American Sergeant murders Afghan civilians, including children

Looks like this guy was a sniper with the 3rd Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry Division. He reportedly suffered a traumatic brain injury in an explosion in Iraq, but was certified to return to duty. He was force protection for a special forces compound.

Bet the Army is wishing they paid more attention to the attitude towards brain injuries and PTSD right about now....

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I would compare this to Vietnam by saying this is the "War on Terror's Mai Lai Moment" but the reality is that those moments have been happening continuously for years. Abu Ghraib, the white phosphorous killings, the initial Afghan invasion when people were loaded into trucks and shot while inside the vehicles, Guantanamo Bay and on and on. What will it take for us to wind this down?

A "Fall of Saigon" moment.

Honestly, when the Qurans were burned, I thought we were gonna have it.

Between that and this massacre, I just don't see how you have the vaguest shot of winning "hearts and minds" at this point. Build a thousand schools and hospitals, and this is what people will remember.

A thousand schools and hospitals would have gotten better results for our money.

LeapingGnome wrote:

A thousand schools and hospitals would have gotten better results for our money.

Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Bear wrote:

Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Crazy talk!

Next thing you know, you will be pining for peace.

Commie.

Bear wrote:
LeapingGnome wrote:

A thousand schools and hospitals would have gotten better results for our money.

Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

This might even work here!!

One of our newspapers reported that a witness said that the soldier appeared to be drunk, but I have no idea how reliable that is.

Re: him having mental issues

Taliban spokesman wrote:

If the perpetrators of this massacre were in fact mentally-ill then this testifies to yet another moral transgression by the American military because they are arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans without giving a second thought.

From a PR POV I don't think anyone in the area will see that as much of an improvement.

Phoenix Rev wrote:
Bear wrote:

Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Crazy talk!

Next thing you know, you will be pining for peace.

Commie.

Yup. That there's Obama elitist talk.

Paleocon wrote:

Yup. That there's Obama elitist talk.

Hey now, wait a minute, I never said they should go to college.

Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Nah. You'll just end up with burned schools, death threats against families who send students there, and acid thrown into the faces of schoolgirls. Welcome to Afghanistan.

I'm all for change, but the key is, you have to *want* to change.

Sonicator wrote:

One of our newspapers reported that a witness said that the soldier appeared to be drunk, but I have no idea how reliable that is.

I thought that was a fairly common state for off-duty soldiers.

Robear wrote:
Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Nah. You'll just end up with burned schools, death threats against families who send students there, and acid thrown into the faces of schoolgirls. Welcome to Afghanistan.

I'm all for change, but the key is, you have to *want* to change.

Robear's right, you can't just build these things while ignoring the Taliban. Without a military presence, the schools and hospitals would never be finished.

LouZiffer wrote:
Sonicator wrote:

One of our newspapers reported that a witness said that the soldier appeared to be drunk, but I have no idea how reliable that is.

I thought that was a fairly common state for off-duty soldiers.

This is true.

It's time to come home. Do what you will with this guy, there is nothing keeping us there except our pride.

gizmo wrote:

It's time to come home. Do what you will with this guy, there is nothing keeping us there except our pride.

Sitting around for years waiting for "peace with honor" didn't work for the French in the 1950s and it didn't work for us in the 60s and 70s; it's not going to work now. Yep, get out. The thing is, when it comes to irregular warfare like this, you don't "win", you outlast. The Taliban and other radicals don't have to do anything other than just hang around and wait for us to get sick of being there. We have to actually win, and we don't have a definition of "win" that makes sense. Afghanistan is not going to suddenly transition into being a stable, modern democracy. That process will take decades at best, and we can't do a damn thing about it.

One day, we will leave Afghanistan, and we won't leave with honor. That day can be tomorrow, or it can be five years from now. The only difference is the number of corpses of U.S. soldiers between now and then.

Get the hell out.

LouZiffer wrote:
Sonicator wrote:

One of our newspapers reported that a witness said that the soldier appeared to be drunk, but I have no idea how reliable that is.

