This video is about U.S marines urinating on dead Afghans.
From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Video shows US marines urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan
Posted January 12, 2012 18:30:00
The US Marines are launching an investigation into a video that appears to show American soldiers urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan. The origin of the video is not known, nor is it clear who posted it online on YouTube and other sites.
See also here.
CTV in Canada says:
In a statement that essentially confirms the video is authentic, the International Security Assistance Force said the actions “appear to have been conducted by a small group of U.S. individuals, who apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan.”
See also here.
‘No Surprise’ Marines Urinated on Taliban. War always dehumanizes, but America’s torture policies make it worse: here.
The urination video does not shock me so much as the public’s tolerance of these immoral wars that make criminals of marines: here.
When they behave disgracefully, the military are imitating a contempt for human rights found higher up the chain of command: here.
This is not about ‘bad apples’. This is the horror of war
How many other abuses took place off camera? How many Hadithas? How many My Lais? Here.
The one industry that’s booming in Afghanistan: Earnings from opium soar 133% in a year to $1.4bn: here.
Afghan Refugees In Germany Resort To Hunger Strike: here.
A U.S.-sponsored mortality survey released last year announced huge improvements in health across Afghanistan. But the gains are so great that experts are still arguing about whether it’s correct: here.
A former US marine charged with stabbing four homeless men to death in southern California was a thrill seeker who took pleasure in killing his victims, prosecutors asserted yesterday: here.
- “Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely”By (goodolewoody.me)
- US apologizes for Afghan airstrike (middleeasttopics.wordpress.com)
- WaPo- Karzai government accuses U.S. of withholding fuel from Afghan troops (washingtonpost.com)
- White House will not publicly apologise for Afghan war mistakes – The Guardian (theguardian.com)
- Afghans describe relatives’ deaths in recent US drone strike (stripes.com)
Opium production more than doubles
Afghanistan: Opium production soared by 133 per cent in 2011, the UN said today.
Its office on drugs and crime said 6,400 tons of opium were produced last year, up from 4,000 tons in 2010.
The crop could now account for 9 per cent of the country’s GDP, it said.
Afghanistan produces around 90 per cent of the world’s opium, most of which is used to produce heroin for sale in the West.
Disgraced marine battalion named
United States: The Marine Corps said on Thursday that they think they have identified the unit involved in an online video that shows soldiers urinating on dead Afghan militants.
A spokesman refused to name the unit until the probe had finished, but CNN quoted an unnamed officer saying it was the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.
US army suicide: Soldier charged
AFGHANISTAN: A US soldier charged with abuse that led to the suicide of a 19-year-old fellow soldier in Afghanistan faced a preliminary hearing today at Kandahar airfield, the sprawling base for US and Nato operations in the south.
Specialist Ryan Offutt is charged with offences including maltreatment, involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide over the death of Private Danny Chen.
Private Chen shot himself in a guardhouse on October 3 after what investigators say were weeks of racial slurs, humiliation and physical abuse.
‘Bad apples’: Too many of them?
