Speaking today in a meeting with tribal elders and other top officials, Afghan President Hamid Karzai angrily condemned the US for its refusal to cooperate in the ongoing investigation into last weekend’s massacre of civilians in Kandahar Province.
“This has been going on for too long,” Karzai insisted, “this is by all means the end of the rope here.” The US has promised its own investigation of the attack, but has removed the accused from Afghanistan.
Karzai went on to say that his delegation rejected the current US narrative of a single shooter, and that “this was not carried out by one man and was a deliberate and intentional act.”
This isn’t a completely unwarranted claim. While the official US story is that a single staff sergeant committed the massacre all by himself and wandered back to base to turn himself in, multiple witnesses reported that several US soldiers were involved in the attack.
While the massacre has outraged Afghans, leading to calls for those responsible to face a public trial in the nation, the US has repeatedly sought to downplay it, saying that it mustn’t change the strategy of the occupation at all.
Officials have also tried to placate Afghan concerns by insisting that the still unnamed staff sergeant could face major punishment under US military law for the massacre, though since the Haditha massacre ended with myriad dropped charges and one man facing reduced rank, that pledge has little credibility.