Imagine that a foreign army comes to occupy your country. Drones and jet aircraft launch missiles and drop bombs on your homes. Helicopters strafe your neighborhoods with machine guns. They kill people you love: your wife, your grandparents, your parents, your teenagers, your little children who make you laugh. People you love die by the dozens and by the hundreds.
When you and your friends gather to bury your loved ones, they kill you there as well, out in the open where you cannot protect yourself. After each massacre, the occupying army apologizes for the regrettable incident. “We are sorry,” the army says. “We will do everything we can to prevent such incidents in the future.” Then it kills more members of your family.
At last you have had enough. You say, “We want you to go. We mean it: we truly want you to go. You say you want a friendly relationship, but we know you will continue to kill our families and say how sorry you are. If you try to stay here, we will make you go.”
Then one Sunday at two in the morning, a party of drunken, laughing soldiers walks off a military base near Kandahar to a nearby village called Panjway. Their weapons are loaded. One of the soldiers walks into a home and murders eleven people in their beds, including little girls age six and under. Blood spatters the walls. The soldier moves on to two more homes and kills more families with his automatic weapon.
The soldiers pour chemicals over the still-warm bodies and try to burn them. The leaders responsible for the soldiers’ actions respond rapidly. Spokespeople issue statements to reassure people, statements designed to protect the army and its mission. The occupying army says, “We’re sorry. We truly wish this regrettable incident had not happened.”
If a soldier walked into your home and shot your little girl, would you believe that?