Thursday, October 20, 2005

CENTCOM Responds to Report of Taliban Bodies Being Burnt

A story on Australian website alleges that US troops burned the bodies of dead Taliban terrorists, then taunted others over the act:
US soldiers in Afghanistan burnt the bodies of dead Taliban and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in an act deeply offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva conventions.

An investigation by SBS's Dateline program, to be aired tonight, filmed the burning of the bodies.

It also filmed a US Army psychological operations unit broadcasting a message boasting of the burnt corpses into a village believed to be harbouring Taliban.

According to an SBS translation of the message, delivered in the local language, the soldiers accused Taliban fighters near Kandahar of being "cowardly dogs". "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be," the message reportedly said.

"You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Taliban but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."
CENTCOM has responded with this news release:
U.S. Investigates Allegation of Law of War Violation

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The Army Criminal Investigation Division has initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct by U.S. service members, including the burning of dead enemy combatant bodies under inappropriate circumstances.

"This command takes all allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior seriously and has directed an investigation into circumstances surrounding this allegation," said Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, Combined Joint Task Force-76 Commander. "If the allegation is substantiated, the appropriate course of action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and corrective action will be taken."

Service members are expected to abide by the highest standards of behavior and the law, he said.

"This command does not condone the mistreatment of enemy combatants or the desecration of their religious and cultural beliefs," Kamiya said.

"This alleged action is repugnant to our common values, is contrary to our commands approved tactical operating procedures, and is not sanctioned by this command. Our efforts to thoroughly investigate this allegation are a reflection of our commitment to the Government of Afghanistan and the Afghan people."
I understand the need to maintain good relations with innocent Afghanis. Someone should ask them if they were offended by the burning of terrorist bodies and loudspeakers insulting terrorists. Any who say that they were offended should be questioned on suspicion of being terrorists.

As for the Taliban dead. Terrorists are not covered by the Geneva Conventions. The only pragmatic reason to treat their prisoners and dead with respect is to elicit the same treatment from them. This is unrealistic. Islamic terrorists are psychopathic barbarians who will torture and abuse captured soldiers and civilians for propaganda value and to amuse themselves. The proper way to dispose of Taliban and al Qaeda carcasses is to feed them to hogs.