Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 11, 2012

Drunk Soldiers' Have Fun By Murdering Afghan People

Sixteen people were killed and five wounded by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan today.

The first version of the story that came out was this:

An American soldier wandered outside his base in a remote southern Afghan village shortly before dawn Sunday and opened fire on civilians inside homes, killing at least 16, Afghan and U.S. officials said.
Officials shed no light on the motive or state of mind of the staff sergeant who was taken into custody shortly after the alleged massacre.

“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Williams, a military spokesman.

U.S. military officials stressed that the shooting was carried out by a lone, rogue soldier, differentiating it from past instances of civilians killed accidentally during military operations.

But that story made little sense to me. Why would someone go out into the dark of the night and break into three houses and deliberately kill everyone there with shots to the head? That didn't sound like a panic reaction. And why then return to the base?

Now a different version is emerging and it seems that the military spokespersons lied in their first reports:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 11 (Reuters) - Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.
Haji Samad said 11 of his relatives were killed in one house, including his children. Pictures showed blood-splattered walls where the children were killed.

"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," a weeping Samad told Reuters at the scene.

"I saw that all 11 of my relatives were killed, including my children and grandchildren," said Samad, who had left the home a day earlier.

Neighbours said they awoke to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, whom they described as laughing and drunk.

"They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," said neighbour Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where the incident took place. "Their bodies were riddled with bullets."

The only good one might say about these soldiers is that they probably held back from filming themselves pissing over the children they killed.

The incident reminds me of the Haditha massacre:

The Haditha killings (also called the Haditha incident or the Haditha massacre) refers to the incident in which 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children were killed by a group of United States Marines on November 19, 2005 in Haditha, a city in the western Iraqi province of Al Anbar. All those killed were civilians.
An initial Marine Corps communique reported that 15 civilians were killed by the bomb's blast and eight insurgents were subsequently killed when the Marines returned fire against those attacking the convoy. However, other evidence uncovered by the media contradicted the Marines' account.
The investigation claimed it found evidence that "supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot civilians, including unarmed men, women and children", according to an anonymous Pentagon official.

The whole issue was then processed through military courts for over six years and in the end not one of the soldiers involved was indicted or faced penalties.

It is likely that the same processing will happen on today's case and that six years from now everyone involved, including those who made up the lone-wolf cover-up story, will walk off free and without any serious penalty.

But it is also likely that six years from all U.S. soldier will have left Afghanistan. It is a sad thing to say, but if today's murder accelerates the retreat of western forces from Afghanistan the deaths today may not have been completely in vain.

Posted by b on March 11, 2012 at 17:01 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I wonder.....

Is Limbaugh still piped into the troops?? Imagine our troops listening to some fat oxi-contin addict asshole telling them that our President is a coward for apologizing about the Koran burnings. Remember, these troops are spoon fed the rhetorical poison that makes them into killing machines. Unless they can instill hatred and anger in our troops, directed towards "the enemy", these troops might balk at pulling the trigger.

It is the fucking pieces of shit in Washington DC, and the script reading ghouls in our media that are ultimately responsible for these kinds of travesties. These soldiers are a product of policy, and the manner in which policy is marketed by the pseudo "divided" criminal regime in DC that masquerades as a two party ruling entity. Ghouls are inhabiting BOTH sides of the aisle, and their evil rivals the evil of mankind's most despicable past. Are we to be suprised that these megamaniacal elitist monsters are making our troops into serial murderers and bigots???

Ashamed to be an American.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 11 2012 17:19 utc | 1

Is Limbaugh still piped into the troops? Yes: March 9, 2012 U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan wants Rush Limbaugh taken off Armed Forces Network

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2012 17:28 utc | 2

& we will soon have a post by slothrop berating b for not being able to see this event as a legitimate action against the mullahs, slothrop approved of fallujah & haditha as killing action that were necessary for the maintenance of a just u s power

& of course these event & the other countless massacres will dissappear from n?wspapers if they ever appeared there in the first place

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 11 2012 17:32 utc | 3

US military spokespersons would lie? No shit? Who could have imagined such a thing?

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Mar 11 2012 17:33 utc | 4

A few more details in this Reuters report:

Another witness, Agha Lala, who is in his 40s, said he was awoken by gunfire at about 2 a.m.

"I watched them from a wall for a while. Then they opened fire on me. The bullets hit the wall. They were laughing. They did not seem normal. It was like they were drunk," he said.

After rushing to his home and hiding all night, Lala, who is no relation to Jan Agha, went to check on the neighbours.

"It was a slaughter. The bullet-riddled bodies were all over the room and it seemed they were burned with curtains and blankets that were torched," he said.

"Is this what the Americans call an assistance force? They are beasts and have no humanity. The Taliban are much better than them."

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2012 18:21 utc | 5

"They are beasts and have no humanity."

Sadly, this man has hit the nail on the head. The West has lost its soul.

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Mar 11 2012 18:40 utc | 6

PO'd @1 , I hope you're not suggesting the soldier(s) are not responsible.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 11 2012 18:50 utc | 7

Green on blue is the only rational response.

Posted by: david | Mar 11 2012 19:29 utc | 8

r’giap, I suspect sloth has been banned. I recanted the other day from wanting to keep him around and sloth hasn’t been denigrating these pages since. Here’s hoping.

POA, I want to pick a couple nits. We often tend, myself included, to blame the slime in DC for all the obscene sick’o actions of these United Fucking States. However they are but the hirelings and minions of the really evil ones. Those are the filthy-fucking-criminal-psychopathic-1% who own and control the DC sycophants and the MSM as well and while I’m on it the pseudo intellectual bought and paid for UnThink Tanks. It is sad that so many of us fall for the PR bullshit that diverts the blame from the manipulators behind the curtain. I like to believe that most of the libertarians and tea partyers are honest well intentioned individuals simply beguiled by Randian philosophy foisted on them by the ruling elite. Unless we start naming the real criminals on a consistent basis we are misplacing the ire that should be directed directly to the top 1%. End rant.

