Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rolling Stone: The A-Team Killings -- Torture and Murder in Afghanistan

Rolling Stone has just published a blockbuster article detailing war crimes by American forces in Afghanistan. It's called The A-Team Killings.

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! interviewed the author of the article, Matthieu Aikins. In this clip, the first clip, he talks about how the article came about.

In this clip, we see Afghans and Westerners who appear to be Americans torturing a bound prisoner. Yes, it's gruesome. No, there are no thumb screws or cattle prods involved. Torture comes in many forms, not all of them involving medieval devices.

There's also a brief clip of Secretary of State John Kerry in convoluted bureaucrat-speak. In fact, I couldn't even understand what he was saying until Gonzalez and Aikins explained it. Kerry was saying that on the one hand the U.S. respected the Afghan system of justice, the loya jirga, but on the other hand it wouldn't subject any of its forces to that system of justice. Why? Because they and he know that U.S. soldiers have committed war crimes. And they want legal immunity for those crimes.

It's been a theme running through the posts on this blog that some day, there will be a reckoning. That that which we do to The Other we always, always, end up doing to ourselves. That alone should give people pause. When the obvious criminality of their actions, when injustice alone, isn't enough to give them pause, you'd think that the knowledge that their actions will come back to bite them in the ass would.

But we're dealing here with hypocrisy and denial on a grand scale. Americans don't want to admit that "our guys" have committed atrocities every bit as bad as those of "the terrorists" we love to excoriate. Americans don't wear "the white hats." We aren't "the good guys." We are humans, just like other humans, and humans commit crimes, especially in war.

Will this latest evidence make a dent? Will people stop asking the stupefyingly inane question, "Why do they hate us?" Will Americans rise up and demand of the worthless wankers in Congress and the murderous man in the White House that we stop warring, stop killing, stop torturing?

Don't bet on it.