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Afghanistan Photos

Bad Apples? or Bad Apple Tree?

When will they get it? Or do they get it and try to hide the truth about the Afghanistan photos before anyone notices they’ve got it?

First the disclaimer: To gloatingly photograph yourself with a slain enemy (whether self-slaughtered or not) is obscene, but then if the entire situation is obscene…

The American political-military establishment – not to mention the Australian and the European/NATO war departments – once again insists that “this is not us”, “this behavior does not reflect our values.”

“This is not who we are,” says Leon Panetta.

“[The Afghanistan photos] don’t in anyway represent the principles and values that are the basis for our mission in Afghanistan,” says Anders Fogh Rasmussen who also said this was “an isolated event.”

Yes, it’s the case of the bad apples.

The question is, how did these apples pop fully formed – armed and in uniform – into existence? Was it by a miracle of birth, more miraculous than immaculate conception because apparently they had neither father nor mother nor even country or past?

Of course not. These “bad apples” carry the social DNA of their apple tree: their country, their nation, their society, the situation they have been shoe-horned into by a military establishment that is more concerned with the politics of the game and the public perception of the state of the game than with the human realities of the way war inflicts itself on cannon-fodder.

And the Generals and diplomats¹ think they can sweep the results of their ugly game under the carpet by disclaiming all knowledge and responsibility – while, of course, those who carry the most obscenity and culpability, those who have most truly lost their moral compass, are the ones who initiate, or who endorse, or who neatly fold up their moral sensibility in a shroud and place it carefully out of sight and hearing in a hole in a dark and hidden corner of their mind.


What a difference in attitude by the American military/political conglomerate compared to its response to Julian Assange!

With Assange and Bradley Manning the biggest beef was that they had put Americans “in harm’s way”. But we know that they scrupulously had not. As far as we know not a single hair on an American head has been put out of place as a result of the Wikileaks release.

In contrast, the release of the photos by the LA Times is almost certain to cause yet more aggression against Americans and their allies, not just by the Taliban but by others worldwide.

Not that the LA Times should not have shared what it knew – that is in a way its sacred duty.

But that no-one in political/military circles in the US has sworn by hook or by crook to get LA Times staff for publishing the Afghanistan photos, offered their opinion that someone should kill them by contract or “accident”, which numerous high-profile Americans (and a Canadian…oh, and an Alaskan) did about Assange, well, the difference is stark and striking and, frankly, rank hypocrisy and jingoism.

Is Sir Roger the only one to notice this?

¹So plain the advantages of machination
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon’t with loathing
Feel bound to don the sheep’s deceptive clothing.
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his heart.

– R.S.K.

Diplomacy: The patriotic art of lying for one’s country.
– The Devil’s Dictionary

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Comment from Barbara
Posted: 20 April, 2012 at 7:20 pm

What do we expect of people who see the dark side as a daily event? Police, ambulance officers and fire brigades are known for their ‘black humour’. How else to deal with horror. Why should we be surprised that young, often uneducated men sent to war, to kill, find no humanity in the remains of a suicide bomber?

Comment from Roger Migently
Posted: 20 April, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Precisely! Well said.

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