A New Threat In Afghanistan?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semmy, Jun 6, 2002.

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  1. Chris Stephen In Bagram


    BRITISH marines returning from an operation deep in the Afghan
    mountains spoke last night of an alarming new threat - being
    propositioned by swarms of gay local farmers.

    An Arbroath marine, James Fletcher, said: "They were more terrifying
    than the al-Qaeda. One bloke who had painted toenails was offering to
    paint ours. They go about hand in hand, mincing around the village."

    While the marines failed to find any al-Qaeda during the seven-day
    Operation Condor, they were propositioned by dozens of men in villages
    the troops were ordered to search.

    "We were pretty shocked," Marine Fletcher said. "We discovered from
    the Afghan soldiers we had with us that a lot of men in this country
    have the same philosophy as ancient Greeks: 'a woman for babies, a man
    for pleasure'."

    Originally, the marines had sent patrols into several villages in the
    mountains near the town of Khost, hoping to catch up with al-Qaeda
    suspects who last week fought a four-hour gun battle with soldiers of
    the Australian SAS. The hardened troops, their faces covered in
    camouflage cream and weight down with weapons, radios and ammunition,
    were confronted with Afghans wanting to stroke their hair.

    "It was hell," said Corporal Paul Richard, 20. "Every village we went
    into we got a group of men wearing make-up coming up, stroking our
    hair and cheeks and making kissing noises."

    At one stage, troops were invited into a house and asked to dance.
    Citing the need to keep momentum in their search and destroy mission,
    the marines made their excuses and left. "They put some music on and
    ask us to dance. I told them where to go," said Cpl Richard. "Some of
    the guys turned tail and fled. It was hideous."

    The Afghan hill tribes live in some of the most isolated communities
    in the country. "I think a lot of the problem is that they don't have
    the women around a lot," said another marine, Vaz Pickles. "We only
    saw about two women in the whole six days. It was all very

    A second problem the British found came minutes after the first
    helicopter touched down at one of the hilltop firebases, when local
    farmers appeared demanding compensation for goats they claimed had
    been blown off the mountains by the rotor blades. "Every time we
    landed a Chinook near a village, we got some irate bloke running up to
    us saying his goat has just got blown off the mountain ridge by the
    helicopter - and then he demanded a hundred dollars compensation,"
    said Major Phil Joyce, commander of Whisky Company, one of four
    companies deployed.

    As patrols moved away from the landing zones, the locals began
    pestering Afghan troops attached to the marines with ever more
    outrageous compensation demands - topping off at a demand from one
    village elder for $500 (£300) for damage to a tree by the downdraft
    from helicopters.

    But the marines were under orders to win the "hearts and minds" of
    local farmers in what is one of the few remaining Taleban bastions. "I
    managed to barter him down to two marine pens, a pencil and a rubber,"
    Major Joyce said. "He went away quite happy ."
  2. well they are really only Navy after all