A U.S. soldier in Afghanistan is accused of killing 16 civilians. He is thought to have left his base during the night and to have gone from house to house shooting people, including women and children.

Keeping in mind that these are early reports, which may be inaccurate — needless to say this is really, really bad, on every level. The Obama Administration has been trying to orchestrate a reasonably graceful endgame, and one suspects that’s been blown out of the water.

Recent polls suggests that more Americans than not want the U.S. to just haul itself out of Afghanistan and let the chips fall. The way things are going, that may be the best option.

20 thoughts on “Afghanistan

  1. This might be the ‘excuse’ Obama needs to get out. Can’t imagine what the response is going to be in the Muslim world, but if they got ticked off and killed Americans for some dumba** burning a Koran in Florida…..

  2. “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains
    And the women come out to cut up what remains
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    And go to your grave like a soldier.”
    -Rudyard Kipling
    That was written nearly a century ago, and still seems to be true.
    The mission has changed from eradicating Al Qaida training camps to building a democracy ( and the wealth of natural resources to be exploited via “pipelineistan”.)
    I was listening to a program on NPR several months ago, and a guest stated that the war was really a war on the Pashtu tribe (Pathans), good luck with that.
    Eric Margolis has written of his days with the Mujahadeen fighting the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan. He said he has NEVER seen such fearless, relentless fighters.
    Though ill equiped, they beat the Soviets and forced the enemy to leave.’Damned near destroyed the Soviet Army, and killed their economy.
    One must remember that The Soviet Union had states that bordered Afghanistan, thus had clear supply routes. Something that makes supplying American troops fighting a war difficult and costly is the lack of supply routes, instead having to air lift almost all supplies.
    I don’t think many Americans give a crap about the Afghans, I can’t tell you how many people I know think America should turn Afghanistan in to a radioactive slag heap and be done with it. I am shocked and horrified when that’s said, and can’t believe another human would have that opinion, but that’s what they say.
    It’s past time to think about getting American troops out, that should have been debated about 10 years ago.
    I’m always right 10 years later……….

  3. There’s nothing to say, except that this is awful – to say the very least.

    Sometimes, in wars and occupations, people’s minds snap.
    The most anti-war people I know, were/are members of my family who lived through the horrors of WWII. They lived through seeing the worst that mankind could do to itself.

    We need to get out.
    If there was any opportunity to change Afghanistan, it was right after 9/11. But “Baby Doc” Bush punted that opportunity away, when he decided to go after Saddam – the easier target, he felt. Afghanistan was too much work – and would have needed a massive “Marshall Plan.” And W, Cheney, and Rummy, were determined to go into Iraq ‘on the cheap,’ which had oil as a reward, unlike Afghanistan.
    This tragic (avoidable?) incidence, just made a bad situation worse.
    Get out.

  4. I never realized a soldier could just leave the base, on his own, just like that. Makes me wonder what was going on.

  5. Obama should have git when the gittin’ was good.

    I’m just so turned off by the endless war mongering bullshit of Iraq/Afghanistan that I think we should just bomb Iran/Syria into oblivion and be done with it.

    We’ll get out of Afghanistan when the merchants of death say we will..and not a minute before. God bless America, and Israel, and the GOP death merchants!

  6. Killing innocent muslim women and children can be nasty business…but somebody’s got to do it. Onward Christian soliders!

  7. I have not read everything posted on the site regarding the Rush episode but enough to rejoice that sponsors are pulling out. My effort now is to get the show dropped from Armed Forces Radio. The words of violence and hate are the last thing our military need. Obviously some of our soldiers have lost their minds and many others don’t need much to loose theirs. The military has a huge problem with violence against female soldiers. They don’t need Rush adding fuel to this fire. The least we can do for these wonderful men and women in the services is give them radio that does no harm!!!

  8. Boy, My heart just hurts for the families of the victims left behind and for the family of this soldier, and for the soldier himself.

    Our military builds killing machines out of human bodies.The past decade has put a strain on those human beings few could cope with and come out on the otherside “un damaged” . No matter how much we want to wave the flag and declare victory we LOST part of every man and woman we sent off to this effort and even when they physically come back they will never be the same. IMHO it is the greatest cost of war. We can mourn those on both sides who died and I never mean to make light of that loss, but they are gone, we cannot get them back and its final. Even sadder, to me at least, is the survivors on all sides..What they have to live with for the rest of their lives is just too much.

    When I hear people say that there is mental help out there for our troops to help them cope it is clear to me that they have no grasp of the reality that soldiers face. There is no cure that will repair what they have been thru- this is not equal to managing high blood pressure.

    Even thought our troops return home they paid the ultimate price. They gave their LIVES. Because their lives will never be the same as they would have been had they not served this country. It will forever change life for them.I can see where this could just be too much to face for many– KNOWING it will never be over even after it is over–it’s too much. It is like trying to grasp infinity.It’s just too big.For some the only way to peace will be a tragic and violent end. For others a lifetime of suffering.

