In the dusty Afghan village where U.S. troops killed two pregnant women and three other innocent civilians in February, a remarkable scene played out today between an aggrieved father and the most senior special operations officer in the United States military.
An Afghan National Army soldier leads a sheep to the house of Haji Sharabuddin, the father of two men who were innocent victims of a botched night by U.S. Special Forces near Gardez, Paktia province, in which three women also were killed. The sheep was being offered for sacrifice, as part of an Afghan custom for forgiveness. Behind the Afghan National Army soldiers is Brigadier-General Kurt Fuller, the deputy commander of Nato's Regional Command-East. Fuller and U.S. Special Forces Vice Admiral William McRaven went to the house to beg the family for forgiveness.What a baaarmy way to try to win a war.
Vice Admiral William McRaven -- the commander of Joint Special Operations Command -- showed up with two sheep, and in the cultural understanding of the region, surrendered himself.
He didn't literally surrender. But he didn't have to. In the code followed by the southeastern Afghan family so devastated by the February incident, offering two sheep is the equivalent of begging for forgiveness...