Monday, March 12, 2012

Another massacre in Afghanistan

If this is how one "wins the hearts and minds" of a people, this past weekend's massacre of 16 civilians by a US soldier has only succeeded in creating even more terrorists.    There have been suggestions the suspect may have been mentally unstable but in this part of the world there is no such thing as insanity -- if you're a murderer you're a murderer, period.    And for the remaining 300 or so Canadian troops who are acting as training "advisors" the stakes are very high also.   (Advisors ... hmmm ... didn't Truman send a bunch of advisors to Vietnam?    Guess we know how that turned out!)

The majority -- the vast majority -- of deployed personnel abide by accepted norms.    This includes the Geneva Conventions, particularly relevant in this instance are the Fourth Convention of 1949 and the Second Protocol of 1977.    Innocent civilians may certainly be killed in the realm of combat, but there's a different between so-called collateral damage and an outrage like this one.    The soldier may actually wish the US was a signatory to the Rome Statute because the Hague Court for international war crimes doesn't have the death penalty.

President Obama was probably gambling that Afghanistan and not Iraq was the war to fight.    But if this keeps up, it will be the Alliance that is on the run (as if they aren't already).

Frankly, Canada should just give up and pull out who we have left.   There might not even be much point in having an embassy other than for a chargé d'affaires.   Afghanistan is a failed state.   The British couldn't conquer it, the Soviets were run out and all we've achieved in eleven years is extending a civil war but only changing the players somewhat.    Give up already.   If this what passes for civil behaviour, it makes rigging a democratic election tea time by comparison.

Besides, the war was never about the Taliban.  It's about Kashmir, and the border dispute between India and Pakistan.    All we've done by our presence is help defer the nuclear war that will eventually happen anyway.

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