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American Serviceman Goes On Shooting Spree in Afghanistan - Kills 16


17 replies to this topic

#1
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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- A lone American serviceman slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and went on a methodical house-to-house shooting rampage in a nearby village, killing 16 people, nearly all of them women and children, according to Afghan officials who visited the scene.

The NATO force confirmed that the assailant was in military custody, and that he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shooting rampage at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The U.S. Embassy called for calm and expressed deep condolences; the Taliban referred to the killings as an “act of genocide.”

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that the shooter was a staff sergeant and a member of the U.S. special operations forces who had been involved in training the Afghan police.
The incident, potentially the worst atrocity of the 10-year war to be deliberately carried out by a single member of the Western military, represents a stunning setback to U.S.-Afghan relations, already shaken by last month’s burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. military base north of Kabul.
Anti-U.S. sentiment flared into deadly riots after the Koran-burning at Bagram airfield came to light. American officials have said the action was a mistake and offered profuse apologies, but some Afghans, including lawmakers and senior clerics, brushed aside the apologies and called for harsh punishment of those involved.

The shooting early Sunday took place in Panjwayi district outside Kandahar city, in a village called Alkozai. U.S. military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was believed that the assailant had suffered a mental breakdown.



Mental breakdown due to having to risk his life for people who would cut his throat for accidentally burning their "holy" book?

More evidence we need to get our guys and gals out of that ****hole.
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#2
Tank

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Mental breakdown due to the fact that the US military continues to not offer enough therapy or counseling to teenagers they have trained to kill. Or rather, even when it is offered there is a stigma attached to it.



Sorry, I meant to say USA! USA ! USA!

#3
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You're damn right about that Tank. Our service people are taking it from both ends.

And they're not even allowed to tell about it.

#4
EwoksSuck

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I know this is going to sound harsh and I completely agree that it is a sad and appalling thing but there are some who think our problem is we don't intentionally do this sort of thing. That war is a brutal nasty thing and unless you are willing to kill and keep on killing until the other side has no will to fight then you should not go to war. They would argue this is why despite our huge advantages in military might we have not won a war since WWII. Winning hearts and minds is a lost cause they would say. While I am sure the official story will be this soldier lost his mind and went postal on the locals it might just be he is perfectly sane and thinks this is how to win a war.

Edited by EwoksSuck, 11 March 2012 - 12:28 PM.


#5
Tex

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The fact that there's no draft means that the modern military is chock full of trigger happy whackos. These guys sign up because they want to kill, so you just know that some of them are downright psychotic.

#6
Obsidian

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I know this is going to sound harsh and I completely agree that it is a sad and appalling thing but there are some who think our problem is we don't intentionally do this sort of thing. That war is a brutal nasty thing and unless you are willing to kill and keep on killing until the other side has no will to fight then you should not go to war. They would argue this is why despite our huge advantages in military might we have not won a war since WWII. Winning hearts and minds is a lost cause they would say. While I am sure the official story will be this soldier lost his mind and went postal on the locals it might just be he is perfectly sane and thinks this is how to win a war.


We actually tried that in Vietnam (the war was all about 'kill ratios' and 'body counts', after all.) And that led to a war of attrition that we still lost (and lost largely because, no matter how of the enemy we killed, they kept fighting because they wanted to win more than we wanted them to lose. We killed three North Vietnamese for every American life lost, and the result was a failed war that we still lost.

It was also the same mentality that valued a body count above everything else was a large part of what led to the My Lai Massacre.

Attrition strategy is the thing that Sun Tzu warned against above all else in 'Art of War', and it has been a failure almost every time it was used (The Civil War being one of the few exceptions).

Edited by Obsidian, 11 March 2012 - 02:57 PM.


#7
Ms. Spam

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These guys sign up because they're sold a bill of goods by a recruiter that hit them up from the time they were juniors in high school in an economy that they have little options to pay for college or prospect for jobs that are worthy to persue and find themselves in a ****hole after going through bootcamp. They can barely pass the ASVAB and many have coaches to get a passing score. It's no wonder that once some of them are deployed to a place with a that does not want them and their job descriptions barely validate them that they reach a breaking point and do something like this. It's definitely not like the video games they played as kids there.

#8
El Chalupacabra

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The military (and VA) really does need to help its veterans, but I think they have gotten better overall since Viet Nam, but obviously needs to do more to help them. However, statisticly speaking, a troubled veteran is far far more likely to take their own life, than go on a shooting rampage. To make a blanket statement that the US military is completely at fault for this guy murdering 16 people is unfair. The party responsible for 100% of this atrocity is the shooter. He made that choice, no one else, and regardless whatever happened to that guy to make him "snap," it doesn't excuse or justify this shooting.

