Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist.”     Lord Acton

February 27, 2007

A Taliban Propaganda Coup

by Doug Mataconis

While the world’s attention has been focused on Iraq for the past four years, today the Taliban reminded us that there’s another country in the Middle East that we n eed to worry about:

Vice President Cheney was shuttled into a bomb shelter at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan this morning after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the main gate in an attack Taliban officials say was aimed at the vice president.

Cheney was uninjured and in no real danger from the blast, which killed at least four people, including a U.S. soldier, at the gate of the Bagram Airfield.

It wasn’t a major attack, but it was enough to remind people that the Afghan War, which was started because the Taliban were harboring, and allied with, the men responsible for September 111th, isn’t really over either and that the Taliban and al Qaeda still haven’t been defeated. It may even be partially responsible for the jitters affecting world financial markets today.

As I argued last week, the real legacy of the Iraq War may be the fact that it diverted the United States from it’s fight against the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans five years ago and who, as they reminded us today, remain a real threat today.

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3 Comments

  1. Ugh. “Propaganda coup”? It’s sad but true that this is how it is getting played in the media. They were able to blow up a bomb outside the gate…there was no security breach; the terrorists just got lucky enough to get close enough to the gate to kill some coalition forces. Attacks like these happen almost every day over in Iraq and Afghanistan. This time the bombers got lucky in that they managed to kill some coalition personnel.

    As for the diversion from Afghanistan, that country is largely under the NATO-led ISAF’s control. It’s indirectly a U.S. affair, in the sense that the U.S. is a member of NATO, but to argue that Iraq has somehow distracted us from Afghanistan is a bit of a red herring. The U.S. still has 8,000 non-ISAF troops (primarily) deployed in Eastern Afghanistan, helping to train the ANA and hunt down al-Q operatives and the like.

    The larger issue is not of how many troops the U.S. can send, but of whether or not all of NATO is going to step up to the plate. It’s an important issue, obviously, but not really directly related to Iraq.

    See here (follow the links) for some of my writing on the subject: http://noangst.blogspot.com/2007/02/britain-expands-nato-commitment.html

    Comment by mike — February 27, 2007 @ 5:04 pm
  2. Mike,

    It may have been a small bomb, but it was detonated outside of the largest U.S. Base in the country when the Vice-President was there.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2007 @ 5:12 pm
  3. Doug,

    We’ve been handing the Taliban propaganda coups since 9/11. Why is this no different?

    Comment by Kevin — February 27, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

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