American Sergeant murders Afghan civilians, including children

Prederick wrote:
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.

Truth. If you were to total up the number of school builds/rebuilds in the last 6 years, you'd probably be able to top over a thousand schools. The girls schools are the worst though, by far.

AnimeJ wrote:

Truth. If you were to total up the number of school builds/rebuilds in the last 6 years, you'd probably be able to top over a thousand schools. The girls schools are the worst though, by far.

so we kinda did have a New Deal, we just had it in the wrong country.

+++++

edit for actual news:


The US soldier accused of killing 16 civilians, including women and children, in Afghanistan on Sunday has been flown to Kuwait, US officials say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia...

Pretty normal for US policy. The last convicted US rapist locally was extracted as well, before a settlement was made. It's virtually impossible to expect justice from any harm done by a US solider except if you're an American, and it may be difficult even then. It's one of the reasons why I stay the hell away from those guys.

More like either hand him over to the locals and expect a lynch mob, or keep him in American custody in country and expect him to act as a lightening rod for attacks on wherever he is being kept.

CheezePavilion wrote:

More like either hand him over to the locals and expect a lynch mob, or keep him in American custody in country and expect him to act as a lightening rod for attacks on wherever he is being kept.

That probably makes sense to you, but it doesn't to me. Preferential treatment of American soldiers over crimes, and particularly heinous crimes, is part of what undermines American integrity and honor in occupied (and protectorate) countries. If one law applies to me, and entirely different, and more lenient, laws apply to someone who's authorized to shoot me in the head or gang-rape my daughters, what does that say about that authority? Am I not, on some level, expected to comply simply because of the implied gun to my head from this foreign power, regardless of the justice or interest of its orders? How can you possibly expect to set up schools and drum up grass-roots support in any region where you're essentially terrorizing the population on a constant basis?

If lynching is the common way the locals deal with the their justice issues, then soldiers have to be subject to it if the goal is to make the populace at large believe that the local force is for them, not against them.

LarryC wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

More like either hand him over to the locals and expect a lynch mob, or keep him in American custody in country and expect him to act as a lightening rod for attacks on wherever he is being kept.

That probably makes sense to you, but it doesn't to me. Preferential treatment of American soldiers over crimes, and particularly heinous crimes, is part of what undermines American integrity and honor in occupied (and protectorate) countries. If one law applies to me, and entirely different, and more lenient, laws apply to someone who's authorized to shoot me in the head or gang-rape my daughters, what does that say about that authority?

They're just like every other authority in history, foreign or domestic?

Also, he has not been tried yet. He has not been sentenced yet. He has been nothing but arrested and moved to a different venue. There are very good alternate reasons for that besides the one you are proposing here.

If lynching is the common way the locals deal with the their justice issues,

Without even getting into those other issues, that's not what this is about. Such a lynching will not be about justice, it will be about rage. I would not expect him to live to see the next morning, let alone long enough to experience the local judicial process.

CheezePavilion:

They're just like every other authority in history, foreign or domestic?

Also, he has not been tried yet. He has not been sentenced yet. He has been nothing but arrested and moved to a different venue. There are very good alternate reasons for that besides the one you are proposing here.

Those are common reasons cited, but they ring false. Also, it's not common for me to meet someone who acknowledges that America's authority over individuals is fundamentally altered based on on financial class distinctions. Hello.

Without even getting into those other issues, that's not what this is about. Such a lynching will not be about justice, it will be about rage. I would not expect him to live to see the next morning, let alone long enough to experience the local judicial process.

Frankly, I don't see fundamental differences. Retribution or social correction measures vary from society to society. The US reduced Afghanistan's methods to dealing with their own internal injustices to mob justice. It's appropriate that US soldiers should be subject to the same process while they act locally. Of course, it is also possible to institute a functional local justice system and abide by that. It goes without saying that instituting one and NOT subjecting your forces to it also undermines the integrity of this new system that your authority is saying is good.

LarryC wrote:

CheezePavilion:

They're just like every other authority in history, foreign or domestic?

Also, he has not been tried yet. He has not been sentenced yet. He has been nothing but arrested and moved to a different venue. There are very good alternate reasons for that besides the one you are proposing here.

Those are common reasons cited, but they ring false.

