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mass-murder

Massacre in Balandi and Alokzai by a lone US Army staff sergeant


News is still filtering out today about a US Army Staff Sergeant who allegedly yesterday (Sunday) left his barracks in southern Afghanistan before dawn and walked to the rural villages of Balandi and Alokzai in Afghan's southern Panjwai district and went on a shooting rampage, murdering sixteen unarmed civilians in their homes. Reportedly mostly women and children are among the dead. The number of wounded is still not known.

Of course after having recently contributed an article associated with the Hoddle Street Massacre of 1987, such a tragic incident is on my mind.
As the incident is too fresh to know the truth, the causes, the details, no fair assessment can yet be made. That will be the task of the investigation as promised by US President Barack Obama.
Some questions though....

Keating and the legitimisation of Suharto's dictatorship in Indonesia

This article identifies a tendency internationally to desensitize the public to the mass-murder by Western-supported governments of whole peoples whom they find inconvenient. Australia has a history of cultivating 'wilful blindness' to these events in our neighborhood, under the leadership of powerful government figures. Geoffrey Taylor here draws our attention to an example of such a complex attitude in an interview with Paul Keating last year. [This article started out as a response to Tigerquoll's comment, "Willful Blindness in East Timor, Sri Lanka, and now West Papua".]

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