'Pathetic Coward': Prince Harry Blasted for Taliban Comments

By in Islamabad

Photo Gallery: Harry in Afghanistan Photos
AP

Taliban fighters are full of derision for Prince Harry following the broadcast of an interview in which he brags of killing rebel fighters. NATO officers in Kabul are likewise unimpressed.

Prince Harry, 28, had barely returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan before he found himself back in the spotlight. Comments he made during interviews conducted while he was still in the country immediately made headlines: "I've Killed Taliban Fighters." His comments were publicized after the prince returned from a five-month tour, during which he was stationed in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan as the co-pilot gunner of an Apache helicopter.

In the interview, in which he spoke about his mission in the restive province, Prince Harry told the BBC: "If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game." He added: "We fire when we have to, take a life to save a life." When asked by a journalist if he, as helicopter gunman, had taken lives as well, Harry responded, "yeah, so, lots of people have."

Reactions from the Taliban to Prince Harry's comments have been full of derision on Tuesday. "Prince Harry is a pathetic coward. No respectable fighter with a shred of honor would brag like that," said a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan in a telephone interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Why does he only have the courage to go public once he is back in his palace?"

For security reasons, Harry's comments were only to be broadcast once he had returned to Britain. In his comments, the prince said, "I'm one of the guys. I don't get treated any differently."

'So Much Naiveté'

Another Taliban commander told SPIEGEL ONLINE that he was speechless "in the face of so much naiveté." He added: "The fact that NATO has to send such people to Afghanistan shows just how bad a shape they are in. Don't they have anyone better?" He added that Harry's comments were a major topic of conversation among Taliban fighters and that they are received "with hearty laughter." They are even being shared around via text message. Harry's remarks, he said, have merely confirmed his feeling that NATO "doesn't have the slightest idea about the sensitivities of people in Afghanistan."

Even within NATO, Prince Harry's comments were not universally well received. Particularly his remarks in which he said that his passion for video games makes him a particularly good gunner. He said his job was "a joy … because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful."

"He may have said that in jest, but the impression he leaves is disastrous," said a German army officer in Kabul. "The mission in Afghanistan is not a game." A British officer in NATO headquarters in Kabul said it was "problematic" to compare the war in Afghanistan in any way with video games. "It not only demeans the achievements of soldiers in battle. It also shows no respect for the Afghans we are trying to help."

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1. Ridiculous reporting
pmoseley 01/23/2013
Oh my, do servicemen on the front line in Afghanistan really admit to killing the Taliban? OMG, what has the world come to? And do they really joke about it? And do they really train and relax, like all Western armed forces, by playing simulated battles and video games to hone their tactics, eye to hand coordination and reaction times? Ridiculous! Prince Harry is a soldier on the front line doing his duty fighting Islamic militants. Does Der Spiegel really have to spend most of this article reporting that the Taliban don't actually like it? Why don't they ask the Taliban why they continue to murder tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in the name of religion, prevent vaccination programs and girls' education, instead of engaging in this ludicrous activity of sham reporting. Prince Harry is one of the few, if not one of two, his brother Prince William being the other, sons or grandsons of a Head of State who are on active duty in some of the worst war zones in the world. Imagine the children of France's Hollande or Germany's Merkl or Gauck sending off their children to the front line? They baulk at even sending their own armed forces to some of these war zones. Look at Germany - a weak Merkl afraid to send troops to Iraq and Libya in case they get put in harms way. Come on Der Spiegel, even your reporters can write better articles than this, or at least try.
2. What is the big deal?
satyaban 01/24/2013
What Harry said is typical of what many who have killed in war would say although the words change from one era to another. It makes missions especially from aircraft easier if the targets are dehumanized. I say this because it many cases the targets and victims do not know they are under attack until it is over according to many survivors. Lastly, considering that the Taliban are the lowest form of humanity any revoltion on their part is a joke because they are due no respect as an enemy.
3.
Korz53 01/25/2013
[quote=pmoseley;115990]Oh my, do servicemen on the front line in Afghanistan really admit to killing the Taliban? OMG, what has the world come to? And do they really joke about it? And do they really train and relax, like all Western armed forces, by playing simulated battles and video games to hone their tactics, eye to hand coordination and reaction times? Ridiculous!..... _To Kill is one thing ; but to brag about it is not good morals. His grandmother is the head of Government and the Church of England & he is inline to replace her one day . Not a good example to Christianity as being Christ like in his fellowship with God I Am That I Am. God does not will not rejoice and or brag at the death of the Devil that God had sentenced that death for the crimes of his ; The Lucifer."{20:10} And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are,]...." King James Bible Revelation Page 701. {20:14} And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. {20:15} And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
4. Prince Harry
Korz53 01/25/2013
[quote=pmoseley;115990]Oh my, do servicemen on the front line in Afghanistan really admit to killing the Taliban? OMG, what has the world come to? And do they really joke about it? And do they really train and relax, like all Western armed forces, by playing simulated battles and video games to hone their tactics, eye to hand coordination and reaction times? Ridiculous! _He has grate moral responsibility to the Church of England and the State of Briton. ; He is not just another soldier out there. (But a potential King of that nation ).
5. Life is in some circles just a game
Inglenda2 01/27/2013
While I would agree with pmoseley, that German politicians would hardly send troops into action if their own relatives were directly involved, there still remains the question as to the sense of the wars being fought. Following two world wars, most Germans, with good reason, object to sending their soldiers into countries which have never been a threat to Germany. It is a pity that the British parliament still chooses to put prestige before intelligence, thereby completely ignoring the necessity or not, of losing British lives. Thousands of human-beings have been killed on both sides without any tangible result. After the foreign troops leave, everything will go back to normal. Just the names of those who commit the atrocities against their own people will have changed. Most extraordinary is also the fact, that the religion behind the terrorists, may now be taught in schools all over Europe and the European immigration laws are an open invitation to members of the Taliban. Surely it would be right to clean up our own doorstep, before trying to force our way of life on to the people of other countries.
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