Robert Fisk on Kandahar Killings: Soldier not deranged. He killed in revenge.
Fisk says he is tired of all the ""deranged"" stories being promoted in the press. Of course if this were a suicide bomber Fisk points out he would be a wicked terrorist with complete disregard for innocent lives. Fisk remarks the deranged explanation is quite common as when innocents were killed by U.S. troops in Haditha. Fisk lists a number of papers that touted the deranged story including the Guardian, Financial Times and New York Times, and Le Figaro.
Fisk suggests that if the the soldier had killed his fellow Americans it would make more sense to think that he was deranged. However killing Afghans makes sense. Afghans just a day or so before had killed two U.S. soldiers during a protest against the Koran burning. He had seen a comrade have his leg blown off. Just as the Afghans harbor desires for revenge against U.S. troops so do U.S. troops have similar desires because of their experiences.
Fisk remarks that Commander General John Allen just three weeks or so ago told his troops"" "now is not the time for revenge for the deaths of two US soldiers killed in Thursday's riots". They should, he said, "resist whatever urge they might have to strike back" after an Afghan soldier killed the two Americans. "There will be moments like this when you're searching for the meaning of this loss,""" It is clear that the commander thought revenge attacks were a possible result of the feelings building up within the ranks.
While Fisk does a great service by pointing out the likely revenge element in the attack this does not completely discredit the deranged soldier stories. The event was probably not the result of some single cause but a combination and part of the combination is probably the soldier's mental condition. After all, no doubt the feelings of wanting revenge are probably quite common among the troops but it did not lead them to kill innocent Afghan civilians. But one could also point out no doubt many soldiers are stressed out and may freak out but they do not kill innocent civilians. For more see this article.