Monday, March 12, 2012

The Kandahar Massacre

A 38-year-old Army sergeant and a father of two (according to sources for the New York Times) left his base in Kandahar, kicked down the doors of a bunch of people who lived about a mile from the base, and killed sixteen of them. Most were children.

Afghanistan's vox populi doubts the "lone gunman" theory, but most likely it was one guy driven batshit crazy by his service — three tours in Iraq, and a final tour in Afghanistan. Needless to say, he had to be batshit crazy, but that little factoid should not be allowed to invoke any no-fault insurance policies. The blame should fall exactly where it belongs — on the United States military. Only the military had the opportunity to drive him batshit crazy, and only the military had the responsibility to notice he was nuts.

Except for a few psychopaths, who rise rapidly either to the middle ranks of the military or the upper echelons of government, even young men have inhibitions about killing. One of the inevitable objectives of military training must be dehumanizing "the enemy." It's a damned shame that the only options available to basic training personnel consist of either teaching the gung-ho youth sophisticated and nuanced ways to discriminate between "the enemy" and potential friends, or just teaching them to hate all "towelheads"

We all know which approach they take — the easy one.

The video of American soldiers pissing on the corpses of dead Afghans (who may or may not have been Taliban — it doesn't matter), and the "accidental" burning of a stack of Korans at Bagram should have provided ample proof that whatever the US military is doing to train its troops is inadequate at best, more likely counterproductive or, at worst, suicidal. The Kandahar murders just put the cherry on top.

Considering that the main thing we've been doing in Afghanistan for too, too many years has been propping up the corrupt Karzai government, I suggest it's time to tell America's ignorant masses we won, and just get the fuck out. (As a matter of fact, I think that's exactly what Obama plans to do. I wish him luck.)

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