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11 March 2012

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The beaver

Colonel,

According to LAT, 1st Stryker Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, and several other smaller units assigned to the area.

Pirouz

Possibly 1/25th SBCT, "Arctic Wolves." Here's hoping its not.

walrus

If we are not careful, this could trigger an uprising.

CTuttle

Why the f*ck are they pushing the false meme of a 'rogue' soldier...? When is was clearly a liquored-up squad going on a shooting spree...! WTF, over...? *gah*

CTuttle

Reuters seems to be providing the best coverage...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/11/us-afghanistan-civilians-idUSBRE82A02V20120311

EAS

Colonel
'Investigation should be followed by appropriate legal action'. When you banned B did you not chose sides? Are you not also in the dock? When I say 'you' I think I can include the entire SPQR 'The Senate and People of the USA'. You are of the democracy who chose this direction. Aristophanes might weep.

This killing, this massacre, this horror, this obscene horror is an inevitable bit of the war being waged in Afghanistan and all around this sorry world, a natural part of the contempt for the rule by law by that army without honor or principal , that disgraceful senate, that craven house of representatives.

The problem posed will not be solved by banning people who speak a harsher truth. Hoping with a warm and caring heart that the direction set will not result in other lamentable, inevitable, calamities will not cut the mustard. S**t happens?
EAS

turcopolier

EAS

Rubbish. Self-obsessed pseudo intellectual self-righteousness. There is war and there is murder. If you had a fought a war you would know the difference. ppl

Lars

I am sure there will be an investigation but I am not sure the results will be accurate. There have been other incidents there and flawed queries. Just ask the Tillman family.

It would be nice if the ones in charge realize that nothing good will come out of that war. It has been a matter of compounded errors for quite some time.

turcopolier

Lars

More BS. The generals cover their ass and try to limit the number of culpable but that means nothing. They have always done that. That is how you get to be a general, or that's what my Dad told me. Tillman? Just another friendly fire incident. they happen all the time and probably always will. Ever been in a fire fight? Tillman's mother an oid sixties peacenik. She was looking for trouble and morons like McChrystal gave her the opportuniy. pl

samuelburke

So our war dep't places these soldiers in a city to do house to house fighting against a people that are being invaded and the one to blame is the rogue soldier?

What about the war dept...how about a little decency before choosing to go to war against civilians.

Our army was not made for this type of warfare, this is the type of stuff that american soldiers ought not to be flung into, look at the number of suicides among the returning soldiers who have done the fighting over there, fighting a civilian population is a sad state of affairs and a very bad reflection on us here in the "homeland".

Our military commanders need to be smarter than this, they are trusted by the young soldiers to know what the f-k is going on in the world, following politicians who are sold out to lobbies into doing their bidding is irresponsible of our military commanders.

There must be a voice of reason among them to try and dissuade politicos from leading them into bull$hit wars.

this is not soldier to soldier warfare with a clearly identifiable enemy.

CTuttle

Ironically, it was reported as all 'head shots,' just like Tillman's three tightly-grouped forehead shots...! 8-(

VietnamVet

Colonel,

War is War. But, I agree with F. B. Ali that some wars are necessary but America’s seem to have been fought lately to keep money flowing to the well connected except for perhaps Central American and Kuwait.

I read that Iraq was Dry. I assume the Afghanistan is the same. The troops were drinking illegal hooch. One went off the deep end. He and his buddies then tried to cover it up.

In Vietnam pot was easily purchased and the LZ had pallets of beer which would run down now and then and you were forced to drink Carling Black Label. Tensions were between urban and redneck, black and white, officers and enlisted; not with the Vietnamese. Strange.

What is similar after ten years of war is that discipline is falling apart. A WWII study said troopers were only effective for a year of combat. This is still true. Except according to Frontline, soldiers with post-traumatic symptoms are medicated to make through their tours in country.

“Greed is good” neo-liberal philosophy has seized control of government and the media. At best, we can only hope the withdrawal from Afghanistan goes as well as from Iraq and that America avoids being dragged into a war with Iran. Fat Chance, if History rhymes. Religious hatreds and cultural intolerance are being exploited to keep the money flowing. These emotions blowback on those who have to actually serve on the ground for too long.

mo

Colonel,

The massacre of civilians when you have an occupying force knows no limits to nations, cultures of tribes and has happened throughout history. Some occupying soldiers will always reflect on a sense of superiority or more pertinently, he will sense an inferiority of those he occupies. That is an unfortunate result of some mens inability to deal with their baser instincts.

Therefore, the true test of a civilization is how it reacts to these horrors that reflect a peoples adherence to morality and justice. Its how the perpetrators are punished that match deeds with words of a noble nature.

