The Daily Telegraph reports
JUST why an Afghan soldier chose to turn his weapon on a group of Australian army mentors, killing three of them and an Afghan interpreter and wounding seven, may never be known.
Previous insider attacks on coalition forces have been claimed by the Taliban, but Defence Minister Stephen Smith called for caution in attributing motive in this case.
"We may never know the motivation. With the previous instance, we never knew what the motivation was," he told Sky News.
The Prime Minster weighed in similarly:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard told parliament on Monday the nation's politicians shared a small part of the grief of the families of three soldiers.
She said it was critical that the nation show restraint and reserve judgment until an investigation had been completed.
Maybe he was just having a bad hair day? The Telegraph reports in a related article
According to military sources, the Afghan had shaved his body and was wearing a white shroud under his uniform when he mowed the Diggers down with a machine gun in a pre-meditated attack.
A 2008 article
in Slate (and any number of 'how to spot a suicide bomber' guides written since, gives a small clue:
U.S. Forces raided a suicide-bombing network in Iraq over the weekend, killing 12 men in the process. Six of the dead had shaved off their body hair, which military officials said is "consistent with final preparation for suicide operations." Why would a terrorist shave before blowing himself up?
So he's clean when he enters heaven. Traditionally, Muslims purify corpses by washing the skin and nails and sometimes by shaving the pubic hair. But suicide attackers are deprived of a proper burial, since there are usually no remains. To compensate, the attackers shear themselves ahead of time, both to guarantee some level of cleanliness at the time of instant incineration and to prove extreme devotion to personal purity. Some scholars offer an alternative explanation: They believe that suicide terrorists adopted the no-hair practice from the Pashtun tribesmen of Afghanistan, who shave their bodies before going into battle.
Any further questions, Minister? Or are we still going to avoid talking about Islam altogether.
I'm warming up to Professor Bunyip's analysis
We were right to oust the Taliban in the days after 9/11. That was the mission and it was achieved with courage and competence. Now it is touchy-feely soldiering -- building roads and attempting by gentle, culturally sensitive means to persuade an insane, inbred smear of flyblown villagers and boy-buggerers that there might be some advantages to following the rest of the world's lead and leave the seventh century behind.
Especially while the men who should be over there
rebuilding Afghanistan are instead turning up here
by the boatload to build enclaves, while our own soldiers are over there
getting shot instead of here
with their families.
At the very least, perhaps we can fight a war like we plan to win it, rather than trying to win a popularity contest.