet unnamed, is a 38-year-old married staff sergeant with two children. He was reportedly from the same military base in Washington State as a rogue army unit that killed Afghans for sport. The ringleader of that ”kill team”, Calvin Gibbs, was convicted four months ago of murdering Afghan civilians.

Juan Cole reports:

An Afghanistan expert asked me, “How was an armed soldier able to leave a well-defended US military base at 3 in the morning without being challenged?” “There is more,” he said darkly, “to this than meets the eye.” Another troubling question is whether it was wise to send this man on 3 Iraq rotations and one Afghan one. Wouldn’t that warp a person, that intensity of years-long combat?

Juan Cole envisages the inexorable logic of withdrawal and defeat of imperialism. He quotes a historical case.

The Qur’an-burning scandal and this soldier going berserk are in many ways tangential to the Afghanistan War, but this does not mean they are unimportant. In the history of anti-colonial struggles (which is how the anti-US forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan see the war), almost accidental minor incidents frequently became rallying cry. The Dinshaway incident in Egypt in 1906 is a famous example. Some 13 years later there were hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in the streets demanding a British departure, which was achieved in 1922.

The reporting of such matters is always somewhat deranged:


Rafael Epstein and Dylan Welch in The Sydney Morning Herald report that members of the SAS are engaged in covert activities in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.

Update: 31 March 2012

John Glaser at Antiwar.com reports on the SBS Dateline video suggesting that more than one person was involved in the massacre.

CNN summarizes the sequence of events.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: