Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for the Panjwai massacre
Posted on March 18th, 2012
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œPanjwai massacreÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ in Afghanistan last week by an American Army Staff Sergeant named Robert Bales, and possibly others, came in the wake of a string of war crimes committed by US troops there, including the burning of Qurans, Marines urinating on dead Afghan bodies, and murder of civilians by soldiers formed in to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œkill unitsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Washington so far has offered the civilised world nothing other than the usual deluge of predictable outpourings of feigned sympathies and promises ofÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ investigationsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢: Obama phoned the Afghan puppet Hamid Karzai and offered condolences and described that the massacre as ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“outrageous and unacceptableÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â. He assured that ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will follow the facts wherever they lead us and we will make sure that anybody who is involved is held fully accountable with the full force of the law.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whose day job appears to involve going around the world forcefully demanding accountability from leaders of other countries including Sri Lanka, said: “this is not who we are, and the United States is committed to seeing that those responsible are held accountable”.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Defence Secretary Leon Panetta called the shooting an ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“isolated eventÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â and went on to moralise: “War is hell. These kinds of events and incidents are going to take place; they’ve taken place in any war. They’re terrible events. And this is not the first of those events, and it probably won’t be the last” he said.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â All such outpourings of sorrow and regret appeared contrived and disingenuous in view of the familiar refrain associated with every one of them that the US mission in Afghanistan would stay ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œon courseÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ despite the abominable massacre. The neocon haven, the US Congress affirmed the same intention, with the senile John McCain and neocon Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry stridently announcing their determination not to pull-out the troops.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Having carried out the chore of reading the hollow media statements crafted by his neocon minders, Obama quickly got on to the busy task of unrolling the Red Carpet for the fellow war monger, David Cameron: the British Prime Minister was in town to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œkeep upÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspecial relationshipÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ while the poor Afghan villagers who lost their families were wallowing in the misery created by his policies
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Well, enough of empty words from Obama, Clinton, Cameron and other war mongers. There needs to be an end to this criminal hypocrisy. Time has come for the (real) international community to hold Obama and Clinton accountable: after all, they just need to be asked to look down at their own toes and they will find the culprits! As a lasting remedy that will prevent the recurrence of such massacres, the UN Security Council needs to compel the US and other foreign armies to leave Afghanistan immediately.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ObamaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s disingenuous outpourings of grief was followed by a series of actions that cast doubt on the sincerity of his intentions, and that anything resembling justice (which is meaningless anyway after such horrendous loss of life) is going to be served to the poor Afghans.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â As an example, the Afghan assertion based on eye witness evidence that more than one killer was involved in carrying out the killings was ignored despite KarzaiÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s dismissal of the video ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œevidenceÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ produced by the US Army to prove it was a ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œlone gun manÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, as unconvincing; Afghan demands for the trying of the suspect in Afghanistan was similarly disregarded.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Gen. John Allen, the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan insisted that the alleged criminal will be investigated by American military authorities and ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“the outcome will be in accordance with US lawÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â. The alleged killer has already been secretly moved, in a hurry, to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: according to the Defence Department spokesman Capt. John Kirby the suspect was moved on the legal recommendation of the command’s lawyer.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The outcomes of previous military trials of US troops who have committed war crimes suggest that any such trial would likely be the inverse of a ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œshow trialÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢. None of the eight Marines Charged in the notorious 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians has been convicted of murder or even manslaughter: six had their cases dropped in exchange for their testimony against the other two; one was acquitted previously and on January 24, 2012, and nine counts of manslaughter against the eighth, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, were dropped for a plea of guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty! The military judge Lt. Col. David Jones recommended a maximum sentence of just three months to Wutrerich.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The result of the court martials of those accused of the Haditha massacre has been compared to that of the 1968 My Lai massacre in the Vietnam War, of over 500 unarmed civilians: 26 US soldiers were charged but only one was convicted of killing 22 villagers; he was given a sentence of three and a half years, under house arrest on a military base. Similarly, the US Army has dismissed all charges against the last of five soldiers to face a court-martial in the slaying of 10 unarmed Afghan civilians in February 2010. Some justice!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The American excuse of a lone gunman going off the rails in Panjwai ignores the obvious impact of the well-known use of psychological desensitisation and conditioning techniques by the US and British armies: the process started as far back as the late 1940s following the report of the official US historian of the second world war, SLA Marshall, in ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œMen Against FireÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ (1947) that nearly 75% of combat troops deliberately aimed their guns over the heads of the enemy due to their inability to kill the enemy. An intensive desensitising program reduced the figure to 55% by the time of the Korean War in 1953, and by Vietnam, up to 90% were able to fire on the enemy: the result was achieved through the adoption of training techniques designed to dehumanise the troops in order to prepare them to kill more easily.