The title of a recently released Reuters article is “Afghan CIVILIAN deaths spark calls for U.S. exit” (Web-site/URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/12/us-afghanistan-civilians-idUSBRE82A02V20120312).
According to “an Afghan government official”, “This (massacre of 16 CIVILIANS) COULD (?) delay the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement”. “could?” “This” DEFINITELY WILL “delay the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement”. It’s hard to envisage the US and Afghanistan “agreeing” ON ANYTHING in light of recent events.
According to Haji Najiq, “a Kandahar shop owner”, “We have benefited little from the foreign troops here, but lost everything – our lives, DIGNITY and our country to them“. Just like women who have acid thrown in their faces by men in Afghanistan as well as PAKISTAN (Web-site/URL: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/around-the-world-abc-news/saving-face-horrific-acid-attacks-target-women-pakistan-035756661.html), without “dignity”, we have little IF ANYTHING. “The explanation or apologies WILL NOT bring back the dead” obviously. “It is better for them to LEAVE US ALONE and LET US LIVE IN PEACE“. “peace” is a luxury/rare commodity for many poor people in Arab countries and the wider Middle East region these days.
According to 19-year-old Mohammad Fahim, “a university student”, “The Americans said they will leave in 2014. They should leave NOW so we can LIVE IN PEACE“. Again, given the anti-American backlash, this is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY to occur/happen. “EVEN IF the Taliban return to power, our elders can work things out with them. The Americans are DISRESPECTFUL“. This is clearly a VERY NEGATIVE/DAMNING comment/sentiment.
According to 33-year-old Najibullah, “a house painter in Kabul”, “The Americans ARE NOT here to assist us; (instead), they are here to KILL us. I HATE the Americans and I HATE anyone who loves them, so I hope (that) there is NO long-term partnership between our countries“. “hate” again is HARSHLY NEGATIVE and it appears TWICE.
Pentagon spokesman George Little “said that NATO’s course would continue as it had before the attacks”. IS THIS POSSIBLE? “The reality is that OUR FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGY IS NOT changing. There has been a series of troubling incidents recently, but NO ONE should think that we are steering away from our partnership with the Afghan people, our partnership with Afghan National Security Forces and our commitment to prosecute the war effort“.
According to Waheed Mujhda of the Afghan Analysts Network, “The Kandahar shootings will give the Taliban the chance to prove to Afghans that THEY ARE the freedom fighters and the Americans are THE EVIL ONES” which, again, IS NOT good. Kandahar, of course, is a Taliban stronghold.
According to Joshua Foust, “a security expert with the American Security Project”, “These killings only serve to reinforce the mindset that THE WHOLE WAR IS BROKEN and that there’s little we can do about it beyond trying to CUT OUR LOSSES and LEAVE“. Again, this is a VERY NEGATIVE sentiment and there is a sense of HOPELESSNESS here as well.
“(Afghan President Hamid) Karzai, whose relationship with his Western backers is fraught at the best of times(, condemned the rampage as “INTENTIONAL murders” and demanded an explanation. Karzai’s office released a statement quoting a villager as saying “American soldiers woke my family up and SHOT THEM IN THE FACE“.
Finally, “Officials from the U.S. Embassy, ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force) and from Washington said IT APPEARED (that) there was only one. An ISAF spokesman said (that) the lone soldier “walked back to the base and turned himself in to U.S. forces this morning (March 11, 2012)”.
This certainly COMPLICATES THINGS FURTHER. Sure Afghans want US forces to leave because just like we saw in IRAQ, US forces are regarded as UNWANTED OCCUPIERS. Of course the US has to look after ITS OWN NATIONAL INTERESTS. However, this latest “massacre of 16 civilians” along with the latest KORAN BURNINGS that started on February 22, 2012 (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Afghanistan_Quran_burning_protests) again, certainly WON’T help/enhance US reputation in the Middle East and Arab world.