Today’s Murdoch press features this “world exclusive“:
The commando raiding party approaches the mud-walled qala, or compound, after a long night march from the helicopter insertion point.
As they move in with their infra-red laser sights beaming and their alien-like night vision “eyes” switched on, all hell breaks loose.
Gunfire rages within the qala as the Diggers from the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment assault the building.
As a soldier pulls back the blanket covering the doorway, a young girl cowers on the floor.
Other troops move in and one yells a command in the local Pashto language.
For the first time since Australian special forces troops arrived in Afghanistan in late 2001, video footage of their missions – filmed by the soldiers themselves – has been obtained by The Daily Telegraph.
SAS raiding parties try to avoid firefights. Unlike the commandos, who adopt a more aggressive posture, the SAS men consider it bad form if they get into a gunfight. The former trooper said if a raid was planned and executed properly, there should be no shots and no casualties on either side – sadly, that doesn’t always happen and three reserve commandos from the Melbourne-based 1st Commando Regiment face serious charges over a night raid similar to the one in the leaked footage.
The key problem with such “reporting” is that Afghans are simply invisible. All we see and hear is the Australian perspective (as if the Murdoch tabloids would run video by the Taliban or insurgents somewhere else). Night-raids, so gloriously portrayed in the story above, have a notorious record of causing civilian deaths and convincing the locals that foreigners are murderous thugs.
And here’s the rub; resisting foreign occupation, as the vast bulk of the Afghan resistance is doing, isn’t illegitimate. It’s both legal and necessary.