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thedutchiedutch

U.S. soldier fires on Afghan civilians

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thedutchiedutch

Fifteen Afghan civilians were shot by an American soldier in Kandahar province Sunday, with seven of them feared dead, the provincial government said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in, but did not say how many victims there had been.

Capt. Justin Brockhoff of ISAF said there had been "multiple" casualties and that the injured Afghans were being treated in ISAF facilities.

"One of our soldiers is reported to have killed and injured a number of civilians in villages adjacent to his base," ISAF's deputy commander, Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, said in a statement that expressed "deep regrets and sorrow at this appalling incident."

There has been confusion about the number of casualties since the shooting outside a military base in eastern Afghanistan.

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and then

When I first heard this story last night they gave almost no details. Now I see why. The spokesman said it's "deeply regrettable" ya think?

Had he turned his weapon on his fellow soldiers he'd most likely get life in prison. In these circumstances he'll be lucky if the CiC even tries to get him out of the country. Seven dead, eight wounded and God, I hope none were children. I wonder how crazy it gets from here? They may wind up having to kill thousands as they shoot their way out of the twilight zone.

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Leonardo

Question for the US posters.

Would you all be okay with the perpetrator being handed over to the Afghan Civilian Authorities for trial and punishment (dependent on his/her guilt)?

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Question for the US posters.

Would you all be okay with the perpetrator being handed over to the Afghan Civilian Authorities for trial and punishment (dependent on his/her guilt)?

Speaking personally - absolutely not. It would set a precedent that would cripple the ability of our troops to effectively serve or recruit. If this soldier did this horrible thing then he should be tried by a military court under the UCMJ. I'm sure that the death penalty will be an option for the members to consider if he is convicted.

To simply hand him over to Afghan "justice" would be an automatic death sentence (after torture). The propaganda value to the Taliban would be enormous. US service members have the protection of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that they are answerable to. It sounds as if he snapped and went on a spree. It says a lot about the stresses that multiple deployments are causing. Except this guy seems to have chosen to kill Afghans instead of himself. The update is 15 dead including nine children. I wonder if the reaction will be an understanding one for an ally that has done so much to help the Afghan people for a decade....

If they want to kick the tiger in the ass, they'd better give some thought of what to do with the teeth. (Tom Clancy)

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Rafterman

Question for the US posters.

Would you all be okay with the perpetrator being handed over to the Afghan Civilian Authorities for trial and punishment (dependent on his/her guilt)?

No and I would that most around the world would agree with me.

When countless groups raise concerns about human rights violations in the justice systems of Western Countries, I would hope even greater concerns would be raised about places like Afghanistan.

Not to mention, this soldier needs a full psychiatric evaluation by professionals experienced in diagnosing battlefield stress disorders. I'm almost certain that wouldn't happen in Afghanistan.

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Leonardo

Speaking personally - absolutely not. It would set a precedent that would cripple the ability of our troops to effectively serve or recruit. If this soldier did this horrible thing then he should be tried by a military court under the UCMJ. I'm sure that the death penalty will be an option for the members to consider if he is convicted.

To simply hand him over to Afghan "justice" would be an automatic death sentence (after torture). The propaganda value to the Taliban would be enormous. US service members have the protection of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that they are answerable to. It sounds as if he snapped and went on a spree. It says a lot about the stresses that multiple deployments are causing. Except this guy seems to have chosen to kill Afghans instead of himself. The update is 15 dead including nine children. I wonder if the reaction will be an understanding one for an ally that has done so much to help the Afghan people for a decade....

If they want to kick the tiger in the ass, they'd better give some thought of what to do with the teeth. (Tom Clancy)

No and I would that most around the world would agree with me.

When countless groups raise concerns about human rights violations in the justice systems of Western Countries, I would hope even greater concerns would be raised about places like Afghanistan.

Not to mention, this soldier needs a full psychiatric evaluation by professionals experienced in diagnosing battlefield stress disorders. I'm almost certain that wouldn't happen in Afghanistan.

So, that is has been the case that serving US military personnel who commit a civil crime (or a crime against civilians) have been handed over to the local (non-US) authorities for trial, would not influence you in this case? (see cases where US military personnel have raped civilians in countries hosting US military bases.)

You base it entirely on your perception the Afghan authorities would not give this soldier a fair trial?

If the soldier is suffering a psychological illness, then you would not grant that an Afghan court would find this to be the case?

