Canada’s top officer in Afghanistan admitted his troops conduct night raids for suspected members of Taliban despite complaints by leaders of the Afghanistan government to avoid such actions which only stir anger among the average citizens of the land. General Denis Thompson admits such assaults go against his own philosophy, he believes there is no alternative. “There’s nothing worse than busting into somebody’s house in the middle of the night.” He argues it is a necessary self-defense approach which saves lives of Canadian soldiers. Thompson’s remarks came after a withering report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission which argues bombing raids and continued harassment of ordinary civilians has often resulted in the opposite effect — people become more supportive of the Taliban.
According to the report: “Afghan families experienced their family members killed or injured, their houses or other property destroyed, or homes invaded at night without any perceived justification or legal authorization.” It has become all too common for the average innocent Afghan family which opposes the Taliban to have a horror story concerning US and Coalition forces who damaged their homes or lives than the enemy of their government. It is not surprising under these circumstances for the enemy to become the friend.
In the words of the immortal comic strip persona, Pogo, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”