Kandahar Journal: Oh Shura
The “Security Shura” is a regular meeting with the local village elders to discuss any security concerns they may have. This particular Shura was held in under a large tree in a farm field near the COP.
I helped Sergeant Tony Swainson load water into the back of a gator, and then hitched a ride to where some sixty villagers waited in the shade.
The scene was reminiscent of a big family picnic. Captain Legros started out by shaking the hand of everyone waiting. The soldiers took off their body armour. Plates of dates and nuts were passed out. The water we had brought was given out too. There were smiles and casual banter as we waited for everyone to arrive.
It was only as I stepped away from the group to try and get everyone in frame that the illusion of a casual gathering started to disintegrate. There were ANA sentries posted in the far distance every thirty degrees – then inside that a further phalanx of Canadians. And then for those who thought even that too trusting — there was this guy on a nearby rooftop.