Staff Sgt Robert Bales, the American soldier allegedly behind the killing of 16 Afghan villagers in the sanctuary of their beds, most of them women and children, on March 11 is now on his way to the United States:
“An American soldier suspected of shooting 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday is being moved to a military base in Kansas, US officials say. Kuwait confirms the combatant suspected in the Afghan killings has left the country after a stopover.
The soldier is expected to arrive at Fort Leavenworth on Friday afternoon, says his civilian attorney, John Henry Browne. According to Browne, his defendant could be tried at any major US garrison, but Afghanistan as an option is ruled out.”
There is little outrage in light of such a loathsome revelation and besides the theatrics which will surely envelope the trial there shall be little to no attention given to the victims, who will be again made to pay for their foreign dispositions. Their identities will once more numb the minds of millions.
Children Of A Lesser God
In Afghanistan the dead are made to die twice; first at the hands of a drove of “rogue” soldiers and later at the hands of those who see them as degenerates:
These rag-heads from Kandahar, these sand-niggers of South Asia, these camel-jockey’s and their offspring are inferior beings; they are the children of a lesser god. Let their corpses fill the streets and their impure blood soak the soles of our shoes, after-all what are they but video-game caricatures of the villains we dispose of with a single head-shot? Their first language is not English but instead an assortment of guttural verbal discharge, their attire is not Western and their mannerisms are brutish. They are unlike us and for this let us do away with them as we would any other foreign scourge, as we have done with those who came before them; another notch in our belt, another 100 points.
Staff Sgt Robert Bales, the sole accused in the massacre in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is now being bathed with talk of “combat stress symptoms — anxiety, depression, anger.” Despite the moistness of soil piled atop the graves filled with the bodies of scorched Afghan civilians the blood is being wiped away with premature concern for US Staff Sgt. Bales’ mental health. This story, we have heard before. These roles, they have been played before. And the indifferent reactions, we have witnessed before.
Dehumanization Of The Oppressed
The dehumanization of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan mirrors that of the Vietnamese, Japanese, Blacks and Native Americans. The names of the victims and the massacres have long been chronicled between the bloody pages of history; Emmett Till, Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, the My Lai Massacre, Hiroshima and Nagasaki,Wounded Knee and Fallujah.
The assorted mechanisms of terror inflicted against the above mentioned populations, and a plethora of others, were always accompanied by perverse xenophobia, all of which was meant to animalize and degrade them; in order to maintain dominion over any populace there must be effective intimidation, be it physical intimidation carried out through lynchings or mental intimidation by way of media-approved rhetoric of debasement.
When the casualties of war are parodied, mocked and their humanity defiled then their suffering will fall victim to the same fate.
The Outrage Of War
The blatant disregard of the latest victims of NATO and the United States of America’s decade-long imperialist adventure in Afghanistan accompanies the overall position which encompasses the war itself. Just as the casualties of war-crimes are evaded, the criminality of war is discounted.
But there shall be no transition away from this seemingly perpetual state of bloodshed until the entire scope of these wars becomes an outrage. Until the villages are rebuilt and the corpses buried with dignity. Until the chatter of Western ruling elites is replaced with the cries of citizen foot-soldiers.
Until then, nothing shall change but the body count and the oft-ignored faces behind them.