Posted on January 17, 2012
Every time a horror story surfaces about the unpardonable conduct of US soldiers stationed abroad, and there is no hope left to protect culprits or hush up the case, America’s top brass joins the nonstop chorus at the Pentagon and White House: “A few bad apples in the military are to blame.”Mr. President plays the lead role in this drama’s drop scene. He tells the world, pointing the index finger in the air, that the “deplorable” and “reprehensible” behavior of a couple of misguided soldiers does not represent American values in any way. Adjectives like egregious, hideous, unfortunate, regrettable are repeatedly used to condemn the episode and Cabinet secretaries express “total dismay” over the revelation for several weeks.Such theatrics have been done so often and for so long that the point has come where so many apples are bad it is hard to find a good one. The recently surfaced video showing Marine snipers urinating on the bodies of three Taleban fighters in Afghanistan has once again brought into focus a pattern of depravity in some sections of the US military. One of the soldiers in the video jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke.Washington watchers have seen a plethora of incidents in which the “bad apples” have shown utter disregard for human dignity. They killed civilians for sport, bombed wedding parties, carried out battlefield executions, blew up hundreds with daisy cutters and cluster bombs, covered up botched raids and posed for pictures with their defenseless victims. The saddest part of the story is that no serious steps were ever taken to ensure that the crop of such “bad apples” does not surface again. This would definitely enrage America’s apologists, but history is not on their side.Systematic and horrendous sexual abuse, rape and torture of detainees leading to death in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 came as a shock to the world. The abuse photographs – which the administration of Barack Obama refused to make public in order to avoid retaliation – shed light on some activities in the notorious jail that should shame any decent person.The New York Times, in a report on Jan. 12, 2005, reported testimony revealing that the following events had taken place there:o Urinating on detainees;o Jumping on detainee’s leg (a limb already wounded by gunfire) with such force that it could not thereafter heal properly;o Continuing by pounding detainee’s wounded leg with collapsible metal baton;o Pouring phosphoric acid on detainees;o Sodomization of detainees with a baton;o Tying ropes to the detainees’ legs or private parts and dragging them across the floor.Eleven soldiers were convicted of various charges relating to the incidents, all including dereliction of duty, most receiving relatively minor sentences. Three other soldiers were either cleared of charges or were not charged. No one was convicted of murders. It is this loophole in the US military justice system that gives the bad apples confidence that they will get away with a slap on the wrist. If exemplary punishments had been meted out to the villains of Abu Ghraib, Iraq perhaps would not have witnessed animalism of some more bad apples in the village of Mahmudiya in 2006. In this heart wrenching incident, US soldiers attacked a private house, killed the father, mother and brother of a 14-year-old girl before gang-raping her. In order to destroy evidence, Abeer’s body was burned. One of the attackers, Pfc. Steven D. Green, and his partners in crime told the Iraqi soldiers who arrived on the scene immediately after the incident that it was the handiwork of Sunni insurgents – a euphemism for Al-Qaeda. In September 2009, Green was formally sentenced to life in prison. Had he been handed a death sentence, that, many feel, would have deterred other bad apples.Neoconservatives, the chief advocates of the pattern of torture, were not very pleased when the FBI said in a report on Jan. 3, 2007 that captives at Guantanamo Bay were chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor for 18 hours or more, urinating and defecating on themselves.Besides being shackled to the floor, detainees were subjected to extremes of temperature. In October 2002, one interrogator squatted over a copy of the Holy Qur’an during intensive questioning of a Muslim prisoner.It’s a shame that nearly four years after Obama pledged to shut Gitmo, the torture house in Cuba remains open. Families of Arab prisoners detained without trial there since it opened 10 years ago are despairing of seeing loved ones again soon.The current video showing US soldiers desecrating the dead reinforces the belief that US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not just about fighting Muslims, but about humiliating them and their faith. The images leave people wondering if US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq were really to bring peace and democracy or they were just an opportunity to assert US power over Muslim populations. The only outcome of the antics of the bad apples is that the video would be used by militants to whip up anti-US sentiment across the Muslim world with renewed vigor. And God forbid if the Taleban launch a wave of suicide bombings targeting Western troops in retaliation, the credit would totally go to the “bad apples.”Defiling, desecrating, mocking, photographing or filming for personal use insurgent dead constitutes a grave breach of the laws of armed conflict. But there seem to be few takers for this in the US Army. Recurring abuse incidents leave analysts wondering if the bad apples have outgrown good ones. According to the advocates of torture in the US Army, this has ensured the safety of Americans. They should perhaps listen to Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State: “The torture? A more serious blow to the United States than September 11, 2001 attacks. Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves.”
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Afghan war bill revealed
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 » 08:19am
The Daily Telegraph has revealed the cost of the war in Afghanistan.
The Telegraph reports in the last financial year $1.6 billion dollars was spent, with each of our diggers costing taxpayers $1 million each.
By June 2013, the total cost of the campaign is expected to reach more than $7.4 billion, with an extra additional $1 billion for new protective equipment.
