In the wake of a United States soldier opening fire on civilians near his base in southern Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is furiously calling it an “assassination” and demanding answers from the Obama Administration, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Nine children and 3 women were among those murdered, according to a statement released by Karzai. The enraged president says that he has repeatedly asked U.S. soldiers to stop slaying innocent people. Furious villagers from the Panjwai district of Kandahar province — the birthplace of the Taliban movement — loaded the victims into cars and drove to the nearby U.S. base and demanded answers.
This glaring lack of character, professionalism and ethics comes just weeks after U.S. soldiers “mistakenly” burned Qurans on base. President Obama was quick to offer his sincere apologies for the disrespectful incident that sparked anti-US sentiment to dangerous levels and reciprocal violence that left at least 30 dead, including 2 U.S. soldiers:
The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”
Apparently, the deranged gunman didn’t get the memo. Though Karzai tentatively accepted Obama’s apology for that incident, in the wake of these unprovoked murders of women and children, he’s not trying to hear it:
This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.”
In the wake of the Quran burnings and the obviously breakdown in trust and any possibility to bringing the Taliban to the table, Obama declared that “now was the time to transition out of Afghanistan.”
David Cortright, director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, agrees. Declares this a crushing defeat for any kind of amicable arrangement between the Afghan and U.S. government, Cortright is in favor of an early transition from the region:
This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone. This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians.”
A 15-year-old boy, who was shot in the leg, spoke with Karzai via phone and told him how the U.S. soldier stormed into his house in the middle of the night, woke up his family and started gunning them down, reports the AJC.
According to Washington officials, the killer, who is an army staff sergeant, returned to his base and turned himself after the incident.