From our partners at The Agonist
I missed this on Monday but definitely worth a read is this Newsweek piece reprinted at the Daily Beast in which an Afghan major tells the magazine:
“I too have been personally hurt by the way American forces behave towards my soldiers, our villagers, our religion and culture. Too many of them are racist, arrogant, and simply don’t respect us.”
…“One soldier told me, ‘In my heart I want to empty my bullets into their chests.’ He has not done anything yet, but we are watching him carefully.”
…“Burning Qurans, massacring defenseless women and children, urinating on dead bodies, and midnight raids are outrages for which the U.S. is now paying a heavy cost,” says Major Hasanzada. “These soldiers who are reacting against the U.S. are not Taliban, but these terrible incidents seem to have made them instant Taliban.”
And, even after ten years in which to train soldiers to know better, a daily grind of casual disregard or ignorance for local customs and social mores – the colonialist disease of treating the locals as inferiors, ruled by their American betters at gunpoint – is just as damaging as these headline atrocities. The Ugly American, not as tourist but as occupier.