I always found it amazing how one of the biggest arguments levied by those on the “right” about withdrawing from Iraq is that “the terrorists can just set their clocks for that date and wait us out”. Not only for the sheer simplemindedness of this statement, but for the hypocrisy of demanding timelines in prior military conflicts. But now, there is another reason – the fact that the Taliban has been warning the US of this “spring offensive” for many months now, and we still could not “set our watches” in order to prepare for it.
So, right on schedule, and as warned (just like we were warned about bin Laden’s determination to strike in the US), the Taliban has ratcheted up the violence in Afghanistan and, surprise, surprise – it is during the spring...
In turkana’s excellent diary from Monday, there were numerous instances cited of violence in Afghanistan over the past few months. It also talked about the resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban - you know, the two groups who were “on the run” and “soundly defeated” way back in 2002. One thing is shown from all of this - since al Qaeda and the Taliban are launching attacks from both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the central front in the “war on terror” is most certainly in Pakistan and Afghanistan – NOT in Iraq..
I’ll put it another way - those who attacked us on 9/11, and those who supported those who attacked us are still attacking us. But not from Iraq even remotely as much as in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And we are doing very little, if anything about it. That includes even reporting on this. When was the last time that a major story covered al Qaeda in Pakistan or Afghanistan? Hell, when was the last time that a major story covered something other than who we need to bomb next and why we need to do it now?
If we want to bomb someone so badly, I know of a few places where attacks are actually being planned and carried out against NATO, US troops and civilians. And even better - they are being planned by those who we were supposed to be targeting back in 2002 and 2003.
We were warned by Faux Nooz in March of this. We were told that it started back in May. We were told that the “spring offensive” was being quashed just 2 weeks ago. And we were told that it never really happened to begin with.
Yet, a suicide bomb killed 35 people just the other day in Kabul. And a roadside blast killed three Canadian NATO troops yesterday. And a four hour battle took place in Kandahar earlier today, killing 15 suspected members of the Taliban. This was after militants had taken control of a district in Kandahar earlier.
While we are at it, there were four suicide attacks in a few days. Over 300 Afghani police or other officers have been killed this year so far. Over 100 people killed in the past three days (including the suicide bomb) in southern Afghanistan. The same paper that told us the “spring offensive” was being quashed indicated that violence has increased in recent months and that al Qaeda was launching a “new front” in Tora Bora.
There are more examples of this. The main point is that since the US cut and ran from Afghanistan for Iraq, things have gotten progressively worse in Afghanistan and Pakistan (not to mention Iraq, etc.). By ignoring the Taliban and al Qaeda, NATO has gotten bogged down in Afghanistan. By denying the increasing violence and the warnings of a “spring offensive”, nothing other than more death and destruction was accomplished.
Just because your head is in the sand (or in some other place) doesn’t mean that things don’t still happen. The Taliban talked of a “spring offensive”. They are and have been following through on this, regardless of whether anyone wants to deny it or not. And to ignore it or play dumb is reckless, careless and criminally arrogant.
Too bad we forgot to set our clocks and mark our calendars.