Author Topic: lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban  (Read 26403 times)

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Online GAP

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Father of children accidentally shot by Canadians faces Taliban threats
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The father of two children accidentally killed by Canadian troops in Afghanistan says he's been forced to flee his home in the Panjwaii district after being threatened by the Taliban.

Ruzi Mohammed says he was threatened by insurgents for speaking with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Canadians from the Provincial Reconstruction Team about compensation for the mistaken shooting last July.

Now jobless and living in a small rented house in Kandahar city for 4,000 afghanis, or US$80 a month, the frustrated 31-year-old said he's still anxiously awaiting compensation.

"Karzai said 'Sorry' on behalf of Canadians and promised me that he will send me to pilgrimage and provide me a house in Kandahar city, but I'm still waiting for that," he said.

"Canadians promised me compensation but I'm not sure what the amount is."

Told it could take four weeks for the cash to flow, Mohammed said he needs it now.

"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said.
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Offline Greymatters

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Mohammed's four-year-old daughter Maraka and two-year-old son Tor Jan were gunned down when the vehicle they were riding in failed to pull over for a passing Canadian military convoy

Nice terminology. Makes it sound like the a mob hit...

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"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said.

I feel sorry for the man because he's lost his kids, but does this sound to anyone else like, I don't know, strong-arming just a bit ("extortion", after all, is such a harsh term)?
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Offline Snafu-Bar

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 The mere fact he spat out the last part to me is a slap in the face to CF and Canada as far i see it.

 I can understand his pain and even the animosity, but spitting it out and saying he will be "forced" to join the taliban makes me wish it was him that was killed while the kids lived.  If he was told or promised compensation then someone should be on that ball already, otherwise it sounds like this guy is looking for a handout or excuse to go jihading.


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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Here's one of the original stories on the incident:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080728.wafghandeaths0728/BNStory/Front

Quote

The Canadian Press

July 28, 2008 at 10:31 AM EDT

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Canadian troops have killed a two-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister by opening fire on a car they feared was about to attack their convoy in Afghanistan, the Canadian Forces announced Monday.

Facing a split-second decision about what to do when a car failed to heed repeated warnings to pull over, a gunner in a light armoured vehicle pulled the trigger on a 25-millimetre cannon.

More on link, including:

Quote
The father, believed to have been driving the vehicle, was being treated for lacerations but left the hospital without permission to attend his children's funeral.


Offline Eye In The Sky

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The fool driving/commanding the car is the one that killed the kids, or atleast forced the situation resulting in their deaths.

Throwing a threat like that around, I say "make a decision and stick to it".  If he thinks he'll be better off at the wrong end of our troops' weapons, put your money where your mouth is.

Offline Mr. Bumpy

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Targets up... put your money where your mouth is. How much does a 5.56 cost?
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Offline Strike

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How about we give the guy the money with the caveat that if he join the Taliban, we will return looking for a refund?   ;D
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Online GAP

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How about we not give the guy the money, let the guy join the Taliban.....This is nothing but basic economic blackmail, and Canada can't win either way....
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Offline Harley Sailor

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What's to stop him from joining after he gets the money..  I say don't give him the money, let him join, then arrest him and put him in jail.. Problem solved..

Offline Brihard

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The mere fact he spat out the last part to me is a slap in the face to CF and Canada as far i see it.

 I can understand his pain and even the animosity, but spitting it out and saying he will be "forced" to join the taliban makes me wish it was him that was killed while the kids lived.  If he was told or promised compensation then someone should be on that ball already, otherwise it sounds like this guy is looking for a handout or excuse to go jihading.


Cheers.

I think you're overlooking the concept of honour here- as much as honour as a guiding social force may have faded from western society since the 1800s, it's still a very powerful force within the code of Pashtunwali. I fully agree that it is the driver's fault that those children are dead, but nonetheless in a counterinsurgency we have to be sensitive to the perceptions of the population, and the father of those children now finds himself in a situation in which either compensation is expected or revenge will be sought.

Put it this way; from the standpoint of the overall mission is it better for us to generate good PR (or at least neutralize some bad PR) by compensating the man, or shall we make an enemy of him and likely some of his extended family?
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The father, believed to have been driving the vehicle, was being treated for lacerations but left the hospital without permission to attend his children's funeral.

I had forgotten this part - thanks for the reminder.  While my sympathy is not zero for the guy, it's now LOADS less than when I posted earlier.

