[Reader-list] SAS soldier talks about training Afghan soldiers

Boud Roukema boud_roukema at camk.edu.pl
Tue Sep 25 18:25:51 IST 2001

On Tue, 25 Sep 2001, Menso Heus wrote:

> SAS soldier speaks up on training the Afghans: apparently these guys 
> The lucky ones died instantly. The unlucky ones were chopped to 
> pieces in the aftermath. In the Hindu Kush, don't expect to 
> appeal to the Geneva convention."

Well, it could be true (I don't see why Afghans should be less
competent at killing than people in other societies), but the
conclusion is ambiguous, and risks leading to absurd implications!

The SAS soldiers claims that "the Afghans", i.e. the Jihadi and the
Talibans (?) are very good shots and that in his experience they
violated the Geneva conventions. Fine. It happened that way in his

(1) Does "sometimes X" imply "always X"?  

The answer to (1) is the same, whether or not we put
X= Afghans violate the Geneva conventions
X= USA armed forces violate the Geneva conventions.

(2) Does the alleged violation of Geneva conventions by Afghans in the
past imply that the USA forces should drop the Geneva conventions?

The answer is "No". Killing prisoners of war does not help militarily
(except in Hollywood/Bollywood movies), and of course is hardly going
to be efficient to stop islamic fundamentalist terrorists - unless
complete genocide ("infinite justice") of all Central Asian/West
Asian countries is intended, more people will just keep popping up
for revenge.

The article sounds to me just like a macho piece which appeals to 
feelings of vengeance and racism in order to try to justify the

Is "infinite justice" going to become another term like "collateral 
damage"? Do the families of the "collaterally damaged" 6000 or so 
victims in NY/DC really want to "infinitely justify" Central Asia
out of existence? How else can one interpret "infinite"?

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