We may never know what drove a US Army staff sergeant to head out into the Afghan night and allegedly murder at least 16 civilians in their homes, among them nine children and three women. The massacre near Belambai, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, has shocked the world and intensified the calls for an end to the longest war in US history.
The attack has been called tragic, which it surely is. But when Afghans attack US forces, they are called "terrorists". That is, perhaps, the inconsistency at the core of US policy – that democracy can be delivered through the barrel of a gun; that terrorism can be fought by terrorizing a nation.