The Taliban are dealing with ‘chess piece’ views on the killing of Afghanistan

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This photo taken on October 31, 2012 shows Britain’s Prince Harry doing his early morning pre-flight checks at the British-controlled airfield at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where He is an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps.

John Stillwell | Afp | Getty Images

The early publication of Prince Harry’s sensational memoir “Spare” is sparking outrage from a variety of sources, from loyal supporters of the monarchy to television pundits and ordinary Brits – and more recently, the Taliban.

The much-anticipated book, written in the years after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle left their roles in the British royal family, was accidentally put on sale in Spain several days before the official date his

Among the many controversial revelations in the memoir is Harry’s revelation that he killed 25 Taliban fighters while deployed in Afghanistan with the British army.

According to excerpts from the book cited by Sky News, which obtained a copy, Harry said he did not see the fighters as “people” but rather as “chess pieces” he was removing from the table.

“It wasn’t something that filled me with joy, but I wasn’t ashamed either,” the prince wrote. CNBC has not seen or been able to obtain a copy of the book.

Taliban leader Anas Haqqani hit back at the comments on Twitter, writing: “Mr Harry! Those you killed were not chess pieces, they were people; they had families waiting to return. Among the Afghan killers, few had the right to reveal their conscience and confess their war crimes.”

Haqqani said: “Our innocent people were chess pieces for your soldiers, your military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that ‘game’ of black and white ‘square’.”

The Taliban returned to full power over Afghanistan when the US withdrew its last troops from the country in August 2021. It has since imposed a hyper-conservative Islamic democracy on the country, imposing sanctions violent on dissidents and banning women from higher education, among others. human rights abuses.

Prince Harry inspects the desert town of Garmisir on January 2, 2008 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

John Stillwell | Anwar Hussein collection/rota | Wireimage | Getty Images

Harry served in the British army for 10 years, achieving the rank of captain. He served two tours in Afghanistan, the first in 2007-2008 as an advanced air controller, and later in 2012-2013 as an attack helicopter pilot.

The Taliban leader isn’t the only one angry about Harry’s comments; the news also prompted a backlash from former members of the British military, who largely live by a culture of not speaking openly or bragging about the lives they took during combat.

“Love you #PrinceHarry but you have to shut up!” Ben McBean, a former Royal Marine who served with Harry in Afghanistan, wrote Thursday on Twitter. If they were good people, someone would have told him to stop by now.”

A former senior military officer in charge of British forces in Afghanistan in 2003, Colonel Richard Kemp, described Harry’s comments as “bad judgement” and potentially dangerous.

Harry’s words were “perhaps ill-judged for two reasons,” Kemp said in an interview with Sky News. “One of them is to suggest that he killed 25 people that he would have restarted those people who want to harm him.”

Prince Harry sits in the front cockpit of an Apache helicopter at the British-controlled airfield at Camp Bastion on October 31, 2012 in Afghanistan. Prince Harry was an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, from September 2012 for four months to January 2013.

John Stillwell | Pool Wpa | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The retired colonel said: “The other problem I found with his comments was that he basically characterized the British Army as being trained and other soldiers to see their enemy less humans, just like chess pieces on a board to be put off, which is not true. It’s against the case.”

He warned that such comments could “incite some people to attack British troops anywhere in the world.”

Kensington Palace, which represents Prince William, and Buckingham Palace, which represents King Charles III, have so far refused to comment on the book and any of its claims. CNBC has reached out to a representative for Prince Harry for comment.

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