It’s National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and I never make jokes about about Suicide. I suffer from Anxiety and Depression but not that kind. I have a terminal condition, Life, and my sudden non-presence in it won’t solve anything (and that ladies and gentlemen is Depression, when even Death offers no relief).
What with Group and all, I’ve met quite a few including some that have later succeeded. It never mitigates and most often increases the damage. As toxic as you may think you are there are people who will miss you and why give them that satisfaction (I’ll piss on your grave yet
Still, it takes a perverse nature to make a Suicide Prevention piece for the Army featuring a soldier who is serving a life sentence for murdering 16 Afghans in cold blood.
Oh yes. Meet Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He “left his base in Kandahar on March 11, 2012 “and headed to a nearby village, where he killed four people, including a child, and assaulted six others. He returned to base for more ammunition before walking to another village, where he killed a dozen more, mainly women and children, in their beds.”
Confessions of America’s Most Notorious War Criminal
By Brendan Vaughan, Gentlemen’s Quarterly
October 21, 2015
The kid comes running out, screaming, from almost the same [direction] where the dog came from. I shot the kid.” He pauses. “Um.” Pauses again. “It was a quick reaction. You know, to be honest, you know—I hate it. I hate it. Every day, I think about it all the time.” Pause. “At this point, I just kind of turned and killed the man [Nazir Mohamed]. And pretty much after that it was autopilot.
Naim, an elderly man whose blood-pressure medication had allowed him to sleep through the attack. The women and children woke him up now, screaming, “The American is shooting people!” Naim told his family to hide while he investigated.
Rafiullah, who was wounded in the upper thigh of both legs after being shot allegedly by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
But the instant he stepped out of the room and into the corridor, Bales shot him in the face and neck. Then Bales stepped across the threshold and looked into the room, where by now nearly 30 women and children were desperately trying to hide from him. He recognized the face of Na’ikmarga, the old woman who had struggled with him before running, and shot her in the head, killing her. Then, he says, he felt something “switch” inside him. He sprayed a fusillade of bullets, wounding four: Rafiullah, a teenage boy of 13 or 14, who was shot in both thighs; Parmina, a slightly older teenage girl, shot in the chest and groin; Sadiquallah, a boy of about 10, who took a bullet through the ear and into his skull; and Zardana, a 7-year-old girl, who was shot in the back of the head.
“I was so angry at these guys [the men who owned the homes] for putting their families in harm’s way like that,” Bales says, his voice tightening with a kind of agitated despair. “You wouldn’t make HMEs in your house. You wouldn’t have terrorists running to your house, bleeding. You wouldn’t have people run to your house for aid, where you have your wife and children sleeping. You just wouldn’t do it. To me, that’s hard. That’s really, really hard to comprehend.… So I blamed them, but I took it out on [the women and children]. I was just raging.”
A few minutes later, Bales entered the room of Sergeant McLaughlin, one of the two soldiers he’d been drinking with earlier. “I told him, ‘Yo, man, I just killed some military-aged males in Alikozai, and I’m gonna go to Naja Bien and finish it. Take care of my wife and kids.’ ” (The only male Bales killed in Alikozai who was even close to military age was Nazir Mohamed.)
McLaughlin didn’t believe Bales, thinking he must be sleepwalking. Bales stuck the barrel of his M4 under his nose and said, “Smell my weapon.” McLaughlin was sleepy, irritated, and unconvinced. He snapped at Bales to take care of his own kids. Bales kept insisting that he promise to look after his family, and finally McLaughlin relented, just so he could go back to sleep.
“I don’t think I expected to come back,” Bales says now. “Why else would I tell him to take care of my wife and kids? I grabbed a grenade launcher, a grenade belt, a couple extra magazines, and I rolled back out.”
This time Bales headed south, to Naja Bien, where the rifle and satellite phone had been found. He first went to the house of a man named Mohamed Dawud. When Bales walked in, he found his entire family asleep in one room. He dragged Dawud out of bed, yelling “Talib! Talib!,” and pulled him into the courtyard, where Dawud pleaded, “No Talib! No Talib!” Bales then shot Dawud in the head while Masuma, his wife, watched from a few feet away.
(H)e left Dawud’s house and proceeded to the home of Mohamed Wazir, 500 yards to the west—near the spot where the Americans had discovered the 150-pound bomb. Wazir was not there, but 11 members of his family slept inside. His brother and sister-in-law were in one room. In another, his wife, his mother, six of his seven children, and his 13-year-old nephew. Bales walked through the door and into the courtyard, where he again encountered a dog. He shot it.
He then entered the room where the family had been sleeping on carpets, huddled together for warmth. Awakened by the gunfire, a boy named Issa swung a shovel at Bales, hitting him in the back. Bales easily overpowered the boy, flipping him over his head into the center of the room. A kerosene lantern on the floor provided some dim light. As Bales moved through the room, he kicked and stomped on various members of the family, beating one so severely that, according to prosecutors, he “left hair and skin stuck to the wall.” Bales then set his M4 on burst and murdered all eight people in the room.
As he made his way through the house, he encountered one more soul: Shah Tarina, the elderly mother of Mohamed Wazir. Bales’s rifle was out of ammo, so he shot the old woman in the chest and head with his pistol. “She was not dead,” reads the Army’s account, so Bales “crushed her skull with his boot, stomping on her with so much force that her face and head were mutilated, leaving her blood splattered on the walls of her son’s home.” Bales then picked up her body, carried her into the other room, and laid her down with her family. The blankets and sheets were ablaze, the room bright with fire.
Bales is waiting for his Trump pardon, just like Paul Manafort-
Bales’ attorney, John Maher of Chicago, said earlier this month that if he runs out of options in the courts, he will seek executive clemency from the president.
Bales could face a receptive audience if President Donald Trump still occupies the Oval Office when his appeals are complete. Trump has freed people he believes were treated unfairly by the judicial system, pardoning five, including two for political corruption and infamous Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt.
From the U.S. Army official Facebook page (since deleted) Via Twitter–
Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper
“As Army leaders we need to proactively build self-awareness and strenghten relations with our Soldiers, and foster a culture where individuals are motivated to seek help when needed without fear of stigma.” Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1
This month we recognize National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and encourage the entire Army community to support each other and encourage individuals to seek help.
Which seems kind of redundant to me, but I didn’t write it. The blurb appeared next to a picture of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales in full gear, smiling.
Now I reccommend treatment for everyone and not just potential suicides or War Criminals but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, only obvious and unoriginal.
(h/t Frank Dale @ Think Progress)