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U.S. soldier opens fire on Afghan civilians. Kills 16 people nine of them children and three women


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#41 Dennis Von Bremen

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:14 PM

in the manner of the way the States backed the Mujahideen during the Soviet invasion.

EXACTLY! It's not like that ever came back to bite the U.S. in the ass or anything...
http://www.september...reakingNews.jpg

#42 Cataduanes

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:23 PM

The reason it came back to bite them in the ass is because they failed to secure the peace, once the Soviets withdrew they just left Afghanistan to the mercies of the Taliban (for which Pakistan and its intelligence service must shoulder much blame). Of course there can be consequences of such a course of action, just like there are consequences of the current course of faction. However to abandon the Afghan people (principally the northern groups I mentioned) to the Taliban would be a decision condemning these groups to slaughter at the hands of a vengeful Taliban. To walk away completely is what the West did after the Soviets withdrew, it led to the rise of the Islamo-Fascists who eradicated Moderates like Ahmad Shah Massoud, massacred the Hazara's and of course providing Al Qa'ida with a firm base (leading to the event you linked).

#43 Golan 1st

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:35 PM

Exactly, if he is given fair trial, and not as is usual in the US, thrown to the wolves by politicians seeking a popularist vote.

If this person is deemed by a competent expert psychiatrist, to be culpable for his actions, I would be the last person to stand in the way of a fair trial. But so far this has never happened. They are usually given a 'fair trial', then shot

What the hell are you talking about? Are you now questioning the justice system?
This soldier will be tried by Americans, his lawyer will be given an opportunity to demand a psychiatric examination and, if found guilty, he will be punished by the reasonable American standards (which are harsher than the European standards). Your suggestion that politicians can somehow manipulate the justice system is unfounded, to say the least.

#44 Dennis Von Bremen

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:40 PM

The reason it came back to bite them in the ass is because they failed to secure the peace, once the Soviets withdrew they just left Afghanistan to the mercies of the Taliban (for which Pakistan and its intelligence service must shoulder much blame). Of course there can be consequences of such a course of action, just like there are consequences of the current course of faction. However to abandon the Afghan people (principally the northern groups I mentioned) to the Taliban would be a decision condemning these groups to slaughter at the hands of a vengeful Taliban. To walk away completely is what the West did after the Soviets withdrew, it led to the rise of the Islamo-Fascists who eradicated Moderates like Ahmad Shah Massoud, massacred the Hazara's and of course providing Al Qa'ida with a firm base (leading to the event you linked).

And yet, had we not gotten involved at all then Afghanistan would probably be a Socialist Republic now in the likes of the former Soviet republics. Probably the communists would have already fallen apart and some sort of strongman would have taken over, much as is the case in most of the Central Asian republics. Sounds like a great thing to me and the event I linked would have never happened. Win-Win. We save money and lives and so do they. Everyone benefits from non-intervention as you can see.

#45 Freddy

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:47 PM

@ Golan 1st, if a bomb, missile or Boeing 757 is aimed at a place where civilians are likely present, then a conscious decision to kill civilians has been made. That ciivilians are not the primary target (in the western world) makes little difference. Murder is the intentional killing of civilians without authorization and collateral damage is the intentional killing of civilians with authorization. In the eastern world they cheer people who mass murder women and children. I won't stand for unfair treatment of this soldier and a black-eye for the west while they celebrate the people who murder us.

#46 Dennis Von Bremen

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:50 PM

@ Golan 1st, if a bomb, missile or Boeing 757 is aimed at a place where civilians are likely present, then a conscious decision to kill civilians has been made. That ciivilians are not the primary target (in the western world) makes little difference. Murder is the intentional killing of civilians without authorization and collateral damage is the intentional killing of civilians with authorization. In the eastern world they cheer people who mass murder women and children. I won't stand for unfair treatment of this soldier and a black-eye for the west while they celebrate the people who murder us.

Exactly. If I killed a gang leader by shooting a rocket there and killing a dozen women and children then I would be trialled and probably given at least life imprisonment if not killed. Yet when the government commits the same heinous act it suddenly is fine and just "collateral" damage. Well why can vigilantes then not do the same? It's just collateral damage after all, not like they meant for innocents to die. :rolleyes:

Murder is murder, no matter how you want to justify it to help you sleep at night. If you kill children then you should be punished, no matter if a thousand terrorists die in the process. ANY innocent life killed is still murder no matter how you want to spin it.

#47 the rebel

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:09 PM

EXACTLY! It's not like that ever came back to bite the U.S. in the ass or anything...
http://www.september...reakingNews.jpg


What has the Al-Qaeda got to do with the Taliban? They're different, I wish people would stop blurring the lines and making them both the same.

