Perhaps my praise for Al-Reuters was a bit hasty.... I had a feeling that I might be a bit premature on that. First, some background.
This is the village of Orgun (pronounced or GOON Mr. Sparkle). It really is a pretty nice place that is only about 12 miles (as the crow flies) from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and for it is the center of a great many operations to destroy/capture/kill bad guys who are bent on doing bad things to good people. In this photo, our Afghan Army counter-parts and their soldiers were playing soccer in tournament at the local school against a local team. We were there helping to provide security for the game, along with others from the Battalion, so that the half-time show would not include such entertainment as a car bomb or a ritual beheading. Please take note of the brand new District center in the background. It was finished while I was there and was a really well done project. The construction was pretty impressive, by Afghan standards.
This is from the CJTF-82 Website:
Allegations of Coalition Forces desecrating a Quran and mistreating women were made Wednesday at a protest in the Orgun District of Paktika. Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan investigated and quickly discovered the claims were false. Mayor Mobeen, Orgun Sub-Governor, organized a large shura to speak out against the false claims made by the Taliban insurgency. Thirty elders attended the shura which was covered by Afghan radio and television journalists. The elders said the leaders of the protest, four mullahs from Orgun, made up false allegations about what happened during a coalition forces raid on 14 OCT. The Orgun elders emphatically stated that the Coalition Force did not desecrate the Quran and that they did not arrest or search any women. The elders pledged support for the government of Afghanistan, the provincial government of Paktika, the ANSF, and coalition forces. Elders also understood that the men captured during the raid will be investigated. The Orgun elders made clear that they trust the judicial system and are very willing to allow it to work.
Protests you say? I wonder how this could have happened? Were the evil soldiers not trained? Were they doing the bidding of the vile and comtempable Bush/Halliburton regime in order to get more oil for their friends? Sounds a bit Gitmo-ish to me? Where is Newsweek to report on this?
Is there no one who will speak out? Is there no one to rebutt this allegation? But wait, who comes forward to set the record straight?
The Governor also spoke directly with a Reuter’s reporter (the news service who published the original story about the protest in Orgun and described the false claims) about today’s events in Orgun in response to the insurgent-incited protest. The Governor made clear to the reporter that the protestors’ claims were not true and asserted as well that those detained were active insurgent leaders.
Oh but wait, this is truly the best part....
He invited the reporter to come to Paktika to see things in Orgun first hand and urged him to reach out to people on the scene in the future rather than report spurious stories from Kabul.
It seems that the local leaders and elders are experiencing some of the same frustrations with the Old Media that is rooting for their enemy as we seem to be here (see NY Times, front page, any day). I can tell you from speaking to them that they truly don't get why this is. They do not understand the loony left, because the elders and leaders of Orgun are still living with that Stone Age concept of Right versus Wrong. How un-cosmopolitan of them!
This last statement by the Sub Governor is Pashto (or could be Dari) for " Yo Punk! Get off your lazy ass, shake off the hangover from the scotch at the club last night and, if you can stop pissing yourself from fear long enough; come downrange and see what the real deal is." It is pretty self-evident that they are getting tired of the cheese-eating surrender monkey lobby as well.
The smackdown laid out by the Sub-Governor could not have been said better ....