Posted by: juannie | Mar 11 2012 19:29 utc | 9

remembereringgiap @ 3
& of course these event & the other countless massacres will dissappear from n?wspapers if they ever appeared there in the first place

Now the second link in the story doesn't work, b. Did it ever? Or have they pulled the story and expecting us all to forget it..

Anywho... the murderers will probably be flown out on the next plane. Further upsetting the Afghanis, who will demand they be put to justice in Afghanistan, I mean hanged.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 11 2012 19:34 utc | 10

How can anybody justify this? I believe this was a deliberate "cry for help" by these soldiers(much like the Koran burning) who are now war-weary and worn out. America's ignorance, shrouded in arrogance and hubris will surely be their downfall - especially in Afghanistan.In fact, most of the fallen empires in the Hindu Kush fell because of sheer hubris and ignorance.The soldiers no longer believe their politician's BS about fighting to preserve American values and bringing democracy to them heathens.

The US likes to delude themselves that it was their stinger missiles and weapons that helped the Mujahideen defeat the Soviets. If anything, the Soviets were much more ruthless than the Americans and it was their barbaric ruthlessness that galvanized all Afghans to throw them out eventually.I see a similar fate for the Americans. The problem with occupational armies is that they're simply not sustainable. The lies and truths concerning the Afghan campaign is revealed by every passing day and each revelation makes NATO's defeat more certain. The soldiers fighting there have lost hope and don't see the point in fighting anymore. They've become mere pawn in US domestic politics..Obama doesn't want to be labelled as weak on foreign policy so he expanded the Afghan war. That decision didn't have any logic to it apart from "looking tough" at home.

If they think they've seen worse, they should brace themselves.They should really be thankful that the Russian haven't decided to pay them back for their backing of the Mujahedeen in the 80s. NATO seem to be doing well themselves digging their own graves without the active support for the Afghan resistance by countries like Iran, China, Russia etc. that have a legitimate bone to pick with uncle Scam.

The Afghan war is lost, it just hasn't been announced to ordinary Americans yet. And no US president wants to be the bearer of that bad news.The troops stationed there will continue to remain pawns in US domestic politics until a sane person becomes president in the US.

Can anyone imagine the chaos waiting to happen in the US with monsters like these returning home in 2014?

Posted by: Zico | Mar 11 2012 19:39 utc | 11

US army spokespeople now acknowledge witness reports but insist they are wrong ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 19:39 utc | 12

omg, it's just ..overwhelming

Posted by: annie | Mar 11 2012 19:53 utc | 13

Obama's empty words of "holding people accountable" are meaningless, everyone saw the scum from the Haditha massacre get off with only a dishonourable discharge. I suspect the Taliban will be passing there own form of IED justice on the occupation forces for this crime. Hopefully 16 scalps for the 16 civilians killed today.

- Anyway moving onto some funny news from Afghanistan "Anyone Seen a Pair of (Very Expensive) SUV's?":

Army Times is reporting that the US Army is offering a $10,000 reward for any information as to the whereabouts of two SUVs equipped with classified technology used to jam roadside bombs that were stolen from under the noses of soldiers at a military base in Kabul. The vehicles — black armoured Toyota Land Cruisers outfitted with CREW Duke electronic jamming systems and valued at $344,000 — disappeared from Camp Eggers in Kabul in January, according to a notice on the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s website.


- Also everyone should read this great piece on Afghanistan by Ann Jones, whose travelled Afghanistan extensively "Dead Americans, Dead Goats and Half a Million Gunmen on the Loose" good journalism is rare so get it while you can.


Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 11 2012 19:57 utc | 14

b, your 'a different version ' link is not working "404 pageThe page you are looking for can not be found"

Posted by: annie | Mar 11 2012 19:57 utc | 15

Zico says, @11...

"I believe this was a deliberate "cry for help" by these soldiers."

you'd rather believe tht than believe american kids have been dehumanized by their culture... well, believe what you will.

there's avery good neocon reason for american presence in afghanistan... it's just that it's so sleazy that nobody can admit it.

google images: "operation enduring turmoil"

it boils down to this: israel must be secured from sea level rise before its israeli american protector collapses from oil shortages.

we must deprive china, which is setting records for volume of oil imports, of access to israeli america's oil, which is our oil by virtue of our belief that might makes right.

so, we cause so much commotion in afghanistan and pakistan that oil and gas pipelines cant be built from the persian gulf and central asia to china and india.


Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 20:19 utc | 16

The news accounts are incredible. It could just be a test to see if there is anything that the public will not believe. And anyone who believes the accounts in the NY Times, the propaganda rag formerly known as The Manchester Guardian and the Toronto Star, will believe anything.
A lone soldier? Attacking two villages. Killing sixteen and wounding others. And trying to set fire to the corpses? And all this in Afghanistan?
The Reuters account seems far more likely. As to who is to blame: we are, for stomaching governments which make the Aztecs look like Quakers and the Nazis, pikers.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 11 2012 20:55 utc | 17

You can still find copies of the Reuters report, with the original title, "Western forces kill 16 civilians in Afghanistan - Kabul govt." at these two URLs:
In some other places the same Reuters story is still running, but with the headline changed.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Mar 11 2012 21:02 utc | 18

unlikely, retreatingbladestall, as turmoil endangers any oil transport, not just transport to China. Pipelines are easily attacked with or without turmoil, whilst tankers and trucks are a limited target.
"The new threats to the security of oil supplies are directly affecting oil prices. Maritime insurers, for example, have already begun to sharply raise the premiums charged to cover tankers in risky waters. Premiums insurers charge tankers passing through Yemeni waters tripled since the attack in Yemen. For a typical supertanker carrying about two million barrels of oil, the rate rose to $450,000 a trip from $150,000, adding about 15 cents a barrel to the delivered cost of the oil -- and that is just for the ship; the cargo is insured separately. Terror attacks in other locations will carry premium increases in their wake. The increasing costs of securing pipelines, oil terminals and tankers are all reflected in the price of gasoline.