This soldier will be tried by Americans, his lawyer will be given an opportunity to demand a psychiatric examination and, if found guilty, he will be punished by the reasonable American standards (which are harsher than the European standards). Your suggestion that politicians can somehow manipulate the justice system is unfounded, to say the least.


Why whats wrong with the American introduced government and their justice system? Mental hospital is no good for him as there is no excuse for what he did, just put a gun or cyanide capsule on a table in his holding cell tell him to be a man and leave him to it.

#48 Hereno

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:47 PM

And yet, had we not gotten involved at all then Afghanistan would probably be a Socialist Republic now in the likes of the former Soviet republics. Probably the communists would have already fallen apart and some sort of strongman would have taken over, much as is the case in most of the Central Asian republics. Sounds like a great thing to me and the event I linked would have never happened. Win-Win. We save money and lives and so do they. Everyone benefits from non-intervention as you can see.


The Soviets slaughtered the Afghans even with the support of the US, Saudi Arabia, and quite a few other countries. Less than 15k Soviets died, but over 75,000 Mujahideen were killed and 1-2 million Afghan civilians were killed. There were only like 250 thousand Mujahideen in the first place, which means that they took something like a 30+ percent casualty rate without including the missing or wounded. That's an abysmal performance. To give you some perspective, the number of dead Americans (both sides) in our civil war was approximately 6%.

Edited by Hereno, 12 March 2012 - 09:48 PM.


#49 Mack Truck

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:32 AM

Of course the severity of the crime matters. The punishment should be somehow proportional to the crime. It's not unreasonable to feel that this principle isn't implemented if criminals get the same punishment for different crimes where one is perceived significantly worse than the other.


Severity of the crime definitely matters, my lumberjack Aussie. You don't lop off a jaywalker's head.


I realised at the time of writing that I wasn't being entirely clear, which is why I added "that's the system that's already in practice".

I meant that in countries that currently have the death penalty they already take into account the severity of a crime in sentencing. If you're against the death penalty you're already against that system, so how bad a crime is shouldn't affect your belief - obviously while taking into account ones ability to change their minds.

#50 Cataduanes

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:03 AM

And yet, had we not gotten involved at all then Afghanistan would probably be a Socialist Republic now in the likes of the former Soviet republics. Probably the communists would have already fallen apart and some sort of strongman would have taken over, much as is the case in most of the Central Asian republics. Sounds like a great thing to me and the event I linked would have never happened. Win-Win. We save money and lives and so do they. Everyone benefits from non-intervention as you can see.

But this is a theoretical timeline your discussing, not the facts. But to indulge this I would say that the Socialist Republic especially under Mohammad Najibullah would have survived IF the CIA and Saudi's had not backed the Mujahideen, but only for some time. Given the nature of the Afghan communist party with its history of coup's (such as the Soviet backed coup's against Hafizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal) it is not implausible to think that Najibullah would have succumbed to some internal power struggles.

But let us deal with the facts and not some alternate history timeline, the Mission is Afghanistan is finished and the coalition should start looking real hard at a post-withdrawal scenario.

#51 Nelson1992

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

Ah yes, the same kind of mentality Patton used when he slapped a shell-shocked soldier and called him a coward. If you have never been in battle, faced and seen death, you are in no position to judge, let along condemn.

In war people break, people do illogical and stupid things, and as often as not it is a result of severe stress situations, which is what night operations are. I am not condoning these actions, but unlike the Islamic Fundamentalist nut-jobs, we have a policy of innocent until proven guilty


If this person was under such stress and mental anguish the American millitary should have picked up on signs, surely they have psychiatrists in the field?

no position to judge and condemn? I am not judging him as a soldier, i am judging him as a human being who just murdered nine children and three women. In one of the poorest countires on this planet, so if your argument is that this soldier has mental issues imagine the stress caused to the local afghani population after this American's stupidity.

#52 Golan 1st

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:06 PM

@ Golan 1st, if a bomb, missile or Boeing 757 is aimed at a place where civilians are likely present, then a conscious decision to kill civilians has been made. That ciivilians are not the primary target (in the western world) makes little difference. Murder is the intentional killing of civilians without authorization and collateral damage is the intentional killing of civilians with authorization. In the eastern world they cheer people who mass murder women and children. I won't stand for unfair treatment of this soldier and a black-eye for the west while they celebrate the people who murder us.