I fully agree that it is the driver's fault that those children are dead, but nonetheless in a counterinsurgency we have to be sensitive to the perceptions of the population, and the father of those children now finds himself in a situation in which either compensation is expected or revenge will be sought.  Put it this way; from the standpoint of the overall mission is it better for us to generate good PR (or at least neutralize some bad PR) by compensating the man, or shall we make an enemy of him and likely some of his extended family?

Given the longer-term optics, I have to agree with this bit - it's a damned if you do (what's stopping the guy from going over to the Taliban anyway?) and damned if you don't (picture the headlines if we didn't compensate).
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Offline George Wallace

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"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said.


After that I would say that we would be compelled to kill him as a Taliban.

On the other hand, 25 mm may have been a bit of overkill on the car.
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Offline TheHead

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Targets up... put your money where your mouth is. How much does a 5.56 cost?

I thought we were over there to fight the insurgency, not promote it.  ::)
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On the other hand, 25 mm may have been a bit of overkill on the car.

..and only those that were there could make that call.   I certainly won't quarterback from the comfort of ma maison and I don't think you should either George.
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Offline Gunnar

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Quote
"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said.

My immediate thought was..."Well then, looks like you made your choice.  We're here because we WON'T negotiate at the point of a gun.  What part don't you get?"

And then I thought....

In cultures less governed by the rule of centralized government, the LAW (cultural tradition, whatever) would require payment of weregild for something which has been judged to be "wrongful death".  I agree with the principle if you really are concerned with your honour, loss of family & etc., but I have to wonder....where does such a slippery slope end?  Were the two children placed in danger on purpose (say, female and therefore worthless, i.e., useful only in perpetrating a scam on the rich westerners)?  What is to stop the uncaring from using their families for financial gain at our expense?  Especially when all our experience with Islamists indicates they are exactly that uncaring?

Seems to me, knee-jerk or not, that the first response is overall the correct one.  Especially when coupled with a clearly articulated threat.  They live in a war zone, surrounded by people with automatic weapons.  Anyone who doesn't tell their family to "stay the hell away from soldiers" is an idiot.  Anyone who plays tag with soldiers' vehicles is a criminal idiot, especially given the number of incidents where exactly this sort of thing happens due to the inherent stupidity of the tag-player.  I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, and reach an accomodation, I really would....but the circumstances and the clear language of his threat make no other response possible.

My appreciation and respect to those who made the hard choices, on the spot, with lives on the line.  Thank you.
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Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

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Father of children accidentally shot by Canadians faces Taliban threats
 Article Link

"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said.
More on link

Let us accomodate him, should he wish to sacrifice his life for their (Taliban) cause.

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Offline derael

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What is to stop him from taking his funds from the CF and then going to the Taliban anyways?

Offline Brihard

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Let us accomodate him, should he wish to sacrifice his life for their (Taliban) cause.

OWDU

I don't think he wants to, but the norms of his culture demand that he pursue the mandated revenge if we don't do our best to right a crappy situation.

We cannot look at this through our own cultural perspective and hope to understand his point of view. You need an understanding of the Pashtun code of honour, viewed through which sense his comments make a lot of sense.

I'm going to maintain that despite the ambiguity, it is probably in the interest of the CF and the mission to compensate him. Judging by Major Janzen's comments, it seems the commanders on the ground agree.
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And a little more grist for the discussion mill, courtesy of Canadian Press and CanWest/National Post

Quote
Canadian troops followed proper procedures when they opened fire on a civilian vehicle that failed to stop and accidentally killed two young Afghan children last July, an investigation into the incident has revealed.

According to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, the driver of the vehicle, which was transporting the children and their parents, failed to respond to warning signals as it approached the Canadian convoy.

It also found the soldiers involved "followed proper escalation of force procedures and acted within their rules of engagement during the incident."


A single round from a 25 millimetre cannon was fired into the speeding vehicle which came within 10 metres of the convoy.

"(The International Security Assistance Force) deeply regrets the accidental death of these two Afghan children," task force commander Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson said in a release issued Tuesday.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the family of the deceased during this difficult time."

Four-year-old Maraka and two-year-old Tor Jan were killed July 27 in the Panjwaii district southwest of Kandahar City.

Military officials said at the time that the soldiers involved flashed the lights on their vehicles, made hand gestures and issued audio warnings for the vehicle to pull over before they fired.

The gunner pulled the trigger fearing the approaching vehicle might have been planning a suicide attack....

