Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Throwing Gasoline on the Fire

Two possibly unrelated news stories from Afghanistan came across my desk this evening.

The first report, citing military sources, says that the American soldier suspected of murdering sixteen Afghans last Sunday has been flown out of the country to Kuwait. The action was not necessarily taken to protect the alleged killer’s life, since the United States has not ruled out his being tried in Afghanistan under local (sharia) law, and has left the possibility of capital punishment on the table.

So one can only assume that the military authorities are worried that the situation could get out of hand if the suspect were to remain in-country. Presumably he will be returned later for a show trial and execution.

While the unnamed killer was being flown out, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was being flown in. Just before Mr. Panetta arrived at Camp Bastion, an Afghan interpreter stole a truck from a British soldier — who was injured, and may have been run over during the incident — and then crashed the perimeter fence of the airbase. The driver then apparently doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire.

The incident raises a couple of questions:

  • Did the attacker know Secretary Panetta was about to land?
  • If so, how did he find out the time and place of the SecDef’s arrival?
  • Was it a direct attempt to harm Mr. Panetta, or simply an expression of generalized Islamic rage at the sins of the Great Satan?

I assume we’ll learn the answers to these questions before long. In the meantime, here’s the story from FOX News:

Military Source Calls Incident at Afghanistan Airport an ‘Attempted Attack’

A military source tells Fox News the strange incident on the tarmac Wednesday at Camp Bastion that occurred moments before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived via C-17 was an attempted attack.

This official could not say whether the local Afghan involved knew Panetta was about to arrive, but he could say it certainly wasn’t any type of accident.

Fox News has learned the attacker was an Afghan interpreter who was carrying gasoline and a lighter with him in the pickup truck, which he managed to steal from a British service member. The coalition service member was injured during the incident, possibly run over by the truck.

The Afghan interpreter managed to drive the stolen car over the very ramp where Panetta was set to arrive. The secretary was soon diverted to another ramp.

After crashing the pickup truck into a ditch, the driver got out and had apparently lit himself on fire, according to this source.

Pentagon Spokesman George Little put out a statement earlier saying “no explosives were found.”

The statement also said the driver is now in custody, and an investigation is underway.

Defense Secretary Panetta was visiting Afghanistan to hold a series of meetings with troops and Afghan leaders in the wake of the killing of 16 Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. soldier.

The U.S. military command in Afghanistan must be dreading the next few weeks — one more incident of Koran-burning or berserker murder or peeing towards Mecca, and it could have a major conflagration on its hands.

Forget winning “hearts and minds” — maintaining basic security for coalition forces will be a tough enough job in itself.


mzungu said...

The soldier who allegedly shot 16 potential terrorists is guilty because he shot 16 potential terrorists w/o permission. Even though the purpose of a soldier is to kill people and destroy things.

Then we have SecDef arriving secretly but it is no secret. He sets himself on fire to recreate the Pink Floyd, The Wall album cover to greet SecDef. But the man did not die?

Maybe if we hand out cigarette lighters and bottles of gasoline to 1,000,000 Muslims and promise them both Obama and President George Bush will show up to sign autographs we can win this thing w/o firing a shot.

Inviting the Pope to also come to sign autographs and he's probably worth a million more Self-Correcting Errors to torch themselves.

rickl said...

In addition, it's been reported that Marines at the base were ordered to be disarmed when Panetta arrived, which is apparently unprecedented in a war zone.

That's a nice show of confidence in the troops by their civilian leadership.

Dymphna said...

@ rickl-

I saw that too & found it strange. Someone said it was because the Afghan mililtary had to be unarmed so the American soldiers were made to follow suit.

Maybe I read it at the Long War Journal, on their Threat Matrix page.

I feel so sorry for *any* Western soldier deployed to that place. Even more of a waste of precious life than most of those futilities our 'leaders' engage in.

Afghanistan will make me a pacifist yet.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good article from the Armed Forces Journal about the situation in Afghanistan.

In short it's a lot worse than what's being portrayed.


Anonymous said...

Presumably the attacker will not be returned to Afghanistan to stand "trial". Not that there ought to be any worry about whether he'd get a fair trial: he's guilty, and he'd be convicted, so that would be fair.

The point is we shoot our own mad dogs.

Anonymous said...

So, what this policy tells the Afghans is that the Americans will be disarmed the next time that one or more American big wigs show up.

First, what could go wrong?!

Second, I've got an idea about some big wigs that I'd like to send over next time....

Third, what could go wrong?!


Anonymous said...

@ Dymphna Not necessarily a pacifist, but a realist. When it becomes abundantly clear that there is no nation to "build" in a tribal culture committed to eating their young, withdrawal is logical.....not pacifistic.
Were there to be anything to be won other than death and debt, it would have appeared by now.
The spurious argument that leaving Afghanistan will empower the Taliban and Al Qaeda to regain the high ground is merely scat thrown to obscure the uselessness of arrogantly attempting to bring a free will system of values to a paleolithic culture.
My heart bleeds for all Afghans who saw a glimmer of Western values on the horizon...alas, it was a mirage.

Anonymous said...

It would be very wrong to send the marine back to Afghanistan for trial as the alleged killer is a dhimmi in any Moslem country and his right to a fair trial is non-existent.He
should of course be tried in the US.

Anonymous said...

Note: When Obama says that he is 'generally proud' of our military, he means that he is proud when the military disarms itself rather than Muslims.


Anonymous said...

Note: When Obama says that he is 'generally proud' of our military, he means that he is proud of the generals when they capitulate to Islam, Muslims, and their dhimmi status under Sharia Law.


Anonymous said...

"The statement also said the driver is now in custody, and an investigation is underway."

So this was another missed oportunity to roast marshmallows on the corpse of an enemy.

Disarming the military... why even bothering to call them the "Military" anymore?

laine said...

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. You cannot make a civilized country out of one that adopts primitive Islamic sharia as the law of their land instead of separating mosque and state. And you cannot educate Muslims out of their primitive belief system, as the hordes of Western educated doctors, engineers etc. working for al Quaeda attest. It's a no exit bind. Containment of these moral dinosaurs lumbering about the earth, not engagement is what we should be striving for. Now that we realize there cannot and will not be a domino effect toward improved Islamic states, keeping western military in this kind of impossible job at constant risk to their own lives is inhumane. It's actually a credit to the American military that there have not been more of such stress related berserkers.

Anonymous said...

The military is now the dhimilitary.

And, yes, I claim copyright on that word that I just invented.

I quite like it - dhimilitary.

Cite me as the source if you use it. :)


Anonymous said...

You say berserker - and I say Breiviker.

Let's call the whole thing off, as the song says.

Yeah, I'll claim copyright on the word Breiviker, too. Cite me if you use it.


Anonymous said...

Question: What do you call any U.S. military base that Panetta visits?

Answer: A dhimilitarized zone! Ha!

Yeah, I am copyrighting this one, too. Cite me if you use it. :)


Generals Awaiting Panetta Apparently Targeted by Attacker