In other words, you are prejudiced, so would see this soldier tried by a (US) military or civil court, despite allegedly having committed a civil crime (murder) in a foreign country?

Bear in mind, this is not a case of a soldier killing civilians while out on patrol, or as the result of a planned military action.

Edited by Leonardo

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spud the mackem

15 less afghans to plant roadside bombs,maybe his buddy was killed so he took the law into his own hands.We have seen how the Afghans work,and the Brits had to release one a few months ago,as he had a wife and 6 kids,absolute bull dust,they cause mayhem then ride off on their camels for tea.Turn the place into glass and GET ALL THE ALLIED TROOPS HOME..p.s give the guy a medal..

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and then

So, that is has been the case that serving US military personnel who commit a civil crime (or a crime against civilians) have been handed over to the local (non-US) authorities for trial, would not influence you in this case? (see cases where US military personnel have raped civilians in countries hosting US military bases.)

You base it entirely on your perception the Afghan authorities would not give this soldier a fair trial?

If the soldier is suffering a psychological illness, then you would not grant that an Afghan court would find this to be the case?

In other words, you are prejudiced, so would see this soldier tried by a (US) military or civil court, despite allegedly having committed a civil crime (murder) in a foreign country?

Bear in mind, this is not a case of a soldier killing civilians while out on patrol, or as the result of a planned military action.

No, if he did it and isn't insane it probably qualifies as murder. The instances of US troops being tried in foreign jurisdictions are relatively rare and happen only when we trust that system to render justice rather than revenge. Do you honestly think it would be possible for him to receive an unbiased judgement? If he were your son would you turn him over to them? There is such a thing as common sense yet in the world. Frankly, I don't care what the Afghans think. They are an irrational and blood thirsty lot. The sergeant deserves a fair trial and then whatever punishment is meted out he should accept. As I said earlier, if he had shot up a group of his own soldiers he would probably only receive life imprisonment. Are Afghan lives worth more than American lives?

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Leonardo

Frankly, I don't care what the Afghans think. They are an irrational and blood thirsty lot. The sergeant deserves a fair trial and then whatever punishment is meted out he should accept. As I said earlier, if he had shot up a group of his own soldiers he would probably only receive life imprisonment. Are Afghan lives worth more than American lives?

My emphasis.

As I suspected, you are prejudiced and consider 'justice' only in the American sense, and only as a principle which applies to you and yours.

No, if he did it and isn't insane it probably qualifies as murder. The instances of US troops being tried in foreign jurisdictions are relatively rare and happen only when we trust that system to render justice rather than revenge. Do you honestly think it would be possible for him to receive an unbiased judgement? If he were your son would you turn him over to them? There is such a thing as common sense yet in the world.

It doesn't matter whether I think the soldier would get a fair trial in an Afghanistan court or not, justice is a principle which is to be applied equally and to all. It also doesn't matter whether I consider the Afghan version of justice to be the same as my version, what matters is that we each have our perception of justice and I respect their version as I expect them to respect mine.

If an Afghan soldier is accused of murdering American civilians (esp. on American soil), you would probably want (and rightly so) that soldier to stand trial in an American court, but don't want an American soldier who is accused of murdering Afghan civilians to be held to the same expectation of justice.

If the soldier was my son, I would expect him to stand trial in Afghanistan - and answer to those he committed the atrocity against. I am not saying I wouldn't be distraught, and wouldn't do everything I could to plead his case, but I would not sacrifice justice to serve myself.

Edited by Leonardo

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Eldorado

*singing sadly* There may be trouble ahead.

:(

There will be plenty who want this guy hanged, drawn and quartered.

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My emphasis.

As I suspected, you are prejudiced and consider 'justice' only in the American sense, and only as a principle which applies to you and yours.

It doesn't matter whether I think the soldier would get a fair trial in an Afghanistan court or not, justice is a principle which is to be applied equally and to all. It also doesn't matter whether I consider the Afghan version of justice to be the same as my version, what matters is that we each have our perception of justice and I respect their version as I expect them to respect mine.

If an Afghan soldier is accused of murdering American civilians (esp. on American soil), you would probably want (and rightly so) that soldier to stand trial in an American court, but don't want an American soldier who is accused of murdering Afghan civilians to be held to the same expectation of justice.