I disagree.

Without even getting into those other issues, that's not what this is about. Such a lynching will not be about justice, it will be about rage. I would not expect him to live to see the next morning, let alone long enough to experience the local judicial process.

Frankly, I don't see fundamental differences. Retribution or social correction measures vary from society to society.

In this case, not really--there's a reason the term 'lynch mob' is not a translated phrase. In the end, what's the difference between the Taliban seeking to disrupt the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the KKK seeking to disrupt Reconstruction?

The US reduced Afghanistan's methods to dealing with their own internal injustices to mob justice. It's appropriate that US soldiers should be subject to the same process while they act locally.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't: what it won't be is justice.

Of course, it is also possible to institute a functional local justice system and abide by that. It goes without saying that instituting one and NOT subjecting your forces to it also undermines the integrity of this new system that your authority is saying is good.

Maybe so. We have convicted American soldiers of rapes committed in Iraq in courts in Kentucky.

In any case, change of venue is nothing special in our system.

Maybe you should extend the kind of understanding of cultural relativism to Americans that you often implore Americans to extend to others?

I do. I just don't think it's relevant when Americans are enforcing other laws on populations they're supposed to be policing. More to the point, I think it's detrimental. When in Rome, you do as the Romans do, or in this case, Afghanistan. That applies to both the policing force and the population. Otherwise, it's a case of different laws applying to different people, with much harsher laws being enforced at the point of a gun to the occupied. That will always undermine efforts to win them over.

Actually, more than that, it's probably generating even more hate and incentives to suicide-bomb more Americans, even as we speak.

I doubt that the government would turn over an American service person for judgment by a local government. Troops know that they will be held accountable by the military, but that anything they do (whether under orders or not) will have immunity from local prosecution. If memory serves, all of the crimes committed by US troops in Japan and Asia were always tried by the US military. In point of fact, only if a service person were actually caught red-handed by local authorities, can the local authorities hold them.

Nevin73 wrote:

I doubt that the government would turn over an American service person for judgment by a local government. Troops know that they will be held accountable by the military, but that anything they do (whether under orders or not) will have immunity from local prosecution. If memory serves, all of the crimes committed by US troops in Japan and Asia were always tried by the US military. In point of fact, only if a service person were actually caught red-handed by local authorities, can the local authorities hold them.

All of which is entirely meaningless to the Afghans, not to mention exceedingly arrogant on the part of the United States. If they weren't against us before, they are now.

Not to say we won't pay them tons of money for reparations. They just won't be able to shoot the perp.

Nevin73 wrote:

Not to say we won't pay them tons of money for reparations. They just won't be able to shoot the perp.

Sure, he's well protected. We'll parade plenty of other kids around for them to shoot at, should they wish. Who will pay? The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

LouZiffer wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Not to say we won't pay them tons of money for reparations. They just won't be able to shoot the perp.

Sure, he's well protected. We'll parade plenty of other kids around for them to shoot at, should they wish. Who will pay? The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

This is going to sound calloused, because it is, but the guerrillas haven't exactly been restraining themselves before this. The guys setting up bombs and ambushes are going to be doing the exact same thing as before. We've been over there for a decade, this is just another straw on a long-broken camel's back. If the soldier was air-dropped into a local warlord's camp, the exact same people would be out setting the same bombs the next day.

That said, there is still going to be a price paid. More people will be willing to shelter the guerrillas, more people will want the US out at any cost, more people will support local strongmen and warlords out of hate for the US. The same thing happens when we burn books or kill civilians with drone strikes intended for Taliban leaders. It is nothing new, this is just a more immediate and intentional example of what has been happening for years.

Kraint wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Not to say we won't pay them tons of money for reparations. They just won't be able to shoot the perp.

Sure, he's well protected. We'll parade plenty of other kids around for them to shoot at, should they wish. Who will pay? The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

This is going to sound calloused, because it is, but the guerrillas haven't exactly been restraining themselves before this. The guys setting up bombs and ambushes are going to be doing the exact same thing as before. We've been over there for a decade, this is just another straw on a long-broken camel's back. If the soldier was air-dropped into a local warlord's camp, the exact same people would be out setting the same bombs the next day.

Yep.