Investigation should be followed by appropriate legal action.

Unfortunately, as the victims of Haditha, Ishaqi, Hamdania, the Mukaradeeb wedding party and of course Mahmudiyah in Iraq will never be able to attest, the investigation will be followed by an attempt to cover everything up or whitewash the crimes and if that is not possible have appropriate legal action but not the appropriate (or in fact any) legal punishment.

The manner in which the US military has responded so far has been an abject and morally bankrupt failure.

optimax

Col.,
I respectfully diagree about Tillman's mother. There is a good documentary about the family--caqn't remember the title. If anything, she felt guilty about talking up her families lineage of service, thereby, encouraging his patriotism, enlistment and eventual death. The father is one straight shooter who, along with the rest of the family, wasn't going to let a beuracraciy push them around.

The Twisted Genius

samuelburke,

Soldier to soldier warfare with clearly identifiable enemies is now a rare thing. Our Army has to be properly trained and led to operate on increasingly ambiguous battlefields. With the present state of technical battlefield surveillance, a weaker fighting force has little choice but to operate among the civilian population. War is a vulgar abomination, even on a neatly delineated battlefield. If I had my way, every politician who blithely suggests that we should send the troops here or there would have his nose rubbed in a big steaming pile of this reality until he understands what he is calling for.

As far as this incident goes, it looks like nothing more than cruel, cowardly mass murder. The perpetrator(s) should be swiftly brought before a court martial and punished to the full extent of the UCMJ. I don't know if hanging is still done, but that would be my choice... preferably right there in Kandahar. In past incidents similar to this, the perpetrators seem to get off relatively easy. An ambiguous battlefield and bad enemy behavior should not be used as mitigating excuses for criminal behavior. The leadership of this unit also has to be examined with disciplinary and/or remedial actions taken as required.

Pirate Laddie

Sorry Col. -- Pat Tillman getting killed the way he did is one thing, burning his uniform & journal are something else. There comes a time to call a spade a bloody f'in' shovel, not just an entrenching tool.
Affie remains the graveyard of empires, largely because it usually comes late to the imperial table (after the low-hanging fruit's been taken), and offers the legions nothing but gall & vinegar. Too bad there remains enough corporate interest to keep the troops bleeding for no good cause.

turcopolier

Pirate Laddie

More crap. Generals are phonies in the main. That wasn't a conspiracy, just another hyper ambitious prick feathering his nest. Grow up. "End of empire" Give me a break. pl pl

turcopolier

optimax

You are nuts. She glowed in the light of a congressional hearing. Sucker! pl

turcopolier

mo

Nah. Just another case of poor leadership. pl

turcopolier

All

Except for TTG you are all wrong. pl

walrus

My guess is that the story is being repeated with embellishments in every town and bazzar up and down Afghanistan and the tribal areas.

Unless this matter is very quickly, publicly and ruthlessly investigated and the guilty publicly punished there could be very serious repercussions, possibly even open revolt.

Is there an American equivalent of a drum head court martial?

Ever heard of "Breaker" Morant? The British Army executed him him by firing squad for murder of POW's in The Boer War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_martial_of_Breaker_Morant

CTuttle

Totally agree, TTG...! First, all congress critters need to attend everyone of their constituents' funerals, and, look the parents, siblings, and kids in the eye, and explain why...! And then, if this sordid affair gets whitewashed like Haditha, ad nauseum, it will create some serious blowback, here and there...!

Morocco Bama

Please, not Tillman again. Can we put that to rest once and for all? Must Tillman be trotted out in every one of these debates? Can we now find another example? Surely, if it's as many of the anti-american critics paint it to be, finding examples should be like picking fruit in the tropics. Find another piece of ubiquitous fruit if the thesis is correct. The Tillman story is no longer en vogue.

confusedponderer

TTG

With the present state of technical battlefield surveillance, a weaker fighting force has little choice but to operate among the civilian population. War is a vulgar abomination, even on a neatly delineated battlefield.
Somebody tell that Israel's apoligists who routinely denouce their enemies for 'hiding among the population'. That becomes proposterous in light of Gaza, with a terrain the tenth the size of my city, with one and a half times the population. In places like Gaza there is no way not to fight among the population.

The point you raise is significant: With overhead surveillance, sensors, SIGINT, snipers and drone strikes, what other fighting chance but to operate among the civilian population does a weaker party have? Are there serious alternatives?

mo

confusedponderer,
Gaza is probably an exception to the rule since the situation there is so extreme. Otherwise, yes, see Hizballah, 2006. You can be the weaker party as long as you are the smarter party!

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