Ah, Kandahar ... land of the pomegranate and the palm- and/or ballistic-grenade (see DM #154-156 for a fulsome rhapsode on that strange fruit's metaphorical and combatical implications) ... you EXPLODE upon the headlines once again--this time in the CIVILIAN MURDER department, apropos of last several posts. We just can't get enough of "takin' pot-shots at the Gooks."
Here's Monday's AP/HuffPost lead:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan--Afghans burned tires and chanted "Death to America" after U.S. TROOPS FIRED ON A CIVILIAN BUS near Kandahar, killing four people and wounding more than a dozen. Afghanistan's president [Hamid Karzai] accused NATO of violating its commitment to safeguard civilian lives. (full report here)Ah, Kandahar ... of once-lovely place and vowelicious name, you threaten us with irony-overdose. Yes, you are the land of luscious pomegranate and lush-full opium-poppy, but also the fertile spawning-ground of the Taliban, and its major stronghold. You are also the birthplace of "democratically elected" Hamid Karzai, a former/major Talib himself, and will be once again, easily, if things don't go his way. For the execrable Mr. Karzai, as for all his Sunni-Pashtun brothers, Taliban or not, it's simply a matter of power-politics. Party affiliation, no more no less.
Hence the intractable, ultimately irresolvable problem--and why we must get the hell out--put in simple terms and Haiku-form for ease of memorization :
WE KILL CIVILIANS EVERY DAY,... because they're "one of us." The Americans, on the other hand, are the murderous foreigners, no matter the "collateral" justification. It was the non-overcome-able problem in Vietnam, and so it is in Pashtunwaliland. The awful fact is that NO AMOUNT of internecine slaughter-of-the-innocents by the Taliban will ever counter-balance the HATRED these people have for us infidel invaders--hatred, in microcosm, that can translate to a father (a Karzai-gov't employee who got off scot-free) stomping his daughter to death for fraternizing with a British soldier (DM #127 and ad nauseum).
AND SO DO THEY,
BUT THAT'S OKAY.
All the innocent bloodshed is reflexively blamed on "America." Listen to this Afghani implicitly absolving the militants of any responsibility:
"The Americans are CONSTANTLY KILLING OUR CIVILIANS and the government is not demanding an explanation," protester Mohammed Razaq said. "We demand justice from the Karzai government and the punishment of those soldiers responsible."Or this one:
"These FOREIGNERS have their enemies [someone/somehow or other], but killing Afghans is not the answer," said Abdul Hadi ... "Better yet, I would like to see them LEAVE Afghanistan," he added.So might it just be possible that the following contains a grain of truth?--
The attack ... DEALT A FRESH BLOW to U.S. and NATO efforts TO WIN POPULAR SUPPORT [???!!!] for a coming offensive to drive the insurgents from the biggest city in the south. (AP 4-12-10)The City of Pomegranates, Kandahar the Beautiful.