Monday, January 18, 2010

Afghanistan Heating Up

This piece of news, that of an attack yesterday by the Taliban on Kabul, should continue to remind everyone that attention needs to be paid to the complicated situation that continues to evolve in Afghanistan. From the LA Times:

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan - Taliban militants unleashed a carefully coordinated, deadly attack on the heart of Afghanistan's capital and its U.S.-backed government today, killing five people and injuring more than 70 in an attack that illustrated the insurgency's ability to strike at will at virtually any target.

The five-hour assualt, carried out by seven Taliban insurgents wielding AK-47 rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and suicide bomb vests, plunged downtown Kabul on a bustling workday morning into a state of war. Afghans shopping or heading to work screamed as they darted for cover while bursts of gunfire rang out overhead and explosions shook the downtown area.

In addition to the above news I have been disturbed recently by a kind cheerleading that some are engaged in over the decrease in number of civilians that the U.S. killed in 2009 in Afghanistan.

I think Derrick Crowe over at Firedoglake sums it up the best:

This sort of self-congratulation is as myopic as it is callous. The pro-Kabul-government coalition killed roughly 600 people whose right to life exists independent of the U.S.’s desire to eliminate Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Only the most idiotic messengers would cheer about this statistic in public. Imagine a man cheering that he only beat his wife six times this month compared to eight times last month. That’s what chief ISAF spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks means when he says, "Statistical kinds of things don’t play that well [in Afghanistan].” Journalists, bloggers and public officials who tout this statistic like it’s some sort of victory should have their pulses checked and their canines examined.

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