If there is a stigma going on, its people labeling all veterans as twisted individuals running around shooting people because they can't cope. I'd argue that veterans are better equiped to cope with stress than most people in general. You have school shootings like the recent Ohio shooting, the various college shootings like VA Tech, or even Jared Loughner, where you have teens and young men making a choice to kill people who did nothing to them.

What I am saying is that someone who is capable of picking up a gun and shooting innocent people indescrimanantly is already broken. It has little to do with their profession, be it military or college student. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that a person who can shoot people like that is deranged beforehand, and I would argue that they are a type of serial killer. If that is the case, then saying the military is at fault for this guy is like saying that society is responsible for people like Jared Loughner, of Jeffrey Dahmer, for that matter.

Edited by El Chalupacabra, 11 March 2012 - 07:27 PM.


#9
Rock

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Sad, sad story. Wish we would totally gtfo of there and mind our own f'n business. The middle east doesn't need us over there killing them... they're pretty damn good at killing each other.

#10
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Buddy of mine runs a gun shop in a very redneck town (a black guy I used to work with, who's an absolute bull of a man that I would never want to piss off, is still afraid to go there). I went out to go see the shop one day and they're not only selling zombie targets, zombie ammo, they even have a dummy of a zombie full of fake blood so that when you shoot it it will bleed. Apparently zombies have taken over the gun culture, and from what he tells me a lot of his customers actually think a zombie apocalypse is possible. He also tells me that some local nut gave a speech about the impending collapse of the economy which has spurred other locals to flood his shop to buy more guns and ammo to prepare for the anarchy that they feel is inevitable.

Point I'm trying to make is that kids who come from these places are the ones who sign up for the military. They're not that bright, have no money, are pissed off at the world, and just want to shoot something.

#11
EwoksSuck

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Well I think it is a bit ridiculous to make assumptions about all soldiers based on the behavior of one bad apple. People join the military for all sorts of reasons. And let us not forget this particular soldier was a member of the special forces. These guys are supposed to be the best of the best. They under go all kinds of special training and go through a very tough weeding out process. This was not some ignorant kid. Most of the enlisted in the special forces have college degrees, speak multiple languages, and are trained on how to work in foreign cultures. Whatever biases you may have about soldiers mental abilities aside this soldier was supposed to be a cut way above the norm.
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#12
Destiny Skywalker

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I agree with what ES is saying. However, I don't think we are doing a very good job in dealing with PTSD in our combat troops. We had a friend come back from his first tour in Iraq and he had it pretty bad... but wouldn't tell anyone IN the Army about it to get some help. He felt he just needed to suck it up.

I remember Andorus talking about returning to the US after 2 years in Japan and the total culture shock when she returned. Our troops go through the same thing when they get home. Multiply that over several deployments and you have a recipe for nervous breakdowns. We need to do something about the "suck it up" culture and get our troops the help they need.

#13
Obsidian

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There is help available to soldiers with PTSD, but a soldier is stigmatized if he seeks that help, and it can hurt his chances for promotion. So, most soldiers understandably resist that help. The entire military culture needs to change in that regards.
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#14
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PMJ gave some great examples of this awhile back. I think he's a bit to aggro, gun loving for us to go on dates together, but i certainly wouldn't think he's damaged.

#15
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I like how the Taliban is all pissed off, though. If it weren't for you ****s we wouldn't be over there in the first place, asswipes.

#16
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The whole country has a stigma against mental health issues.

#17
Nanten Janubi

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Counseling can hurt your chances for promotion? No.

People go crazy doing all kinds of jobs. Most people are too weak to do military ****, but sometimes they slip through the cracks.

#18
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He wasn't Special Forces or any sort of SOF at all. He was an attachment from another unit. The news just said he was Special Forces because he happened to be on a camp utilized by an ODA conducting VSO in the area. I don't think he was even attached. He was just there. Once again, irresponsible reporting. Honestly, who knows why he did what he did?

Seeking help for "mental issues" will not have an effect on your career so long as you are doing something to address the situation or unless you just have s***** leadership. What affects careers is having problems, not taking steps to correct them, and then getting a DWI in a stolen bulldozer after taking out a telephone pole. We've been doing this for long enough now that it's not some new, scary concept. The main problem is that people don't want to take the help.

Edited by PeacefulMindedJedi, 27 July 2012 - 02:53 PM.




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