On February 20th, American soldiers once again exercised horrible judgement by burning several religious texts including copies of the Holy Qur’an on the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. The protest that followed when Afghans who witnessed the atrocity sparked riots that ended the lives of more than two dozen Afghans and at least five U.S. soldiers. On the morning of Sunday March 11th, the Panjwayi district of Kandahar was rudely awakened by gunfire when a rogue U.S. soldier sneaks away from camp to take revenge into his own hands and grotesquely murder 16 civilians. The soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, is reportedly in custody and the tragedy is being investigated by the regional U.S. and Afghan authorities.
It’s too bad they won’t send this shooter to Guantanamo Bay, if that isn’t terrorism, then what is? This series of happenings is not particularly original, which makes it all the more troubling. When are these “soldiers” going to realize that burning the Qur’an is unacceptable? When is America going to stop starting seemingly endless wars with a mediocre, volunteer military? Whether one believes the Afghans overreacted or not, the soldiers still should have known that this would displease the people whose country they are in without welcome.
If someone decided to burn the Book of Mormon in Utah or a Bible outside of any American Church, would how do you think the pious folks would like it? It’s common sense. There is no excuse for this foolishness. I don’t care if this was the soldier’s third tour or if his best friend got killed in the aftermath of the Qur’an burning. When a person enlists in the Armed Forces, they take on a heavy responsibility. If you can’t handle war, then don’t go into it. Although the people who are truly liable for all this heartbreaking violence are those little expletives who decided to burn the Qur’an. Think before you do something, will it piss someone off who may be a little sore already? If so, don’t do it. Descanse en paz a todos los muertos.
Thanks to: LA Times, CNN Arabic, Aljazeera, and the Oman Tribune.