More on links.....
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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I think you're overlooking the concept of honour here- as much as honour as a guiding social force may have faded from western society since the 1800s, it's still a very powerful force within the code of Pashtunwali. I fully agree that it is the driver's fault that those children are dead, but nonetheless in a counterinsurgency we have to be sensitive to the perceptions of the population, and the father of those children now finds himself in a situation in which either compensation is expected or revenge will be sought.

Put it this way; from the standpoint of the overall mission is it better for us to generate good PR (or at least neutralize some bad PR) by compensating the man, or shall we make an enemy of him and likely some of his extended family?

Why it is US making the enemy?  He is the fool that put himself into this situation to get his kids killed....now he wants to profit from it???

I say let the Taliban have him.  This is a BAD precedent to set.  "Just demand money and they will give us all kinds".

Who's to say the Taliban aren't the ones putting pressure on him to get money and have it ear marked for 'other uses', say buying the crap for an IED or two?

Offline Eye In The Sky

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I don't think he wants to, but the norms of his culture demand that he pursue the mandated revenge if we don't do our best to right a crappy situation.

His culture, not ours...I don't think we should kiss everyone's *** just because we are Canada and Canada is nice.

Quote
We cannot look at this through our own cultural perspective
Why not?  I am not from his part of the world and if I was there, I wouldn't put my kids in a car and drive up to a convoy.

Quote
and hope to understand his point of view. You need an understanding of the Pashtun code of honour, viewed through which sense his comments make a lot of sense.

I see his point of view.  Its simple.  "Where's my money?"

Quote
I'm going to maintain that despite the ambiguity, it is probably in the interest of the CF and the mission to compensate him.

 ::)  Ya let's fork over some taxpayers money everytime someone threathens to join the Taliban.  ::)

Offline Brihard

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There is no ideal solution here, but I think you're trying to find one.

Bear in mind that the father was also a passenger. He was NOT driving the vehicle according to the article cited. He was as much a victim of this as anyone.

I'm not suggesting we fork over cash every time someone threatens to join the Taliban. I'm saying that given the circumstances of this aprticular case, it's not unreasonable for us to offer him some compensation for the loss of his children. The amount will be absolutely negligible by our standards but will go a great way towards restoring goodwill from this man and his extended family, plus whatever tribal/clan structure he belongs to. It will show that we DO value the lives of Afghan civilians.

I think also that you're losing the forest for the trees. We are fighting a counterinsurgency here; we need to get the locals on our side and keep them there. Maybe this is one of those rare military situations in which simply throwing money at a problem is actually the best and most cost effective way to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. At the end of the day the guy lost his two kids due to terrible circumstances that were not of his design. We were not a guilty or criminally responsible party to this, but we were nonetheless involved and it would be a very very minor imposition on us to provide compensation. That, in turn, would help generate good public relations among the locals, or at least mitigate bad PR generated as a result of the shooting, and would also show the locals that they do matter to us. There's no harm in this case in showing respect for how they do things and acting in accordance with those norms. Our government is certainly willing enough to hand out compensation to people here at home who are harmed even inadvertently by the government, so why not do the same thing there? If a LAV accidentally runs over some farmer's goat he can expect to receive at least a small sum to make up for it- what could possibly be the harm in providing some compensation for the loss of his kids? Hell, if you want to be really pragmatic about it they probably contributed to the family's economic activity- or certainly would have in the future.

The potential good vastly outweighs the potential harm in handling the situation this way. It also seems to me to simply be the right thing to do.
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Offline TheHead

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His culture, not ours...I don't think we should kiss everyone's *** just because we are Canada and Canada is nice.
 Why not?  I am not from his part of the world and if I was there, I wouldn't put my kids in a car and drive up to a convoy.

I see his point of view.  Its simple.  "Where's my money?"

 ::)  Ya let's fork over some taxpayers money everytime someone threathens to join the Taliban.  ::)

Yet we're in HIS country and have to respect HIS culture.   You don't know this mans point of view, talking out of your *** and speculating.  I have nothing but sympathy for this man, his kids were killed in a tragic accident that he had no control over. Like the poster above me said he wasn't driving.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2008, 17:08:52 by TheHead »
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Its not out my ***.  Who put the kids in the car?  WHo didn't make the driver stop? 

Thats not my fault, its his.  His bad choices. 

AND the bigger picture is the THREAT TO JOIN THE ENEMY.

Shake your head.   ::)