Irish army personnel should quit Afghanistan

The appalling killing of at least 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children, by a 38-year-old US Army Staff Sergeant in Panjwai, Kandahar, Afghanistan, will have inevitable repercussions.

US military spokespersons described the perpetrator as deranged, but arguably, this whole war waged by the US and Nato against Afghanistan was deranged and inappropriate from the beginning.

Violent conflicts such as this do have the effect of destroying the lives of the victims, but also of deranging the minds some of the perpetrating soldiers.

The Mai Lai Massacre in Vietnam, the wanton destruction and killings in Fallujah and the prisoner abuses in Abu Graib, Guantanamo and Baghram are just some examples.

There are always more appropriate ways of creating international peace than by inflicting wars on so many innocent peoples.

As a result of this and other atrocities committed by Nato forces in Afghanistan, nowhere will now be safe for US and other foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Up to 8 Irish soldiers are serving with Nato there and they are now particularly vulnerable as a result of this latest incident.

The Irish Government should immediately withdraw all Irish army personnel from Afghanistan. They should never have been there in the first place.

Edward Horgan

Commandant (retired)

Newtown

Castletroy

Limerick

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