Sunday, March 25, 2012

US Paid $50K Per Head To Afghans For Deaths; Told Money 'Came From Obama'

The United States government has paid compensation to the families of each Afghan killed or wounded in the incident in Kandahar attributed to Staff Sergeant Robert Bales:

The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday.

The families of the dead received the money Saturday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. Each wounded person received $11,000, Lalai said. Community elder Jan Agha confirmed the same figures.

They were told that the money came from U.S. President Barack Obama, Lalai said.

A U.S. official confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that it reflected the devastating nature of the incident. The official spoke anonymously because of the sensitive nature of the subject.

This is disturbing in a number of ways.

First of all, what we've done, essentially, is admitted guilt and paid blood money in accordance with Pashtun tribal custom. And what we've admitted to in their eyes is not one soldier apparently having a breakdown, but what an Afghan commission charged with 'investigating this tragedy came up with - the fantasy that this was a planned U.S. military strike involving 15 to 20 soldiers with air support.

If Sergeant Bales comes to trial and is found not guilty because of PTSD, temporary insanity or some similar cause, just how do you think the Afghans are going to react - since we've already admitted guilt by paying the blood money?

Another point that bothers me intensely...who does President Obama think he is using our money to do this and then taking personal credit for it, as if it came out of his own pocket rather than ours?

Clueless and arrogant, all in one package.


Michal said...

So I take it you advocate not giving the Afghan families who lost their breadwinners any money, until maybe a year later or so, when the court with Bales is finished?

How are they going to survive in the meanwhile, have you thought of that?

Rob said...

Hello Michal,
And here we've been told repeatedly that they were mostly women and children! Gosh, who knew?

FYI, both USAid and NATO have authorized quite a bit of food, medical and financial aid for the Afghans. Want to bet the families involved were already receiving it?

For that matter, the linked article reveals that these families had already received an initial payout of about $2,000 per family.quite a bit in your typical Pashtun village. much money is the Afghan government paying the families of the UN workers whom were murdered over the Q'uran burning incident? Or those of the American soldiers who had nothing to do with what happened in Kandahar but were murdered by their Afghan 'allies'?

I'd love to hear your answers.

Anonymous said...

We also have what amounts to "blood payments" we call it wrongful death payments. Is your issue the amount paid or the fact that the Afghan government is duplicitous or the fact that the US accepted blame for the incident?

Personally I don't tend to model my actions by what others do especially if they are disingenuous, liars or beyond the pale of human decency. So what the Afghan government does or does not do has no bearing on what the US does in response to actions by their representatives. Therefore I think you mix issues here.

Also the US government is liable for sending that soldier back into action after a traumatic brain injury, if he was on heavy medication that has possible negative side effects and that they did not watch him from a psychological perspective after several tours of duty in a war zone.

I do not know how they came up the amount of money however, wrongful death payments reflect the life-time worth of the person lost not just a years worth of income.

Anonymous said...

If these "breadwinners" were worth $50,000 then explain why lat year 1000 Afghan women were killed in honor killings and no one in Afghanistan thinks they are worth a plugged nickle? Was their life worth nothing? And yet some father or brother or religious leader can just kill them (usually gang raping them first) with no consequence. If we instead use the Afghan standard then these unfortunate civilian deaths should NOT be recompensed.

Michal said...

@ Rob, well Rob, looking at the casualties I guess you're right in your point that they were mostly women and children. Still, in the wonderful post-Taliban freedom Afghanistan, even women can work. Boys too, work, and trust me that they work hard. In some families, a 13 year old boy can be head of a family. He'd be even more economically valuable had he grown up. Which he won't now.

Anyhow, moving on, I'm glad to hear they've already received $2000, but that still means they've received money. You're opposed to giving them "blood money" and essentially any compensation, right? So, you know, I think my question stands. How would they survive without getting any money for a year?

Also, I think Independent Patriot struck the nail on its head. If Afghan government is a bunch of scum, why behave the same way? Even not counting in the fact that it is pretty cash strapped now, and probably couldn't afford to provide for any shot American soldiers' or UN workers' families for twenty years like the generous United States of America can. Doesn't it go to the American credit, that it does what Afghanistan can't and won't?

Rob said...

Hello Michal,
Before I respond, I want to compliment you on the civil nature of your comments on this and other threads.

First of all, your point that it goes to America's credit is well taken, but it ignores several things.

You don't know that the families aren't among the many Afghans already receiving aid.

Second, keep in mind that the murders of the UN workers and those of the Americans murdered in cold blood by their Afghan 'allies' and the Kandahar killings have significant differences - the first were done deliberately, with malice aforethought to people who weren't even involved in any of the original grievances, but simply the nearest handy infidels, and they were done by many people, not just one soldier who was likely mentally incapacitated at the time.

Not only has the Afghan government refused to even acknowledge the murders at the hands of their nationals, they have never indicated the slightest remorse and are pointedly refusing to cooperate with U.S. Authorities in bringing the murderers to justice.

Third, bear in mind please what I wrote about how this is going to appear to Afghans and how it's going to feed the idea that this was a deliberate and planned US strike rather than one mentally impaired soldier.

Their mentality is different than ours, and the paying of blood money signifies guilt and acceptance of how they're viewing this.

Humanitarian aid is one thing.Blood money and jirzyah is something entirely different.