Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taliban attacks paralyze Afghan capital for hours

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

KABUL — Taliban militants wearing explosive vests launched a brazen daylight assault Monday on the center of Kabul, with suicide bombings and gunbattles near the presidential palace and other government buildings that paralyzed the city for hours.

Afghan forces along with NATO advisers managed to restore order after nearly five hours of fighting as explosions and machine gunfire echoed across the mountain-rimmed city, sending terrified Afghans racing for cover. Twelve people were killed, including seven attackers, officials said.

The assault by a handful of determined militants dramatized the vulnerability of the Afghan capital, undermining public confidence in President Hamid Karzai's government and its U.S.-led allies.

The attacks also suggested that the mostly rural Taliban are prepared to strike at the heart of the Afghan state — even as the United States and its international partners are rushing 37,000 reinforcements to join the eight-year war.

"We are so concerned, so disappointed about the security in the capital," said Mohammad Hussain, a 25-year-old shopkeeper who witnessed the fighting. "Tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops are being sent to Afghanistan, yet security in the capital is deteriorating."


We can't win this thing, whatever "winning" means these days.

Kabul is supposed to be Afghanistan's equivalent of Iraq's Green Zone in Baghdad. Okay, not quite so secure, but the safest and most stable place in the region. Indeed, detractors have for years mocked US Puppet-President Karzai by calling him the "Mayor of Kabul," meaning that his government only controls a city, rather than a nation. Apparently, he's not even capable of that these days.

So we're sending thirty thousand some odd troops over there now, Obama's "surge" to try to get things under control. My bet is that this soldier influx will stabilize Kabul and the surrounding area, but how the fuck is such a microscopic increase supposed to pacify all of Afghanistan with its twenty plus ethnically controlled regions? Right, it can't. This is simply wishful thinking, which reveals that President Obama isn't really all that different in many ways from his mentally challenged predecessor.

The Soviets couldn't do it. The British failed twice there. And we'll fail, too.

We need to get out right now. Sure, use Vice President Biden's idea if we must, keeping a base there for rapid response/terrorist fighting stuff, whatever, but end this folly immediately. We're dying; they're dying. And it's bullshit.