Friday, March 25, 2011


Voice of America - The first of five US soldiers accused of posing for "trophy" photos with dead Afghans was sentenced to 24 years in prison Wednesday.  ‘Trophy’ pictures show US soldiers posing with corpses of Afghan civilians they are accused of killing for sport.  A U.S. soldier accused of being part of a squad that deliberately killed Afghan civilians pleaded guilty to murder and other charges Wednesday and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.  Morlock was the first of five soldiers to be court-martialed for murdering three civilians in southern Kandahar province last year. He is expected to testify against the other soldiers. He told the judge “the plan was to kill people.”  Morlock was charged with three counts of murder, and one count each of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, obstructing justice, and illegal drug use.  The victims were also allegedly mutilated and photographed.  The judge presiding over the case accepted a plea agreement, which spared Morlock a possible sentence of life in prison.

As part of the deal, Morlock must cooperate in the pending cases.  In court Wednesday, he apologized to the Afghan people and the families of the victims, and said that his actions not only broke the law but violated the US Army’s fundamental principles.  The German magazine Der Spiegel published photos this week of the soldiers and the dead victims.  The photographs show the results of a five-member group of soldiers who took to killing for sport.  Morlock was shown with another charged soldier, Private First-Class Andrew Holmes, holding up the head of one of the slain young victims, in the manner of victorious hunters with their kill.

‘Trophy’ pictures show US soldiers posing with corpses of Afghan civilians.  The court martial, in which these soldiers are accused of killing for sport, came days after the German news magazine Der Spiegel published photos showing American soldiers smiling over the bodies of dead Afghan civilians.  This reveals horrific evidence of the field of battle.  We constantly wander in the material worlds; by performing pious deeds, we enjoy, and by performing sins, we suffer.  Undoubtedly, cruelty or suffering inflicted on any living being certainly will cause harm to ourselves.

The soul imprisoned by Maya travels on the wheel of karma.  Day after day he struggles to enjoy material pleasures and he tastes the fruits of his actions. ... Caught in a trap of many needs, the soul in a gross material body suffers.  To drive away these sufferings, he acts in many ways.  To drive away hunger and thirst, he struggles to get food and drink.  So these things may come easily, he labours to collect money. ... Tossed about by the six waves - lust, anger, greed, bewilderment, pride and envy - he engages in fighting, argument, violence to others, tormenting others, robbing others’ wealth, cruelty, senseless pride, and a host of other evil deeds.  So he can live independently, he builds his own house and performs other deeds.  In this way the soul in Maya’s prison struggles day and night to attain pleasure and stop distress.

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
“Mahaprabhura Siksa - Caitanya Siksamrta”
Chapter 11 - “Prayojana: The Ultimate Goal” 

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