Thursday, October 20, 2005

Actually they all just hate women

Apparently the US military can't get the Taliban in Afghanistan to come out and fight them. The talibs hide among the population when confronted with superior force. (Anybody remember reading about how the poorly equipped American revolutionaries were so much smarter than the Redcoats because they sniped from behind trees while the Brits expected them to engage in direct battle?)

So the US forces desecrate bodies and burn them. And then they insult the Taliban.

An embedded Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont reports (as picked up by the NY Times):

[US forces broadcast] taunts, which were delivered in the local language by American forces on the scene, a soldier identified as Sgt. Jim Baker, said: "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."…

Then a second soldier, who was not identified, chimes in singling out several mullahs by name: "Your time in Afghanistan is short. You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Talibs but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."

… Mr. Dupont explained that the American soldiers had been trying to bait the Taliban fighters to shoot at them. "They want the Taliban to fight them because they can't find them otherwise."

That's right -- come get killed rather than be compared to a woman.

The Australian video interview with Dupont who captured all this on film is pretty interesting. He portrays most of the the US soldiers who burned bodies as frustrated, but also kind of simple-minded: "it didn't mean much to them." Once he got permission to embed with the US unit, they didn't seem to hide anything from him (in contrast to Australian troops who do their best to keep their activities invisible.) The older psych-ops units did at least have a rationale for their behavior.

The usual -- woman-hatred.

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