Video footage of alleged abuse by US soldiers in Afghanistan, burning the bodies of Taliban militants, has angered a country increasingly wary about the four-year American presence.And in 90F heat. They'd asked local villagers to come and take them away for burial, but because the bodies were those of non-locals, Pakistani Jihadis, they wouldn't. The bodies were also right in the middle of a combat position the US soldiers were occupying. Moving them became out of the question, they didn't have body bags to pour the liquified remains in. From MSNBC :
Some religious leaders called for "jihad" or holy war in retaliation for an act deeply offensive to Islam and ordinary Afghans voiced disgust despite their loathing of the insurgents responsible for unrelenting attacks.
"I think the people and the Muslims should not stay quiet - if they do, the Americans will become more impudent," said Ghulam Farooq, a mullah at one of the main mosques in the western city of Herat.
"Jihad, we should do jihad against the Americans," he said.
Aware of the inflammatory nature of the alleged incident revealed in an SBS television report on Wednesday, the US military was swift to condemn the incident as "unacceptable" and promise a thorough criminal investigation.
"If those responsible are not punished, I think the Muslim nation of Afghanistan will rise against the Americans - no Muslim can tolerate such a crime," said Shamsuddin, another mullah in the southern city of Kandahar.
The report on SBS's Dateline program quoted US soldiers saying they had to burn the bodies because they had been left out in the open for more than 24 hours.
U.S. military officials confirm at least part of the story. They tell NBC News that two Taliban had been killed in a firefight and that U.S. soldiers had asked people in the village to retrieve the bodies, but no one had come forward for at least 24 hours. They say they are not sure what what happened next.Back to the ABC again, and more Islamic seething :
"It is good to kill Taliban, but it is very bad to burn their bodies," said Ghulam Farooq, a taxi driver in Kabul.Never? Because also from the ABC :
"We Muslims never burn our bodies. We bury them with respect," he said.
Four US contractors for the US military were killed in Iraq last month, the military says, confirming an attack that a British newspaper said saw two of the men murdered in front of a jeering crowd.What, Never? Well, Hardly Ever
At least two of the men were dragged alive from their vehicle, which had been badly shot up, and forced to kneel in the road before being killed, it said.
"Killing one of the men with a rifle round fired into the back of his head, they doused the other with petrol and set him alight," the newspaper report said.
And only infidels, perhaps they don't count. And besides which, he was alive, not dead.
I anxiously await Muslim religious leaders calling for a Jihad against the perpetrators of this atrocity. Or even one. But I'm not holding my breath.