Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘war crimes

The Kandahar Shootings: More Grim News from Afghanistan

with 13 comments

THREE VERSIONS

Version One, when I was 21:

A US soldier snapped under the pressure and went on a killing spree, gunning down at least 16 civilians in their homes as they slept. While this is a terrible thing, when it comes right down to it, the Afghans have only themselves to blame. It’s a primitive culture steeped in a  primitive religion, and despite being liberated from the Taliban and given a chance to be a modern democratic nation, many Afghans choose to blame their saviours and support the murderous Taliban. So it’s no surprise that the occasional American soldier, surrounded by a people who hate him and would kill him at the first opportunity, loses his cool. When the Afghans finally grow up and accept the gift of freedom and democracy, incidents like this won’t happen. .

Version Two, when I was 31:

A rogue American soldier, reportedly one who had had a mental breakdown, left his base in the middle of the night and killed at least 16 Afghan civilians in their homes. He was taken into custody when he returned to his base, and military officials have promised a full investigation. President Obama and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta phoned Afghan President Karzai to offer their condolences, Mr Obama said he would hold accountable anyone responsible for the “tragic and shocking” incident. Administration spokesmen took pains to point out that this was an isolated incident, and doesn’t reflect on the overall high quality of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, or the continuing success of their mission.

Version Three, today:

Look at the old fellow’s face. His grandfather fought the British. He and his father fought the Russians. He lost family both times. Now the Americans have taken more friends and family. I can’t imagine what he must be feeling. More innocent women and children murdered, slain by a soldier in an army that has no business being in Afghanistan in the first place. However much American war apologists want to wash their hands of this, we are all guilty of this crime. Our war with and occupation of Afghanistan are war crimes, because the USA and NATO control the UN and made this occupation “legal” doesn’t magically change right from wrong. In fact, it makes it even more wrong.

Conclusion:

War is sick and unnatural, and terrible things happen even in the most just of wars, which Afghanistan most definitely is not. There was a time during and after the Vietnam War when many Americans understood this, but war was way too profitable for the powers to be to let that continue. And here we are decades later, our “leaders” promising us war and more war … and delivering it. Will Americans wake up and stop this insanity before it descends into something that makes Vietnam look mild in comparison? Damned if I know, all I can do is be a voice for peace and hope for the best.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is central to illustrating the post, and is arguably a historically important image. It’s use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and Copyright: AP or Reuters, I’ve seen it credited to both on different mainstream news web sites, even the big boys make mistakes sometimes.)

Written by unitedcats

March 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

Can I Open My Eyes Yet?

with 2 comments

Well, I’m back. Maybe not literally back, but back to blogging. July was a very rough month for me on a personal level, but I made it through and am a better person for it. I’m also vastly more free than I was a month ago, nothing like having options to help keep one’s perspective. And then there’s the little matter of the world going to shit. For those who are reasonably aware of what’s going on in the world, the consensus view is along the lines of  “this isn’t going to end well.” Colonialism is exacerbating our problems as a species, and has about run its course as an economic ideology. (I know, we’ve pretended since World War Two that colonialism has gone away, the exact same way that renaming the Department of War as the Department of Defence made war as a national policy go away.) Moving right along, some highlights of the ongoing madness.

Looks like Qaddafi is on his way out. He’ll probably end up in some western (IE colonial) prison with little to no chance of a fair trial, held as an example to anyone with would defy the west’s might.  On the one hand, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. On the other hand, NATO’s war on Libya was just as much a war crime as anything Qaddafi has done, and none of the leaders who ordered that will be going on trial. This is why they hate us. Not all of them, but the blatant hypocrisy and evil of the west intervening on “humanitarian” grounds when it is painfully obvious we are just seizing the moment in a blatant attempt to replace Qaddafi with a regime more pliable to western manipulation is not lost on many people in the region. Coming soon … Libyan suicide bombers. Mark my words, the western intervention in Libya will end no better than the intervention in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Speaking of which, these two are both still bloody messes with no end in sight. I don’t know what horrifies me more, the endless carnage we have unleashed, or the fawning obsequious US media pretending that there’s something noble about the deaths of Americans in these far away lands, pretending that these senseless deaths are about protecting our freedoms. Um, fighting with local tribes on the other side of the planet, is about as far away from “protecting our freedoms” as it is possible to get. Literally. This is another reason I am so pessimistic about America, so many people have bought into this, and other, virulent tripe. The rich have stolen everything, and most Americans are blaming each other or groups even more disadvantaged than they for their problems. Yes, it’s poor, gay, illegal, HIV positive, Latino immigrants that are causing all the problems!

In summation, 2011 is some sort of twisted blend of 1928 and 1938, and God only knows what’s going to happen next. And since God doesn’t exist except as a metaphysical concept, that means no one knows. And frankly, there’s tons of intelligent commentary out there on current events for those who care to look, Aljazeerah is a good start, or Haaretz, or Antiwar.com. I’m not sure what I can add to the discussion, another reason I haven’t been writing. Or having been writing on Doug’s Darkworld to be more exact. I have been working on my novel. A fictional account of a man whose life began with a childhood in a besieged city. It went downhill from there.

There’s other stuff going on in the world as well. Global warming continues apace. We’re all going to be killed by a doomsday comet in 2012. Michael Jackson is still dead. What should I write about? I dunno, I’m open to suggestions.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s a rebel tank rolling into Tripoli. That so many “historic” moments in the past century involve tanks rolling into somewhere should give us pause. They are just the armoured knights of our time, the end development of the Roman centurion. Sigh.)

Written by unitedcats

August 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm