jump to navigation

A FAILED RESCUE October 12, 2010

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Peace.

The failed rescue of the Scottish aid worker, Linda Norgrove, may well be a metaphor for the Afghanistan War in which benign intentions are assumed while using malignant methods. And then they lie about it.

Linda Norgrove in Kunar 26 September 2010 ( via BBC)

British PM, David Cameron said in a press conference that Linda may not have died at the hands of her captors. He did not say why it was believed that they had killed her. The BBC reports:

British aid worker Linda Norgrove may have been accidentally killed by US forces during a rescue mission in Afghanistan, David Cameron has said.

International forces there originally said the 36-year-old died on Friday when one of her captors detonated a suicide vest.

But the prime minister said new details had come to light suggesting her death may have resulted from a US grenade.

He said he had spoken to her family about the “deeply distressing” news.

Mr Cameron said he was told of the new developments in a phone call from Gen David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, on Monday morning.

He said the general told him US forces were deeply dismayed at the outcome and said it was “deeply regrettable” that information published on Saturday about Ms Norgrove was highly likely to have been incorrect.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall said the latest developments would raise questions over UK and US relations and the possibility there was an attempt to cover up the circumstances of Ms Norgrove’s death.

At the Downing Street press conference, Mr Cameron defended the rescue mission, saying it had his full support as Ms Norgrove had been in “grave danger”.

He said: “The decision to launch this rescue operation was not an easy one. But I am clear that Linda’s life was in grave danger from the moment she was taken. . .

Each death is a tragedy, and inevitably in wars many of the dead go unrecorded, but not unnoticed by those close to them. We seldom see the faces of the dead Iraqis and Afghans, and more seldom are there inquiries into their deaths. Because the war system is long established, and perhaps part of a rationale, a paradigm of nation states, does not mean that does not need to change.

War necessarily assumes the other is not fully human – otherwise why would be the purpose of killing them. I notice that the spokespersons for the Americans have called on “the Taliban” to give up violence. Who is going to be first? And how was it again, did “the Taliban” become the enemy?


Originally the BBC reported that Linda Norgrove was killed by a vest bomb worn by one of her kidnappers. Now where did this story spring from?

BBC Correspondent Nicholas Witchell reported:

“Local tribal elders up in the area of eastern Afghanistan where she was being held – a very wild, lawless part of this country – had been attempting to persuade her captors to free her.

“And indeed [they] had asked Nato not to intervene militarily so they had time to try to secure her release.”


Peter Hartcher writes, in The Sydney Morning Herald, of the new optimism and refining of the mission in Afghanistan. The geographic description may be accurate enough, but in order to describe the people there is a need to identify the ethnic and perhaps tribal identifications.

Are we adherents to the myth of redemptive violence? What about making friends with the people in Afghanistan, which would presume the time taken to get to know them? It seems to me that is what Linda Norgrove was doing.

The Guardian reports on the change in the official line with comments from the website readers.



1. blufacil - October 13, 2010

good blog, add my favorites

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: