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American 'Scandals' Pile Up as Afghan Pullout Nears: (Die Zeit, Germany)


“It is striking that the scandals seem to be piling up the closer we get to the date of withdrawal. This is in keeping with the adage: ‘There is nothing more to win, so let us hit them one more time and let our hatred run wild.’ The demon of war is once again celebrating a gruesome feast before time runs out.”


By Ulrich Ladurner



Translated By Ulf Behncke


April 19, 2012


Germany - Die Zeit - Original Article (German)

Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen: It seems as though the closer America gets to withdrawing, the more fires General Allen needs to put out.

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Can Afghans take the security lead as NATO troops leave?, Apr. 18, 00:02:36RealVideo

The American Government has apologized to the Afghan people - again. This time, because in 2010, U.S. troops desecrated the bodies of Afghan suicide bombers. Photos of that incident have now been published in the Los Angeles Times. Just a few weeks ago, a single U.S. soldier committed a massacre in a village. He shot and killed 17 Afghans in their sleep, nine of them children. Earlier, it also came to light that troops urinated on the bodies of enemy combatants they had killed, and they did so on video. On another occasion, soldiers at a military base in Kandahar burned copies of the Quran, which led to weeks of violent rioting.


Granted, these are all the acts of individuals. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, given the most recent scandal, was right in saying: "This is war. And I know that war is ugly and it's violent, and I know that young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions."


But there remains the disturbing fact the self-proclaimed liberators seem to be revealing more and more barbaric traits. The question is: why?


Panetta addressed this. War is a brutalizing phenomenon. And the longer a war lasts, the more this brutal it seems to become. American troops have spent more than ten years in Afghanistan. They lead a war of attrition - one they cannot win. At the same time, public support for the war at home has fallen dramatically. Most soldiers no longer even know why they are there. This undermines moral.


It is striking that the scandals seem to be piling up the closer we get to the date of withdrawal. This is in keeping with the adage: There’s nothing more to win, so let us hit them one more time and let our hatred run wild. The demon of war is once again celebrating a gruesome feast before time runs out.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


But the Americans - the West - still have an awful lot to lose in Afghanistan. The 2014 agreed-upon date of withdrawal is the right thing to do, but it is of the utmost interest to the West that Afghanistan remains an ally after that date. Because Afghanistan is in a very geostrategically important region. It borders the resource-rich states of Central Asia, it borders Iran and Pakistan, and it is therefore also of vital importance to India.



Guardian Unlimited: Hamid Karzai Calls Taliban Trophy Photos 'Disgusting'
Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Afghanistan - An Illusion Exposed
Die Zeit, Germany: Afghans Must Publicly Admit they Still Need West to Stay
Kahleej Times, UAE: Trial of Robert Bales will Put U.S. Government in the Dock
The Telegraph, U.K.: Madness is Not the Cause of American's Afghan Massacre
Kayhan, Iran: U.S. ‘Killed Afghans to Divert Attention from Burnings of Holy Quran’
Frontier Post, Pakistan: Taliban Claim Afghan Killing Spree not Work of Lone U.S. Soldier
Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Afghans Suspect U.S. Cover- Up Over Soldier Killing Spree
Outlook Afghanistan, Afghanistan: Dishonoring Holy Quran Harms U.S. Credibility

Kayhan, Iran: American Leaders Fear 'Rising Tide of Islam'

News, Switzerland: How Political Correctness Led to Pastor Jones

The Star, South Africa: South African Muslims Prevent a 'Bible Bonfire'

Die Tageszeitung, Germany: Let's Punish Pastor Jones By Looking Away

Folha, Brazil: Pastor Jones Takes Journalists for a Ride

Der Spiegel, Germany: Daughter of Terry Jones Asks Dad: 'Papa, Don't Do It'

Der Spiegel, Germany: Jones Condemned By His Ex-Church in Germany

Telegraph, U.K.: Can One Idiot Really 'Threaten World Peace'?

Telegraph, U.K.: 9/11 Quran Burning: What U.S Law Says

Daily Star, Lebanon: Quran Burning a Threat to America and the World

Rheinischer Merkur, Germany: Cordoba House: Let it Be a Triumph of Tolerance

ABC, Spain: Cordoba House: The 'Impossible Mosque'

ABC, Spain: The Mosque Near Ground Zero: A Case of Insensitivity

La Opinion de Zemora, Spain: Cordoba House and 'Hussein of Yankeeland'

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: The Poison Behind the Ground Zero Mosque Furore

The Telegraph, U.K.: The Depressing Debacle of 'Ground Zero Mosque'

BBC News, U.K.: Mosque Dispute Exposes Obama on Two Sides  



The West is not going to win this war, but there is no need to lose Afghanistan. The United States is now negotiating with the Afghan government on the fate of U.S. military bases beyond 2014. Atrocities committed by U.S. soldiers certainly won't facilitate these negotiations.


If there are more scandals of this magnitude or should their frequency rise - and there is reason for such fear - then the worst could happen. NATO would have to leave the country like the Soviet Army did in 1989: hated and despised by all Afghans.





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[Posted by Worldmeets.US April 24, 12:39pm]


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