Sunday, June 7, 2009

NATO's popularity wanes

Canada's General Vance, with an embedded journalist in tow, picks on a child:

A boy throws a stone, and Gen. Vance teaches a lesson in counterinsurgency

KANDAHAR, June 5 -

[W]hen someone in Kandahar city chucked a rock at his head on Tuesday, Canadian Forces Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance made sure the attack was avenged.

Though the throw missed, he ordered his convoy to halt. He scrambled down from atop his armoured vehicle, his bodyguards trailing him onto the busy Afghan street.

The boy who had cast the stone ran off, but the headmaster of the mosque remained.

The general spoke to him instead. How dare the child do that? Didn't his students know what Canada sacrificed for Afghanistan?

It was a telling episode. The Kandahar mission's popularity may be waning and the Taliban is promising to blow up soldiers on an epic scale. But the stubborn commander wants to leave no stone unturned... (link)
Judging from recent opinion polling which finds that two thirds of Kandaharis want NATO troops out of their country, one assumes that the child was expressing the desire of the majority of his neighbours when he threw that rock.

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