Everyone has seen this by now. But if not, watch.
Sickening. A camera passes for an RPG. One armed man condemns a dozen others to death. It would be one thing if they had been engaging U.S. forces at the time. But no, they were just milling about, paying no attention to their surroundings. That was not a hostile force either pre- or post-hostilities. We killed those men in cold blood, and then shot at some poor soul who stopped to try to pick up a wounded man.
This is the price of empire.
Here’s another lovely piece, from the New York Times:
Afghan officials investigating the deaths of five Afghan civilians gunned down in February during a bungled raid by American Special Operations forces believe that troops tampered with evidence at the scene, the lead investigator said Monday. NATO officials disclosed that they were looking into the allegations.
At first, the American-led military command in Kabul said that the two men who died were “insurgents” who had “engaged” — in other words, shot at — the forces at the scene. The initial account also said that the troops then stumbled onto the bodies of three women “tied up, gagged and killed” and hidden in a room.
Military officials later suggested that the women — who among them had 16 children — had all been stabbed to death or had died by other means before the raid, implying that their own relatives may have killed them.
Yet to be determined is whether Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the victims’ bodies in an effort to hide what had happened, as described by family members who survived the raid.
As usual, we started off by denying that we’d done anything wrong. And as happens over and over, we end up having to backtrack.
You want to defend our permanent presence in Iraq and Afghanistan? Well, then you have to start with these stories and not fantasies about “population-centric COIN.”
Personally, I’ve had enough of war crimes committed in my name.