Friday, March 02, 2012

US Military Weighing Possible Court Martials For Up To 5 US Soldiers Over Q'uran Burnings

Military investigators looking into the burning of Q'urans in Afghanistan have concluded that five U.S. service members were involved:

U.S. military officials said that although the five service members will be reprimanded, it is unlikely that their names will be released or that their punishment will approach the severity of what some Afghans are demanding, including trial in an Islamic court.

“For the soldiers, it will be serious — they could lose rank. But you’re not going to see the kind of public trial that some here seem to want,” said one U.S. military official.”

A separate Afghan investigation conducted by Afghan lawmakers and Muslim religious officials is expected to conclude in several days. I'm sure you can already guess what the result is going to be.

What the Afghans want, including President Karzai, is for the culprits to be turned over to them to be tried under sharia and hung. Nothing else is going to satisfy them.They're not going accept that the US Code of Military Justice doesn't specify the death penalty for burning books. And those groveling apologies meant absolutely nothing. In fact, given the Muslim mindset, as I pointed out earlier, they almost certainly inflamed things even further:

The burning of the Muslim holy book by U.S. forces at an Afghan prison is unforgivable, a powerful council of Muslim scholars said Friday. It demanded that foreign forces turn over control of prisoners to Afghanistan’s government.

In a statement released through President Hamid Karzai’s office, the Ulema Council said the incident occurred because of “illegal management” of the prison.

“The representatives of the Ulema Council also said that the unforgivable and inhuman action of American forces in Bagram is something that could not be forgiven and an apology is not enough. The criminals of this action should be openly prosecuted and punished as soon as possible,” according to the statement.

Because of the violent reaction from the locals, there is a real likelihood that the five service men involved could receive a full court martial, and several sources in the Pentagon have hinted as much, especially after the groveling apologies by the NATO commander General Allen and President Obama. They'd have to reach a bit, but one of my sources tells me that Article 92,dereliction of duty or Article 134, "all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital" could be stretched easily to fit Q'uran burning.

To understand how ridiculous this is, let's recap what actually happened here.The accused are going to be charged with confiscating Q'urans supplied and paid for by the US taxpayers away from jihadi prisoners who were using them to transmit secret messages. And then burning the already defaced Q'urans, which is exactly how Muslims dispose of them!

Of course, if the Pentagon investigation bothered to cover the murder of six US troops by their supposed allies, rest assured that none of the murderers are going to be punished at all, especially not by the Afghans.

Meanwhile General Allen has ordered mandatory training for all troops in how to properly handle Q'urans, and most NATO advisers are still in lockdown and have not returned to their duties. The few who have to attend what are called “mission essential” meetings with their Afghan counterparts are escorted by an armed guard and wearing full body armor. A wise precaution, considering that USAF Lieutenant Colonel John Loftis, 44, and Army Major Robert Marchanti II, 48, were murdered not in combat with the Taliban but in a heavily secured room in the Afghan Interior Ministry by an Afghan intelligence officer, an 'ally' trained by the US who had a full security clearance to enter and then left without anyone doing a single thing to stop him.

You have to wonder why General Allen, the JCS and yes, even President Obama fail to realize that continued appeasement of Islam and its culture are nothing less than a suicidal slow rot of our military, our war effort and even our freedoms and security here at home. This has been going on for 11 years now, during two administrations. Is it any wonder we're still fighting this war?

This is the hidden face of the COIN strategy, which 'worked' to allow us a graceful retreat from Iraq because Iraq's Sunnis were revolted themselves by al Qaeda's brutality and were thus amenable to another traditional part of Muslim culture - they were willing to accept baksheesh from us to switch sides. In the end,of course, it did them no good because as soon as we left and turned the country over to the Iran friendly Shi'ites, the Sunnis, far from having a voice in ruling Iraq have become increasingly marginalized and repressed.

COIN was never going to have a hope of working in Afghanistan, because the Afghans are far more used to brutality, far more primitive, far more tribal, far more inured towards hatred of foreigners and non-Muslims than even the Iraqis, and far more dominated by one group, the Pashtuns.

The result is that the 'hearts and minds' strategy has resulted in our troops and appearing weak because they're being forced to fight with one hand tied behind them, not to mention our leaders. And it has had the effect of destroying any respect the Afghans had for us after we took out the Taliban.What our warriors have managed to accomplish in view of the impossible mission they were saddled with is little short of amazing.

General Allen and the JCS are military men who have the excuse for this debacle that they were following the orders of their commander in chief. That commander, President Barack Obama, is going to have to answer to history.And there's not going to be anyone he's going to be able to blame for it either.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

I'm sorry. The excuse I was following orders is not going to work here. I've been wondering what the h!ll these men were thinking all along. When an order is ammoral or a strategy that is proposed cannot work, it is the duty of a commanding officer to speak up and, if necessary, refuse to follow that order. This is for the good of the country and the good of the troops under his or her command.

An example of an unworkable strategy, is to commit large amounts of troops and equipment to landlocked Afghanistan surrounded by enemies on all sides. Either the commanding officers we are turning out West Point or embiciles, they are to blinded by loyalty to dear leader, or they are just plain inompetent this is not a good situation.

The current situation where we will likely be court martialing men for this is certainly not going to help a situation where morale among our fighting men is already low. Furthermore we are facing a backlog of tired and worn down men and equipment that will take years to correct, if we ever can.

"...nothing less than a slow rot of our military..." Its actually worse than this. We've worn down our military to the point that even basic national defense is going to be problematic.

Given that the nation is essentially bankrupt and deeply in debt, there is no feasible way to address this in an optimal manner. What I've suggested here and elsewhhere for some time of a complete withdrawl of all forces from around the world and a redeployment to defensible positions along our borders is likely our only viable option now.

It gives us a fighting chance to defend America. Furthermore it should help troop morale and retention of our forces. These men would be doing what they signed up to do, which is to defend America. If these men in Afghanistan are court martialed, this would likely be devestating to troop morale. How can these generals expect men to follow them if they sell their men out for things like this.