THIS is the face of American benevolence in South Asia… any questions? Do you want “terrorism” to end? Well… end American aggression and its wanton attacks on civilians using aircraft, drones, and artillery… then, “terrorism” will end…
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that a federal jury in Waco TX convicted PFC Naser Jason Abdo, 22, on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of US officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon. The US government arrested Abdo in late July last year at a motel in Killeen TX, some 150 miles southwest of Dallas. The investigation had begun a day earlier when a gun store attendant reported strange behaviour from a guy buying arms and ammunition, apparently not knowing what to do with the stuff. He also bought a military uniform and a “Smith” name patch from another store and surveillance cameras caught him leaving the store wearing the uniform.
At the time of the arrest, police reportedly seized numerous bomb-making components, a loaded gun, 143 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun, and other items. In a police interview recorded soon after his arrest, Abdo said that he was planning to plant a bomb at a restaurant frequented by US soldiers, then, shoot at anyone who escaped the explosion, and die as a martyr in a shootout with the police. Later, whilst in custody, he told his mother that his religion inspired his actions and he was seeking justice for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “Their suffering is my suffering”. Abdo’s defence attorney Zach Boyd told jurors during closing arguments that they should acquit his defendant because his plan never progressed beyond preparation. Nevertheless, the jurors found him guilty on all six charges, and, now, Abdo faces up to life imprisonment. The court will announce its sentence in July.
In fact, this is not the first incident of the kind when Muslim US military servicemen turn their arms against their comrades. In 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist, shot 13 people and wounded more than two dozen at Fort Hood, a military post just outside of Killeen TX. Nidal Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted in a military trial that is to start in August. Major Hasan’s deed definitely inspired Abdo, for he referred to it during the interrogation. FBI Special Agent C Michael Owens, who acted as a witness for the prosecution, testified, “He said he wanted to give faith to brother Nidal… and said, ‘People think he’s crazy, but he’s not crazy, and I came here to remind the people’”.
What this story really tells us is that the war on Islam the US started in October 2001 is backfiring. Numerous outrageous incidents of US soldiers’ behaviour in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to a wave of militant counteractions in these countries, and the indiscriminate use of force leading to a large number of civilian deaths has spoiled US relations with a number of Muslim countries, like, for example, its long-time ally Pakistan. However, the cases of Major Nidal Hasan and PFC Abdo are significant due to the fact that this activity’s no longer limited to the actual areas of operation, but its spread to the US itself.
Therefore, the jurors may find these two (and an unknown number of others) guilty, the judges may sentence them to life in jail or death penalty, but this isn’t really a solution to the problem. The core of the problem doesn’t lie in the fact that some US soldiers have run off the rail. To treat an illness, one shouldn’t just attend to its symptoms, but look into the causes. Indeed, a close look at the core reasons for this social disease reveals what may seem too unpleasant to US leaders… that until they get out of Afghanistan and quit meddling in other nations’ affairs, cases like these are sure to emerge every now and then.
26 May 2012
Voice of Russia World Service