The Performative Outrage Machine has been activated for Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare. The British tabloids got their hands on a Spanish-language version of the memoir, and they’ve been dutifully translating it (badly, in some cases) and maximizing the excerpts to fuel even more outrage. There are already some translated excerpts which seem purposefully confusing, like the British media is just trying to sow chaos and division. Because of course they are trying to do exactly that. In Spare, Harry writes about his military training and his two tours in Afghanistan. The Daily Mail, the Sun, the Express, the Mirror and other outlets all cherry-picked a handful of translated quotes wherein Harry reveals his “number” – the number of people he killed in combat. Instead of showing the patience to simply read Spare in context, the Performative Outrage Machinery has gone into hyperdrive to shriek about how Harry is dangerous and terrible based off of the partial quotes.
Prince Harry has drawn criticism from some British security and military figures – and an angry rebuke from the Taliban – after claiming in his autobiography that he killed 25 of the insurgent group’s fighters while serving for the British Army in Afghanistan.
Harry disclosed the figure in his upcoming autobiography “Spare,” according to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, which said it obtained a copy of the Spanish version of the book ahead of its official release slated for Tuesday, January 10.
“My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” Harry reportedly writes. In another section, he is quoted as describing Taliban insurgents as “chess pieces” taken off the board, rather than people.
The prince’s comments prompted a sharp backlash from members of the military community, with leading figures saying they could jeopardize his safety and give the British Army a bad reputation.
The UK’s former national security adviser Kim Darroch, who was the British Ambassador to the United States from 2016 to 2019, told Sky News he would have advised Harry against making the statements. And Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British army officer, told the same network they “tarnished” his reputation and “unjustly” painted the British Army in a negative light.
“His suggestion that he killed 25 people will have re-incited those people who wish him harm,” Kemp said. “Let’s hope they don’t succeed and I’m sure he’s got pretty good security, but that’s one problem.
“The other problem I found with his comments was that he characterized the British Army basically as having trained him and other soldiers to see his enemy as less than human, just as chess pieces on a board to be swiped off, which is not the case. It’s the opposite of the case,” he added.
Yeah – if you’re interested in reading the full excerpt in context, go here to Yahoo. What Harry describes is literally what every soldier with a conscience goes through: am I doing the right thing? Are these righteous kills? Is there any chance a civilian could be caught in the crossfire? And now, in modern warfare, when soldiers can kill people with a push of a button, does it help or hurt to dehumanize the enemy? What I also find remarkable in this excerpt is that Harry writes about visiting with 9/11 families, and watching the Twin Towers come down while he was at Eton. He was literally in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban – and less than a year later, his father was taking bags of money from the bin Laden family.
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— Peter Hunt (@_PeterHunt) January 6, 2023
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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.