Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Taliban Targets Cheney

Reuters reports the blast in Bagram, Afghanistan that killed 20 was targeted at Darth Cheney by the Taliban. Darth lives. Read it here.


op99 said...

Just heard Norah O'Donnell on MSNBC (via a guest whose identity I didn't catch) dutifully repeating the administration spin that it was just a coinkydink that there happened to be a bombing while Deadeye was there. Uh-huh.

Anonymous said...

I thought this comment, which appears on TPM today, made a lot of sense (emphasis is mine):

"I think you can push your logic a step further. Sadly, attacks on US bases, even in Kabul, are far from unusual, and rarely deemed newsworthy - there were 139 suicide bombings last year in Afghanistan, and the number has been rising rapidly. This attacker did nothing to suggest he was attempting to strike a high-value target - he did not, for example, hurtle himself at a passing convoy or manage to infiltrate a secure area. It's certainly plausible that, as you suggest, his handlers noticed heightened security or preparations, and decided to time their attack to coincide with whatever might be going on, but there's not particular reason to believe that. But because a Taliban spokesman was clever enough to link the attack to Cheney, a fairly routine bombing is now a leading story around the world, and the Taliban has been able to turn a partly thwarted attack (the bomber was forced to detonate his load outside the base) into an enormous propoganda coup. I'd note that coalition forces and Cheney's security folks seem to have reached this conclusion - if they really thought that the attack was based on a security breach, they likely would have scrapped the rest of the visit, or at least altered his scheduled itinerary.

I actually think this is worth saying loudly. The public tends to rally around leaders, however unpopular, when they are attacked. It's in the Taliban's interest to convince the world that they're well-organized enough to have targeted Cheney, and in Cheney's interest not to expend too much effort rebutting that claim. But it's in our national interest not to take the Taliban's claim seriously in the absence of corroborating evidence - buying into this unsubstatiated claim undermines our efforts to reconstruct the war-torn country, and bolsters Cheney's reputation at the very moment he was becoming a laughingstock. Coalition forces were the apparent target this morning, and it is they who deserve our sympathy."


HopeSpringsATurtle said...

I do not disagree with your analysis Anne, in fact you bring to light a number of things I had not considered. My interest in posting this story is not to elevate the Taliban in esteem, but to highlight the increasing violence against the coalition on two fronts, ever making the point that our withdrawal from Iraq must be imminent as to further the buttressing of a fragile Afghanistan. Insofar as them changing Cheney's schedule if they feared a security breach, I don't think they believe security could be breached. The arrogance and hubris of BushCo has been exhibited ad nauseum and history tells us that brand of 'Roman' thought has been the downfall of many better men.

Anonymous said...

Hope - that wasn't my analysis, but one that Josh posted from a commenter at TPM.

Just thought it was a perspective worth a thought or two.