The United States have killed so many innocent civilians in Afghanistan that nobody will ever know all their stories. There is a line running from genuine accident in the fog of war, to carelessness, through callous disregard of life to deliberate murder. There is a real sense in which it makes no difference to the dead civilian where their killing sits on the line. The six boys under 11 years old killed this month by an aerial attack when out gathering firewood are every bit as dead as the 13 year old boy in one of the trophy photos now released by Der Spiegel.
There is something very vile in the culture of the US military, of which this is but one symptom. I won’t say much, as I feel more grief than anger just at the moment. But I leave you these truths. It is more common for US soldiers to possess such trophy photos, than it is for those trophy photos to be exposed to an international magazine. And it is a great deal more common for US soldiers to murder from the enjoyment of their absolute power of life and death, than it is for them to incriminate themselves by recording the event.
This is but the tip of an iceberg of evil.