By Afshain Afzal
In a tragic 26 October incident, 22 Americans were killed and more than 62 people injured when, as claimed by US military representatives, Sergeant Robert C. Card of American Army carried out an act of terrorism at a liquor bar in a small town in Lewiston in the northern state of Maine. As per a recent report, at US Army Reserve training facility in Maine rigorous arms training was being given to hundreds of immigrants, which turned into a site of mourning. A US Army Class 1st Instructor confidently opened fire at two locations killing unarmed members of the pub. Reports confirm that Robert Card was arrested and is under investigation but it is feared that he may be killed in a manhunt being carried out, not allowing the truth to come to the surface.
In the law of terrorism, it is accepted that cases of indiscriminate firing anywhere in the world that kills masses at random account “Terrorist Activity” but maybe we have to check his or her religious affiliation to brand anyone as a terrorist. If he were not a Muslim, it would fall in the category of “Mass Shooting” and a subcategory of “Lone Wolf” especially, if his friends and acquaintances were not Muslims.
No doubt, the Americans are a great nation; they honour ethics and democratic norms, and they are polite and humble and Almighty God fearing. Although double standards are followed in many countries the Western countries have a unique license to kill anyone anywhere while they themselves hold diplomatic immunity, despite not being diplomats or servicemen. In 1976, in a series of decisions called the Gregg cases, the Court confirmed that capital punishment was legal in the United States, but under limited circumstances, however, it rejected automatic sentencing to death. Now the recent act of terrorism happening at US Army training facility is a test case for the American justice system. US Army authorities have even withheld the names of those killed and injured, as they are not permitted to speak.
If we recall, in 2009, US Army Major psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others at a military installation at Fort Hood, Texas and his case still stands before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Hasan admitted to the shootings as a reaction to American terrorism in the name of with global war against all Muslims. He was horrified by the mass killing of Muslim civilians of other countries in military and intelligence operations. American authorities issued a verdict that Major Hasan communicated with American Islamic scholar and lecturer Anwar Nasser Al Awlaki, who after remaining under FBI’s counterterrorism investigation was killed in US airstrike in 2011. A unique way of killing! How individuals and groups are placed on CIA and military “Kill Lists” and silently eliminated after branding them as terrorists, extremists, and under the preview of hate speech.
Sargent Robert Card got listed in December 2002, soon after 11 September attacks on US’ Pentagon and World Trade Center. Now 40 years old and member of the US Army Reserve was involved in shooting at a bar. As per the statements to his acquaintances, Robert Card who also served at 439th Military Division in Afghanistan said, “The Israeli massacre of the Hamas and Palestinian Muslims reminded about how as American military personnel, the anti-Afghan contractors and his forces did the same with Taliban and Muslim Afghans… we shoot them everywhere, raped their women, brought back their orphans and celebrated. It is high time that the Americans authorities probe the incident honestly and redress the grievances of American soldiers as well as contribute for peace in the world.