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The current generation of armed force recruits have grown up on a steady diet of violent films and video games that make violence look and feel ordinary even before they enlist. They then undergo military training arranged to simulate a killing environment along the lines of Americans and ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œbad guysÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ (who are usually dark skinned and eastern in appearance). Trainee soldiers these days shoot at dummies made to look as much like people as possible; the act of killing is continually rehearsed to achieve perfection. Like Robert Bales, some are deployed repeatedly in the same or different theatres of war, in some cases forcibly, despite their complaints of mental and physical fatigue suffered during previous stints.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The armed forces in the US, UK and in Australia face serious recruitment problems due to the younger generations ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œwaking upÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ to the hidden agendas of the shadow governments (not the elected ones) in their countries. The armed forces andÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â the intelligence agencies are trying to address the situation by intensifying their efforts to psychologically influence the young through movies, cartoon, video games, and increasingly through social media.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œKony 2012ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, a 30-minute video posted on You tube by a shadowy group, interestingly named ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œInvisible ChildrenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ is one such fraud geared towards high school and college students. In the video, Jason Russell (33) talks to his young son Gavin about the notorious Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, glorifying a non-existent American moral mission to rid the world of ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œbad guysÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢. At one point the little boy describes his dadÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s job as: “You stop the bad guys from being mean.” At conclusion Russell says, “At the end of my life I want to say that the world we left behind is one Gavin can be proud of.” Gavin replies: “I’m going to be like you dad. I’m going to come with you to Africa.”
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Internet is full of information that reveals the inaccuracies contained in the video, and who is behind its production. But that is the sort of attempt they make to brainwash the young. Disturbingly, less than two weeks after the video’s smashing ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsuccessÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, the co-founder of the Invisible Children group is hospitalised following police detention in Pacific Beach for being drunk and masturbating in public; looks like the pressure got to him!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The accused soldier Robert Bales is typical of a generation that has been exposed to such ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œhogwashÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ from early childhood: apparently grew up in Ohio where he worked as a financial adviser before enlisting with the US Army within a week of the WTC events of 2001, on the belief that he had to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œstand upÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ for America. He has received training as an infantry sniper to fire fatal shots from up to 800 meters away, and has been based at the notorious Lewis-McChord base near Seattle where most of the soldiers who have committed war crimes have come from. He has been on three tours of Iraq, has suffered injuries, described by a former platoon leader as a soldier “who prided himself on identifying the bad guys from non-combatants”.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â There are clear indications that the promised court martial or other form of military trial in the US is going to be designed to extricate the killer. It is likely to be argued that the accused does not have the mental capacity to stand trial: the media and the public have already been ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsoftened upÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ through revelations that he was treated for traumatic brain injury suffered in a vehicle rollover in 2010 during a previous deployment in Iraq. A Pentagon official has quipped: ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues – he just snapped.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Though his crime is clearly unpardonable, it needs to be remembered that what is referred to as ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œjusticeÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ in cases like this is closer to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œrevengeÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ rather than justice: serving whatever punishment on Bales, even death sentence, will only be an ineffective treatment of the symptom of a deep rooted malaise. The killer Robert Bales himself is just another victim from a population of veterans who has suffered irreparable physical incapacitation and debilitating mental trauma in meaningless combat in faraway lands.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The accountability should lie with the civilian leadership of the immoral military industrial complex who commits the lives of young soldiers in pursuit of their hegemonic aims. The real problem is that the US government and its armed forces have been captured by the neocons hell-bent on using their geopolitical aims using the might of American weapons.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â What emerged last week was a morality story for a nation whose power base has been captured and corrupted by the neocon network that is dealing in an irrational and self-destructive brand of ideology based on military might and long drawn out wars against sovereignty of other nations.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For more than two years, opinion polls have been clearly indicating that the American public are against the Afghan war: this was again confirmed in a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on the day of the massacre, but conducted before the news broke: 65 per cent of Americans see the war as not worth its costs (that have exceeded $500 billion so far); according to the same poll, a majority of Americans believe that the Afghans oppose the NATO-led military occupation and the US should withdraw troops whether or not the Afghan army is able to stand on its own.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But in this land of the self-proclaimed guardians of human rights and democracy worldwide, American public opinion or Afghan lives are simply irrelevant: itÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s all in the name of the surreptitious neocon wish to rule the realm.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Accountability for Robert BalesÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ crimes should stop at ObamaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s feet because he is ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œthe civilian leader who willingly expanded and redefined the militarised occupation of Afghanistan as a frontal assault on al-Qaida: he is keeping around 90000 US troops in Afghanistan following the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsurgeÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢. It is essentially Obama’s war. Obama should be charged at the International Criminal Court (ICC), disregarding any immunity arising from the American non-signing of the Rome Statute.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The civilised world demands it.