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US Soldier Kills Afghan Civilians in Kandahar

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When people in interfaith meetings and mosque open houses question why do they hate us, do they forget that Afghans have been suffering for a decade under the US invasion. As news after news of massacres, and collateral damage blip through our newsfeeds. This latest massacre makes every motherly cell in my body weep. These were small children, little girls, toddlers killed point blank and then burned, incinerated much like the copies of the Quran that were burnt a few weeks ago. The official story is that there was on lone soldier in a NATO uniform who entered the homes in two separate village 2 km away from each other.

Update: Rueters reports that ‘Several drunk troops [were] behind bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses’. Haji Samad lost all of his 11 relatives in the rampage, including children and grandchildren. He claims Marines “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”

 

“We have benefited little from the foreign troops here but lost everything – our lives, dignity and our country to them,”said Haji Najiq, a Kandahar shop owner.

Related Articles

Why Not a Massacre Tribunal in Afghanistan?

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An arrest, a presidential apology, local outrage and anger, a plea for calm and the promise of investigations — that’s the usual rapid-reaction scenario after incidents like the apparent slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, 9 of them children, by an American sergeant.

What is almost never considered, however, is a trial of the perpetrator in the country where the crime took place. It’s one of the reasons the United States “unjoined” the International Criminal Court and forces other countries to sign bilateral agreements that protect American soldiers from prosecution abroad.

But is a trial in situ really so crazy — as a kind of soft-power diplomacy, as a kind of calming outreach to countries where the United States has a substantial military presence? Why not a joint military tribunal or a combined court-martial by U.S. forces and the Afghan National Army?

Prince Abdul Ali Seraj, president of the National Coalition for Dialogue With the Tribes of Afghanistan, said Sunday that “the only way to calm the nerves as soon as possible is to hand this person over to the Afghan government to be tried under Afghan law.’’

“If they are to take this person out of Afghanistan to the United States in order to try him there, I think it’s not going to satisfy the people here,’’ Mr. Seraj said in a video interview on Al Jazeera.

Read rest here

Residents of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which 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. At least 5 people were injured.

While some Afghans had speculated that helicopter-borne troops were involved, a senior American diplomat told a meeting of diplomats from allied countries on Monday morning that the gunman had acted alone, walking first to a village and then to a cluster of houses some 500 yards away. He returned to the base and is in custody. He is to face charges under the military justice system, officials said. Helicopters and other troops arrived only after the shooting, the diplomat said, and the helicopters evacuated the wounded.

A senior American military official said the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a major Army and Air Force installation near Tacoma, Wash., and that he had been part of what is called a village stabilization operation. In those operations, teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

Panjwai, a rural district near the city of Kandahar, was traditionally a Taliban stronghold. It was a focus of the United States military offensive in 2010 and was the scene of heavy fighting. Two American soldiers were killed by small-arms fire in Panjwai on March 1, and three died in a roadside bomb attack in February. Read rest here

 

Afghan Youth recounts US soldier entering his home

Here is a rather privileged article from The Atlantic about how the west ” should try to understand what led the rogue sergeant to murder 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday, and maybe even apply the same empathy to Afghan acts of terror.”

It would not be easy for Americans to humanize an Afghan terrorist, and it would especially hard to empathize with his crime. But we’ve done exactly this with school shooters for years, and we will do it with Sunday’s as-yet-unnamed rogue soldier, because we seem to understand that we have a responsibility to learn from what happened, however painful the process may be. Maybe it’s time for us to try to understand the Afghans — or even the Pakistanis or Iraqis or others — who have committed similar senseless acts. If we did, we might not like what we found, but we would be better off for knowing. And so, one suspects, would they. Read rest here

 

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Hena Zuberi is the Editor in Chief of Muslimmatters.org. She leads the DC office of the human rights organization, Justice For All, focusing on stopping the genocide of the Rohingya under Burma Task Force, advocacy for the Uighur people with the Save Uighur Campaign and Free Kashmir Action. She was a Staff Reporter at the Muslim Link newspaper which serves the DC Metro. Hena has worked as a television news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and World Television News. Active in her SoCal community, Hena served as the Youth Director for the Unity Center. Using her experience with Youth, she conducts Growing Up With God workshops. hena.z@muslimmatters.org Follow her on Twitter @henazuberi.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Rickmonk52

    March 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    in my opinion, that u.s soldier that would kill innocent children and women and men should be turned over to the taliban and let them cut his head off

    • anonymous

      March 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Victory to the Mujahideen

  2. ZAI

    March 13, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    A completely, inhumane and barbaric act.
    However, totally insincere for Muslims or Muslim organizations, websites, etc. to highlight this yet remain TOTALLY silent about the fact that the Taliban and their Pakistani allies do this EVERY DAY as well.