That said, there is still going to be a price paid. More people will be willing to shelter the guerrillas, more people will want the US out at any cost, more people will support local strongmen and warlords out of hate for the US. The same thing happens when we burn books or kill civilians with drone strikes intended for Taliban leaders. It is nothing new, this is just a more immediate and intentional example of what has been happening for years.

Exactly.

My point was that it's interesting to note that the guy who murdered a family is receiving extra protection, while the soldiers in the field are still out there every day being shot at like before. I didn't say that there's anything new going on. It's been a worsening state for everyone for a long time.

LouZiffer wrote:

The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

The units headed to Iraq spend a lot of time and effort preparing. Troops are much better prepared these days than they were in a place like Vietnam.

I'm curious as to what people expect soldiers to be used for. We're surrounded by thousands of miles of oceans on two sides. We have ICBMs. Our northern neighbor is our closest friend, and our southern neighbor is... well, a very close, sexy friend we pretend not to know very well. You couldn't find a more peaceful neighborhood.

There's only one reason to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a military with a high level of training, and that's to send them overseas into sh*tholes. If you join the army expecting to spend a lot of time at home with the family, you are not dealing with reality. Frankly, I don't think our politicians deal with reality, either.

Funkenpants wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:

The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

The units headed to Iraq spend a lot of time and effort preparing. Troops are much better prepared these days than they were in a place like Vietnam.

You're right. I could've used different terminology to say that at this point, I think we're sending our kids over there to get shot at for nothing. Newbies have nothing to do with that. I still think there were decent reasons behind our being there in the first place, but times have changed. We need to get out.

Funkenpants wrote:

The units headed to Iraq spend a lot of time and effort preparing. Troops are much better prepared these days than they were in a place like Vietnam.

And yet those idiots still burned a bunch of Koran's in a garbage pit a few weeks back. You'd think that with all their special training and more than a decade of experience fighting in Muslim countries that someone in the chain of command would have had the common sense to prevent that incident from happening.

LouZiffer wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:

The unprepared FNGs who are there because their country sent them, as well as their families back home.

The units headed to Iraq spend a lot of time and effort preparing. Troops are much better prepared these days than they were in a place like Vietnam.

You're right. I could've used different terminology to say that at this point, I think we're sending our kids over there to get shot at for nothing. Newbies have nothing to do with that. I still think there were decent reasons behind our being there in the first place, but times have changed. We need to get out.

To be fair, they're not getting shot at for nothing. They're actively generating hatred among foreign populations against their homeland - that's not nothing.

OG_slinger wrote:

And yet those idiots still burned a bunch of Koran's in a garbage pit a few weeks back. You'd think that with all their special training and more than a decade of experience fighting in Muslim countries that someone in the chain of command would have had the common sense to prevent that incident from happening.

You aren't going to find a single organization that runs flawlessly 100% of the time. Airplanes crash because of pilot error, FAA controllers fall asleep, Space Shuttles blow up, executives approve New Coke, Spielberg produces Terra Nova - the list is infinite.

Funkenpants wrote:

You aren't going to find a single organization that runs flawlessly 100% of the time. Airplanes crash because of pilot error, FAA controllers fall asleep, Space Shuttles blow up, executives approve New Coke, Spielberg produces Terra Nova - the list is infinite.

Introducing New Coke doesn't cause weeks of riots and deaths.

The burning of the Korans and the grunt playing Charles Manson are just the latest in a long line of things the military has done wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan. From completely failing to plan for the aftermath to Abu Ghraib to drone attacks killing civilians, the military seems to be its own worst enemy.

OG_slinger wrote:

Introducing New Coke doesn't cause weeks of riots and deaths.

Planes crash from pilot error and people die. Space shuttles crash and people die. Doctors make mistakes and people die. Drivers make mistakes and people die. Someone in the food system makes a mistake and people die. On and on. This is what happens in human activity.

I can't think of a military campaign executed so flawlessly that nobody died needlessly and every plan worked exactly as it was supposed to.

Funkenpants wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Introducing New Coke doesn't cause weeks of riots and deaths.

Planes crash from pilot error and people die. Space shuttles crash and people die. Doctors make mistakes and people die. Drivers make mistakes and people die. Someone in the food system makes a mistake and people die. On and on. This is what happens in human activity.