I thought that was a fairly common state for off-duty soldiers.

Not in a designated combat zone.

Nevin73 wrote:
4xis.black wrote:

Peeing on the bodies of dead combatants is a time-honored tradition in war (as, I understand, is murdering innocent civilians). Horror, destruction and scenes of gross inhumanity have always been the consequences of war; this is why you're generally supposed to have a good reason before you start one.

We're supposedly more civilized now. Case in point, we don't carpet bomb cities into slag anymore.

When did this begin? We did it in pretty much every war before this one. I am doubtful that this one is going to begin a new trend.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Robear wrote:
Truer words have never been spoken. Amazingly enough, schools are the Achilles heel of hatred. Start teaching the kids about other cultures and values and that they can co-exist with their own beliefs but foremost, you stop the cycle of teaching them hate. You might eliminate terrorism completely.

Nah. You'll just end up with burned schools, death threats against families who send students there, and acid thrown into the faces of schoolgirls. Welcome to Afghanistan.

I'm all for change, but the key is, you have to *want* to change.

Robear's right, you can't just build these things while ignoring the Taliban. Without a military presence, the schools and hospitals would never be finished.

Seconded. We have been building schools there, but for a lot of the populace, "Western-style education", or really, what we define as "education" at all isn't high on their list of priorities.

There is one way to win in Afghanistan.

Genocide.

Kill every Afghanistan to the baby and then replace them with American homesteaders.

LarryC wrote:

There is one way to win in Afghanistan.

Genocide.

It's been tried. Many times over hundreds of years. It doesn't work. The Afghans have the dubious distinction of being the toughest people to eradicate on the planet.

Like the fremen?

Minus the sandworms, which lowers their coolness factor, IMO.

LarryC wrote:

There is one way to win in Afghanistan.

Genocide.

Kill every Afghanistan to the baby and then replace them with American homesteaders.

Well technically you only need to kill 70-80 percent of them, then let the rest open up casinos and illegal fireworks stands.

In all seriousness, the Russians went total Soviet bat#@#t crazy on the Muhajadeen in the 80s, even dropping cleverly designed small bombs disgused as candy or toys to maim little kids and wiping out entire towns. Didn't work.

I'll never understand the "a significantly less powerful force earlier in history failed to accomplish a task with technologies that almost seem primitive compared to what is available today, so it must be an eternal truth" view of history.

Regardless, genocide is not on the table here.

CheezePavilion wrote:

I'll never understand the "a significantly less powerful force earlier in history failed to accomplish a task with technologies that almost seem primitive compared to what is available today, so it must be an eternal truth" view of history.

The Romans accomplished genocide numerous times with much smaller forces, mostly on foot, with primitive iron melee weapons. At Carthage, for example, they killed half a million people. Similarly, the genocide in Rwanda was prosecuted largely with machetes and killed nearly a million people in less than four months.

It's not about technology or how powerful your military is. It's about how willing you are to simply kill every "enemy" you see, and keep killing until you can't see anyone else - and then go looking for the survivors and kill them too. It requires the kind of societal mindset that richly rewards commanders like Scipio after accomplishing such a task.

Aetius wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'll never understand the "a significantly less powerful force earlier in history failed to accomplish a task with technologies that almost seem primitive compared to what is available today, so it must be an eternal truth" view of history.

The Romans accomplished genocide numerous times with much smaller forces, mostly on foot, with primitive iron melee weapons. At Carthage, for example, they killed half a million people. Similarly, the genocide in Rwanda was prosecuted largely with machetes and killed nearly a million people in less than four months.

It's not about technology or how powerful your military is. It's about how willing you are to simply kill every "enemy" you see, and keep killing until you can't see anyone else - and then go looking for the survivors and kill them too. It requires the kind of societal mindset that richly rewards commanders like Scipio after accomplishing such a task.

