Thursday, June 02, 2005

Damn! Just Damn!

OK, I was pissed at the Newsweek incident, you know, the one where they printed an erroneous report of Koran desecration? Yeah, THAT Newsweek. So we're told that 12, or 14, or 16 people had been killed in Afghanistan in rioting over this. Maybe, maybe not. Some say (no, I'm not gonna bother looking them up and linking) that riots were over other provocations. Maybe, maybe not. Our troops were put at risk, regardless.

Various remedies were discussed throughout the blogosphere, with little agreement. I even posted a list of Newsweek advertisers gleaned from the pages of a recent issue. But still, I found it a little hard to get really worked up about it, just a slow burn as I added it to the growing list.

Now I find this item from Afghanistan, posted by Firepower 5 at his blog, Firepower Forward - The Cutting Edge of Freedom. Excerpt:
Privileges and Responsibilities

I've been sitting on this Newsweek issue for a little bit, trying to control what I say here.

Continuing a bizarre string of luck that continues to place me in close vicinity to infamous incidents, I caught a ride to the FOB at Ghazni on Monday. After taking care of some business, I found myself sitting in the chow hall watching Fox News. Of course the story of the day was Newsweek's apology for their story on the desecration of the Koran that they now said may not have been accurate.


I watched the video that Fox was running while they concurrently talked about the story. "That's Ghazni!" said the Operations Officer of the unit that is stationed here. Sure enough, it was Ghazni City, just over the wall from where we were sitting. Rocks were being thrown at policemen and Afghani troops who were answering with automatic weapons fire. Cars were in flames and buildings were being looted.

"We [Newsweek] regret that we got any part of our story wrong...".

"That's Rocky!" excalimed the Operations Officer. General Rahkim (sp) was the Chief of Police in Gahzni. On the television, his image staggered forward a few paces, began to fall, and was caught by two of his policemen. "They brought him in yesterday," the Ops officer told me "the bullet went traight through him, back to chest. The medics managed to save him."

"...and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence..."

From this link it seems that four policemen were killed in Ghazni:

The deadly Afghanistan protests had broken out May 10 in the eastern city of Jalalabad, and May 12 spread to 10 of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, including Kabul, the capital. Police May 11-13 fired on demonstrators in several incidents across the country, resulting in the majority of the deaths. Four policemen May 13 were killed by demonstrators in Ghazni province. Protests were held May 13 in other Islamic areas, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Palestinian territories.

Go read Firepower 5's posting. It puts a personal face on this incident.

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