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Greater Islamophobia Alert: US Soldier Goes on Rampage, Murders 16 Afghan Civilians

We are told that in Afghanistan they only get upset when the occupying forces “burn Korans.” The protests, we are told, have nothing to do with the bombing and murdering of innocent civilians, you know the Greater Islamophobia.

Now we have one more instance of a soldier liquidating the lives of innocent Muslim civilians in a clearly premeditated fashion. How much do you want to bet he gets off scott free or with a suspended sentence like the last guy?

Afghans killed in rampage by US soldier

(AlJazeera English)

Sixteen Afghan civilains including three women and nine children have been shot dead in their homes by a rogue US soldier in a pre-dawn rampage.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the slaughter on Sunday as “unforgivable” and furiously demanded an explanation from Washington.

“When Afghan people are killed deliberately by US forces this action is murder and terror and an unforgivable action,” Karzai said in statement.

Senior US officials were scrambling to determine what caused the soldier to go on a shooting spree after leaving his base in southern Afghanistan, apparently heavily-armed and carrying night-vision equipment.

Officials confirmed that the soldier was being detained in Kandahar and that the military was treating at least five wounded.

One US official said the soldier, an Army staff sergeant, was believed to have acted alone and that initial reports indicated he returned to the base after the shooting and turned himself in.

Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, issued a statement pledging a “rapid and thorough investigation” into the shooting spree, and said the soldier will remain in US custody.

The US embassy in Kabul sent out an alert to its citizens in Afghanistan warning that as a result of the shooting “there is a risk of anti-American feelings and protests in coming days”.

An AFP news agency reporter at the scene of the killings counted the bodies of 16 people. In one house, an elderly woman screamed: “May God kill the only son of Karzai, so he feels what we feel.”

The shootings come at a particularly sensitive and critical time for the US, just as violence over the burning of Muslim holy books at a US base was starting to calm down. At least 41 people were killed in the violence.

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Herat, said the soldier entered three houses near the base and opened fire on civilians.

“We are now being told by the police sources that the US soldier left his base at three o clock this morning. It would have been pitch-black wherever he walked,” he said.

“The soldier went through three separate houses, shooting at people as they slept in their beds. After the soldier shot these people, he turned himself in.”

“It is frankly disastrous. It is not just a disaster for the people who were murdered and killed in their houses, it is disaster for the country I suspect,” our correspondent said.

Najeeb Azizi, a Kabul-based Afghan analyst, said the shooting will have deep repercussions on the already tenuous relations with the US.

“It is a very tragic incident in particular because the Afghan and US governments are trying to sign a strategic agreement for a long term,” he said.

“A very bad message the Afghan people are getting – that if US military remains in Afghanistan beyond 2014 and their attitude and behaviour remains the same – of killing innocent civilians- what will be the consequences, and how will the Afghan people respond to it.”

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  • unknown

    Why do Americans get pissed of wen 911 happened but yet they kill thousands of innocent people around the world for as long as I can remember . Its called karma . America has history of terrorism on other countries but they cover it up with a different name so it doesn’t sound bad

  • Awesome

    Even the “revenge” motive I suggest seems to have been accurate as well:

    RESIDENTS of an Afghan village near where an American soldier is alleged to have killed 16 civilians are convinced that the slayings were in retaliation for a roadside bomb attack on US forces in the same area a few days earlier.

    In accounts to The Associated Press and to Afghan government officials, the residents allege that US troops lined up men from the village of Mokhoyan against a wall after the bombing on either March 7 or 8, and told them they would pay a price for the attack.

    The lawyer for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, who is accused in the March 11 killings of the 16 civilians, has said that his client was upset because a buddy had lost a leg in an explosion on March 9.

    It’s unclear if the bombing cited by lawyer John Henry Browne was the same as the one described by the villagers that prompted the alleged threats. After a meeting at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Mr Browne said Sgt Bales told him a roadside bomb blew off the leg of one of his friends two days before the shootings occurred.

    A spokesman for the US military declined to give any information on the bombing or even confirm that it occurred, citing the investigation of the shootings. He also declined to comment on the allegation that US troops threatened retaliation.

    “The shooting incident as well as any possibilities that led up to it or might be associated with it will be investigated,” US forces in Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings,said.

    Sgt Bales, 38, is suspected of leaving a US base in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, entering homes and gunning down nine children, four men and three women before dawn on March 11 in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai. Mokhoyan is about 500 metres east of the base.

    The shootings have further strained ties between the US government and President Hamid Karzai who has accused the US military of not cooperating with a delegation he appointed to investigate the killings.

    Mr Karzai’s investigative team is not convinced that one soldier could have single-handedly left his base, walked to the two villages, and carried out the killings and set fire to some of the victims’ bodies. The US military has said that even though its investigation is continuing, everything currently points to one shooter.

    The US military does not release information on incidents such as roadside bombings if no coalition troops are killed so it has been impossible to independently confirm the eyewitness accounts.

    Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder from Panjwai district, gave an account of the bombing at a March 16 meeting in Kabul with Mr Karzai in the wake of the shootings.

    “After the incident, they took the wreckage of their destroyed tank and their wounded people from the area,” Mr Rasool said. “After that, they came back to the village nearby the explosion site.

    “The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque,” he said.

    “The Americans told the villagers ‘A bomb exploded on our vehicle. … We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,”‘ Mr Rasool said. “These are the reasons why we say they took their revenge by killing women and children in the villages.”