Maybe, maybe not: but now you're making a different argument for why genocides do and do not work, one that is not (just) a matter of whether "The Afghans have the dubious distinction of being the toughest people to eradicate on the planet" but of the people who have attempted to commit genocide against them not being willing enough or having a sufficiently screwed up societal mindset.

There have been a number of violent crimes committed by soldiers stationed at JBFM (Joint Base Ft. Lewis-McCord) and by recent veterans. This atrocity in Afghanistan, a recent murder of a National Park Ranger, a Lt. Colonel made death threats (significant and believable) against members of his family and the community are among the highlights.

Also, in completely unrelated news, the local military hospital has recently had a huge scandal about denying valid PTSD claims. 285 negative diagnoses for PTSD have been overturned and the psychiatric unit shut down.

Now it is a huge oversimplification to say that PTSD is to blame for everything, but we can't deny that we are failing these soldiers.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Aetius wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'll never understand the "a significantly less powerful force earlier in history failed to accomplish a task with technologies that almost seem primitive compared to what is available today, so it must be an eternal truth" view of history.

The Romans accomplished genocide numerous times with much smaller forces, mostly on foot, with primitive iron melee weapons. At Carthage, for example, they killed half a million people. Similarly, the genocide in Rwanda was prosecuted largely with machetes and killed nearly a million people in less than four months.

It's not about technology or how powerful your military is. It's about how willing you are to simply kill every "enemy" you see, and keep killing until you can't see anyone else - and then go looking for the survivors and kill them too. It requires the kind of societal mindset that richly rewards commanders like Scipio after accomplishing such a task.

Maybe, maybe not: but now you're making a different argument for why genocides do and do not work, one that is not (just) a matter of whether "The Afghans have the dubious distinction of being the toughest people to eradicate on the planet" but of the people who have attempted to commit genocide against them not being willing enough or having a sufficiently screwed up societal mindset.

Even with the latest equipment, Afghanistan is one of the most hostile enviroments on earth, with plenty of places for your enemy to hide where you really can't get at them. Some of my buddies coming back from Afghanistan have described how a Taliban camp might be on the neighboring mountain but they might as well have been on the moon. All you would do targeting villages is kill those too young or old to hide from you. The fighters would still be able to slip away and continue fighting a guerilla war.

Anything less than full nuclear bombardment is probably not going to make a difference.

jdzappa wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
Aetius wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'll never understand the "a significantly less powerful force earlier in history failed to accomplish a task with technologies that almost seem primitive compared to what is available today, so it must be an eternal truth" view of history.

The Romans accomplished genocide numerous times with much smaller forces, mostly on foot, with primitive iron melee weapons. At Carthage, for example, they killed half a million people. Similarly, the genocide in Rwanda was prosecuted largely with machetes and killed nearly a million people in less than four months.

It's not about technology or how powerful your military is. It's about how willing you are to simply kill every "enemy" you see, and keep killing until you can't see anyone else - and then go looking for the survivors and kill them too. It requires the kind of societal mindset that richly rewards commanders like Scipio after accomplishing such a task.

Maybe, maybe not: but now you're making a different argument for why genocides do and do not work, one that is not (just) a matter of whether "The Afghans have the dubious distinction of being the toughest people to eradicate on the planet" but of the people who have attempted to commit genocide against them not being willing enough or having a sufficiently screwed up societal mindset.

Even with the latest equipment, Afghanistan is one of the most hostile enviroments on earth, with plenty of places for your enemy to hide where you really can't get at them. Some of my buddies coming back from Afghanistan have described how a Taliban camp might be on the neighboring mountain but they might as well have been on the moon. All you would do targeting villages is kill those too young or old to hide from you. The fighters would still be able to slip away and continue fighting a guerilla war.

Anything less than full nuclear bombardment is probably not going to make a difference.

To go back to something brought up earlier in the thread, unless those Taliban camps are capable of supporting populations capable of producing new generations like some kind of network of Fremen sietches, all slipping away and continuing a guerilla war would do is prolong the inevitable.