At least 18 are dead including six NATO officials, five of them Americans, after a suicide attack by the Taliban. That news could sound like another rote report from Afghanistan -- except that Tuesday's attack didn't take place in that country's troubled south (what US commanders call "a Taliban stronghold.") Tuesday's attack took place in Kabul, the capital, where NATO forces were supposed to have ousted the Taliban years ago. Kabul is home to heavy military patrols, a slew of NGOS, and populated mostly by ethnic Tajiks, not the Pashtuns we're told dominate the Taliban. That a suicide bomber could drove 1,600 pounds of explosives into a NATO convoy in Kabul says all there is to say about the international mission to secure Afghanistan: it's not working.
Tuesday's attack took place on a busy thoroughfare near the Afghan parliament building, a stone's throw from a military recruiting and training center, just before Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to speak to the press about his US trip -- where he hailed his success in quelling the Taliban. In DC, Karzai and Obama are also said to have discussed an upcoming NATO and Afghan offensive in Kandahar, ("a southern Taliban "stronghold.") That plan is said to be on hold. Indeed. If the goal of troop escalation in the south is to make that part of the country more peaceful and Taliban resistant, like Kabul and the North. Well, Kabul to Houston: I think we have a problem.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com [http://TheNation.com]. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com [http://Twitter.com].