The risks to our energy supply are frighteningly real and there is a limit to our ability to deal with them. Only by increasing our energy independence would we be able to minimize the need to transport oil across the globe and thus reduce our vulnerability to these types of attacks..."

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 21:11 utc | 19

A coverup of the crime may be in progress. If evidence suggests that a group of soldiers talked among themselves and planned this attack on civilians; then this crime scene may not resemble Haditha so much as Mahmudiya, where the rape and killing 14 year old, Abeer Hamza, along with the murder of her parents and young sister, was plotted in advance. Those US soldiers, who manned a checkpoint in Iraq in 2006, had made advance plans and were later tried and convicted of raping and murdering Abeer and killing her family. They are serving life sentences now.

A similar crime will result in similar upheaval. And if its motivation was pure hate and dehumanization of local people; then it will cause an explosion of rage throughout Afghanistan.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 11 2012 21:16 utc | 20

somebody says, @19...

"...turmoil endangers any oil transport..."

turmoil in afghanistan and pakistan does not endanger oil shipments to israeli america from canada, saudi arabia, mexico, south america, or africa, does it?

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 21:21 utc | 21

'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.


Posted by: EAS | Mar 11 2012 21:28 utc | 22

@ Copeland 20...

it's likely this will be front page "news" and haggled about until israel is done with this episode of bombing gaza.

at least they're not using WP this time... my goodness, that WP makes such great tv, though.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 21:29 utc | 23

retreatingbladestall 21

you don't have to blow a pipeline up, you just have to report it

by the way China also gets oil from Saudi Arabia

and no problems getting it from Iran ...

No, turmoil in Afghanistan is good business for the weapons' and security industries, drug dealers. for nobody else.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 21:42 utc | 24

No surprises here.

The guy(s) (whatever) were probably on a night mission to teach a couple Koran burning protesters (anyone in the village will do) who's really in charge around here. A lesson they seem to easily forget. And being a Saturday night there may have been a little alcohol involved, in a good natured kick ass red blooded American sort of way, mind you. Surely Jesus would approve the (any) means necessary to restore order in an alien land where the enemy threat lurks in the heart of every Afghan person, always ready to game you, cheat you, or stab you in the back. In so many ways this has always been a religious war against the hysterical jihad , 911 mosque building, imposing sharia law in Oklahoma, crazy Muslims who want to destroy America.. Besides, our upstanding law makers, preachers, and radio squawkers tell us this is so everyday. Our brave soldiers have had to fight this war with both hands tied behind their back as is apparent in the obvious failures in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where the American exceptionalist way of life has been smitten by those who we labor so relentlessly and so righteously with treasure and blood (especially treasure). Of course the media on a daily basis slanders all this good work, and as example, will no doubt trumpet this story as a soliloquy of shame in a misbegotten appeal to sell the world on American reflective consciousness and the good faith belief in its jurisprudence. Because if we learned anything from the Haditha atrocity, it's everything and always, about US. And we're never ever wrong.

Posted by: anna missed | Mar 11 2012 21:49 utc | 25

why is israeli america forbidding its indian ally to join the iran-pakiistan-india pipeline project?

is it only coincidence that china was planning a tanker port, refinery, and LNG terminal at gwadar pakistan? ...are israeli american checkers players getting outfoxed by chinese go players? china's growing volume of oil imports evidence that, despite israeli america's best efforts at thwarting china's access to oil, they're failing?

is israeli america's failure to curb china's oil imports another reason for regime change in syria and lebanon, so pipelines can be built to the mediterranean once we start bombing iran and close hormuz?

is it all nothing but a neocon pipedream, cover for the biggest looting operation ever?

are there factions? ...are there diehard zionist who still believe in the PNAC project, more out of desperation than anything else?

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 21:53 utc | 26

Looks like Kissinger's "useful idiots" have had enough of the Base & Bunker buffoonery of the M-IC and their commanders, and want to do some serious civilian slaughtering - or go home.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 11 2012 21:54 utc | 27

map, PNAC progress, showing areas of influence, pipelines, oil deposits, tanker routes

pattern recognition

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 11 2012 22:07 utc | 28

anna missed

as usual, on point

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 11 2012 22:09 utc | 29

slothrop approved of fallujah & haditha

Nope. Never said it. There's nothing about this post w/ which I disagree.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 11 2012 22:16 utc | 30

"PO'd @1 , I hope you're not suggesting the soldier(s) are not responsible"

Don't be an ass. Of course I'm not saying that. I am merely suggesting that we should not be suprised by the actions of these soldiers, because the political rhetoric used by our so-called leaders and thier despicable media mouthpieces actually breeds hatred in the hearts of our soldiers.

You think this is an isolated incident, performed by a few rogue sadists??? Well, you musta missed the very beginning, when we marched "the enemy" into metal storage containers, and gave nary a second glance at the fact that they died, aphyxiated by the sweltering heat. Who, pray tell, was held responsible for THAT war crime? How many such incidents have gone unreported and unpunished? You don't think these fuckin' pieces of shit like Limbaugh, Hannitty, Maddow, Cooper, etc bear equal responsibility? And what of our leaders, whose families are safe and fat here stateside while they send our military off to avenge crimes that "our enemy" never committed?

This ain't the only attrocity, and it ain't gonna be the last one either. This is what war does to human beings. And these sacks of shit in DC are well aware of that fact. Their only regret is that such attrocities are not able to be concealed 100% of the time. Occassionally, the truth sneaks out. And the truth it reveals is that WE have become "the evil empire".

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 11 2012 22:30 utc | 31

"Nope. Never said it"

Well, perhaps not. But, were I you, I would certainly be engaging in a bit of introspection, and asking myself "Why am I so loathed here that someone would think to write such an accusation?"

