The world is used to bad news and always has been, but now and then there occurs something so brutal, so outside the normal limits of what used to be called man’s inhumanity to man, that you have to look away. Then you force yourself to look and see and only one thought is possible:This must stop now. You wonder, how can we do it? And your mind says, immediately: Whatever it takes. – Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter and Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan, in response to the killing of four Americans in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.
According to RT.com, the findings of Afghan investigators and the accounts of eyewitnesses directly contradict the U.S. military’s report that a single shooter acted alone in the massacre in Kandahar that killed 16 Afghans including 9 children. I hope that this isn’t true; the official report that a mentally ill soldier on his fourth tour of duty acted alone, of his own volition, is terrible enough. However, if this was a concerted effort by a group of at least 15 US soldiers then this is much worse:
An Afghan parliamentary investigation team has implicated up to 20 US troops in the massacre of 16 civilians in Kandahar early on Sunday morning. It contradicts NATO’s account that insists one rogue soldier was behind the slaughter.
The team of Afghan lawmakers has spent two days collating reports from witnesses, survivors and inhabitants of the villages where the tragedy took place.
“We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups,” investigator Hamizai Lali told Afghan News.
Lali also said their investigations led them to believe 15 to 20 US soldiers had been involved in the killings. He appealed to the international community to ensure that the responsible parties were brought to justice, stressing the Afghan parliament would not rest until the killers were prosecuted.
“If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga [parliament] would declare foreign troops as occupying forces,” he said.
The head of the Afghan parliamentary investigation, Sayed Ishaq Gillani, told the BBC that witnesses report seeing helicopters dropping chaff during the attack, a measure used to hide targets from ground attack.
Gillani added that locals suspect the massacre was revenge for attacks carried out last week on US forces that left several injured.
In response to the massacre Afghan PM Hamid Karzai called for US troops to quit Afghan villages and confine themselves to their military bases across the country. Furthermore, the Taliban announced that talks with US forces would be suspended.
Meanwhile the US military has detained one soldier in connection with the massacre and transferred him to Kuwait amid outcry for a public trial in Afghanistan. Currently, the soldier is being flown to Kansas base, AFP reported.
US authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the motives behind the attack, but maintain that the soldier’s trial must be dealt with by the US legal system.
The Taliban’s official statement in response to the massacre reads in part:
A large number from amongst the victims are innocent children, women and the elderly, martyred by the American barbarians who mercilessly robbed them of their precious lives and drenched their hands with their innocent blood.
The American terrorists want to come up with an excuse for the perpetrator of this inhumane crime by claiming that this immoral culprit was mentally ill.
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 defenceless Afghans without giving a second thought.
The words of the Taliban could be Peggy Noonan’s. You’d think, as the victims of this latest massacre were not trained, uniformed combat troops but innocent civilians, mostly children, whose corpses were burned, that the Peggy Noonans of America would similarly speak out for justice. Its a sad narrative on the state of America when those most outspoken against such atrocities is the Taliban.