Is there some logic to the fact that as the date for America’s withdrawal draws nigh, the number of atrocities and scandals involving U.S. troops seem to be increasing? For Germany’s ‘Die Zeit’, columnist Ulrich Ladurner writes that the ‘demon of war’ is enjoying his final Afghan feast, and that if any further gross mishaps are committed by American forces, the departure of U.S. and NATO troops will turn a disastrous withdrawal into an out-and-out foreign policy catastrophe for the West.
For Die Zeit, Ulrich Ladurner writes in part:
The American Government has apologized to the Afghan people – again. This time, because in 2010, U.S. troops desecrated the bodies of Afghan suicide bombers. Photos of that incident have now been published in the Los Angeles Times. Just a few weeks ago, a single U.S. soldier committed a massacre in a village. He shot and killed 17 Afghans in their sleep, nine of them children. Earlier, it also came to light that troops urinated on the bodies of enemy combatants they had killed, and they did so on video. On another occasion, soldiers at a military base in Kandahar burned copies of the Quran, which led to weeks of violent rioting.
Granted, these are all the acts of individuals. … But there remains the disturbing fact the self-proclaimed liberators seem to be revealing more and more barbaric traits. The question is: why?
It is striking that the scandals seem to be piling up the closer we get to the date of withdrawal. This is in keeping with the adage: There’s nothing more to win, so let us hit them one more time and let our hatred run wild. The demon of war is once again celebrating a gruesome feast before time runs out.
If there are more scandals of this magnitude or should their frequency rise – and there is reason for such fear – then the worst could happen. NATO would have to leave the country like the Soviet Army did in 1989: hated and despised by all Afghans.
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