Monday, March 26, 2012

The Differences and the Truth

When an American acts contrary to standards that more than 100,000 other military personnel have followed, we apologize, and bring the person to trial.  In many cases, we pay the victims or their families.  We follow Arab custom with blood money or diyat.  It is not because we have to, we don't.  We do it because it saves us trouble - Koranic and later sharia law requires the payment in cases of mistake or accident for a death, and should the amount be paid, the family are koranically prevented from causing any further harm or damage to the offenders.  It is case closed.

We don't see that though.

We see the US forces burning the Koran - riots and protests with deaths occuring result.
We see a US soldier kill 17 - followed by riots and protests and the deaths of scores around the world.

What we see now are Afghan soldiers turn on NATO (and US) forces, claiming they are upholding some honor for the burned Korans and or the murdered families.  As the article points out, the number killed by Afghan killers is almost nearly as high as those killed by the one American soldier, yet no one seeks to repay Americans or NATO for the loss.  It is dismissed as the work of a lone killer, disenchanted with the Americans.

Beguiling as that may be, the truth is preferable.  Those soldiers were either a) put their by al qaida or Taliban, or b) taliban or al qaida approached their families and gave them a choice they could not refuse.

Unlike the mentally unstable American or lone NATO killer, not sanctioned or supported by a society or culture - the Afgahn killer is championed and treated in a heroic manner, albeit dead.  His family, I am quite sure if we could check, received some large payment prior to his death.
26 March 2012

A British soldier and Royal Marine have been shot dead by an Afghan army soldier, the Ministry of Defence says.

The gunman also injured a third UK serviceman when he opened fire at the British military HQ in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

Nato said he was then shot dead when its soldiers returned fire.

The British soldier was from the Adjutant General's Corps (Staff & Personnel Support). Next of kin of both British servicemen have been told.

'Tragic event'

A total of 407 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since military operations began in 2001.

Announcing the deaths in a statement to the Commons, Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond said: "Our thoughts, as ever, are with their families, for whom this will be a deeply personal tragedy.

"Details of the incident are still emerging but it appears that a member of the Afghan National Army opened fire at the entrance gate to the British headquarters in Lashkar Gar city, killing the two British service personnel.

"The assailant was killed by return fire."

No doubt that Britain and Nato's leadership will want to reaffirm that after this latest incident there will not be a change in policy.

But a recent classified coalition report, obtained by the New York Times, found that between May 2007 and May 2011 at least 58 western service personnel were killed by Afghan soldiers and police in 26 separate attacks.

The report stated that "lethal altercations are clearly not rare or isolated; they reflect a rapidly growing homicide threat".

Could this impact the timetable for withdrawal? When four French soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in January, President Sarkozy temporarily suspended his nation's military training mission.

He has also now brought forward the date when French combat soldiers will leave the country - from 2014 to 2013.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the victims were in the "thoughts of all of us".

Spokesman for the UK's Task Force Helmand, Maj Ian Lawrence, said: "The thoughts and condolences of everyone serving in the Task Force are with their families and friends."

Brig Gen Sherin Shah of the Afghan National Army said the attack, carried out by a member of the Fourth Kandak of 3-215 Brigade, was "a tragic event".

"The incident is still under investigation and it is unclear if the action was planned or influenced by the enemy or if he acted alone, either way it is with the deepest regret that two Isaf soldiers who came to our country to provide security are now dead," he said.

"I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the soldiers' families and the British Army and Royal Marines, especially Task Force Helmand, for their loss."

Earlier a spokesman for the governor of Helmand said the shooting followed a "verbal clash" between Afghan and Nato soldiers, and the Afghan involved was from Kunar province.

The Taliban have claimed that the gunman was "their man".

The attack appears to be the latest in a number of "green on blue" incidents - where members of the Afghan security forces turn their weapons on their international colleagues or trainers.

Fifteen Nato military personnel, including eight Americans, have now been killed in this way so far this year.

The number of these incidents has risen since the burning of Korans by US troops at base in February, which President Obama said was a "genuine mistake".

Tensions were inflamed further by the killing of 17 Afghan civilians earlier this month.

US Staff Sgt Robert Bales, 38, has been charged with killing nine Afghan children and eight adults in their homes in Kandahar province on 11 March.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.