The seething anger triggered by the slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, mainly women and children, by a U.S. soldier comes amidst outrage over other civilian deaths. Last week violence erupted by the burning of the Koran by U.S. troops. In January American marines were captured on video urinating on dead Taliban militants. A US army ‘kill team’ was also caught on video cutting off dead body parts as souvenir trophies. On February 8th, helicopter gunships slaughtered eight shepherds on a mountainside as they were out grazing their flocks. Just three days later in Kapisa, four civilians were killed, mistaken for insurgents.
Daily night raids and drone attacks continue with an alarming numbers of civilian deaths.
President Karzai’s demands that such attacks stop have been ignored. Whole villages have been burned (NYT, March 13, 2012) eerily similar to the rational given in justifying such atrocities in the Vietnam war and brings forth the ghost of the My Lai massacre.
Meanwhile hundreds of Afghan children are dying daily from hunger as we continue to support our illegal occupation robbing our treasury of $2 billion a month. Our hidden agenda appears little to do with nation building (our large scale destruction of Iraq is hardly a good model) but more to do with maintaining a large military presence with 450 bases and protection of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline.
It is time to end our occupation now. Period.