    I’m an Afghan, and outraged by this…but I cannot ignore the fact that there is almost total silence from fellow Muslims when it comes to the Talibs and Pakistan doing the same to Afghan civilians, and that is EQUALLY outrageous.

    This picking and choosing becomes political…rather than about the universal ethics/morality of humanity as a whole and Islam is particular. Afghan people are caught between a rock and a hard place…On one hand NATO/US and on the other Taliban/Pakistan, and sincerity would be to mention and highlight BOTH whenever it happens…

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      March 13, 2012 at 1:33 AM

       Dear @88555d693c563a77dec8462bc9d18750:disqus

      I think if you look you will see several posts highlighting the terrorism being committed by extremists in Pakistan and elsewhere.

      -Aly

      • ZAI

        March 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        Dear Aly,
             My brother, Muslim news organizations, websites, etc. are very selective when it comes to this terrorism. I’m sure there are several posts criticizing the acts of the TEHRIK E TALIBAN E PAKISTAN…aka the “Pakistani” Taliban…but if I was allowed to bet in Islam I would bet there are ZERO or close to it condemning the AFGHAN Taliban and their full backing by the Pakistani government and military complex. That’s pretty much the game the Pakistani government plays as well…and it’s not lost on Afghans.

    • la Tansa

      March 25, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Salamalikum I’m Afghan as well and your lying. To say they are killing innocent civilians that is a lie. Maybe collateral damage but that isn’t a valid daleel to say that they are intentionally killing civilians. If you are speaking about the police and Army heads than neither is that, they are murtads who are ruling with other than the rule of Allah, going against the Imam, and are awliya to the invaders. This is probably the only case in the US invasion in Afghanistan that is getting any attention when there has been much more happening. Finally Wrora (akhi) to say that Pakistan is backing the Taliban is a very popular conspiracy theory among the afghans however very little proof for it as well. 

      ps. Oh you who claim to believe if an evil doer brings you news verify it before you attack a people in ignorance and become of Anademeen (Surah Hujurat ayah 6) 

  3. Abu Rumaisa

    March 13, 2012 at 3:09 AM

     

     Its a cover up. It wasn’t a lone soldier.

    ‘Several drunk troops behind
    bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses’

    http://rt.com/news/afghanistan-us-drunk-shooting-373/

    Afghan shooting: ‘More than 1 soldier’

     http://www.news24.com/World/News/Afghan-shooting-More-than-1-soldier-witnesses-say-20120311

    • Hena Z

      March 13, 2012 at 3:48 AM

      Abu Rumaisa Asalamalikum,
      I updated the post with that link a few hours ago. Please post any more links that you find and I will update the post inshaAllah.
       

  4. ZSOLT SASS

    March 13, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    THATS THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIVE WITHOUT ANY MORALS,VALUES OR BELIEVE,US GOVERMENT AND THEIR SOLDIERS=MURDERERS= INVADERS=AGRESSORS KILL BELIEVERS ,BURN THE HOLLY BOOK OF THE BOOKS=THE HOLLY KORAN= URINATE ON DEAD BRAVE HOLLY WARRIORS OF GOD AND HIS PROPHET .HOLLY WAR MUST BE DEKLARED ON THOSE INFIDEL,DISBELIEVERS AND THEY MUST BE ALL OF THEM PUNISHED=KILLED= SO GODS WILL= DEATH TO AMERICAN SOLDIERS TO THOSE INFIDEL SERVENTS OF THE DEVIL =SO GODS WILL=. COMRADE .FREEDOMFIGHTER, ZSOLT SASS

  5. RCHOUDH

    March 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    May Allah give patience to these families and reward them for it Ameen. I also find it hard to believe that a lone soldier could successfully perform these atrocities on his own…I’ve also read reports of the Afghan investigative committee concluding that not only were there more soldiers involved, but that two of the dead females were raped prior to being killed. At the very least this tragedy should result in the complete withdrawal of foreign troops (which means no enduring presence after 2014), even if this one soldier accused of these acts is acquitted somehow due to prosecutors botching the investigation.

  6. Kamran

    April 16, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    This is Terror Attack By USA…

  7. executive gifts

    April 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    This is non news. Just the US military, doing US military stuff. Tax money at work, building a new generation of “terrorists”. Sand Creek, My Lai, this guy. Same old story, different day.. . . . .

  8. executive gifts

    April 17, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    We are just people that have different beliefs,if we can just learn to respect one another and live our own lives with peace then the world will be a better place. What happens in the west can’t always work in other ares. People are different  that is why we are not boring. Diversities adds colors to life. The US must recognized that. 

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