Wednesday, April 27, 2011


By Ivan G. Goldman

Eight NATO troops and a contractor, probably all Americans, according to the British press, were shot to death today by an Afghan pilot at the Kabul airport.

These ghastly murders are made even worse by the fact that they won’t be reported properly. They won’t be brought into their rightful context by NATO, the Pentagon, or the “journalists” in charge of delivering our information. Repetitious stories of Afghan police and soldiers turning on our troops are reported as isolated incidents even though they’ve become almost routine, part of a pattern that tells us a great deal about our mission over there.

We've learned to forget about finding stories that place these events alongside questions about why these NATO troops must serve in Afghanistan in the first place. The mission, after all, ended nearly ten years ago, when Osama Bin Laden escaped across the border into Pakistan. The present mission, which is to make Afghanistan into a kind of Asian Nebraska, is so excruciatingly stupid it defies serious analysis.

Meanwhile, here are some events I Googled up in a hurry. I assure you there are more to be found:

*Oct 3, 2009, An Afghan soldier on guard at a joint base with U.S. troops shot dead two U.S. servicemen and wounded two others as they slept.

*July 23, 2010, Two U.S. contractors were killed and one U.S. soldier wounded in a shootout with Afghan soldiers during a training exercise.

*July 25, 2010, an Afghan soldier shot a rocket-propelled grenade into a building, killing three British soldiers.

*August 25, 2010 An Afghan police recruit killed three Spanish soldiers.

*March 23, 2011, an Afghan soldier shot and killed two U.S. soldiers and fled.

*January 20, 2011, An Italian soldier was shot to death earlier in the week by an Afghan soldier, not by insurgents as originally reported, NATO said.

*April 20, 2011, An Afghan policeman shot and killed two Americans soldiers.

If I can find this stuff on my laptop in California, where are The New York Times, Reuters, the AP, CNN, and all those other news organizations with casts of thousands? Why aren’t they adding two and two and asking questions about the total sum?

If you seek fairness, a battle zone is one of the worst places to look, but beyond the elementary unfairness of sending troops to fight in a war because we don't have the gumption to end it, there's a nagging murder factor in Afghanistan, making it astronomically unfair to send troops into this pit of betrayal.

I suppose I could be cruel and suggest that supporters of our perpetual Afghan war consider doing a one-year tour themselves, not out on patrol, just hanging around with Afghan police officers and soldiers back behind the lines to help them with the worthy cause of propping up the regime of our crooked, crazy Pashtun pal Hamid Karzai. They'd find there’s lots to do around a military base in Afghanistan. Growing eyes in the back of your head, for example.