US Soldier Kills 17 Afghans In Shooting Spree , by Al Jezeera , 3/11/2012
" A US soldier has killed more than a dozen civilians in a shooting spree in southern Afghanistan before being detained, officials say.
A member of the Kandahar provincial council who visited the site of the shooting in Panjwai district told Al Jazeera that at least 17 civilians were killed when the soldier left his base early on Sunday morning and opened fire... "Eleven members of my family are dead. They are all dead," Haji Samad, an elder from Panjwai district, told the AFP news agency...Anger gripped the nation after US soldiers burned a large number of copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, at a NATO base last month...At least 41 people were killed in protests that followed the burning."The CNN commentator asks with displayed concern in his voice, ... 'what are our commanders in Afghanistan doing to protect our soldiers from Afghan wrath in the aftermath of this alleged slaying of seventeen of their people? (inside their own homes during the night).
This is not something exceptional, brand new, some aberration of fine, Jack Armstrong-like, benevolent, US Armed Forces behavior, as President Obama has pleaded. No, its on record, the atrocities in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, and a dozen other countries in my lifetime that harken back to those in Vera Cruz in 1914, in the Philippines and China in 1900, and in a lot of Wounded Knees right here in our land from its beginning as a nation.
Naw, that's enough! If we don't want to know the horrific, violent history of our use of military power, how in the name of all that is Holy will we ever change from savage aggressiveness toward the rest of Mankind to a self-confident normal and peaceful attitude toward our fellow Earthlings?
Imagine a visitor from outer space who did not know about Wall Street investors' need for wars and accumulation of capital for the ruling wealthy investing 1%, looking at these innocent people being dispatched far away in their own beloved six or seven small countries by space age Darth Vader appearing armed forces. Imagine this extraterrestrial visitor interviewing the families of these victims only to learn that this savagery is only that of the most recent of the white colonial-neocolonial empire superpowers that have ruled the planet over the last three hundred years. It still would make no sense to the visitor from another planet.
For here is a very young country, occupying, overall, the best real estate in the world in terms of abundant natural resources since invading from old Europe and conquering a continent from its indigenous population, and, for a full century, the wealthiest people on Earth, for its financial rulers having gained ownership of more of less half the natural resources wealth of all the rest of the planet. Why. therefore, all this massacring in the world's poorer nations by US Armed Forces during the last sixty years?
When Martin Luther King Jr. was brave enough to give the answer to this heart-twisting query, he was silenced within a year, by as curious an assassin as was King's answer curious: "To maintain unjust overseas predatory investments" of the immoral 1%.
Corporatist owned commercial media sources of information buried that answer along with King's body and kept it buried for the intervening nearly forty-years, but words of wisdom have a an undeniable longevity once resurrected.
There is a fast growing-in-endorsements campaign to revive and spread international awareness of King's condemnation of US wars and predatory investments , which has led now to a second campaign to bring the full force of the law down upon individuals involved in the preparing, planning, promoting, selling and ordering of these ongoing US wars , which King nailed as all for the maintenance of those "unjust predatory investments."
It will be a prosecution of individuals, grouped in conspiracy, against humanity's right to live in peace, or even perhaps in the future to live at all, given the present unprecedented massive investments in the manufacture and deployment of weapons of mass destruction.
This prosecution can all be done, if nowhere else permitted, in the same court of public opinion that, when aroused into session, can prosecute peacefully an ensconced in power and seemingly unprosecutable Shah of Iran, the British Empire, prosecuted in the court of Indian public opinion by Gandhi, and the arrogant racists prosecuted non-violently in the court of public opinion by Martin Luther King Jr., to name a few examples from recent history.
If the eventual (and probably coming sooner than later in his fast moving age of instant world-wide personal communication), prosecution demands are based upon the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nurnberg Tribunal and on the Judgment of the Tribunal, which became part of the US Constitution by the US Constitutions own law provisions (not to mention common law), then, all of us are going to be looked at for complicity, many of us as accomplices, and an awful lot of us as perpetrators of Crimes Against Humanity:
- Leaders of organized clergy who proclaimed these US wars on poor nations "Just Wars."
- Celebrated media personnel who, as part of their daily job, sold these wars to a commercialized psyop captivated audience.
- Elected public servant representatives who gave criminal approval of illegal undeclared wars on innocent peoples.
- Government leaders, both office holders elected and those appointed to power, who gave the actual orders to open fire.
- War financiers who planned the wars and contrived and conspired to threaten and pressure public officials to give the order to fire.
Those who actually pulled the trigger on Koreans in Korea, Vietnamese in Vietnam, Laotians in Laos, Cambodians in Cambodia, Dominicans in the Dominican Republic, Lebanese in Beruit, Panamanians in Panama, Grenadians in Grenada, Afghani in Afghanistan, Iraqi in Iraq, Somali in Somalia, Yemeni in Yemen, Libyans in Libya, instead of reacting to criminal orders the way world champion Mohammed Ali did, are punished enough by their memories and own conscience unless so beyond the pale of sensitivity as to make any punishment at all, self or otherwise, moot and not understood.
By all logic, that soldier, yesterday shooting into homes abroad within a nation of people, which in no way attacked any of the community of nations whose armed forces have been bombing and occupying it militarily for ten years under concocted and false pretenses, cannot be morally or honestly prosecuted separately from those who sent him there, maintained him there, and ordered him to kill in the native population waring opposition to his being there fighting for his own life.
It will be unfortunate that the future mass of Americans, eventually turning on their own leaders to prosecute them, as has often happened during the great iniquities of the past, will not be able or willing to prosecute themselves for indifference and moral culpability for having supported perfidy over so many generations. They will however feel a backlash of guilt upon themselves and realize that ignorance and self-preoccupation is never an excuse before the law for being complicit in mass murder.
Your at-your-service author has had the benefit of having lived most of his life outside the States and mostly in nations that have been bombed by his own. This has, perhaps, put a sharpened edge on his perception and produced an inclination to want to represent America's multitude of non-industrially corrupted victims, whose innocent charm has brought them close to his heart - closer than his own pathetically misled brethren by blood and birthplace.