This is not a great time for the U.S. Army with the release of photos published by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine that depict U.S. Army soldiers grinning above Afghan corpses, civilians they had allegedly just killed.
Why are these photos so problematic especially right now? One, the U.S. Army is already under watch for their treatment of Private Bradley Manning, the dissatisfied soldier being held in solitary confinement and facing life in jail for the spilling of army secrets to WikiLeaks. Second, the U.S. bombing of Libyan cities is of the highest relevance.
The vehemently Arab and Islamist Gaddafi has been moving civilians into areas targeted by UN bombings in order to prevent strikes on his troops, along with the obvious political motivations of having U.S. planes hit civilian.
Afghanistan represents another U.S. coalition. If things don’t go well in Libya, we shudder to think that the U.S., which led the UN airstrikes, might lead a coalition there. With the number of troops still loyal to Gaddafi, that move could be ever so problematic.
Five soldiers stand accused of the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians. Currently, one of the soldiers, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, has agreed to plead guilty and testify against the others in order to receive a reduced sentence.