Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tom Hayden on the Kandahar massacreLongtime peace acdtivist Tom Hayden writes in The Failure of Gradualism in Afghanistan The Nation 03/13/2012:
Killing at least sixteen Afghan civilians as they slept. Urinating on dead Afghan bodies while laughing about it. Setting fire to their Korans. Day after day, a tired American public hears that these are just “isolated acts” and that these incidents “cast shadows” and “complicate” Washington’s plan for a gradual withdrawal of troops over the next thirty-four months. We are told that the raging anger and distrust between many Afghan and American troops is a further sign that the steady plan is at risk.Actually, I doubt any were literally sleeping. When the murderer(s) burst into their houses, they were probably awake to know they were about to be gunned down because some American just thought they needed killin'. They were most likely conscious of what was about to happen as what the good Rev. Wade Burleson calls the "sword of vengeance". The American perpetrator(s) needed vengeance because they were Muslims who were alive and breathing.
Tom seems to feel that the Kandahar massacre may also represent a kind of turning point - or at least that it should.
Courage in leadership requires grasping when defeat is inevitable, when it’s too late to worry about political cover because the corpses and the taxes are piled too high, when denial only makes it all worse.It's over. Just like with the Soviets in Afghanistan, whatever positive we've accomplishment there has long since been overshadowed by the damage, damage first of all to the Afghan people like the victim's of last weekend's Kandahar massacre, and damage to American soldiers.
Our glorious generals and fat-cat war profiteers, on the other hand, have done very well from this war and will continue to do so if the public doesn't insist on an end to it as soon as possible.
Tags: afghanistan war, kandahar massacre, tom hayden
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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