I can't think of a military campaign executed so flawlessly that nobody died needlessly and every plan worked exactly as it was supposed to.

This is a military campaign that has stretched out over ten years, with no end in sight. I would simply ask; what is the "victory condition"? What, exactly, is the objective we are trying to achieve?

Aetius wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

I doubt that the government would turn over an American service person for judgment by a local government. Troops know that they will be held accountable by the military, but that anything they do (whether under orders or not) will have immunity from local prosecution. If memory serves, all of the crimes committed by US troops in Japan and Asia were always tried by the US military. In point of fact, only if a service person were actually caught red-handed by local authorities, can the local authorities hold them.

All of which is entirely meaningless to the Afghans, not to mention exceedingly arrogant on the part of the United States. If they weren't against us before, they are now.

It does smack of hypocrisy given the nominal reason for the invasion in the first place was the refusal to hand over one of their people responsible for a heinous attack on innocents on the other party's soil. Granted the scale is different, but still...

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

This is a military campaign that has stretched out over ten years, with no end in sight. I would simply ask; what is the "victory condition"? What, exactly, is the objective we are trying to achieve?

That's a different issue. I'm just responding to the objection that the Koran Burning incident shows that troops aren't well prepared or trained.

Is there any reason to be there other than 'funneling imaginary money into the military-industrial complex'?

Funkenpants wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

This is a military campaign that has stretched out over ten years, with no end in sight. I would simply ask; what is the "victory condition"? What, exactly, is the objective we are trying to achieve?

That's a different issue. I'm just responding to the objection that the Koran Burning incident shows that troops aren't well prepared or trained.

I'm not convinced it is a black / white distinction, but at some point the final judgement on the Koran burning is going to come down to either incompetence or malice. So while I don't want to impugn the training and readiness of everyone serving, at some point defending that particular position turns into the Col. Nathan Jessup response.

A couple thoughts:

One - soldiers don't pick which countries they go to. The middle east is full of disgusting laws and upsetting customs (in some instances - not in all). Would you want a female servicewoman stoned to death because she violated some batsh*t crazy Muslim law about covering her head or not having sex out of marriage? Of course you wouldn't. In that instance, she would probably face a reprimand internally for upsetting the locals, and that is all she deserves.

So on that note, I'd rather have the military prosecute this guy. If he's guilty, I'd like to see him put to death. But I don't want to hand him to the locals, because that's not the justice system he signed up for - this guy is under the UCMJ, not the "we decided you were guilty because the law is pretty flexible out here so we're going to stone you on TV so your wife can see it without doing a trial" code of "law".

Second - The war in Afghanistan proves something that the US and all other countries fail to learn completely. You cannot win a war unless you intend to occupy the country you are invading. If Afghanistan had been ready to lose Taliban rule, it would have said so. You can't just roll in, depose a government, and expect things to sort of smooth over afterwards. There is no win condition, no peace treaty, no end to hostilities. You can only win a war if you intend to destroy a government and force the people to surrender.

I can't support this crazy f***'s actions, but I understand the apparent source of his crazy - he's been wounded twice and is going back on deployment a fourth time to a country that has made it abundantly clear that they don't want our help. The second we bail, the Taliban will be back in power.

The original stated intent was to stop the kind of Islamic extremism that resulted in the 9-11 attacks, right? The problem is that you can't stop Islamic extremism this way, any more than the US government has stopped homegrown terrorism by invading the compounds of the worst offenders. It just creates martyrs. All you can really do is firewall it as much as possible. Secure borders better, train police better, etc.

InspectorFowler:

Actually, yes I would. If you're going to stick your nose into other people's lands, then your soldiers should abide by the local customs and laws if you want to really win them over; this includes turning over women offenders to crazy laws. Presumably, your military won't make the mistake of sending women into countries where their laws regarding women are crazy; at least not more than once.

"Reprimanding the woman for upsetting the locals" is just complete BS. Your own countrymen wouldn't stand for such treatment, if the US were ever occupied by a hostile foreign power. Why would you expect other peoples to take it any better?

The obvious answer is that you don't; you just don't give a damn about the sensibilities of conquered subhumans - which is exactly how suicide bombers are generated.