Nine of those killed were children. Eleven belonged to one family (AFP)
In the days following the rogue US soldier’s shooting spree in Kandahar, most of the media, us included, focused on the “backlash” and how it might further strain the relations with the US.
Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier – now identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.
But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 16. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.
In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.
Mohamed Dawood son of Abdullah
Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma
Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed
Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid
Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed
Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir
Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain
Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali
Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat
Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim
Comment: Quais Azimy is to be applauded for being the only journalist to publish the names of the victims of the Kandahar massacre in any international media outlet -anywhere.
Not one American newspaper or online media outlet has been able to wrestle themselves away from 'understanding' the assumed madness of Robert Bales to write down the names of the innocents he murdered.
And even as we know the names above it is not nearly enough.
Who are the victims behind the names? How will their families cope with the grief and survive beyond this most grotesque of American massacres in Kandahar?
The cost of being non-white is that you do not exist until whiteness affirms your presence.
Just this morning I was reading somewhere that the murderer says he can't remember anything about what happened that night! (Maybe he can remember the names of the others who helped him - but then again a deal has probably been cut with his handlers.)
Imagine that - you can remember enough to sneak off base and then kill 16 people over several hours, burn their bodies, turn your murderous ass in to the base authorities but then conveniently forget it all in the days that ensue.
I am not surprised. Much of what is American conduct is described in the same way. Americans sit around wondering why they are so hated just about everywhere outside of their handful of western allies and assorted sellout agents.
It won't take too much to know - recent history is littered with American brutality on the bodies of people who hardly amount to anything and can be made to be invisible inside of a whim.
Most Americans may forget or may not want to know - but the truth lives elsewhere and it won't just fade.
Here in South Africa white whiners sit around pontificating about their loss of privileges everyday on online forums and elsewhere - not one word of outrage has been mentioned about the Kandahar massacre.
Instead, you will find an assortment of them describing how uncivilized Muslims are when the opportunity arises; see how white South Africans crawled out of the woodwork to support the Dutch cartoonist who drew images of the Prophet Muhammad, for example.
Whiteness is after all a historical pathology - it matters little that white South Africans are not white Americans.
On the other hand the comrades of pleasure and pointy shoes have all but been lost inside of the capitalized noise that characterizes whiteness and its global reach.
In the days ahead South Africa will again sellout and join the US and its allies to start the countdown to war with Iran.
And when similar massacres take place thereafter the pot bellied pointy shoe brigade will offer off-the-record condemnations of the US and its despicable human rights record while comfortably sitting in the trappings of the wealth that comes with selling out.
And we are not free.
May God rest the souls of the innocents who died in Kandahar. From God we come and to God we return.