If the soldier was my son, I would expect him to stand trial in Afghanistan - and answer to those he committed the atrocity against. I am not saying I wouldn't be distraught, and wouldn't do everything I could to plead his case, but I would not sacrifice justice to serve myself.

Guilty as charged. I don't live in some theoretical world as you obviously do. I think you know full well the kind of treatment the soldier would get and it wouldn't trouble you in the least. Fortunately your power to influence his lot is exactly zero.

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*singing sadly* There may be trouble ahead.

:(

There will be plenty who want this guy hanged, drawn and quartered.

Eldorado if this guy is found to be sane, I'd fashion a hangman's noose myself. It is despicable to murder unarmed human beings no matter what justification a person may feel they have. If he could get a fair hearing there, I'd be happy to see it happen there. If they even placed him in Afghan custody dozens might die from Afghan security trying to keep him safe from the mobs. Sir Leo just wanted to pontificate and speak down to the evil American. Whatever. I hope that this incident means the US will expedite our withdrawal. And as Tom Clancy said: "If you're going to kick a tiger in his ass, you might want to make some provision for his teeth". If the country turns into a free fire zone as we are leaving, it's going to be very ugly for the Afghans. But hey! Give the people what they want.

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Leonardo

Guilty as charged. I don't live in some theoretical world as you obviously do. I think you know full well the kind of treatment the soldier would get and it wouldn't trouble you in the least. Fortunately your power to influence his lot is exactly zero.

The only people I am aware of who live in "theoretical worlds" have secure rooms in psychiatric facilities. In the real world in which I live, if this soldier were a UK serviceman, he would be given over to the relevant civilian authority for trial.

So, some people (and nations) do respect the justice systems of other people (and nations). I am hopeful that the US will respect the right of the Afghan civilian authorities to try this man.

As for my personal feelings, if the soldier is guilty and is treated appallingly I would feel disgust towards the Afghan authorities for allowing that treatment to happen. However, I would not pre-judge the Afghan Govt. and Judiciary and assume they would allow such treatment.

The US wants to build bridges with other nations, and the only sure way of doing that is to trust them to show integrity according to their own culture and customs. The trend the US exhibits of imposing a US-styled 'integrity' upon other nations has only resulted in the widespread antipathy towards America we witness in nations where the culture is markedly different to the US's.

Can a 'powerful' nation exercise restraint and accept other nations' culture, rather than always try to impose their own? I don't know - but I can hope that a powerful nation which promotes itself as 'civilised', 'free' and 'unprejudiced' would at least try to lead the way.

Edited by Leonardo

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The only people I am aware of who live in "theoretical worlds" have secure rooms in psychiatric facilities. In the real world in which I live, if this soldier were a UK serviceman, he would be given over to the relevant civilian authority for trial.

So, some people (and nations) do respect the justice systems of other people (and nations). I am hopeful that the US will respect the right of the Afghan civilian authorities to try this man.

As for my personal feelings, if the soldier is guilty and is treated appallingly I would feel disgust towards the Afghan authorities for allowing that treatment to happen. However, I would not pre-judge the Afghan Govt. and Judiciary and assume they would allow such treatment.

The US wants to build bridges with other nations, and the only sure way of doing that is to trust them to show integrity according to their own culture and customs. The trend the US exhibits of imposing a US-styled 'integrity' upon other nations has only resulted in the widespread antipathy towards America we witness in nations where the culture is markedly different to the US's.

Can a 'powerful' nation exercise restraint and accept other nations' culture, rather than always try to impose their own? I don't know - but I can hope that a powerful nation which promotes itself as 'civilised', 'free' and 'unprejudiced' would at least try to lead the way.

That's comforting to know. But when there is NO DOUBT what this mob would do to him, then it's irresponsible to allow mob justice when it can be avoided. Again, I think you are in no position to judge because it would not trouble you at all if he were tortured and lynched. In fact, if he is not quickly flown out of the country, hundreds may die because of riots and shooting by people trying to be his executioner.

When you say the US should exercise restraint what you mean is that we should allow uneducated, hateful mobs to decide the fate of one of our own. I think the US has tried valiantly to help the Afghan people. Our reward appears to be a situation where we may have to shoot our way out of that God forsaken place. Our morals are not a license for others to use to slaughter us.

