uruknet.info
  اوروكنت.إنفو
    
    informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 02/09/2014 04:10 ] 86497


english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  



The systemic atrocity of Afghanistan's occupation


March 13, 2012 - The death of innocent civilians is nothing new in Afghanistan, but these 16 victims, nine of whom were children, were allegedly murdered by a rogue soldier, rather than the usual killers – drone attacks, air strikes and stray bullets. This incident has elicited rage among Afghans and westerners alike. But why are westerners not equally outraged when drone attacks kill entire families? Drone attacks that kill civilians usually fall into our category of "collateral damage", because the dead civilians weren't specifically targeted, and we treat this category as an unfortunate consequence of war, not murder. Afghans see little difference – rightly so, in my opinion, because their loved ones are dead because of the conscious actions of Nato forces....

[86497]



Uruknet on Alexa


End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege

>

:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.




:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article






The systemic atrocity of Afghanistan's occupation

Ross Caputi

13afgh000_par6928899.jpg

A mourner cries over the bodies of Afghan civilians, killed by a US soldier, seen loaded into the back of a truck in Alkozai village in Kandahar province on Sunday, March 11. (AFP Photo/Jangir)

Is there a morally significant difference between murder, like the Panjwai massacre, and collateral damage? Ask Afghan civilians

March 13, 2012

The death of innocent civilians is nothing new in Afghanistan, but these 16 victims, nine of whom were children, were allegedly murdered by a rogue soldier, rather than the usual killers – drone attacks, air strikes and stray bullets. This incident has elicited rage among Afghans and westerners alike. But why are westerners not equally outraged when drone attacks kill entire families?

Drone attacks that kill civilians usually fall into our category of "collateral damage", because the dead civilians weren't specifically targeted, and we treat this category as an unfortunate consequence of war, not murder. Afghans see little difference – rightly so, in my opinion, because their loved ones are dead because of the conscious actions of Nato forces.

This distinction between collateral damage and murder seems to come down to the question of intent. Thomas Aquinas was one of the first to hone in on this distinction with his doctrine of double effect, which is still used today to justify collateral damage. It is believed in the west that some innocent death is excusable in war, as long as the deaths are not intended, and even if those deaths are foreseeable. But if civilian deaths are foreseeable in a course of action, and we take that action anyway, did we not intend them? I doubt Afghans would feel much consolation knowing that their family members were not directly targeted; rather, we just expected that our actions would kill a few people and it happened to be their family members – an unfortunate side-effect of war.

Yet, western audiences feel reassured knowing that most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan were not intended; and they only become outraged when marines and soldiers clearly target civilians and kill women and children, urinate on their bodies, and plunder their body parts as trophies. From Abu Ghraib, to Fallujah, to Haditha, and now to Panjwai, US forces have committed massacres against civilians. These incidents stand out in the western mind, but to Afghans and Iraqis, they are no different from the daily slaughter of civilians by drones, air strikes, depleted uranium and stray bullets.

Tell a mother from Fallujah whose children have been horribly deformed by uranium weapons that her childrens' suffering was unintended, even though the health effects of uranium-based weapons are well-known. Tell the survivors of drone attacks that their dead family members were not targeted, and that their deaths were an unfortunate consequence of war. Is their pain any different from the father whose entire family was murdered in this most recent atrocity? If collateral damage is foreseeable, if it is really a fact of war, as most believe it is, is it not a crime to engage in war when it will inevitably kill innocents?

Is there really a morally significant difference between murder and collateral damage?

The consequentialist will argue that the good results outweigh the bad, that democracy, freedom and the liberation of Afghan women will improve the lives of Afghans so much that the deaths of a few are justified. This is an easy judgment for westerners to make from the comforts of their own homes; but it stinks of the same patriarchy and arrogance of the white man's burden that justified colonialism for so many years. Has anyone consulted Afghans and asked them if they think the good that the west has promised will come of this occupation is worth the lives of their family members?

The occupation of Afghanistan is an "atrocity-producing situation", as was the occupation of Iraq, and we have signed Afghans and Iraqis up for this against their will.

The nature of these occupations fosters atrocity. The invented enemy, the lack of a battlefield void of civilians, the supposed moral superiority of the occupiers, the obscure goals of the mission, the methods of training that prepare soldiers for occupation, and the methods of warfare all make the murder of civilians unavoidable. In modern warfare, 90% of the casualties are civilian, but this is a reality that the west likes to ignore.

Ross Caputi in Fallujah, Iraq, 2004 Ross Caputi during the second siege of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004

In my own experience, soldiers and marines face an unbearable quantum of pressure and responsibility, and this inevitably leads to atrocity. When I was deployed to Iraq in 2004, with 1st Battalion 8th Marines, we faced conflicting expectations from our leaders who wanted dispassionate obedience, from our society back home who wanted a Hollywood-style victory and a happy ending, from our families who wanted us to put their needs first, from our comrades-in-arms who wanted our loyalty, and from ourselves as we struggled to hold onto our humanity. As much we wanted to please everyone, we couldn't. We were only human, asked to bear inhuman burdens, and the result was inhumane behavior.

We often toyed with the ideas of suicide and homicide, and joked about them. We laughed at the possibilities that someday, we might end up homeless on the streets, or shooting bystanders from a bell tower somewhere. We knew these possibilities were real, and we were frightened by them. "Ah, the glory of it all," we laughed. It was dark humor that made the dark reality that many of us really were on the verge of killing ourselves or someone else easier to bear.

However, in occupied territory, violence that might otherwise be turned inwards, sometimes gets expressed outwards. In Fallujah, I witnessed all our frustrations, our loneliness, our grief, our confusion, hate, fear and rage being unleashed on Fallujah – and Fallujans paid dearly. I witnessed good people do horrible things. Almost anyone in such a situation would have become just as ruthless. Some of my closest friends mutilated dead bodies, looted from the pockets of dead resistance fighters, destroyed homes, and killed civilians.

Incidents such as what happened in Panjwai on Sunday cannot be chalked up to the actions of "one bad apple". Incidents like this one are the product of an immoral and inhuman occupation. The atrocities will not end until the occupation ends. When will we give up the illusion that war can be conducted humanely?



Source


:: Article nr. 86497 sent on 14-mar-2012 04:38 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=86497



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet





       
[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]


[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]







Uruknet on Twitter




:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano



:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:
www.uruknet.mobi


Uruknet on Facebook






:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine


uruknet
the web



:: Immagini / Pictures


Initial
Middle




The newsletter archive




L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti


Modulo per ordini




subscribe

:: Newsletter

:: Comments


Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic


AMSI
AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic




Font size
Carattere
1 2 3





:: All events








     

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 02/09/2014 04:10 ]




Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it




:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

 

I nostri partner - Our Partners:


TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting

www.tev.it

Progetto Niz

niz: news management

www.niz.it

Digitbrand

digitbrand: ".it" domains

www.digitbrand.com

Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.com
www.uruknet.net
www.uruknet.org
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.web.at.it
www.uruknet.biz
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)
www.uruknet.tel

Vat Number: IT-97475000150