Rantings of a Drunken Vet: Terrorists ARE Evil
There is a theme of thought in America that the Muslim extremists who commit acts of terrorism are simply oppressed and misunderstood. Let me tell you: Nothing could be further from the truth.
My platoon returned to our base in Ghazni province one morning in the spring of '05, after an uneventful night patrol. We found the entrance of the base scattered with local Afghans. This by itself was fairly common...Afghans were often coming in and out of our base for legitimate reasons and had to wait outside before they were cleared for entry.
There was a big difference this time. The locals were clustered into maybe a dozen small groups, and within these groups were bloodied bodies. Some were moving, and some were not. We heard a few screams and moans as we went by.
As we continued through the entrance of our base, we saw the medics lined up outside of our aid station, ready to go to work. Most of us grunt troops just went to bed. We'd been out for a while and we were exhausted. There was nothing we could do, and the sight the blood and bodies was nothing new to us at that point. My platoon's medic, however, knew his work wasn't done, and hurried off as soon as he could.
We found out later that the Taliban had crashed a local wedding party and thrown a grenade into the crowd. I'm not sure exactly why this particular party was targeted, I only know that these terrorists had decided to kill people who did not support them, while they were in peaceful assembly. This was a typical thing.
My platoon's interpreter was an ethnic Hazaran. The Hazarans are descendant from the Mongolians, way back from the days when Ghengis Khan took over Afghanistan. The Hazarans are also the only Shiite group in Afghanistan, which makes them a minority of minority within the 12 main ethnic groups in Afghanistan. The rest, including the Taliban, were Sunnis.
Everyone else in Afghanistan hated the Hazarans, although to us, they seemed the most civil people in the whole country. They probably suffered the worst under the Taliban's rule, because they were seen as religiously inferior. Our interpreter told us many detailed and personal stories of his people's treatment by the Taliban. Rape and murder were very common.
The words themselves..."rape" and "murder"...don't strike us very hard in the days of 24 hour news. We hear those words all the time, and we know they're bad. We're safe, at least...it's never happened to us or people we know. BUT...If you've ever been close to victims of these crimes or their families, you will have a better understanding of just how evil the people who do this are.
These terrorists have a warped sense of morality. They use their beliefs to justify crimes against humanity. There comes a time when respect for religion and culture must end, and protection of innocent life must take place.
These terrorists must be stopped, whatever it takes.
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