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Leonardo

That's comforting to know. But when there is NO DOUBT what this mob would do to him, then it's irresponsible to allow mob justice when it can be avoided. Again, I think you are in no position to judge because it would not trouble you at all if he were tortured and lynched. In fact, if he is not quickly flown out of the country, hundreds may die because of riots and shooting by people trying to be his executioner.

When you say the US should exercise restraint what you mean is that we should allow uneducated, hateful mobs to decide the fate of one of our own. I think the US has tried valiantly to help the Afghan people. Our reward appears to be a situation where we may have to shoot our way out of that God forsaken place. Our morals are not a license for others to use to slaughter us.

Do you hold any hope that we (human beings - globally) are capable of actually becoming truly civilised, or are you content to remain hopeless and bitter, preferring isolation and prejudice to rapproachment and understanding?

Because if you have no vision of what we might be, then I can understand your attitude. If you have no hope for humanity, then all you have to live for is to be as selfish as possible, then die.

I have hope, and part of that hope is that people can lead by example, and others will learn. Progress might be slow, and it might be I don't live to see any real change, but without hope then what is the point of living at all?

Edited by Leonardo

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spud the mackem

I'm afraid I totally disagree with Leonardo who must live in a strange place,if he thinks that justice would be fair in Afghan land.I can just imagine him pleading for his son(as he quoted)...The only justice they know is the sword (head removal) or bullet after remorseless torture.Come on Leonardo get into the modern world,I'm sure you are intelligent enough to read what happens to captured people..even Aid Workers who are trying to help the Bas...ds end up DEAD,Your comments have really brassed me off.

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Leonardo

I'm afraid I totally disagree with Leonardo who must live in a strange place,if he thinks that justice would be fair in Afghan land.I can just imagine him pleading for his son(as he quoted)...The only justice they know is the sword (head removal) or bullet after remorseless torture.Come on Leonardo get into the modern world,I'm sure you are intelligent enough to read what happens to captured people..even Aid Workers who are trying to help the Bas...ds end up DEAD,Your comments have really brassed me off.

I am aware of what the consequences to this soldier might be if he was tried in Afghanistan. My point is that you, and others, consider Afghans 'barbarians', but you (and others) have no interest in actually improving the lot of Afghans.

I agree that innocent people are being killed over there, and that is tragic and criminal. I am not immune to feeling despair that things may not change in that place but, unlike you (and others) I hold to hope that things can change. However, that change, to be effective, has to be from within, and all we can do to help is lead by example - not try to force a change from without.

We have to be what we wish them to be. If you wish they were 'civilised', 'principled' and 'unprejudiced', then we have to be civilised, principled and unprejudiced. If we aren't, then there is no purpose being there or wanting better for anyone - as I said previously, that means simply being selfish, only looking after ourselves without care for, or at the expense of, others.

Personally, I wish for myself to be better than that.

What 'modern world' do you want to live in?

Edited by Leonardo

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Do you hold any hope that we (human beings - globally) are capable of actually becoming truly civilised, or are you content to remain hopeless and bitter, preferring isolation and prejudice to rapproachment and understanding?

Because if you have no vision of what we might be, then I can understand your attitude. If you have no hope for humanity, then all you have to live for is to be as selfish as possible, then die.

I have hope, and part of that hope is that people can lead by example, and others will learn. Progress might be slow, and it might be I don't live to see any real change, but without hope then what is the point of living at all?

On the contrary, Leonardo, I have a great deal of hope for the future. But in this particular instance I am a realist regarding the chances of an American soldier against a mob. These people have proven time and again that they are willful in their ignorance and hatred. This conversation has become about you dissecting my character and worldview instead of concentrating on the predicament this soldier finds himself in...

I get that you don't seem to care for my moral outlook. So be it. It's not an issue for either of us. And these are my choices? Isolation and prejudice or rapprochement and understanding? Do you give the US ANY credit for attempting the latter two as we struggle in the war with Islamic hatred?

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Rafterman

So, that is has been the case that serving US military personnel who commit a civil crime (or a crime against civilians) have been handed over to the local (non-US) authorities for trial, would not influence you in this case? (see cases where US military personnel have raped civilians in countries hosting US military bases.)

Being in a combat zone trumps that.

You base it entirely on your perception the Afghan authorities would not give this soldier a fair trial?

Yep.

If the soldier is suffering a psychological illness, then you would not grant that an Afghan court would find this to be the case?

Nope

In other words, you are prejudiced, so would see this soldier tried by a (US) military or civil court, despite allegedly having committed a civil crime (murder) in a foreign country?