I don't think that I understand the logical connection between the two parts of your posts, so I will address them separately.
First, this soldier, like any other criminal (again, assuming that the story as we know it is what really happened), deserve fair trial. In the US, like most Western countries, that's a given and I don't think that anyone seriously question that beyond an emotional response to the horror of his alleged actions. After that fair trial, if he is indeed found guilty (which, as it looks now, is very likely), he should get a punishment that will reflect the disgust of the American society and its military of his crime.

Now for the first part of your post, I beg to differ. While both are regrettable, there is a big difference between intentionally killing civilians when this is the purpose of one's actions, and the killing of civilians when it's the undesired by product of another action. Life is complicated and sometimes you need to choose between bad and worse. What would you do if you were an Israeli pilot identifying a rocket launcher team in a school yard in Gaza about to launch a rocket on an Israeli town? What would you do if you were an infantry officer in Afghanistan and you saw 3 talibanis shooting your soldiers from the home of innocent Afghanis? Would you just allow the bad guys continue what they were doing?
Now, don't get me wrong. Battle situation is not a carte blanche to the fighting forces to just carelessly put uninvolved people in danger. But under certain conditions, which I have already outlined on several occasions on these forums, it is right to not stop a military operation even when civilians are in danger (while morally not the same, I think that risking the property of uninvolved parties should follow the same rules).

#53 Yankees Empire

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:20 PM

Give him his trial, and if he's guilty, lock him up and toss away the key. The end.

#54 Freddy

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

@Golan 1st, I was clear in saying both types are intentional, while one is murder and the other is something else. The world is shades of grey...choices between bad and worse. This mass murder is worse, but it's no more intentional than bombing a rocket site at a school.

Not sure why you bolded the last part there. It wasn't a logic based response on my part. I'm just done being appalled by my peoples' murders, while the (publicized) afghan populace celebrates their murderers.

#55 Golan 1st

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:54 PM

@Golan 1st, I was clear in saying both types are intentional, while one is murder and the other is something else. The world is shades of grey...choices between bad and worse. This mass murder is worse, but it's no more intentional than bombing a rocket site at a school.

Not sure why you bolded the last part there. It wasn't a logic based response on my part. I'm just done being appalled by my peoples' murders, while the (publicized) afghan populace celebrates their murderers.

I bolded the last part to separate it from the first part of your post, so I can respond to them separately.

Of course both are intentional, but the intentions are very different.

#56 Freddy

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

The intent in both cases is to do something which will kill civilians. Killing for no reason other than to kill civilians is murder. Killing civilians because they stand in the way of your goal is simply callous. It is a matter of to what degree an innocent life doesn't matter.

#57 Lord GVChamp

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

Ironically, despite the criticisms that Iraq is the modern Vietnam, Afghanistan looks far more similar to our Indochina involvement. A desperate attempt to negotiate a peace settlement from a position of weakness, on behalf of a government with an incompetent military and corrupt civi infrastructure that has almost no popular support at all. The end result will probably be the same: a "peace deal" that our adversaries break almost immediately and the quick collapse of our regional partner, followed by an escalation of the conflict in the neighboring states.

Afghanistan, though, really is hopeless.

We even get our own My Lai now!

Edited by Lord GVChamp, 13 March 2012 - 03:56 PM.


#58 NewPoseidon

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:50 PM

Events such as these happen in all wars. Whether or not they appear on the front page and become the focus of debate depends on whether the American people consider the war worthwhile. Hypothetically speaking, if the war in Afghanistan really did have a chance of defeating "terrorists" in the area and spreading democracy, peace, and apple pie then a single incident involving one US soldier and the deaths of 16 civilians would be a statistical outlier worthy of a 24 hour news cycle, but not much more, would it not?

But we all know that's not going to happen. Overthrowing the Taliban and kicking the crap out of Al Qaeda was surely a victory, but the war from 2002 to the present has essentially been an expensive decade long stalemate. As such, events such as these remind us of the high cost and low rewards of the war.

#59 Charles Stuart

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

Give him a fair trial and if found sane then hang him. If found insane he should receive a punishment similar to that loon from Norway. Simple stuff.

#60 Vaal Satori

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:29 PM

The intent in both cases is to do something which will kill civilians. Killing for no reason other than to kill civilians is murder. Killing civilians because they stand in the way of your goal is simply callous. It is a matter of to what degree an innocent life doesn't matter.


I see it as a philosophical question that everyone has their own staked out boundaries on. For instance, if the US had dropped a hydrogen bomb on top of Bin Laden's hideout and taken out half of Abbottabad along with him, could we have been accused of targeting civilians? Most people would say yes. And yet if a robber were to hold a bank full of hostages, and police killed one of them while storming the building, most people wouldn't consider that to constitute targeting of civilians. So it ultimately comes down to a subjective numbers game, and no two people can agree on where the cutoff is.




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