Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Insanity in Afghanistan

On 22 February several members of the U.S. armed forced stationed at the Bagram airfield in Afghanistan dropped some Islamic texts, including copies of the Koran, into an incinerator to be burned. Several Afghan garbage collectors at the base reported finding a number of charred books and quickly made this incident public.

The question of motivation (or sanity) of an American soldier who killed 16 civilians, including many women and children remains to be determined. The horrific story has important implications for the US-Afghanistan relation. It even affects the US presidential campaign.

Let's recall some basic facts. Bagram airbase is one of the largest American military bases in Afghanistan that was built by the Russians, who were despised by much of the local population, but were never on the receiving end of such protests.
Overcoming the language barrier. An Afghani protesting
outside besieged Bagram gives the Americans the finger.
The day after the incident Obama apologized to Karzai. Nevertheless, the unrest has resulted in at least 41 dead and 270 wounded in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Several American and French soldiers were killed by their Afghani counterparts. Nobody has apologizes to the U.S. for these deaths. When I googled "Karzai apologizes to Obama" the search engine suggested I had it backwards, giving me links to "Obama apologizes to Karzai". Apparently our Afghani allies consider copies of Koran to be more important than the  lives of servicemen of its US ally.

Let me suggest a possible diagnosis of the U.S. soldier who went on a murderous rampage in Afghanistan - his insanity lay in seeking revenge, and acting upon his frustrations. His actions also showcase the weakness and hypocrisy of the position of U.S. position -- which much be particularly hard to bear for a serviceman --  apologizing for unintentional burning of Korans, but not even attempting to defend the servicemen from murderous rage of the local barbarians.

In order to handle this political faux pas the U.S. is going to declare the serviceman who perpetrated this atrocity insane, regardless of the fact that he's on par with the rationality with many of the locals. The real insanity, as many are beginning to realize, lies in the very presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.