Bear in mind, this is not a case of a soldier killing civilians while out on patrol, or as the result of a planned military action.

Doesn't matter.

Why are you so convinced that a military tribunal could not adequately prosecute the individual?

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Rafterman

I am aware of what the consequences to this soldier might be if he was tried in Afghanistan. My point is that you, and others, consider Afghans 'barbarians', but you (and others) have no interest in actually improving the lot of Afghans.

Interesting words given the amount of blood that both mine and your countrymen have spilled trying to "actually improve the lot of Afghans".

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Leonardo

Isolation and prejudice or rapprochement and understanding? Do you give the US ANY credit for attempting the latter two as we struggle in the war with Islamic hatred?

Of course I give credit to the US when that credit is due. I am not anti-US and acknowledge the US does much good, and has many good intentions.

What I am seeing from a (small) segment of the US public, however, with regards this particular issue, is disregard for another people.

On the contrary, Leonardo, I have a great deal of hope for the future. But in this particular instance I am a realist regarding the chances of an American soldier against a mob. These people have proven time and again that they are willful in their ignorance and hatred. This conversation has become about you dissecting my character and worldview instead of concentrating on the predicament this soldier finds himself in...

I get that you don't seem to care for my moral outlook. So be it. It's not an issue for either of us. And these are my choices?

No, you have no hope for the future of Afghanistan - because you have already given up on them. If you had not, you would accept that they (their Govt and Judiciary) may be capable of showing the sort of justice you would expect from the US. It is a risk, of course, but did you really expect that your country could send it's soldiers into Afghanistan to help effect some change, fight and kill Afghans, and that there would be no unpleasant outcomes for any of them? Who is the realist here?

Why are your soldiers there?

As for 'dissecting characters and worldviews', our respective worldviews are very relevant to our choices as to how this sad event should pan out.

Edited by Leonardo

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Leonardo

Interesting words given the amount of blood that both mine and your countrymen have spilled trying to "actually improve the lot of Afghans".

To make their sacrifice mean something, then we must believe they are there for a noble cause. Anything else dishonours those who followed the orders of their respective governments.

Doesn't matter.

Why are you so convinced that a military tribunal could not adequately prosecute the individual?

Because the alleged crime did not occur as the result of a military action. It is a civil crime, not a military one, and so trying the accused by a military tribunal would not be proper. Given that, there is no basis for trying the accused in a US civil court, as the crime was not committed on US soil and not perpetrated against US civilians.

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spud the mackem

I am aware of what the consequences to this soldier might be if he was tried in Afghanistan. My point is that you, and others, consider Afghans 'barbarians', but you (and others) have no interest in actually improving the lot of Afghans.

I agree that innocent people are being killed over there, and that is tragic and criminal. I am not immune to feeling despair that things may not change in that place but, unlike you (and others) I hold to hope that things can change. However, that change, to be effective, has to be from within, and all we can do to help is lead by example - not try to force a change from without.

We have to be what we wish them to be. If you wish they were 'civilised', 'principled' and 'unprejudiced', then we have to be civilised, principled and unprejudiced. If we aren't, then there is no purpose being there or wanting better for anyone - as I said previously, that means simply being selfish, only looking after ourselves without care for, or at the expense of, others.

Personally, I wish for myself to be better than that.

What 'modern world' do you want to live in?

Leonardo, judging by the way you are siding for the Afghans,why dont you pop over there and ask for Asylum ? These people are not worth bothering about,and the only thing they respect is Power.but you have an opinion so I respect that.Have you ever been in that part of the world ?.I can assure you its not a pleasant place,these guys would lie to the Devil,its an Honour to cheat and steal,so I cant believe you are backing them.By the way the last guy to control them was Ghengis Khan.

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__Kratos__

I think he should be handed over to the Afgans, he wasn't on a mission or under orders by the US so there's no reason he should be granted our protection for murdering women and children. He committed an act of terror against innocents and we can't and shouldn't defend that.

If we don't hand him over, pro bono high priced liberal lawyers will make this out to be a case of ptsd and get him a reduced sentence or sent him to the bug house for a few years and it'll create a massive rift in Afghanistan.

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Habitat

This will likely wind-up the Afghan war sooner than otherwise, it will be interesting to see the reaction compared to that for the Koran-burning incident.

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