As in Iraq, the killing and abuse of civilians by occupation forces has been an integral part of this dirty war from its earliest days. As it drags on, ever more outrages emerge. Last year, members of a US unit were convicted of killing Afghan civilians for entertainment, cutting off body parts as trophies and leaving weapons with the corpses to make it seem as if they were killed in combat.
Nor is such depravity just a US habit, of course. Last year a hungover British guardsman stabbed a 10-year-old boy in the kidneys for no reason. British soldiers are currently on trial for filming their abuse of Afghan children, while US WikiLeaks files record 21 separate incidents of British troops shooting dead or bombing Afghan civilians.
The line between deliberate and accidental killings is in any case a blurred one. As the US General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan, commented: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”
"Massacres are the inevitable result of foreign occupation"
All the Historians sighing “No shit, Sherlock” … If you say “I support the war” (or, even worse, “I support the occupation”) but follow up with “But I certainly don’t support these atrocities committed by the troops,” then there is an essential disconnect going on in your brain. If you think we should still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, then you think we should be murdering children. If you think we should still be “fighting” in the Middle East, then you support things like the desecration of the bodies of the dead. Whether you realize that or not is a different matter. War is a crime in itself AND a crime from which these crimes inevitably follow.