Working with childmolesters wears on you

Diverse — Drokles on August 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Det er ikke let at redde afghanere fra sig selv som man kan se i dokumentaren This Is What Winning Looks Like

I didn’t plan on spending six years covering the war in Afghanistan. I went there in 2007 to make a film about the vicious fighting between undermanned, underequipped British forces and the Taliban in Helmand, Afghanistan’s most violent province. But I became obsessed with what I witnessed there—how different it was from the conflict’s portrayal in the media and in official government statements.

All I had to do was trek out to one of the many tiny, isolated patrol bases that dot the barren, sunbaked landscape and hang out with British infantry troops to see the chaotic reality of the war firsthand: firefights that lasted entire days, suicide bombers who leaped onto unarmored jeeps from behind market stalls, IEDs buried everywhere, and bombs dropped onto Afghans’ homes, sometimes with whole families of innocent civilians inside.

In 2006, when troops were sent into Helmand, British command didn’t think there’d be much fighting at all. The mission was simple: “Facilitate reconstruction and development.” The UK Defense Secretary John Reid even said he hoped the army could complete their mission “without a single shot being fired.”

But with each year that followed, casualties and deaths rose as steadily as the local opium crop. Thousands more British troops were deployed, then tens of thousands of US troops, at the request of General Stanley McChrystal, following a six-month review of the war after President Obama took office. Still, the carnage and confusion continued unabated. Suicide bombings increased sevenfold. Every step you took might reveal yet another IED.

In February 2013, on his last day at the helm of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen described what he thought the war’s legacy will be: ‘‘Afghan forces defending Afghan people and enabling the government of this country to serve its citizens. This is victory, this is what winning looks like, and we should not shrink from using these words.’’

The US and British forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan for good (officially, by the end of 2014), and my time in the country over the last six years has convinced me that our legacy will be the exact opposite of what Allen posits—not a stable Afghanistan, but one at war with itself yet again. Here are a few encapsulated snapshots of what I’ve seen and what we’re leaving behind.

“If they don’t fuck the asses of these boys, what should they fuck?”

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