Honestly, your denial seems out of character, Slothrot. I found the accusation plausible enough, and really, I haven't been here all that long. In such a short time, you have definitely convinced me that you are more than capable of defending an act as indefensible as this latest attrocity.

Tell me, did the Abu Ghraib photos turn you on???

Why, Slothrot, would I think so lowly of you? Have you given me a reason to think otherwise?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 11 2012 22:50 utc | 32

ABC Evening News (only national news broadcast not preempted by basketball and gold) stuck to the single perp story. However, photos of blood soaked walls and floors, small corpses wrapped in blankets were shown.

Very interenting that the Reuters' site has the story about a single perp, with mention that witnesses accounts differ from that of the US military.

There were conflicting reports of how many shooters were involved, with U.S. officials asserting that a lone soldier was responsible, in contrast to witnesses' accounts that several U.S. soldiers were present.


Neighbors and relatives of the dead said they had seen a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at about 2 a.m., enter homes and open fire.

An Afghan man who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Compare the careful wording used here with that applied to the Syrian activists/rebels' broadly accepted accounts of civilian deaths by the Syrian military....

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 11 2012 23:07 utc | 33

What? No rape first?* These soldiers always surprise me. Too drunk to fuck probably.

@PoA: Good job pointing out that Rush L. is on armed forces radio. I hope to read more on this issue. The US military is despicable.

@B: good work.

*sarcasm a la Voltaire's Candide.

Posted by: nobodee | Mar 12 2012 0:04 utc | 34

New statement from a US official appearing on TV:

"We assure you that the individual, or individuals, responsible for this, will be identified, and braught to justice."

The official line is slowly moving towards the knowsion that it was not a lone rouge soldier, but as first reported, a platoon or team on a mission, that went out of line.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12 2012 0:09 utc | 35

@31 "This is what war does to human beings." PissedOffAmerican

I second your truth and thank you for it. We are not immune.

Posted by: christiana | Mar 12 2012 0:11 utc | 36

The 'rogue' squad leader meme, burns my chaps...! Having served as a squad leader in a straight leg unit...! I'll guarantee ya it was a washed-out RIP/Q School 11B NCO, trying to prove his leadership 'mettle'...! At least he's fallen on that 'sword'...! The PLT Ldr/CO/1SGT/Bn.CO/Bn.CSM, etc, should all be relieved of duty and taken out of theater...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 12 2012 0:30 utc | 37

Alex @34... It has all the hallmarks of a Squad-level action, tho not a Platoon sized op...! However, a 'rogue' soldier is totally preposterous even if you're Rambo caliber...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 12 2012 0:41 utc | 38

Sloth@30... *heh* I always knew ya had a shred of humanity in ya...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 12 2012 0:46 utc | 39

but not too drunk to burn the bodies

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 12 2012 0:51 utc | 40

@31, don't be an ass? Fuck you too. "You think..." etc. Where does this come from? Your missing a few steps from what I said and the conclusions you drew.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 12 2012 1:25 utc | 41

first Gadafi next Mugabe:
Mugabe under attack by dodgy HR groups on bogus rape charges

Posted by: brian | Mar 12 2012 1:54 utc | 42

"Fuck you too"

Naaaaahhhhh......these online hook-ups are just too dangerous. But thanks for the offer, anyway.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 12 2012 2:13 utc | 43

The US can't withdraw until the Afghan Army is fully trained by these US troops.

Posted by: Biklett | Mar 12 2012 2:37 utc | 44

"The US can't withdraw until the Afghan Army is fully trained by these US troops"

Lets send Limbaugh over there to train 'em! I'm sure the fat fuck would jump at the opportunity to grow poppies.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 12 2012 2:52 utc | 45

Biklett@43... And then we get to turn over the keys to an Afghan Govt that can't even sustain said 'Army'...!

Woo-hoo...! Our National Treasure(s) hard at work...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Mar 12 2012 2:55 utc | 46


Really, just shut up. You're stupid. Seriously.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 12 2012 3:24 utc | 47

I rest my case, Slothrot.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 12 2012 3:25 utc | 48

hi, r'giap, nice to see you up and around :)

I've also seen that slothrop had gained some traction this last days... b even spoke to and about him... wow, nice achievement mate, a toast to that!

I've always had the impression that his nick was an anagram, and I think I got it:
slothrop = losthopr = lost hope = don't give up, sloth, we've got your back here

the next round's on me, bartender, danke schoen

Posted by: rudolf | Mar 12 2012 4:32 utc | 49

POA @ 1:"These soldiers are a product of policy, and the manner in which policy is marketed by the pseudo "divided" criminal regime in DC that masquerades as a two party ruling entity."

Yep, and that simple statement sums it all up nicely. And the vast bulk of the American "sheeple" could give a flying fuck. These "incidents" are becoming redundant, and have been for decades. We are surely becoming a nation of soulless monsters, and if Karma is a reality, there's hell to pay. I am truly ashamed for my nation.

Posted by: ben | Mar 12 2012 5:40 utc | 50

I kind of like Slothrop. Sure is confrontational but keeps it short, sharp, and no long-winded sermons.

It's like a good bottle of tequila needs a worm...

Posted by: nobodee | Mar 12 2012 5:48 utc | 51

retreatingbladestall, I am sure some well paid intellectuals are selling this in Washington, that the US should try to carve out and protect trade routes militarily, to actually do that, however, would be or is the utmost economic and military stupidity. The world is round. Transport is cheap (thanks to oil). If you pay for it you get the goods. Insecurity /turmoil makes transport more expensive all around as insurance gets more costly and military intervention/protection is costly, too.

China is doing it by economic cooperation, not militarily, there is no reason the US could not be equally or more successfull doing just that.

