The Taliban Don’t Wave


The day he was alleged to have killed a wounded, unarmed Taliban fighter, Capt. Robert Semrau watched in dismay as stoned Afghan soldiers passed around “King Kong” marijuana joints and carried their rifles like baseball bats.

The former Canadian infantry officer, who was at the centre of a national debate over mercy killing in war, has broken his silence in a book that paints a stark, searing portrait of the chaos in the Afghan war.

An advance copy of the book was obtained by The Canadian Press.

Throughout his trial for second-degree murder and in the aftermath of his dismissal from the military, Semrau has been silent about what happened on Oct. 19, 2008, following a horrific firefight.

And anyone looking for a tabloid-type revelation, an explanation — or even contrition — in his book, The Taliban Don’t Wave, will be disappointed.

In passages devoid of sentiment and reflection, Semrau recounts the events leading to the discovery of the wounded insurgent in an almost machine-gun-like narrative.