Psychological screening and treatment procedures offered to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are obviously lacking. This was apparently a batshit rampage killing. Basically My Lai redux. Why are we still there? Drop to your knees, beg forgiveness a thousand times, make financial restitution and get the hell out of there. Pathetic.
An AP story filed today by Mirwais Khan and Heidi Vogt reads as follows:
“Nine children and three women were among the [16 victims]. The killing spree deepened a crisis between U.S. forces and their Afghan hosts over Americans burning Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan last month. The burnings sparked weeks of violent protests and attacks that left some 30 dead. Six U.S. service members have been killed by their Afghan colleagues since the Quran burnings came to light, but the violence had just started to calm down.
“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Afghan president Hamid Karzai said in a statement.
“The violence over the Quran burnings has spurred calls in the U.S. for a faster exit strategy from the 10-year-old Afghan war. President Barack Obama even said recently that ‘now is the time for us to transition.’ But he also said he had no plan to change the current timetable that has Afghans taking control of security countrywide by the end of 2014.
“In the wake of the Quran burnings, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, visited troops at a base that was attacked last month and urged them not to give in to the impulse for revenge.
“The tensions between the two countries had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control — a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.
“But Sunday’s shooting could push that agreement further away.
“‘This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone,” said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians,” Cortright said.