If the war in Afghanistan is done for denying China pipelines, the sole economic reason would be the profits of weapons/security industries and the heroin trade as any competitive advantage of denying China an advantage surely are offset by the costs of war. The US is not even in competition with China, as they import consumer goods and spare parts from there ...

US policy is complete and utter stupidity, though I am sure highly intelligent people have a good reason for doing what they are doing ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 7:01 utc | 52

retreatingbladestall, add to all this that US firms are multinational and operating in China. So any economic advantage China has would be shared by them ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 7:13 utc | 53

"It's like a good bottle of tequila needs a worm..."

Actually, I'll take my worm in mescal. If you get a worm in your tequila, I suggest you throw the bottle away, because the slimey bastard doesn't belong in there.

Kinda like Slothrot and this blog.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 12 2012 7:21 utc | 54

somebody says @51...

"I am sure highly intelligent people have a good reason for doing what they are doing ..."

snot so intelligent, not such a good reason, unless the situation is so desperate you have no option... and israel was such a bad idea in the first plance, you've seriously got to wonder about their intelligence.

exxon and the AEI are partners... the AEI spun off PNAC, which said it needed a new pearl harbor to get its project started, then PNAC/AEI people were installed, not elected, into positions from which they could make their new pearl harbor happen, then it happened.

a mainstay of the AEI, and co-founder of PNAC, says they intended to establish "benevolent global hegemony", and PNAC policy says that america will run the world... and these guys are nothing more than the US wing of the likud party of israel.

then you mix israel and radical jews into it, and you get tikkun olam, "repairing the world"...

so we got PNAC bent on achieving benevolent global hegemony, nevermind how many people our benevolence kills, we got tikkun olam, and nevermind how much of the world we have to blow up before we startt repairing it.

none of this benevolence or repair work will be possible if america doesnt have fuel enough to support the economy that supports the military, and the military is the basic arm of neocon/likud morality, which is "might makes right".

exxon would be the most qualified outfit in the world to judge the timing of the arrival of peak oil, and oil production has been flat for six or seven years, depite massive price increases and doubling of drills since 2001.

pattern recognition

we've cluttered up this thread enough with this offtopic stuff... if you're unable to see the pattern emerging, i dont know what else to say to you.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 7:43 utc | 55

of course, the looters have accumulated so much loot by now that they may be able to buy the american military outright, and dispense with the politics and propaganda.

strealine the operation... it's not as if the government or politics or public opion has any influence on the behavior of these people... but they cant control geology, or the fact that we've used up the easy oil.

the only thing they can do is compensate for oil depletion and reduced production, and they intend to compensate by grabbing control of oil and transporation routes, and depriving rivals of access.

maybe there's a faction that's decided to loot enough to buy the american military, lock stock and barrel... and for sure there's a faction that will merely take off with the loot, and buy refuge.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 7:53 utc | 56

and before anybody jumps me about "total oil production has been flat for six or seven years", i will remind you that the western reporting agencies are padding their "oil production" reports by including stuff like pappy's corn squeezins, bitumen from tar sands, refinery gain, natural gas liquids, biofuels of all stripes, and whatever other junk fuels they can dream up.

real oil is what comes out of the ground at the wellhead, and is commonly called "crude oil and lease condensate"... that's the figure that's been flat for six or seven years, despite the high prices and the increased drilling effort.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 8:02 utc | 57

Images of the bodies also suggest that at least some were killed by a single shot to the head. One photograph shows the body of a small girl in a red and green dress, with a bullet hole in the middle of her temple.

I'm not sure that alcohol was involved: could one or more drunk GIs have shot so carefully, and then bothered with burning the bodies?

Posted by: alexno | Mar 12 2012 8:37 utc | 58

retreatingbladestall, sure there are crazy belief systems all over the world,
should they form your government's foreign policy?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 9:15 utc | 59

"...crazy belief systems..."

my personal belief is that people are entitled to be as crazy as they want, so long as they dont fuck other people up.

the israelis, israeli americans, their corporate fascist fellow travelers, and the pathetic deathwish christians are allied in PNAC, which wrote the policy we're following, and they're disrupting the lives of millions of people now, with the potential of disrupting billions of people's lives.

i got to say that's about the dumbest question i've ever seen on MoA

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 9:26 utc | 60

The problem with news items such as this, and the parroting of it, is it ultimately serves the purpose of marginalizing the holistic effects of war. Yes, this event is tragic, but for the majority of people who aren't emotionally invested, they will see 16 killed and 5 wounded. They will say to themselves, "that's tragic, and these renegade soldiers should be punished, but these aren't substantial numbers and it's benign compared to conflicts in the past when millions and even tens of millions died." I prefer to keep my gaze averted from the false flame.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 12 2012 11:27 utc | 61

retreatingbladestall, pathetic deathwish christians being the ones believing in Armageddon?

keep going ...

no seriously, I am a cynic, I think crazy belief systems are used for marketing but are not the reason for acts of government ...

so the US government is disfunctional?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 11:59 utc | 62

I have no idea what went down, but I can tell you what didn't: a lone drunk didn't break into a home containing 11 occupants and shoot them with surgical precision as he individually woke them, yet somehow simultaneously managed to wake the neighbours with the report of an unsilenced weapon. One guy could have racked up a body count as described, but he would have had to spray them with automatic fire as they woke up, panicked, and tried to flee. The corpses would have been bullet-riddled and NOT killed with single execution-style head wounds as has been described. And that could have possibly gotten a single guy in and out of a single house, but never three times in succession.

The official narrative doesn't make any sense, but then, I can't wrap my head around an unofficial one that does, either. There was no strategic value that I can see for this kind of op (particularly on the heels of the Quran burning,) but if it was another self-styled "kill team" (and it would almost have HAD to have been a group) acting independently of their chain of command (a precedent that has already been set,) then it makes no sense to build a flimsy "lone nut" cover story.

