Just the Right Grunt Stuff …
… to have Afghanis strewing roses in the streets in welcome.
WASHINGTON â€” The Marine Corps will not bring criminal charges against two officers in command of a unit involved in the shooting deaths of as many as 19 civilians in northeastern Afghanistan last year after a car bomb struck the marinesâ€™ convoy, it was announced Friday.
In the episode, on March 4, 2007, several marines opened fire with automatic weapons after a suicide car bomb exploded and wounded one marine.
Human rights groups said that up to 19 unarmed civilians were killed and 50 people were wounded along a six-mile stretch of road near Jalalabad, as the convoy fired automatic weapons along the route back to its base.
A statement released Friday said Lt. Gen. Samuel T. Helland, commander of Marine forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, had determined that the officers in command and the troops in the convoy â€œacted appropriately and in accordance with the rules of engagement and tactics, techniques and procedures in place at the time in response to a complex attack.â€
Pardon us, but we have the strangest feeling that there is something wrong here. Perhaps it is describing a single car bomb as “a complex attack”. Certainly it was terrible, but “complex”?
Or perhaps it is the idea that killing 19 unarmed civilians and wounding 50 others in a lethal rampage along a six-mile stretch of road, during which time they were not being attacked, is thought by the American military to be “appropriate”.
Or perhaps it is that such behaviour is officially in accordance with the American Army’s rules of engagement, tactics, techniques and procedures.
Just a niggle, you know.
But, no, I am sure these are exactly the sort of people and military rules that will help spread the glorious story of western democratic values to grateful primitives all over the world.
[tags]Afghanistan, GI, american military, road-side bomb, suicide bomb, car bomb, IED, improvised explosive device, rules of engagement, unarmed civilians, Middle East, marines, automatic weapons, Jalalabad, complex attack, convoy, tactics, values, morals, ethics, principles, standards[/tags]