Saturday, 17 March 2012

Don't Waste Sympathy On Sergeant Bales

The case of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales who killed 16 people, mostly women and children, in Afghanistan cannot be that baffling to even to most amateur psychiatrist. The man obviously has a short circuit somewhere in his brain and went on a murder spree. Because he had access to weapons like an automatic machine gun, his murder spree was all the more devastating.
So that's the explanation, and his defence is likely to be post-traumatic stress disorder caused by Bales being unhappy about being returned to combat after being wounded in Iraq and having seen a comrade's leg blown off the day before he armed himself and headed towards those civilian houses that day in Kandahar.
Obviously it's tough in Afghanistan but it is beyond belief that there seems to be the start of a public relations campaign on behalf of Sergeant Bales.
All our sympathies should be with the 16 dead and their families, not the man who flipped out and murdered them in their beds. The authorities wouldn't accept this as a reasonable excuse if anyone of the kids who shoot up a school or Anders Behring Breivik made it, so why is it deemed acceptable by some if a member of the military says it after going on a murderous rampage?
It was wrong that the Americans quickly spirited him away and plan to give him a Court Martial hearing in America, he should have been tried in the country where his offence took place as was called for by the Afghan parliament.
If an Afghan national went on a killing spree in New York, the Americans would not allow the killer to be taken back to Kabul to face trial so why was Bale allowed to be whisked back to Kansas?
No sympathy should be wasted on Sergeant Bales who should be as vilified as those soldiers filmed urinating on dead Afghans, the ones who chopped off fingers to keep as trophies, the ones the Pentagon discovered had formed a death squad aimed at civilians and the military members filming themselves laughing and dancing as they burned copies of the Koran.
It's worth recalling these incidents to those who still scream support for this war, and did for the one in Iraq and Libya, and are now screaming that we should do the same in Iran and Syria.


Anonymous said...

i mostly agree with your views on this.

all the sympathy should be for the dead and their families; however, i dont give a rats ass about what the afgahn parliment wants.

if the usa was occupied by the afghan army i assume their army would do whatever they want...

i wish we could give their poppy fields a good salting and then get the hell out.

"spiriting troops" off for court martial is as old as any military conventions. it is the way it is. i'm good with it.

why do you care about buring the koran? what happened to freedom of speech? would you care if people burned bibles? why?


Lucy said...

I wish they would salt the poppy fields also, i keep hearing they are producing more than ever and drugs are the scurge of our time.

I don't care about the Koran being burned but it is the symbolism, arrogance and the triumphalism of it i don't like. It is saying we have come here and we can do as we want and if we want to mock your culture, religion and way of life than we can and you just have to put up with it. The soldiers knew if would cause outrage but they did it anyway, what do you call that?

Anonymous said...

anger, site


Anonymous said...



Lucy said...

Spite i agree with, but anger?

Nog said...

Who's being sympathetic?

Cheezy said...

"i wish we could give their poppy fields a good salting"

And I know just the bunch who are good at keeping a lid on poppy production - the Taliban! They're not keen on it... (Karzai, on the other hand, loves it)

"Who's being sympathetic?"

I don't mind saying that I've got more sympathy for Bales than for the people who sent him there, and who continue to keep his colleagues there. In years to come, I doubt we'll be categorising this guy alongside William (My Lai) Calley. I think it's like that Bales had some kind of mental breakdown that manifested itself in this tragedy. More normally, it'll manifest itself in self-harm or suicide attempts. It's estimated that one US veteran (of Iraq/Afghanistan) attempts suicide every 80 minutes, and a typical year will see more service personnel die this way than in combat. Tragic in itself of course, but in purely utilitarian terms it's a shame that Bales didn't join them. Obviously we should reserve the most sympathy for the families affected, but I don't mind saying there's a small part of me that feels sympathy for Bales, as he's clearly a severely damaged individual.

Lucy said...

Nog - There was a bit of a ding dong going on on Sky News website and even on the MSM the fact that he killed 16 people in their beds was almost secondary. There does seem to be a lot of support coming from military types also which is worrying.

Cheezy, i agree that the people who put them there in the first place must take some share of the blame but no sympathy for Bales here. He killed kids while they slept and then tried to burn the evidence so he was clearly hoping he would get away with it.

david g said...

What's obvious to me from these comments is that the 16 people who were slaughtered were considered to be inferior and therefore their deaths were of little consequence.

I guess that's what happens when warmongers like Britain and the U.S. decide that anyone who doesn't support their wars over scarce resources and military advantage are enemies and must be killed.

Next thing you know, Bates will be made a national hero!

Then all Americans are heroes, aren't they?

Cheezy said...

"What's obvious to me from these comments is that the 16 people who were slaughtered were considered to be inferior and therefore their deaths were of little consequence."

Which particular comments on this thread gave you that idea, young man?

Anonymous said...

David g.,

i see no defense for bale's actions here. nor do i see any indication that the victims are considered inferior or deserving.

sounds to me like he is mentally ill which i don't like as an excuse for any crime. if bale is guilty i hope he spends the rest of his life breaking rocks in kansas federal prison.

your comment leads one to doubt your critical thinking. do you wanna restate it?


ps - of course you couldn't resist your typicall snotty remark at the end... hater

Andria Katonda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.