Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mayhem On Feroshgah Street: More 'Propaganda Of The Deed' From The Taliban

This was the scene I came upon this morning at the Ministry of Information and Culture headquarters here in Kabul. I took this photograph about an hour after the bombing, and it was still a madhouse.

Local radio initially reported that five workers and a police officer were killed after two suicide bombers charged the building, shot the cop, and burst their way inside. One of the bombers detonated his vest, but the other was shot, and was arrested and hauled off. An hour or so later, reports were that three were dead. Last I checked, it's one dead, and several injured. I'd be surprised if the toll stays that low, because it was one hell of a blast (although this report looks reliable). UPDATE: Looks like the initial reports were right. Five innocents dead.

At the time of the bombing I was a few minutes away, having tea with Fatana Gilani, head of the Afghanistan Women's Council. Gilani was trying to contain her fury about the ticking of the Afghanistan sell-out clock, which will likely inch a few seconds closer to midnight because of today's blast.

The ticking is commonly accompanied by the tinkling sounds of revisionist sanctimonium, amplified by half-assed journalism. Gilani's first point was that it is a good thing that Canada has long supported Afghan efforts at reconciliation, and last June (Mr. Layton should take note), Canada identified an "Afghan-led, internationally supported reconciliation process" as one of the six strategic objectives Canadian efforts will concentrate on.

Gilani's main point: The recent hullabaloo about the prospects for truce talks with the Taliban should be understood as a harbinger of something horrible, and no friend of the Afghan people should be happy with it. Foreign powers cannot be trusted to "negotiate" with the Taliban, and neither can President Karzai, who's been pleading for talks ever since he was elected. The Afghan people have been abandoned before, and quite enough thugs and gangsters have been accommodated by backroom deals in recent years. If there's any talking to do, it should be led by the masses of the Afghan people, she said, with a strong phalanx of Afghan women at the helm.


Blogger Patrick Ross said...

It isn't just the Taliban. Leaders should think twice about negotiating with other insurgent leaders, such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

He can be negotiated with. The problem is that he isn't reliable, and tends to go back to war with the government right away.

6:28 PM  

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