Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winning hearts and minds I

The British appear to be learning some bad lessons from the Americans. A British convoy in Kandahar was hit by a suicide bomber last weekend, and British troops responded by firing indiscriminately into the crowd, killing two and wounding five. These, remember, are the people they are supposed to be in Afghanistan to protect; now they're being gunned by trigger-happy goons who don't seem to be too picky about distinguishing between civilians and combatants, or who just see all Afghans as subhuman enemies.

But it's worse than a crime - it's also a mistake. Fighting terrorism is fundamentally about winning hearts and minds, persuading people that the occupiers are their friends and that they should report suspicious behaviour and not provide support for insurgents. The trigger-happy response of those soldiers has just ensured that the friends and family of those they shot at will be that much more inclined to look the other way next time someone wants to take a shot at the British, if not actively support the Taleban or other guerrilla groups. If they're trying to lose the "war on terror" and ensure that Afghanistan becomes another Iraq, then this is the way to go about it.


My God. This is against the British rules of engagement, and they are invetigating. In contrast, the suicide bombing is a deliberate and callous strategy.

Why don't you condemn the suicide bombing? Do you just hate the west? Is it four legs good, two legs bad?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/10/2006 09:40:00 AM