Mullahs to Marines: Earn Our Trust or Leave

Elders tell American forces to earn their trust or leave
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2009 1:41 PM CDT
An young Afghan man speaks with US Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand province.   (AP Photo/ David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – In their first meeting with local elders in the southern Afghanistan village they’re trying to rid of the Taliban, US Marines received a rather unusual greeting: Earn our trust or leave. Mullahs delivered the stern warning after the American forces promised not to leave until they improved the lives of ordinary people. But it’s a promise they’ve heard before, Reuters says.

“I do not trust you,” one mullah told the Marines. “There have been international forces that have come through the village and promised schools, promised clinics. When you are already (delivering) that, then I will trust you.” “This is a beautiful village,” said one commander. “It's very peaceful. And we need to work to keep it that way.”