170 Killed in Afghanistan as Gates, Cheney, Palin Wrangle over Karzai

170 people were killed in Afghanistan during the past week in political violence, according to an interior ministry spokesman. Radio Azadi reports in Persian that the spokesman said Monday morning that there were 117 terrorist attacks in the country in the past week, quadruple the number in the previous week.

The violence is placing in doubt supposed US achievements on the security front. Pajwhok News Agency reports that, ironically, the residents of Marjah are complaining about poor security in the aftermath of the US move into that area. They say that there is poor security, that civilians are caught in the cross-fire between US/ Afghanistan National Army troops and the Taliban, and that it is dangerous to work their fields (Marjah is a set of agricultural villages and scattered farm houses). They say that the Afghanistan police have not provided even the level of security that the Taliban once had.

Meanwhile, on the geopolitical front, Washington and Kabul are renewing their vows after a domestic tiff. A flurry of statements by high officials of the Obama administration on Sunday sought to walk back the recent tensions between Washington and President Hamid Karzai. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called charges against Karzai that he is using drugs and acting completely erratically “stupid.” The charges, apparently rumored in Kabul for some time, were made public last week by former United Nations deputy special envoy Peter Galbraith. On Fareed Zakaria’s GPS 360, Galbraith on Sunday argued that the major US counterinsurgency push in Afghanistan needed a reliable partner in Kabul, and since there is none, the US strategy should be reformulated as far less ambitious.

Meanwhile, the tensions with Karzai, who reputedly has threatened to join the Taliban and who says he could oppose the planned US invasion of Qandahar, has become a political football in the US. Liz Cheney attacked President Obama for his cold treatment of Karzai, and Sarah Palin piled on with the same criticism. Cheney just recently was lambasting trial lawyers who defended terrorists (as they must do in the US system of justice), but now she’s carrying water for someone who threatened to join the Taliban? This is beyond hypocritical or contradictory, it is Monty Python’s argument clinic. Whatever Obama says, the US right wing just says the opposite. That isn’t an argument, it is just a contradiction. And it produces contortionist political positions.

3 Responses

  1. ref : “That isn’t an argument, it is just a contradiction. LOL… a righteous kill, professor Cole. Your rhetoric today reminds me of an essay by Michael Kinsley on Oct. 10, 2002, Get Serious : “The Bush campaign for war against Iraq has been insulting to American citizens, not just because it has been dishonest, but because it has been unserious. A lie is insulting; an obvious lie is doubly insulting. Arguments that stumble into each other like drunks are not serious. Washington is abuzz with the “real reason” this or that subgroup of the administration wants this war. A serious and respectful effort to rally the citizenry would offer the real reasons, would base the conclusion on the evidence rather than vice versa, would admit to the ambiguities and uncertainties, would be frank about the potential cost.

  2. Tell me where I am wrong to demand that all American forces and Nato forces, be pulled out of the region immediately? I understand the argument that if you brake it you bought it. You know why, because I was a vehement supporter of the Iraq war six years and espoused that same garbage. Now I’m older and wiser. I just don’t see the benefit to continuing this endeavor especially in the manner in which it is being conducted’ on the ground, diplomatically and in the American media, which covers for ‘El Presidente.’

  3. It’s scary that anybody actually listens to ‘Liz Cheney’ and Sarah Palin. And that’s coming from an American Conservative, but not an American Idiot.

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