In addition Adelaidenow.com says the Government is halfway through a five-year $200 million program of donations to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. That money is being used to ‘develop and sustain’ the Afghan National Army and to pay for things such as barracks, training, secure phones and video teleconferencing facilities.
‘Australia’s contribution has also been used to assist the installation of the Afghan National Defence University’s Information Technology infrastructure … used by the Afghan National Army including academic and staff offices, classrooms, laboratories and student barracks,’ Defence said.
The Herald Sun says Australian forces are due out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but senior officers have hinted that the withdrawal could be completed by late 2013, possibly saving taxpayers more than $1 billion.
Marine tape reaction sets Taliban fighters against commanders
KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have been enraged by a video which shows U.S. marines urinating on three corpses, believed to be insurgents, and some say they do not understand their leadership’s relatively measured response to the tape.
News of the clip spread fast across Afghanistan, even though only a minority of people have electricity and the internet is restricted to a tiny urban elite.
Radio can reach remote militants and villagers and mobile phones are used by many Afghans, on both sides of the war, for storing and sharing videos even in remote areas with little communications infrastructure.
“I heard from some friends about this shameful act of the U.S. forces but could not see it at first,” said one militant who called himself Qari Babar, explaining that a Pashto-language radio broadcast first alerted him to the tape’s existence.
The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four Marines in camouflage combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the video, describing the men’s actions as “inhuman” and calling for an investigation. U.S. and NATO military commanders condemned the actions of the men, and Pentagon has acted quickly to respond to the video, in a bid to limit the fallout.
Although a Taliban spokesman criticized it last week, he said it would not harm nascent efforts to broker peace talks.
For some insurgents, their leadership’s muted response to the Marines’ actions was unwelcome, particularly after reports the Taliban had agreed to open a political office in Qatar to ease possible negotiation with the United States and allies.
“Our leaders overlooked this degrading and inhumane act of American soldiers because they are interested in peace talks,” said Mullah Mohammad Gul, a local Taliban commander in southern Helmand province, where the video is believed to have been made.
“Our duty is to defend our sacred religion and our people and we will keep fighting, no matter what.”
Insurgent fighters in other parts of the country said the video could undermine discipline and push foot soldiers to ignore orders from higher ranked fighters.
“Until now, we were following guidelines and principles laid down by our senior commanders for us to follow while fighting,” said Babar, active in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
Young insurgents might ignore orders in future, he added.
U.S. General John Allen, who commands international troops in Afghanistan, accused the Taliban’s one-eyed leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, this week of having “lost all control” of his frontline fighters after several suicide bombings in the restive south killed almost 20 people, mostly civilians.
Babar said he watched the video with around 70 fighters, and said it shocked them even though previous cases of abuse by foreign soldiers in Afghanistan, including the murder of innocent civilians, had been well publicized.
“Every one is now desperately trying to find U.S. soldiers to take revenge for the desecration of the bodies,” he added.
HATE WILL GROW
Several commanders also thought the Marines’ actions would also help bolster the group’s standing with the rural Afghans they fight among.
“It helps us to win the support and sympathy of the Afghan people,” Abdul Basit, who fights in eastern Khost province where insurgents have a strong presence, told Reuters.
“You see now the entire nation, even so many people in the government and armed forces, have turned against them because of the atrocities,” Basit said.
Basit added that they had been advised by their leaders not to kill their prisoners and spies but after seeing the video, many of them might not control themselves in future.
In the southern town of Marjah, a part of Helmand that has seen heavy fighting and was the centre of a U.S.-led campaign to displace the Taliban in early 2010, another commander agreed.
“It is good that such video has emerged which showed Americans’ inhumane acts,” Mullah Abdullah told Reuters by satellite phone. He disagreed it would sap discipline, and instead saw a groundswell of greater support.
“From now on, hate against the foreign troops will grow in the hearts of every Muslim, especially in Afghanistan.”
(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in PESHAWAR, writing by Emma Graham-Harrison)
© Copyright 2012, Reuters
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