It is obvious that it is taking this long to produce a name for the alleged "perpetrator in custody" because a patsy has not yet been determined... which argues for it being a legitimate unsanctioned action. I doubt it makes any difference to the Afghan people whether it was a single "bad apple" or yet another bad bushel.

Posted by: Monolycus | Mar 12 2012 13:12 utc | 63

Apparently this was a night-raid where the team have gone on a planned killing-spree, probably with a green-on-blue grudge or something. I don't either believe they acted on strategic orders, but the leader of this team probably did give the order. The man in custody most likely is the team leader.

The reasoning for producing a single scape-goat is to give the impression that most soldiers are not afflicted with this kind of contempt for human life.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12 2012 13:38 utc | 64

somebody asks @61...

"so the US government is disfunctional?"

depends on whose ox is being gored, and who's getting fat.

from any moral standpoint, the US government is dysfunctional, but israelis and their fellow travelers have abandoned any moral except might makes right.

google: "When Survival of the Jewish People Is at Stake, There’s No Place for Morals"

too bad these people, from the beginnings of the israel project, are too stupid to realize that morals are a suvival mechanism...

but maybe the US government is giving israel and their fellow travelers enough rope to hang themselves... would that be moral?

who knows? ...who cares? ...the result is the same, whether the marketeers are true believers or not... individuals get fat while the common good gets trashed.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 13:43 utc | 65

retreatingbladestall I am not talking about morals, I am talking about strategies making sense.
for group interests never mind national interest (except weapon industry, security, drug dealers) US/Israel strategies don't make sense even on the level of a 3 year old screaming for icecream.
Netanyahu just kicked off the repeat of a conflict Israel has been losing on several counts if you neglect the body count. Apart from people getting killed it is a joke.
Obama has doubled down in Afghanistan digging the US further into a huge strategic black box.
Back to the topic, the incident just shows the hubris of doing "nation building" in a foreign country with the rejects of the US economy (who would join the US army in war time?)

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 14:08 utc | 66

somebody says...

" I am not talking about morals, I am talking about strategies making sense."

...and you're admitting you're too dumb to realize that morals are a survival strategy.


Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 12 2012 14:15 utc | 67

or those with a little time for reading. This is a good read on American

Posted by: ben | Mar 12 2012 14:32 utc | 68

@Alexander @10 - @annie @15 - the site I linked to has removed the story. I now put in a link that goes to a different news site with the same text.

@Ziko @11 - If anything, the Soviets were much more ruthless than the Americans and it was their barbaric ruthlessness that galvanized all Afghans to throw them out eventually.

That statement doesn't reflect the facts. The U.S. military has not been less brutal in any way than the Soviets were.


This BBC report includes a timeline:

00:00 Aircraft heard by eyewitness over villages
01:00-01:30 Helicopters heard, followed by gunfire
02:00 Witness says she hears shooting in one of the villages
03:00 Time at which soldier is said by Afghan officials to have left US base

A night raid gone wrong and a cover up attempt which then went wrong too. Or something like that.

The whole thing happened only some 500 yards away from the base. Folks there must have heard any shooting in the village.

Posted by: b | Mar 12 2012 14:37 utc | 69

A sanctioned operation that went awry???? Then how can they hope to get away with just a single scapegoat? Fuck, I'm so sick of the lies. You gotta be a blithering idiot to believe anything these bastards tell us anymore.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 12 2012 14:50 utc | 70

b @68: Thanks for the timeline. If accurate, this was a political killing planned and covered up by the military.

Posted by: ben | Mar 12 2012 14:54 utc | 71

Re: BBC timeline in B's 68 -- Is the Beeb accurate as to when the alleged single perp left the US base? I thought I saw in another report that he supposedly left the base somewhat earlier, shortly after 2 AM.

When did the perp return and turn himself in? Or at least when do officials have him turning himself in?

And, the most amazing fact in b's comment: The houses attacked were only 500 yards (5 football fields, not counting end zones) from the US base. It does not sound as if this was a stormy night, with strong winds to carry sound away. But...topographically, were there possible sound barriers, deflectors? Or is gunfire so ubiquitous the base would not have gone on alert at the sound ofgunfire a mere 5 football fields away?

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 12 2012 15:20 utc | 72

Last night I posted a comment which supposedly posted, but then disappeared. It had two links in it, so who knows what triggers the disappearance.

But my point was that the early evening national news broadcast I watched, on ABC, was extremely careful to speak of the single perp. However, the witnesses were quoted using plurals in describing the perps. Yet their words were essentially ignored.

The difference between how the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) in the US treats the reports of, for example, these Afghanistan witnesses compared to how they unquestioningly accept the reports of the Syrian activists aka rebels is, well, stunning. Altho' the occasional comment about not being able to corroborate the Syrian resistance's numbers and descriptions is fleetingly mentioned, the attitude toward their released videos is one of complete acceptance of the veracity of what's shown and then subsequently what their spokespeople say. It gets them on PBS NewsHour (Danny, Friday evening).

Today, on NPR, mention is being made that witnesses to the Afghanistan village massacre speak of several soldiers -- which NATO officials are beginning to investigate....

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 12 2012 15:28 utc | 73

Since this happened in two different villages each located about 500m (1500 ft) from the base, 11 killed in one village, 5 killed in the other, and wounding 5, further leads me to believe this was not some impulse psycosis, but an alcohol-related group-frenzy. Obviously someone doesn't want the public to think the general morals of the forces are that low.

Shooting 21 people, and a dog, that's quite some effort for one man. The boy who played dead said more than one soldier entered his home, a woman interviewed on BBC/Al Jazeera spoke of them in plural.

