This report began with an account of Afghan soldiers and police officers harassing and beating local civilians for refusing to cooperate in a search. It then related the story of a district police commander who forced himself on a 16-year-old girl. When a civilian complained, the report continued, “The district commander ordered his bodyguard to open fire on the AC [Afghan civilian]. The bodyguard refused, at which time the district commander shot [the bodyguard] in front of the AC.”
A car accident turned deadly when an argument broke out between the police and the Afghan National Army. “The argument escalated and ANA & ANP started to shoot at each other,” a report said.
In a short but heated meeting at the presidential palace, the Kabul police chief,
Brig. Gen. Mir Amanullah Gozar, angrily refuted accusations made publicly by Jamil Karzai that he was corrupt and lacked professional experience. The report of the meeting identified Jamil Karzai as the president’s brother; he is in fact a cousin.
General Gozar “said that if Jamil were not the president’s Brother he would kidnap, torture, and kill him,” the report said. He added that he was aware of plans by the American-led coalition to remove him from his post.
He threatened the president, saying that if he were replaced he would reveal “allegations about Karzai having been a drug trader and supporter of the Pakistan-led insurgency in Afghanistan,” presumably a reference to Mr. Karzai’s former links with the Taliban.
Afghan police officers shot a local driver who tried to speed through their checkpoint on a country road in Ghazni Province south of Kabul. The police had set up a temporary checkpoint on the highway just outside the main town in the district of Ab Band.
A car approached the check point at a high rate of speed,” the report said. All the police officers fled the checkpoint except one. As the car passed the checkpoint it knocked down the lone policeman. He fired at the vehicle, apparently thinking that it was a suicide car bomber.
“The driver of the vehicle was killed,” the report said. “No IED [improvised explosive device] was found and vehicle was destroyed.”
The police officer was detained in the provincial capital, Ghazni, and questioned. He was then released. The American mentoring the police concluded in his assessment that the policeman’s use of force was appropriate. Rather than acknowledging the public hostility such episodes often engender, the report found a benefit: it suggested that the shooting would make Afghans take greater care at checkpoints in the future.
“Effects on the populace clearly identify the importance of stopping at checkpoints,” the report concluded.
Shortly after five American rockets destroyed a compound in Paktika Province, helicopter-borne commandos from Task Force 373 — a classified Special Operations unit of Army Delta Force operatives and members of the Navy Seals — arrived to finish the job.
The mission was to capture or kill Abu Laith al-Libi, a top commander for Al Qaeda, who was believed to be hiding at the scene of the strike.
But Mr. Libi was not there. Instead, the Special Operations troops found a group of men suspected of being militants and their children. Seven of the children had been killed by the rocket attack.
Some of the men tried to flee the Americans, and six were quickly killed by encircling helicopters. After the rest were taken as detainees, the commandos found one child still alive in the rubble, and performed CPR for 20 minutes.
Word of the attack spread a wave of anger across the region, forcing the local governor to meet with village elders to defuse the situation.
American military officials drew up a list of “talking points” for the governor, pointing out that the target had been a senior Qaeda commander, that there had been no indications that women and children would be present and that a nearby mosque had not been damaged.
After the meeting, the governor reported that local residents were in shock, but that he had “pressed the Talking Points.” He even “added a few of his own that followed in line with our current story.”
The attack was caused by the “presence of hoodlums,” the governor told the people. It was a tragedy that children had been killed, he said, but “it could have been prevented had the people exposed the presence of insurgents in the area.”
This last one is my favorite, six children killed and another who was, not alive per se but alive enough for CPR; lacking any obviously fatal external trauma, so his mother could look at her sons corpse without getting all distressed.
President Obama needs to know that the political damage to him and his party will be the same no matter what he does. If he pulls out, it will be beacuse those damned liberals were once again too weak to impose America's will. If he keeps our forces there, and they inevitably continue to flounder, it will be because those damned liberals were once again too weak to impose America's will. The Taliban will never stop. Is futile to try to browbeat a gang of frustrated and stupid men into surrender when killing and being killed by agents of a foreign empire is their only means of feeling important.
So since the president has nothing to lose by doing the right thing and pulling out I myself must respectfully demand that he do so. My country already had quite enough blood on its hands before the most recent entanglements in Western Asia, and to get more on when hands now when there is nothing to gain except the bleeding away of our own lives and money that we don't actually have is something far beyond insane.