Well, Operation Afghan Hearts and Minds is going well…so, can we attack Iraq now?
One afternoon in August, a U.S. Special Forces A team knocked at the door of a half-ruined mud compound in the Shahikot Valley. The servicemen were taking part in Operation Mountain Sweep, a weeklong hunt for Qaeda and Taliban fugitives in eastern Afghanistan.
THE MAN OF THE HOUSE, an elderly farmer, let the Americans in as soon as his female relatives had gone to a back room, out of the gaze of strange men. Asked if there were any weapons in the house, the farmer proudly showed them his only firearm, a hunting rifle nearly a century old. When the team had finished searching, carefully letting the women stay out of sight, the farmer served tea. The Americans thanked him and walked toward the next house.
They didnâ€™t get far before the teamâ€™s captain looked back. Six paratroopers from the 82d Airborne, also part of Mountain Sweep, were lined up outside the farmerâ€™s house, preparing to force their way in. â€œI yelled at them to stop,â€ says the captain, â€œbut they went ahead and kicked in the door.â€ The farmer panicked and tried to run, and one of the paratroopers slammed him to the ground. The captain raced back to the house. Inside, he says, other helmeted soldiers from the 82d were attempting to frisk the women. By the time the captain could order the soldiers to leave, the family was in a state of shock. â€œThe women were screaming bloody murder,â€ recalled the captain, asking to be identified simply as Mike. â€œThe guy was in tears. He had been completely dishonored.â€
Okay, so we didn’t learn anything from Viet Nam…