In a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan three men sit looking at a computer screen.
“Heh, look at that,” the first one says, pointing at a news website. “We’re winning”
“Oh yes,” says the second, “The Opposition is calling for New Zealand troops to come home early and look at all those comments from people saying they should cut and run.”
“But look at this says the third, the Prime Minister is saying it’s not that easy.
He reads from the screen:
“It would take months, not days, for New Zealand to withdraw from the war-torn nation, Mr Key told TVNZ this morning.
“To leave early wouldn’t be sensible, it wouldn’t be practical and it wouldn’t be right.
“We made a commitment. I don’t think we are the type of country that cuts and runs.”
Mr Key said ministers had recently been considering options for an ”orderly withdrawal”.
The timing has not been affected by the loss of five soldiers in past few weeks, he said.
“But who’s listenign to him. They’ve got freedom of speech there,” the first man says. “People can say what they like and they’re are saying ‘bring ’em home’.”
“Yeah, makes you glad we don’t have that sort of freedom nonsense here,” the second man says.
“But what about this, look at what a soldier’s saying,” the third man says and reads out again:
As a former NZ infantry soldier and having deployed to Afghanistan I believe I can comment on this thread. This year alone I have lost 4 friends in Afghanistan, having served closely with 3 of them, most recently Corporal Tamatea. As sad as the situation is the consensus among all my mates still serving is that the last thing they want is to be withdrawn from theatre. As far as they’re concerned they have a job to do and a duty to uphold which they haven’t fulfilled. To them, 2013 is to soon to come out. All this talk about John Key having no respect? He went to the homes of my friends(Durrer and Malone) and offered his personal condolences then, remember he also has a family and an obligation to them. Ask anybody serving now and they’ll tell you that’s how they feel. On backing Labour because they would prefer that our troops were withdrawn sooner rather than later. We were sent in by labour in the first place, I served in Afghanistan under a Labour government. In summary, as soldiers they know the risks of deploying to such environments as Afghanistan, they know there is a chance they could pay the ultimate price. As a former infantryman I know that Luke would be happy that he died doing what he loved to do- soldiering. He was an excellent operator, with exceptional “soldier skills”. Today there are a lot of heavy hearts in the NZDF because of this tragedy. Mourn for them and their families, and pray that nothing else happens to the rest of our brave men and women serving there but know that they would all rather be there making a difference than here. All my currently serving friends want to deploy to do there part(some again).
“Who cares what a soldier thinks? the first man says.
“”Yeah, who cares about soldiers,” the second one grins. “We’ve got the people back home stirred up and worried. They’re frightened, we’re winning.”