Tomorrow, another tragedy from Afghanistan will play itself out. Tomorrow, at an Army base near Seattle, Specialist Jeremy Morlock will plead guilty to murder for the killing of Afghan civilians.
For those who are not familiar with the case, which has been mostly ignored by the drive by media, a rogue Army unit in Afghanistan became what they called a “kill team.” They would kill random Afghan civilians and then photograph the dead as if they were hunting trophies. Some of the more grisly allegations involve maiming the corpses and taking body parts as souvenirs.
So far thirteen soldiers have been charged with various crimes in this matter. Morlock is the first to plead guilty and his video taped interviews have become well known on the Internet.
Over the last few days, the military and international groups have been bracing themselves for the release of the photos taken by the soldiers. There is fear of unrestrained rioting and retaliation against Americans and others in Afghanistan.
I understand the outrage. If the allegations are true, the Afghans do have a right to be seriously upset. But, that does not excuse any actions they take against the international coalition.
Perhaps the Afghans should be reminded of what it was like ten years ago when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Back then, watching TV or listening to the radio were capital offenses. The soccer stadium that had been built for soccer with international assistance was instead used as an execution stadium.
At the fields where soccer was played, fans were not allowed to cheer their teams. Bands of Taliban would roam the stands and if the fans cheered, they were beaten with whips and sticks. And of course, that does not even mention the brutal Islamic law that was ruthlessly applied through out the country.
There are no winners here, only losers. The Afghan civilians murdered, who by all accounts were not combatants. The soldiers involved, who will now spend most if not all of the rest of their lives behind bars. Some may even receive the death penalty.
America is the big loser here as well. But we should understand why things went wrong. We went to Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. Going there was very appropriate since then Afghanistan was a terrorist playground. We cleaned the terrorists out but then we lost our way.
When George Bush was campaigning for President, he decried the use of military forces for nation building. Yet in Afghanistan and Iraq, that is exactly what we did. This is the lesson we need to learn from this. When we intervene in a foreign country, we must only do so when there is a compelling national interest (such as Afghanistan being a huge base of operations for terrorism) and our purpose should not be to engage in nation building. Our purpose should be to make America safe and protect us.
Had we gone to Afghanistan and kept our mission to killing terrorists and destroying their base of operations, we might well be out of there by now and these men would not have ended up as murderers. I will not excuse their conduct and if they are convicted, they deserve maximum sentences. But had we done our job and finished, they would not have been there to go rogue.
When the missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan changed from defending America to building nations, we lost. When this is all said and done, we will have paid a terrible price and not achieved our basic goal of making America safe.
Don't know about the soldiers who allegedly committed the crimes. What I do know is we either ought to go in and win the damn thing or get out--when I say win--I mean like WWII style--hit the beaches and sweep thru the whole country. I am sick and tired of seeing lists of dead and wounded in a war we wont and do not have the political will to win. We could win it but it would not be politically correct.
Same goes for Libya.
I am amazed that the reading of your blog is the first time I have heard about this. I remember the media constantly reporting on the Abu Ghraib incident a few years back, and that was nothing compared to this. Could who is sitting in the White House now verses then, possibly have anything to do with media indifference?
This kind of story should be getting major coverage.
William, you are correct, this story should be getting major media coverage, but since covering the story would make the Obama administration look bad, it will not be done. Don't forget, the "worst" of what happened at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was child's play compared to stalking, killing, then mutilating the corpses of Afghan civilians, posing for pictures with their dead bodies, laughing and grinning the entire time. But, since Abu Ghraib was an opportunity to try to make Bush look bad, the Lamestream Media jumped all over it, and it was all we heard about for weeks on end. The LSM will continue to ignore this story, unless they feel they can somehow tie it to Bush. Remember libs chanting "No Blood for Oil", when Bush invaded Iraq? Why do we not hear the same chant when Obama invaded Libya? Bush got approval from Congress before beginning combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; Obama did not bother. Obama has no clue what his plan or mission is...as usual, he has no plan, other than to get re-elected next year...that's it.
P.S. I am not excusing in any way what these American soldiers did...if they are guilty, they should receive the maximum penalty for disgracing our American flag and the bringing shame to the uniform of the American army.
P.P.S. I am getting sick of our boys over in Afghanistan walking every day through a shooting gallery, while their Jihadist In Chief has no plan, other than expanding the number of fundamentalist Islamic regimes in the world, and getting re-elected. We need to wrap it up over there, and put our boys on our Mexican border.