|Under fire Harry boasts Afghan combat was great
Prince Harry, who has been condemned in London newspapers and civil society for his arrogant, crass remarks on killing in Afghanistan, said yesterday the experience was ‘great.’
He returned to London yesterday after serving a 20 weeks in Afghanistan after which he gave a series of TV interviews that had been agreed with conditions. The Guardian and other newspapers said his assignment was a great PR job for the British military, just as the army had announced 5,300 job cuts. In an editorial, the paper said “Prince Harry may be a captain, but he is no marvel.’’
The 28-year-old spent two days' mandatory post-deployment “decompression’’ time at a British base in Cyprus.
In remarks widely condemned, Harry said he was “quite useful’’ with his thumbs, comparing pressing the trigger to playing video games. The Taliban also slammed the comments and called him mentally unstable and a coward.
The Stop the War Coalition called him “arrogant and insensitive” and demanded to know if he had not bombed civilians.
After landing at Brize Norton airbase in southern England, he moderated his line when asked specifically if he had killed Islamist insurgents.
“You get asked to do things that you would expect to do wearing this uniform. That's as simple as that,'' he said.
Captain Wales, as he is known in the Army Air Corps, reflected on returning home in one piece.
“It's been great, it's a hell of an experience,’’ he said.
“Just thrilled to be back. A bit of blue sky in Cyprus, a bit of decompression, some comedy and back to the snow.
“You do get life experiences that you would get nowhere else out there.
“The best thing about it is to be back.
“I enjoy being a soldier, I enjoy the guys that I work with.
“We, together, the guys wearing the uniform, have gone on and done a damn good job.
“It's been a good effort.''
The army officer said he was looking forward to seeing Prince William and his pregnant wife Catherine.
“I'm longing to see my brother and sister-in-law,’’ he said.
“I really am longing to catch up with people behind closed doors. You guys aren't invited,’’ he added, in a dig at the media.
Harry's helicopter instructor meanwhile revealed that the fun-loving prince had once