Some are calling for an investigation and possible prosecution in connection with Prince Harry’s discussion of his military exploits in his new memoir, “Spare.”
The book, which was officially released Tuesday, was already making headlines last week after the media got hold of the Spanish-language version. Of particular interest was Harry’s revelation that he had killed 25 people during his military tours in Afghanistan.
The Duke of Sussex, who was a gunner copilot in an Apache attack helicopter during his second tour in Afghanistan in 2012, explained that he knew the exact number because the aircraft he flew was equipped with cameras, according to multiple news outlets, including The Guardian.
In response to the claim, some in the war-torn country are calling for King Charles‘ younger son to be tried for war crimes, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The news agency said the incident prompted about 20 protesters to gather Sunday at a university in Helmand province, in the southern part of the country. Some carried posters of Harry, his image blotted out with a red “X,” according to the report.
“We ask the international community to put this person (Prince Harry) on trial, and we should get compensation for our losses,” said Mullah Abdullah, according to the AP. Abdullah told the news agency that four of his family members were killed in a U.K. airstrike on his home in 2011.
Even some in his own country expressed a similar viewpoint.
Mick Wallace, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland, tweeted, “Given that the #US #NATO War on #Afghanistan was totally illegal and destroyed the lives of millions of innocent people, how come there’s no call from Mainstream Media + Politicians to have this despicable individual Prince Harry tried for War Crimes…?”
Given that the #US #NATO War on #Afghanistan
was totally illegal and destroyed the lives of millions of innocent people, how come there’s no call from Mainstream Media + Politicians to have this despicable individual Prince Harry tried for War Crimes…?https://t.co/wDi1nwRKh2
— Mick Wallace (@wallacemick) January 5, 2023
Others, particularly veterans, were critical of Harry‘s lack of judgment in making revelations that were virtually guaranteed to attract negative attention.
Retired British army veteran Col. Tim Collins was quoted in the British military news organization Forces.net as calling the prince’s remarks crass.
“This is not how we behave in the army. It’s not how we think,” Collins said. “He has badly let the side down. We don’t do notches on the rifle butt. We never did,” Collins told the news outlet.
The Daily Mail reported Harry appeared to have beefed up his security detail in New York Monday after the “stunning claim” was publicized.
“During a visit to Manhattan on Monday for an interview with The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, Harry was escorted from his hotel by three NYPD detectives in plainclothes and two private bodyguards,” the news outlet reported.
One detail that appears to have aroused the most anger was the comment that Harry compared bringing down enemy combatants to removing an opponent’s chess pieces from the board.
In a much-publicized response, Taliban member Anas Haqqani tweeted, “Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return.”
1/3- Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return. Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes. pic.twitter.com/zjDwoDmCN1
— Anas Haqqani(انس حقاني) (@AnasHaqqani313) January 6, 2023
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