As the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan—now the longest official war in U.S. history—stretches through its 12th summer, over 60,000 U.S. troops remain, in addition to vast webs of U.S. private contractors and U.S. appointed Afghan military generals.  Despite a war-weary Afghan public, U.S. officials say troops are likely to stay far beyond the alleged 2014 pullout date. Meanwhile, attacks on Afghan children are skyrocketing, the UN reports.

The Kandahar massacre, notable for its high media profile while countless U.S. military acts of atrocity go unreported, had a very real and pervasive impact across an Afghanistan that has suffered under the constant reality of war and an occupying military force.

“Afghans are always dehumanized in the U.S. public, and I have to question how much value and weight the voices of these victims will have in court,”Suraia Sahar of Afghans United for Justice told Common Dreams.

Despite calls for Bales to be tried in Afghanistan, the U.S. instead whisked him away to stand trial in U.S. military courts.

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“Bradley Manning’s sentence today is evidence of the failure of the justice system in the U.S.,” says Sahar. “It’s all the more reason for Bales to be put on trial on Afghan soil.”

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