American assassin of Afghanistan

A lone man with personal problems was responsible for the massacre of 16 civilians in an Afgahn village on 11 March. The soldier, a 38 year old staff sergeant, we are told, was under stress, had himself been injured and had recently seen some of his own comrades seriously injured resulting from Taliban attacks. It was too much for him, seemingly. He left his compound, found some houses in a nearby village and then shot 16 people in the head. Now in custody in the USA, we’ll see what justice is meted out.

The story needs unpicking somewhat. Robert Fisk, writing in the Independent, reports that something like this was anticipated. General John Allen addressed the soldiers a mere three weeks before against taking revenge against Afghans for American losses arising from the riots generated after American soldiers foolishly burned copies of the Koran. ‘Now is not the time…’ etc (not sure if any time is the time for murderous revenge, but we take the point).

The media has, however, bought into the the lone deranged madman story, rather than reporting that he was in actual fact a cold-blooded murderer of Afghan civilians.

At best, this is shocking news reportage – across the board. At worst, collusion. This is not what the news media are for. Shameful.

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