If the investigation concludes this was done by one rogue man, by himself, on his own, then we'll know it's a coverup.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12 2012 15:34 utc | 74

Everyone knows the old complaint, from Britain in the 1939-45 War: "There are three things wrong with the US military. They are overpaid, oversexed and over here."
No doubt the Afghans and Iraqis would agree. The basic problem is that the US Army is an undisciplined rabble with unlimited firepower and a sense of entitlement and impunity with few parallels in history.
It is an army whose members have no real commitment to putting their lives on the line, for example, and who, for every casualty suffered, kill a thousand, of whom 90% are unarmed and two thirds women and children. It 'protects itself' by creating uninhabitable deserts.
This is an army which, for most of its history has been, like the IDF, involved in dirty colonial campaigns against first nations and national liberation movements. It is an army from a nation which has never suffered defeat and rarely brooked contradiction.
It is uniquely ill-suited for the role of counter insurgency. It is also a continual embarrassment to its "allies"; in Korea the Turks regarded it with horror and are said to have refused to be deployed on its flanks. No doubt in NATO bases all over Afghanistan German, French and others are preparing for the blowback.
What these troops are expert at is keeping conflicts alive, preventing the outbreak of peace and nourishing racial and cultural hatreds: they transformed Iraq from a land of lazy tolerance and secular liberalism into a hotbed of sectarian murder and a base for terrorism which seems likely to spread throughout the wide region, and already infects Syria.
In short this is a force of nihilism. It doesn't need orders, its violent racism and contempt for morality is programmed into it as a "warrior" ethos.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 12 2012 15:40 utc | 75

from b.'s BBC link

"Another resident, Abdul Samad, explained for BBC News that people in the area lived under a virtual curfew.

"We have been restricted by the government and Taliban not to move around during the night," he said."

I would say drugs, not alcohol. No bevin the history of the US army is bad but not worse than other armies, e.g. the British. I guess they are completely overstretched, demotivated and people who should be kicked out of the army before they go crazy are forced to stay.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 17:07 utc | 76

I do not share a lot of the criticism of the US armed forces I have been reading here, but I do truly fear that the perpetrator represents only the tip of the iceberg: I suspect that there could be dozens of people ready to go ballistic out there - overtaxed, overstretched, assigned to performa mission that no person can carry out and still remain sane or stable for any length of time.

That is the true scandal behind this.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 12 2012 17:36 utc | 77

this is CNN now

Karzai thinks it is a mission gone wrong ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 17:39 utc | 78

@jawbone @73 - your earlier comment was caught in the spam trap and I had to manually release it - it is now comment 33 in this thread.

Posted by: b | Mar 12 2012 18:24 utc | 79

this is the New York Times
and the described setup is a recipy for disaster
"A senior American military official said the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a major Army and Air Force installation near Tacoma, Wash., and that he had been part of what is called a village stabilization operation. In those operations, teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

Panjwai, a rural district near the city of Kandahar, was traditionally a Taliban stronghold. It was a focus of the United States military offensive in 2010 and was the scene of heavy fighting. Two American soldiers were killed by small-arms fire in Panjwai on March 1, and three died in a roadside bomb attack in February."

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 19:44 utc | 80

Let's face it, this is Vietnam all over again. There they were conscripts, here volunteers. But the the same thing is happening. The US army is breaking up.

I doubt that the massacre was alcohol fuelled (too precise), more likely psychologically.

But it's clear that the US army has to be got out of Afghanistan as soon as possible; otherwise this kind of event is going to be repeated endlessly. I'm sure most US military admired what was done, though they wouldn't say it. Copycat events are in prospect.

My feeling was that this event moved US withdrawal much closer, though they wouldn't admit it.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 12 2012 21:14 utc | 81

they admit it

"Asked if that meant he did not want to speed up the withdrawal, Mr. Obama said he is "more determined" to make sure the troops come home.

"It's been a decade, and you know, frankly, now that we've gotten [Osama] bin Laden, now that we've weakened al Qaeda, we're in a stronger position to transition than we would have been two or three years ago," Mr Obama told KDKA.

On the campaign trail, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CBS News the United States should leave Afghanistan as quickly as is feasible.

"My feeling is that we should leave. I think as fast as we can with safety. I think the possibility of us changing Afghan culture is virtually zero," Gingrich told congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes."

Posted by: somebody | Mar 12 2012 21:57 utc | 82

I had been curious about the witnesses comments about a low-flying helicopter before the shooting started, and about their tales of other soldiers being there. This article seems to begin to make sense of what happened:

...After an Afghan soldier alerted the U.S. military at the base of the soldier's initial departure, the U.S. military put up an aircraft to search for the missing soldier. Soon after, Afghan civilians came to the gate carrying wounded civilians, the first indication the military had of the shooting.

When the soldier turned himself over to the search party, he immediately invoked his rights not to speak. He has been moved to Kandahar and put in pre-trial confinement, a congressional source told CNN...

Link to CNN article

Long, long ago, I joined with the other Whiskey Bar orphans to come here but, although I have continued to read Moon of Alabama, I haven't posted in years and years. Life gets in the way sometimes. Can't even remember my old screen name so I guess it is accurate if you just call me "Forgetful." Thank you, Bernhard, for your many wise insights and comments and hello again to the Billman bunch. MOA probably has the smartest bunch of people around.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 12 2012 22:23 utc | 83

Forgetful @ 83
MOA probably has the smartest bunch of people around.

Indeed, I was hooked the instant I saw this page, as I miss-spelled Obama in a search. b really gives state of the art breakdown analysis of the news.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12 2012 22:38 utc | 84


first of all, hello! okay, back to business: do you think they would go looking after a GI in a shooting spree with an helicopter instead of a ground vehicle, given that they had first-hand testimony of the villagers regarding his whereabouts?

Posted by: claudio | Mar 12 2012 22:54 utc | 85

The military admits to having one chopper out looking for him even before the shootings started most likely -- apparently they didn't know exactly where he had gone but they knew he had his weapon with him. They had soldiers on foot in the villages searching (probably got there in vehicles), which accounts for the witnesses saying there were other soldiers there. All the search party had to do was follow the gunshots and confront him, which they must have done. He probably would have killed even more innocent families otherwise.

