It is time, it is way, way past time, for the U.S. military to leave Afghanistan.
The grotesque massacre on Sunday by a U.S. soldier only underscores the point.
And the massacre was almost inevitable. When you have 100,000 soldiers under stress in a foreign country where they’re not wanted, when you have soldiers on their fourth tour of duty as this one was (who reportedly spent three tours in Iraq), at some point, someone’s going to break.
And what a horrific break it was.
Hunting down villagers door to door, killing 16 people, nine of them children and burning some of their bodies—it doesn’t get worse than this.
But the massacre is just the latest in a long and bloody string of deaths that have U.S. fingerprints on them. Just two days before, NATO helicopters killed four civilians and wounded three. And other wayward bombing raids and drones have taken an awful toll in Afghanistan, as well.
The Afghan people have had more than enough. Since the U.S. invaded ten and a half years ago, U.S. forces have been responsible for the deaths of between 9,000 and 29,000 Afghan civilians.
This latest massacre, on top of all the other deaths inflicted upon the people of Afghanistan, plays into the hands of the Taliban, which prides itself on fighting the occupiers.
We must end the occupation, end the bidding for a permanent military presence there, and let the Afghan people decide their own fate.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Don’t Lower the Corporate Tax Rate."
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