“We will find them and kill them, there’s no safety for them,” Those were the words of Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, as stated to a Herald on Sunday correspondent. “Yes we knew our target was New Zealand forces, because they are with our enemy and the others who came to our country with guns and weapons. We are killing the New Zealanders because they are helping the Americans. They have come to kill and arrest our people.”
It really couldn’t be said much clearer than that. Regardless of what New Zealand soldiers are doing in Afghanistan they are seen by the Taliban, and likely by other Afghans as well, as part of an occupying force. ” but we do not have any other enmity towards the people of New Zealand,” Muhahid stated “The families of those killed should tell the Government of New Zealand not to send soldiers to kill Afghans, because this fight does not belong to New Zealand. This is an American fight and they have persuaded other countries to become involved.”
“The families of those killed should tell their Government to stop fighting, otherwise we will send more bodies of soldiers back to New Zealand.”
The Taliban is a reactionary force- just recently members of the Taliban beheaded 17 people at a party for mixed gender dancing. Their strategy of killing New Zealanders in an effort to turn public opinion here in favour of withdrawing troops could backfire, solidifying opposition to the Taliban among New Zealanders, which could mean support for the occupation. The Taliban’s treatment of women in particular is often trumpeted as a justification for Western intervention. Seldom mentioned is that women’s organisations in Afghanistan, such as RAWA, oppose both the Taliban and the NATO occupation.
The family of at least one of the deceased soldiers, Lance Corporal Rory Malone, believe that its time to bring the troops home. Ani Lhamo, who raised the 26-year-old, told Fairfax news that the losses were ”too great” and there was no shame in withdrawing New Zealand soldiers from Afghanistan to prevent more deaths.
John Key has said the latest three deaths had not affected the timetable for withdrawal, a view echoed by defence Minister Jonathan Coleman. New Zealand soldiers are likely to remain in Afghanistan for another eight months, that is at least, the ones who don’t come home in coffins