Horror….. is what the bleak scenario in Afghanistan quickly turning into. The longer this misguided, prolonged US occupation continues, greater will be the human toll on both sides
The massacre of 16 innocent civilians by an American staff sergeant on March 11th in Panjawii district stunned the entire world and again brought to the fore the ravages that this war is wrecking on all sides. We may never be able to determine what exactly triggered this impromptu violent act, but one thing is for certain; that the continued presence of foreign troops in Afghan soil will definitely act as a catalyst to more of such gory events in the future. The shooting spree ignited an nationwide protest with President Karzai dubbing these killings as “assassinations” and clamoring for the foreign troops to withdraw from the Afghan soil. Retaliatory attacks started happening all over the nation killing US soldiers, threatening to shatter the fragile trust between the two governments.
This violent massacre has been called tragic by the US government and media, citing the psychologically unstable condition of the accused which prompted this shooting spree. However when US soldiers get attacked by Afghans – the government and the media waste no time in branding such acts as acts of terrorism. This hypocrisy and dual standards which forms the core of US’s Afghan policy is one of the major causes of this fiasco. The perverted notion that democracy can only be delivered by the barrel of the gun and terrorism can be stemmed by terrorizing an entire nation needs to change.
This massacre happened in the wake of “Koran Burning” incident which led to major uproar and carnage which killed nearly 30 Afghan civilians while wounding hundreds. Also the video of US soldiers urinating on dead Taliban soldiers again highlighted the lawlessness, chaos and the degree of vigilante justice that have shrouded an entire nation.
Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction
The actual scenario is starkly different from the claims of the Western nations, that US led coalition forces have ushered in an era of peace and stability. The actual scenario cannot be far from the truth – something which was amply highlighted by the 90,000 odd leaked documents which revealed the actual reality. The extent of atrocities cited in those documents inflicted by the coalition force shocked the entire world. The papers revealed that within a span of five years between 2004-2009, nearly 400 civilians, including children were killed by NATO air strikes. This is an official estimate. The actual figures logically are much higher.
The “War On Terror” launched by George Bush nine years ago purportedly to root out AL-Qaeda, has only brought desolation and misery to the Afghan people. Terrorism has continued to spread its tentacles with impunity, while the common man has invoked the wrath of an increasingly frustrated occupying force, which started seeing terrorists and suicide bombers in every nook and corner. The recent macabre incidents are actually cocking a snook to Barack Obama’s vaunted claims that the situation has improved under the present administration. When in fact the circumstances have aggravated beyond measure and perhaps beyond repair also.
Such wanton acts of slaughter and mayhem are occurring too frequently to be considered simply as aberrations. These incidents are only lending credence to the popular belief that this war was never fought to free the Afghan people from the shackles of Taliban, but to augment America’s geopolitical dominance.
From US’s perspective, the physical and mental toll that this war is exerting on her soldiers is immense. In 2011 the highest number of suicide cases among soldiers were reported . The Jont Base Lewis Mcchord (JBLM) military facility to which the accused staff sergeant responsible for the massacre belonged , is described as the most troubled military facility, with cases of suicides and PTSD (post stress traumatic disorders ) mounting everyday.
This misguided, protracted war is wreaking havoc on both sides and doing little to justify its continuance. The time is nigh for US and its allies to realize the futility of their efforts and end this disastrous, bloody and terrorizing occupation of Afghanistan.