We need to be out of Afghanistan, and we need to be out yesterday, for we have turned into the Soviet Union, so far as our misadventure there goes.
FROM Reuters today:
Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.I SWEAR to God, if Ronald Reagan were alive and nobody told him the recent history of the Afghan occupation was that of his own troops, he'd be arming the Taliban to fight us.
One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.
Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.
The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-U.S. reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the rampage as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the United States. His office said the dead included nine children and three women.
An Afghan minister earlier told Reuters that a lone U.S. soldier had killed up to 16 people when he burst into homes in villages near his base in the middle of the night.
Panjwayi district is about 35 km (22 miles) west of the provincial capital Kandahar city. The district is considered the spiritual home of the Taliban and is believed to be a hive of insurgent activity.
Haji Samad said 11 of his relatives were killed in one house, including his children. Pictures showed blood-splattered walls where the children were killed.
"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," a weeping Samad told Reuters at the scene.
"I saw that all 11 of my relatives were killed, including my children and grandchildren," said Samad, who had left the home a day earlier.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attacks, calling them in a statement an “inhuman and intentional act” and demanding justice. Both President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta called Mr. Karzai, expressing condolences and promising thorough investigations. “This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.BULLSHIT. I'm not even an Afghan, but I would call three outrages in three months . . . a pattern. I also would say that three outrages in three months -- that pattern -- absolutely points to problems with the "exceptional" character of the American military, with the training of the American military and with politicians like Obama's and others' ongoing abuse of our armed forces and those who serve in them.
That we're coming undone in Afghanistan doesn't shock me. What does shock me is that, after a decade of this foolishness, we're not getting daily footage back of "exceptional" American soldiers smoking crack out of mortar tubes.