3.24.2011

u.s. soldiers admit to killing afghan civilians (including children) for sport

This story broke several months back, but it's been revived and is receiving international attention. From today's Guardian:
An American soldier has pleaded guilty to being part of a "kill team" who deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport last year.

Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, told a military court he had helped to kill three unarmed Afghans. "The plan was to kill people, sir," he told an army judge in Fort Lea, near Seattle, after his plea.

The case has caused outraged headlines around the world. In a series of videotaped confessions to investigators, some of which have been broadcast on American television, Morlock detailed how he and other members of his Stryker brigade set up and faked combat situations so that they could kill civilians who posed no threat to them. Four other soldiers are still to come to trial over the incidents.

The case is a PR disaster for America's military and has been compared to the notorious incidents of torture that emerged from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This week the German magazine Der Spiegel published three pictures that showed American soldiers, including Morlock, posing with the corpse of a young Afghan boy as if it were a hunting trophy.
Video from ABC News, back in September:
Confession Video: US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans - Corporal, 22, Tells How His 'Crazy' Sergeant Allegedly Murdered For Kicks, Collected Body Parts.
I realize that many soldiers of any country will not participate in this kind of blood lust. But this wanton butchery appears to be the natural extension of war without end and without purpose, as both victims and occupiers are further dehumanized, until killing another human being is mere sport.

We've encountered these stories too many times, in too many places, in too many eras, to excuse it away. It's what war is made of. It's why it has to stop.

4 comments:

James said...

Another example of how blindly parroting "Support Our Troops" demonstrates a shaky grasp on the situation.

laura k said...

Another example of how blindly parroting "Support Our Troops" demonstrates a shaky grasp on the situation.

I was just thinking that, in context of a conversation/argument Allan described on this thread. See his comments re a comment of his being removed from a Red Sox discussion board.

I keep thinking, how does that guy - "all our fighting forces execute their duties effectively" - rationalize this??

I suppose it's the "one bad apple" excuse.

Which, by the way, is usually used backwards. The expression is "one bad apple spoils the barrel", NOT the reverse, as in the song.

allan said...

Allan described on this thread. See his comment

There is now an update.

allan said...

Chris Floyd:

The American war against Libya grew in intensity on Sunday, raining death in all directions -- including on civilian vehicles and Libyan forces in full retreat. Behind the full-scale barrage launched by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate ... the "no-fly zone" supposedly imposed to stop the fighting in Libya and secure the safety of its civilians morphed very quickly into what it was always intended to be: a military intervention on behalf of one side of a civil war, leading to more war -- and to many, many more civilian casualties. ...

It suits their current purposes to stand with one of the most oppressive and extremist regimes on earth to suppress, with deadly force, the yearning for democracy in Bahrain; so that's what they do.

The Peace Laureate and the bipartisan war-lovers in the American political and media elite tell us over and over that the assault on Libya is a "humanitarian intervention" aimed solely at "protecting the Libyan people." Yet at the same time, the ever-bellicose but often brutally frank Clinton states plainly, in public: "a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Gadhafi to leave.”

How much plainer can it be? It is not a humanitarian intervention; it is a military operation to impose regime change -- which is, needless to say, patently illegal under the international laws which the US and the UN say they are upholding. But who cares about that?

The fact that anyone takes anything these compulsive, demonstrable liars say at face value, even for a micro-second, is one of the great mysteries of our age.

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