We’re supposed to be winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.The US military presence in Afghanistan has done the exact opposite.
US Soldiers urinating on dead AfghansEarly this January, 4 US Soldiers filmed themselves urinating on dead Afghan bodies. As they are relieving themselves on the corpses, they can be heard in the 40 second clip saying "Golden like a shower", and "Have a great day, Buddy". It's unclear whether the dead are Taliban or civilians, although, they are wearing civilian clothing. The Taliban has used the video as a recruitment tool.
The US has not infuriated Afghans more in history than they have in just the past few weeks. By urinating on dead bodies, burning the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur’an, and most recently massacring 16 civilians, most of whom were children, have created a major setback on stabilizing the region.
The US has played directly into the hands of the Taliban by giving them tools to recruit angry Afghans. How can we expect to defeat the Taliban and win over the Afghan people if we are pushing them further and further away from us by killing their people and disrespecting them? When we fail to win the hearts and minds of the people we are trying to protect, then we are ultimately losing the war.
Afghans protesting US Soldiers' burning of Qur'ans A few weeks ago, a handful of US Soldiers burned the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur'an in Afghanistan. Many Afghans responded violently when news of the burning spread out, and have killed multiple Western soldiers. There have been anti-American protests around the country since. While President Obama has apologized for the burning, Republican Presidential hopefuls like Newt Gingrich have argued that the US shouldn't need to apologize, and Rick Santorum said apologizing is a "sign of weakness".
Afghan Youth mourning family dead by the single US soldier massacre of Afghan civilians This weekend a US Soldier left his base early in the morning and walked to a nearby village. He walked into 3 houses, and shot dead 16 Afghan civilians, 9 of whom were children. He returned to the base afterward and turned himself in.
Another Afghan crying over children dead in single US soldier massacre of Afghan civilians The 38 year old soldier who had served 3 tours in Iraq and just began his tour in Afghanistan burned many of the bodies afterward, as if to cover-up what he had done. Many of the bodies were found to have stab wounds, and others killed assassin-style, with a single bullet in the head. Some of the young boys were discovered to have been shot in the mouth.
Father of 11 Family members killed by US soldier Abdul Samad's 8 children were killed by the US soldier, including 4 girls aged 2-6, and 4 boys from the ages of 8-12. In addition his wife, and two other relatives were also killed. Samad later called President Hamid Karzai to express his outrage. Samad's family were encouraged to live near the base because they were told it would be safer, considering the US soldiers were so close. Afghans are demanding for the US soldier to be trialed in Afghan court.
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