A monster or a broken soldier?

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By Leah Frost / Advertising Manager


By Leah Frost / Advertising Manager

Sixteen massacred in the dead of night March 11 in Afghanistan, by an American Army staff sergeant.

As the story goes, the suspect went to two neighboring villages near the U.S. Military base, went to three different homes within the villages and shot 16 people, including children, and set some of the bodies on fire, according to BBC News.

Multiple reports say that there may have been accomplices.

Other reports say that alcoholic haze was a pre-curser to the events that played out this dreadful night.

A horrendous slap in the face of human rights, innocent people attacked, children lying dead but the main focus of mass media is the stress the perpetrator was under and when his lawyer will be visiting him in prison.

To be justified in this observance, Google “massacre in Afghanistan,” the top 10 results are journalism pieces focusing on who is to blame for this event that has placed a tarnished outlook on U.S. troop’s efforts in Afghanistan.

Is it the multiple tours of duty the suspect already participated in, the lack of stability at home before his last deployments, his possible drunken state that night resulting in diminished capacity, what is the possible justification that will not only be dragged through the media but undoubtedly through the courts.

Robert Bales, the man of the hour, who has been implicated as the responsible party for the massacre, has been removed from Afghanistan and placed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, a maximum security prison.

Formal charges have not yet been placed on Bales but are expected to be placed on record within the week, according to the Huffington Post.

The truth behind the events that took place are still under investigation, meanwhile the media is digging diligently into the background of Bales trying to piece together the reasoning behind the suspects actions.

On the flip side of the situation, the relations that the United States now holds with Afghanistan are on slippery ice.

“This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Despite the apologetic moments President Obama has voiced to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Afghanistan people, they are demanding justice.

“The Afghan investigation team did not receive the cooperation that they expected from the United States,” said President Karzai on a video released by CNN.

The Afghanistan government did not agree with the United States decision to remove Bales to be held for trial in America, there also seems to be discension on whether the United States is thoroughly investigating this massacre as the Afghanistan government sees fit, according to CNN and the Washington Post.

So it seems that there is enough to trigger digression of relations between not only the United States and Afghanistan but also NATO.

The hot seat of political correctness in a situation this appalling is heavy handed. Each country is trying to maintain their own standards of investigation and procedures while trying to maintain composure so that further destruction and lives are not taken as an outcry for revenge.

What is the answer? There doesn’t seem to be a cut and dry outlook as a citizen looking in.

Despite what most media would have citizens believe, civilians that are not directly involved in the political decisions or the military during an event such as this massacre do not know and will never know all the outlaying details that make or break relations, that will make or break the case against Bales, or even what the truth is behind the events that took place March 11.

The truth is civilians are only told a portion of the story, the rest is like a mad lib, fill in the blank and piece it together as best as possible.

This was a terrible tragedy, which may or may not have been avoided. It is possible, something triggered the massacre. It is possible Bales suffered from PTSD or another medical problem. It is possible he is just a cold blooded murderer that finally found his victims.

The truth remains to be unseen, and when and if it is revealed on why this night became the last night for 16 Afghani citizens to live, this is when it will become evident on whether or not the fences can be mended with the political relations and bounce back from “the end of the rope,” where Karzai says things now stand with the United States according to his video statement on CNN.  

Karzai and the people of Afghanistan are merely seeking justice.

It is a small thing to ask for so many souls taken.

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