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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Prince Harry Compares War to PlayStation and Taliban Is Not Amused

A Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday that Prince Harry must have “mental problems,” following the broadcast of remarks by the royal in which he said that killing militants from an Apache helicopter was similar to playing video games.

As soon as Britain’s ministry of defense announced on Monday that Prince Harry had left Afghanistan, ending his four-month deployment there, the British news media rushed to broadcast video of the royal officer at war, which was recorded with his cooperation on the condition that it not be released until his tour was over.

Britain’s Channel 4 News broke into its bulletin on Monday night just minutes after the announcement to broadcast its edit of the footage, which was shot last month at Camp Bastin in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province by the British Press Association.

A video report from Britain’s Channel 4 News shot during Prince Harry’s recent deployment to Afghanistan.

The Channel 4 News report drew attention to how frequently the prince, whose mother was being chased by photographers when she died in a fatal car accident, mentioned his distaste for the British press.

At one stage in the interview, Prince Harry said that he was not troubled by killing militants. “Take a life to save a life,” he said. “If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.”

In another! edit of the footage, posted online by The Guardian, Prince Harry, who is known as Captain Wales in the army, explained that he was glad to have been “pushed forward to the front seat,” the one reserved for the attack helicopter’s gunner. That was, he said, “a joy for me because I’m one of those people that loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful â€" if you ask the guys I thrash them at FIFA the whole time,” referring to a popular video game series.

“This is a serious war, a historic war, resistance for us, for our people,” a Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told Agene France-Presse in response, “and now this prince comes and compares this war with his games, PlayStation or whatever he calls it.”

But the spokesman added, “we don’t take his comments very seriously, as we have all seen and heard that many foreign soldiers, occupiers who come to Afghanistan, develop some kind of mental problems on their way out.”

In another part of the interview, posted online by The Telegraph, Prince Harry said that his brother, Prince William, was jealous of him. “He’d love to be out here and, to be honest with you, I don’t see why he couldn’t,” Harry said. “No one knows who’s in the cockpit. Yes you get shot at, but, you know, if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us being shot at as well. Yeah, people back home might have issues with that, but we’re not special.”

Video of remarks by Prince Harry about how much his brother would like to serve in Afghanistan.