America is going to have an absolute nightmare when all the troops with brain injuries and PTSD are home and mustered out of the military. I remember my friends coming home from Vietnam back in the 1960s. While I loved them all, there were a few who probably would have been better off coming home in a box rather than destroying their lives and those of their families. And they only had to serve one combat tour.

Posted by: Forgetful | Mar 12 2012 23:21 utc | 86

If they were searching for him, including from the air (in the dark), how does he get from one house, shoot some people, set fire to them, go to another house, shoot some more, and then go to a third house 2 kilometers away, and shoot people and set fire to them there as well.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 12 2012 23:30 utc | 87

B @ 79 -- Thank you! Huh, "caught in the spam trap." Sound yucky....

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 12 2012 23:33 utc | 88

There was probably a manhunt involved, hence the helicopters... but the reported timelines of events aren't jibing. And I'm still not buying the "lone nut" scenario.

"The exact circumstances of his arrest were unclear. Some U.S. officials said the soldier returned to base after the shootings and was taken into custody, while later reports suggested he did not turn himself in."

As an aside, the alleged suspect was stationed at joint base Lewis-Mcchord... as did the members of the previous Afghan "kill team," as did the Mt. Ranier shooter last year, as did apparently 12 suicides last year as well. Is this a time bomb factory they're running there?

Posted by: Monolycus | Mar 12 2012 23:41 utc | 89

Here's another BBC article trying to show the sequence of events. The alleged perp went out twice on Saturday night wearing night goggles, and went to three different locations (map at link).

Developing, to put it mildly.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 13 2012 0:03 utc | 90

lysias & monolycus

that has also been my meditation

but the army & its scribblers in the media have been running ragged round the 'narrative' as those numbskulls put it

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 13 2012 1:11 utc | 91

The Oz media has uniformly closed ranks around the single perp meme.
I don't buy it.
My (superficial) understanding of Afghan rural villages is that there are always a few guns to protect against local bandits. Imo, the casualties who weren't women and children were armed males who tried to defend the village. The raid happened at night and every soldier from the West knows that there are guns in Afghan villages. I have very strong doubts that a lone marine would risk being ambushed by a local during a noisy and protracted massacre-cum-cremation.
Just for starters, Marines hunt in packs. No-one goes anywhere outside the base/bunker on their own.
One only has to read the way the media is reporting the incident to see that all the spin is damage control to persuade the gullible that the Marines haven't been indoctrinated with a culture of contempt for people with the wrong coloured skin and religion - illustrated by the "Sand Nigger" epithet for Iragis.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2012 1:37 utc | 92

A quick search assures me that I'm not the only one who has put together that Lewis-Mcchord seems to be a fuckup factory.

Moreso than any other staging area, this place would seem to foster a culture of violence and dehumanisation. According to one source out of many I glanced over:

“In 10 years of war, JBLM has produced a Kill Team, suicide epidemic, denials of PTSD treatment, denials of human rights in the brig, spousal abuse and a waterboarded daughter, murders of civilians (including a park ranger), increased sex crimes, substance abuse… and much more,” GI Voice’s executive director, Jorge Gonzalez, an Iraq war veteran from Lewis-McChord, said in the statement.

“These abuses are not because of a few bad apples, but because of the base's systematic dehumanization of soldiers and civilians, both in occupied countries and at home.

“It’s surprising, but it’s no longer a shock,” Gonzalez added in an interview. “I just keep expecting, what else is going to happen out of this base?”

"What's next" is that these people will eventually be transitioned into the civilian population after their enlistments are completed. When high-profile headlines about rampages are no longer happening on foreign soil, it will justify another few turns of the screw of the apparatus of the security state, which will, in turn, give rise to an even deeper culture of violence and dehumanisation. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Posted by: Monolycus | Mar 13 2012 1:37 utc | 93

This massacre is just one more chapter in that sorry saga I've come to think of as the Rise And Fall of the Roamin' Empire.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2012 1:41 utc | 94

Hoarsewhisperer @ 94 -- Made me smile. Very nice word play, and very pointed.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 13 2012 2:49 utc | 95

Its as old as war itself..first casualty of war is th truth..Americas recent wars humanitarian interventions are/were founded on lies. There are no surprises in the brutality of this...this empire and its allies fumble their exit, no doubt there will be more horrors to behold,more excuses more lies more bullshit from too many 'journalists'...and most sadly more dead innocents and humanity further degraded...finally.."The whole thing happened only some 500 yards away from the base"(b @ 69) surprises there either as no one listening to people screaming is becoming increasingly common both in war zones and in civilian life

Posted by: lotsofnoise | Mar 13 2012 4:05 utc | 96

the Rise And Fall of the Roamin' Empire.

Hoarsewhisperer @94

Made me smile. Very nice word play, and very pointed.

jawbone @95

yes, great title

Posted by: claudio | Mar 13 2012 6:51 utc | 97

While we all hail are army now beause they are "all volunteer" I believe we have to look at what that has created. First by eliminating the draft we have quieted student protestors but is that a good thing? You might ask yourself would we have spent the last ten years in Afghanastan if there was a draft? Would civilians called on military duty do something like this?

I believe by having an all volunteer army, mercenaries if you will, we have dumbed it down educationally and morally. As a company commander in Vietnam I know if we had not had reservists, college educated draftees and high school graduates with no criminal background their would have been a lot more events like this recent one. Call it what you will it was, to me, a failure of moral leadership. How high up the chain of command does this go? That's a good question...

Posted by: bob yeager | Mar 13 2012 7:10 utc | 98

@ 98 Good thinking, Mr. Yeager. As a Viet Vet myself I sure saw the difference in personnel; differences nuanced by needs, recruiting pressure and recruiting locations. The difference, especially toward the end of the involvement, could be strikingly obvious.

Posted by: Jake | Mar 13 2012 13:09 utc | 99


Posted by: DONNA | Mar 13 2012 14:52 utc | 100

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