Oakland Memorial for Afghanistan Killings
Posted on 14 March 2012 by @wiseoldsnail
Oakland Residents Join Afghans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink to Mourn Victims of Murderous Rampage by US Military Personnel
It was a solemn scene Monday night, with close to a hundred souls gathering in front of Obama campaign headquarters to mourn the loss of life of sixteen Afghan civilians, who were murdered in the middle of the night Sunday by at least one United States soldier.
Though US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is holding to his claim that this is an isolated incident, the statistics and the message spoken by several people Monday evening, several of whom are veterans of war, are evidence of the opposite.
Members of the organization Afghans for Peace spoke passionately at the memorial. From their statement:
“It hasn’t even been over 24 hours since this bloodbath occurred so how can we accept apologies for an intended massacre? Our tears have not dried up yet, and they never will. The blood splattered on the walls of our houses, the scorched bodies of our children, and the pain in our hearts will always be a reminder of the slaughter that took place in order to “liberate” us.
We hope you hear this loud and clear that in the process of our “liberation” you have made sure we can never be FREE from this misery unless you leave. We are living, breathing, dead bodies that have died with the ones we loved; although we still have not lost hope for unshackling our nation from these repressive hands that drop bombs not food, that kill not save lives, that take everything in exchange of a promise we never asked them to make.
We do not wish to “endure” this “freedom” you have imposed upon us. The masses see this conflict through the eyes of the occupier, and it’s time you see this pain through the eyes of the occupied.”
Paul Cox from Swords to Plowshares and Veterans for Peace reported that war crimes such as this were routinely committed during the Vietnam war. Veterans of these current wars, including Scott Olson, verified that, indeed, these atrocities are nothing new or unusual in US wars of aggression.
According Iraq Veterans Against the War, soldiers are routinely being redeployed to Afghanistan and Iraq after suffering Traumatic Brain Injury and with ongoing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which by law and US military policy makes them ineligible for active duty.
Besides the risk of the commission of war crimes being higher due to this practice of returning injured and suffering soldiers to battle, the overall climate in today’s armed forces is one of dehumanization of the perceived enemy. Soldiers are trained to hate, and along with that hatred comes murderous action.
Speakers at Monday’s gathering called on Obama to immediately withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and to refrain from sending troops also into Syria and Iran in what appears to be an all out imperialist invasion of countries around the world.