Why no Afghan riot after deadly rampage?
After U.S. troops were caught burning Korans in Afghanistan last month, violent protests erupted. Dozens of Afghans died during the riots and six U.S. soldiers were shot and killed by rogue Afghan security forces.
Now a U.S. soldier stands accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians - nine of them children - in their homes and then burning some of their corpses. But so far, there has been only vocal outrage and no organized reprisal.
While a violent retaliation may still materialize, according to CBS News consultant Jere Van Dyk, the lack of bloodshed so far may simply be a case of geography.
Last month's riots following the burning of Muslim holy books were mostly in the capital of Kabul, where the Northern Alliance holds sway.
"(They) were using the Koran burning to show their fear over the U.S. starting to negotiate with the Taliban," Van Dyk said, adding that the Northern Alliance is "more confident, more sophisticated and understand the media more."
By contrast, in the rural village outside Kandahar where the alleged killing spree took place, worn-down residents are fearful of foreign soldiers and have suffered through three decades of war, Van Dyke says. As such, their protests have typically been less violent and more symbolic.
"I once saw a demonstration in the foothills in Khost Province, after the U.S. and Afghan soldiers broke into a house killing the residents, and it consisted of about 50 people walking slowly down the road, beating a drum mournfully," Van Dyke notes.
Still, the Taliban has vowed revenge for the American soldier's deadly rampage. Time will tell if the vocal outrage transforms into violent retaliation.