Tag Archives: Terrorist

The Kill Team

Cpl. Jeremy Morlock with Staff Sgt. David Bram

 Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-kill-team-20110327

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By Mark Boal

Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji.

Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging “savages” and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger.

Bravo Company had been stationed in the area since summer, struggling, with little success, to root out the Taliban and establish an American presence in one of the most violent and lawless regions of the country. On the morning of January 15th, the company’s 3rd Platoon – part of the 5th Stryker Brigade, based out of Tacoma, Washington – left the mini-metropolis of tents and trailers at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in a convoy of armored Stryker troop carriers. The massive, eight-wheeled trucks surged across wide, vacant stretches of desert, until they came to La Mohammad Kalay, an isolated farming village tucked away behind a few poppy fields.

To provide perimeter security, the soldiers parked the Strykers at the outskirts of the settlement, which was nothing more than a warren of mud-and-straw compounds. Then they set out on foot. Local villagers were suspected of supporting the Taliban, providing a safe haven for strikes against U.S. troops. But as the soldiers of 3rd Platoon walked through the alleys of La Mohammad Kalay, they saw no armed fighters, no evidence of enemy positions. Instead, they were greeted by a frustratingly familiar sight: destitute Afghan farmers living without electricity or running water; bearded men with poor teeth in tattered traditional clothes; young kids eager for candy and money. It was impossible to tell which, if any, of the villagers were sympathetic to the Taliban. The insurgents, for their part, preferred to stay hidden from American troops, striking from a distance with IEDs.

While the officers of 3rd Platoon peeled off to talk to a village elder inside a compound, two soldiers walked away from the unit until they reached the far edge of the village. There, in a nearby poppy field, they began looking for someone to kill. “The general consensus was, if we are going to do something that f***ing crazy, no one wanted anybody around to witness it,” one of the men later told Army investigators.

The poppy plants were still low to the ground at that time of year. The two soldiers, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, saw a young farmer who was working by himself among the spiky shoots. Off in the distance, a few other soldiers stood sentry. But the farmer was the only Afghan in sight. With no one around to witness, the timing was right. And just like that, they picked him for execution.

He was a smooth-faced kid, about 15 years old. Not much younger than they were: Morlock was 21, Holmes was 19. His name, they would later learn, was Gul Mudin, a common name in Afghanistan. He was wearing a little cap and a Western-style green jacket. He held nothing in his hand that could be interpreted as a weapon, not even a shovel. The expression on his face was welcoming. “He was not a threat,” Morlock later confessed.


A Story with Parallel Plots

We live in a country whose economy has been in hot waters for a very long time now. We have security issues and people are not willing to invest. Brain drain is at its peak and even those without brains are somehow not satisfied on staying in Pakistan. The inflation rate is suffering inflation itself and the ordinary people are committing suicide due to lack of employment. Some commit suicides themselves; others take the lives of a few more with them in the form of suicide bombs.

At this point of time, the Prime Minister of Pakistan in speech on the 20th of January 2011 announced the inauguration of Parliament lodges Phase -2 which will be started on 4 acre land starting with Rs. 2.9 billion. The project would be completed in 36 months and 104 residential family flats will be constructed in this phase while gymnasium, masjid, meeting rooms and 5 servant quarters would also be constructed in the lodges. The Prime Minister also discussed the proposal of a tunnel from the parliament house to the parliament lodges so that the security of parliamentarians can be ensured.

Pakistan and its government seem to be story with parallel plots running side by side. At one side, we have the story of the common man whose life has been made hell on earth due to the price hikes and security situation, and on the other hand we have the luxurious lives of our parliamentarians who have found heaven on earth in the form a seat in the assembly.

Interestingly, the Prime Minister in the same address also talked about the fact that Pakistan is facing economic threats. ‘Can’t understand why!’, he must be saying to himself.

Where did this Rs. 2.9 billion come from? Did the IMF provide government of Pakistan loan for this reason? Or is at a gift from Uncle Sam for the war against terror?

The very politicians that reach the assemblies through the vote of the common man now want to travel in underground passages so that they don’t have to face the nation. They want sumptuous lives, while the voter is still sleeping without a roof struck by earthquakes, floods and suicide attacks.

Where did this Rs. 2.9 billion come from? Did the NAB recover it from the Hajj Scandal culprits? Or was it recovered from Mr. Ayaz Khan Niazi (former chairman NIC)?

We are a country that begs for international aid for the rehabilitation of people struck by national disasters and terrorism, but those affected never get a penny from that aid. Instead, the royal beggars construct luxury lodges and fulfill their desires by imposing taxes and raising prices on everyday items.

Our Prime Minister, President, the opposition and all those around them should be ashamed of the way this country is being handled and mend their ways before its too late.   

Hammad A. Mateen

Who am I?

Am I an extremist?
Am I a terrorist?
Am I a source of agony?
Am I a peace specialist?


I long for serenity,
I long for fresh air,
Does that make me any different?
Does that make me an idealist?


I stick to Quran in my life,
I stick to the Prophet (PBUH)’s word,
Then why is this animosity?
Why can’t people coexist?


I value my religion,
I respect those of others,
Then why is this chasm widening?
Why can’t they get the gist?


Formal means wearing less,
It’s mandatory to look modern,
It’s the fashion of dark ages my sisters,
Ask any archeologist.


Money is essential for all,
More important than lives,
People planning their future ventures,
Earning more is a palmist.


Banks operating on interest,
Haraam being called Halaal,
Is this not a predicament?
Is this not to resist?


Ignorance is bliss today,
Knowledge nowhere to be found,
Islam is enlightenment,
And I am a fundamentalist.


Hammad A. Mateen