Chagcharan riots

Not being in Ghor at the moment and only having had brief conversations with people who are, I don’t have much to add the news reports of what happened last week.

First, let us think of the US soldier who decided to use a Koran as target practice. Now hold your head in despair, take several deep breaths, and scream at the bastard callous moronic stupidity of some people and the institutions that continually let them make such… agghhh, I give up.

Why this event sparked off violent protests in Ghor of all places and not elsewhere I know not. It’s said some religious students organised the protests. That the crowd was shouting anti-US slogans at a base that is mostly manned by Lithuanians seems a bit odd, but symbolically understandable.

How the event got so out of hand that three people were killed and many more wounded is the key question, and one which I have no answer to and which I suspect anybody that does won’t be saying. Or will be saying different things.

That it was a new rotation of ISAF soldiers, only in place for a week, may not have helped. They could have bunkered down behind their fortress wall and weathered the storm, and I’m a bit surprised a Lithuanian soldier was ever in the firing line. The police would have been at the forefront, and may well have over-reacted. Or an ‘insurgent’ could have joined the crowd and fired a few shoots just to warm things up. Who knows? No point looking to blame any of them really.

What I do know is that the whole tragic thing is, well, tragic. Both the loss of life and the loss of trust between the PRT, the police and by extension the government, and the residents of Chagcharan. It’s a small event compared to many that happen everyday in Afghanistan, but it’s unusual for such things to happen in Ghor and it will be remembered for a long while with a great deal of bitter feeling on all sides.



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6 Responses to “Chagcharan riots”

  1. Roberta Says:

    So this is why your security advisors won’t let you pop out to your local for a quick pint! You say you had trouble accepting your confinement to the compound before this, when you saw no good reason for it, and longed to stretch your legs. I suppose it gives you an insight into the lives of Afghan women, also and perpetually within the walls — and “confinement” carries a second meaning for them.

    I wonder how the Lithuanian public and government will take the loss of a soldier: the Belgians withdrew from Rwanda when several of theirs were killed, and then the genocide picked up pace. Even a decade ago it was recognised as brutally stupid to send troops from a former colonising power. What has poor Lithuania got to do with any of this mess?

  2. ash Says:

    it’s time to let the ngo’s and other people like yourself take over….and keep governments/soldiers from doing anymore damage like that…..

  3. harryrud Says:

    Let the NGOs and people like me take over? take over security and running a country? now there’s a scary thought.

  4. Frida Says:

    Let the people like “you” (read, like us) take over – I’m giggling maniacally at the thought. It’s only a cover-up, of course, all this giggling, for the sinking feeling I’ve had ever since this tragic mess.

  5. Analysand Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Analysand!!

  6. Mike Says:

    I was there when it happened, Im a civilian, If the Lithuanians acted like real soldiers instead of standing around taking video and pictures then perhaps we would’nt have had a disaster. They are a joke and they should not be here!

    And to top it all they are going to build a park in Chagcharan, yeh right just what the people need, how about a new bridge or a school. Has anybody been to the local hospital and seen the mess that its in? Do me a favour build something the people need!

    ISAF please bring in professional soldiers!!!!!!!

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