    I worry about our troops. Not only those in harms way now, but those who are home and are expected to now continue to serve society even after their tour has ended by managing the un managable.

    I hope with all my heart people will take pity on this mans tortured soul and understand he was just a man who met his breaking point .This is indeed very very sad.

  9. My heart sank when I heard the news of the shootings on the radio today. Whatever the details, it’s the last thing we need there.

    I was worried when we went in all those years ago, mindful of Viscount Montgomery’s advice, as popularized by Vizzini in The Princess Bride, about not going into a land war in Asia, and not eager to be the latest proof of the “graveyard of empires.” Perhaps, (though it’s a big perhaps) it could have worked IF we’d kept our eyes on the ball, killed OBL and smashed al Qaeda quickly, and gotten the hell out. But all that neo-con nonsense, and Shrubya’s daddy issues, combined with the potential for loot, steered us into Iraq instead, and here we are, years later, with no good, or even not bad, paths ahead.

    I’m already dreading the grandstanding that will go on when the question of turning the shooter over to the Afghan authorities hits the talking head shows.

  10. Now that people of all ideological bents seem to favour pulling out, the reasons for staying fall into sharper relief. Anyone who wants to argue it is about nation-building or bringing democracy to Afghanistan is clearly living in fantasy land. It is about serving the interests of the military/industrial complex, as it has been since control of US foreign policy fell into their hands back in the 1980s.

    It really is time you guys stopped this ‘support the troops’ stuff. Anyone who signs up for the American military is volunteering to work for a pretty much unaccountable agency that devotes most of its time and resources to interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states that pose no threat to the USA. It is an ignoble vocation and it’s time progressives said so instead of this mindless ‘every soldier a hero’ nonsense.

    • Ken_L — the blame is not with the troops but with the civilian authority that sets the agenda. And, ultimately, that’s all of us. It is illogical to blame the troops for the policy.

  11. But it’s not illogical to blame people who voluntarily enlist to implement a policy that is already known. That was my point.

    • Ken_L — People enlist for all kinds of reasons, and some of those reasons are good ones. It’s bigoted and unfair to paint all the troops with the same brush. Perhaps if you knew some career soldiers personally you would understand what I’m saying. It really bothers me when people speak of all the troops as as you have.

  12. Ken_L …I hear what you’re saying and I appreciate your saying it. Because of my conflicted emotions I’ve never had the courage to say what you have said..but I’ve held that thought for many years.

    When I first read this post my initial reaction was to comment in bold letters with a simple word..Good!

    The bigger the horror,the better the chances that it might shock people into sensibility.

  13. Swami, god save my soul, but I thought the same thing.
    So often, soldiers are kids with few other options, limited education, no health care and a baby on the way. If our economy wasn’t so bad, there would be fewer soldiers. Humm! No, even I am not the synical —yet.

  14. I intended to qualify it adequately with “so often”. I do have family in military and know quite a few. Many of those went in for the education benefits. Retreading the post, I too would have been offended by the ‘baby on the way’ part. Sorry for that part. I hope we hear more about the background of the soldier in Afganistan who murdered civians. We have much to learn.

  15. Sorry maha we’ll have to agree to disagree. We don’t generally give a free pass to people who do bad things for what to them are good reasons and we should certainly not make exceptions for people employed in state-sanctioned killing.

    A bigot is ‘a person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.; a narrow-minded, prejudiced person’. I have no idea why you believe I am a bigot, which of course is a very offensive epithet, and I am surprised that you resort so quickly to personal abuse when you get a comment you disagree with. It’s a tactic I associate more with right wing blogs. However since you apparently want to receive nothing but uncritical support in the comments section, I’ll refrain from commenting here again.

    • We don’t generally give a free pass to people who do bad things for what to them are good reasons and we should certainly not make exceptions for people employed in state-sanctioned killing.

      I’m not saying to give anyone a free pass. I’m saying to not smear everyone in uniform with the same bigoted brush.

      I have no idea why you believe I am a bigot,

      Because what you wrote was bigoted on its face. All kinds of different people serve in the military. BY all means, when someone in uniform does something wrong hold that person accountable, but let’s not assume that everyone in the military is just alike.

      I’ll refrain from commenting here again.


  16. Ken_L.. Don’t be so eager to feel set upon..Maha never said you were a bigot,she said it’s bigoted (an unflexible idea). What you’re trying to convey is a very complex idea in a for us or against us format— It’s either black or white. Lick your wounds and re-think it.

    As far as never commenting here again…we live in an uncaring universe, so don’t be looking for concern on the internet.

  17. A number of kids from my H.S. graduating class joined the military.
    Two joined because there was a military “tradition” in their families.
    Two others joined in order to get training as aircraft pilots.
    Several joined because thay had no direction, and the military was better than jail or flipping burgers.
    There were few if any that I remember, who wanted to kill other people.
    My graduating class was the class of ’72; I went to Largo H.S. in Largo, Fl.

    I did know of some older men who enlisted to “Kill Charlie”, but most young men have no concept of combat.

    Come back, Ken; I enjoy your comments!

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