    Naek Mohammad, who lives in Mokhoyan, told AP that he was inside his home when he heard an explosion on March 8.

    “At first I thought it was an airstrike,” Mr Mohammad said.

    “After some time I came out and talked with my neighbour. He told me that there was an explosion on NATO forces.”

    Mr Mohammad said that as the two discussed the incident, two Afghan soldiers approached them and ordered them to join other men from the village who had been told to stand against a wall.

    “One of the villagers asked what was happening,” he said. “The Afghan army soldier told him ‘Shut up and stand there’.”

    Mr Mohammad said a US soldier, speaking through a translator, then said: “I know you are all involved and you support the insurgents. So now, you will pay for it – you and your children will pay for this’.”

    Mr Mohammad’s neighbour, Bakht Mohammad, and Ahmad Shah Khan, also of Mokhoyan, gave similar accounts.

    The US soldiers arrived in the village with their Afghan army counterparts and made many of the male villagers stand against a wall, Mr Khan said.

    “It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid,” said Mr Khan. “Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge.”

    Several Afghan officials, including Kandahar lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi, said people in the two villages that were attacked told them the same story.

    Although what it was a revenge for I was wrong about, but the revenge motive itself was more or less accurate.

  • Awesome

    As it turns out, the alternative explanation I suggested seems to have been spot on:

    “Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe”:


    KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday’s killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province.

    The probing delegation includes lawmakers Hamidzai Lali, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, Shakiba Hashimi, Syed Mohammad Akhund and Bismillah Afghanmal, all representing Kandahar province at the Wolesi Jirga and Abdul Latif Padram, a lawmaker from northern Badakhshan province, Mirbat Mangal, Khost province, Muhammad Sarwar Usmani, Farah province.

    The team spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidences at the site in Panjwai district.

    Hamizai Lali told Pajhwok Afghan News their investigation showed there were 15 to 20 American soldiers, who executed the brutal killings.

    “We closely examined the site of the incident, talked to the families who lost their beloved ones, the injured people and tribal elders,” he said.

    He added the attack lasted one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday.

    “The villages are one and a half kilometre from the American military base. We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups.”

    Lali asked the Afghan government, the United Nations and the international community to ensure the perpetrators were punished in Afghanistan.

    He expressed his anger that the US soldier, the prime suspect in the shooting, had been flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait.

    He said the people they met had warned if the responsible troops were not punished, they would launch a movement against Afghans who had agreed to foreign troops’ presence in Afghanistan under the first Bonn conference in 2001.

    The lawmaker said the Wolesi Jirga would not sit silent until the killers were prosecuted in Afghanistan. “If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga would declare foreign troops as occupying forces, like the Russians,” Lali warned.

    President Hamid Karzai on Thursday asked the US to pull out all its troops from Afghan villages in response to the killings.

    There are only a few possible motives for this:

    1 – collective punishment for the Afghans’ response to the Qur’an burnings

    2 – an exit strategy by getting an excuse to leave without having to admit losing

    3 – routine maintenance of perpetual war for perpetual profit, for war profiteers

  • Lo


    The first MSM I know to report on this is Reuters, who report the contradicting accounts from US officials (a lone soldier did it and “turned himself in this morning”) and neighbours (woken up by gunfire and the soldiers were “laughing and drunk”).

    WaPo doesn’t mention the villagers’ account. Something else it failed to mention: the fact that the bodies were set on fire. That’s pretty significant; murder is one thing but attempting to dispose dead bodies is a different crime altogether.

    The NYTimes have the most extensive report on the villagers’ accounts; at least 6 villagers (one of them a survivor) said that there was more than one soldier involved.

    Mondoweiss deals with mostly USA/Israel/Palestine news but they recently posted a comprehensive article on deliberate civilian killings in War On Terror, the latest massacre in Afghanistan included. All these “isolated incidents” are really not as isolated as they’d like us to think.

    Sorry, but I shouldn’t have used the phrase ‘piled the bodies up’. The neighbours said that they found all bodies had been put in one room, blankets put over them, and that they were on fire. There really was no indication that the bodies were on top of one another, that was just the image that flashed in my mind when I read the villagers’ horrifying description of what they found. In my defense, there were 16 bodies and when I saw the picture of the schorched room, it was not exactly spacious.

  • Lo,

    I was wondering, do you have sources regarding the witnesses that saw drunked soldiers? You make an interesting point that the alleged soldier may simply be the voluntary fall guy. And the piling of bodies. If so, I would appreciate these to add to my blog points on this story.

    You should write in your point directly to loonwatch via their direct link that raises new issues.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Steve, the point is that military indoctrination has taught these soldiers that Muslim and Afghan life is inherently less valuable than American life. Whether its based off religious prejudice or racism or BOTH, it is the reason we’ve seen so many war crimes from Americans and the reason said crimes are treated differently than if they had been committed against say German or French civilians.

  • Steve

    In what way do these murders signify islamophobia? As far as I am aware no motive has yet been given. The Taliban often murder muslims, are we to assume the taliban are islamophobes too?

  • mindy1

    The sad part is the books I read by the former soldier made very clear that when he was in West Point, he was told to adhere to very strict standards regarding rules of combat, and to respect the geneva convention-I would love to know where these nuts got THEIR training 🙁

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