Afghan Update

July 14, 2009

Afghanistan Helicopter Crash Kills Six in Helmand At least six people have been killed in a helicopter crash in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, Nato says…The passengers were all civilians on board a private aircraft, a spokesman for Nato-led forces said. It is not clear what caused the incident. [AFP says seven died]

Taliban target Canadian model village project in Kandahar province Taliban insurgents have targeted a high-profile Canadian project in Kandahar province with a suicide bomb attack and ambush…A suicide bomber blew his vehicle up at an Afghan National Army outpost outside the village of Deh-e-Bagh, south of Kandahar city, on Monday night and a firefight ensued with armed insurgents.

The village was unveiled just last month in what Canadian military officials hope will be just the first, where reconstruction and the prospect of employment might convince Afghans to turn away from the insurgents.

US: 2 Marines killed in southern Afghanistan A U.S. military spokeswoman says two Marines have been killed in southern Afghanistan…The spokeswoman says the two were killed in a “hostile incident” in the southern Helmand province on Monday. She spoke on condition that she not be identified because she wasn’t authorized to release the information.

Karzai promises Taliban talks if re-elected Afghan President Hamid Karzai flew Monday into the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar on his first trip outside Kabul since campaigning began for the August presidential elections…Speaking to hundreds of tribal elders from Kandahar and the neighbouring provinces of Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul — all hotbeds of Taliban insurgency — Karzai vowed to tackle the unrest gripping the nation through talks if re-elected.

“We’ll be talking with the Taliban, the opponents, solving the problems through talks, if people voted again for me,” Karzai told the crowd in a government guest house in Kandahar city.

Italian paratrooper killed in Afghanistan An Italian paratrooper was killed and three were wounded Tuesday in an attack with explosives in western Afghanistan, the defence ministry said…”A patrol was attacked this morning with an explosive device around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Farah,” a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. “Three men were wounded while a fourth was killed.”

Six-10 Afghan police killed every day: govt Afghanistan’s extremist insurgency has claimed the lives of six to 10 police every day since March with nearly 50 killed in attacks in the past week alone, the government said Sunday…Militant strikes had over the past seven days also killed 69 civilians, showing a 37-percent increase over the week before, interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told reporters.

Explosion Kills Afghan Police Chief and 3 Officers Four other policemen were wounded in the explosion that killed the police chief in Jalrez, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Seamus Milne (the Guardian) Our wartime propaganda From the way official Britain pontificates about the war in Afghanistan, you’d never know that most British people want troops withdrawn by the end of the year and only a minority have supported the US-led campaign for years.

Today’s ICM poll for the Guardian and the BBC’s Newsnight shows 56% want all British troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, and 60% by 2011, against 36% who want them to stay until “they are no longer needed”.

…62% still believe British forces are either making no difference in Afghanistan worse or making it worse – and 47%, against 46%, say they oppose the “British military operation” outright. And interestingly, given what New Labour used to claim about social attitudes to the Iraq war, some of the strongest opposition to the war comes from working class people.

And, from the Sun:

We had boys killed last week who were in primary school when the first Brits went to the Afghan front…Do we need the nursery classes of today to be the cannon fodder of tomorrow before we learn how unwinnable a war we’re fighting?

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2 Responses to “Afghan Update”

  1. Watson Says:

    Listening to politicians and phone-ins, I am astonished at the certainty with which people declare that our troops are in Afghanistan to keep our streets safe. I just do not have the intellect to make a connection between a country in Mid-Asia and the security of my family. I can develop a convoluted thread of argument about Al Qaeda training suicide bombers to come over here to do what they do, but I cannot think that this is plausible. Every plausible strand of thinking leads me to the conclusion that we have no business there. The supporters of the occupation delude themselves with post hoc rationalisation.

  2. szamko Says:

    Yes indeed. Parts of the press have become remarkably enthusiastic about the Afghan campaign, and has resorted to blatant (and absurd) scaremongering.

    The Mirror, for example: “Pull out now and the Taliban and its alQaeda allies would return to Afghanistan…And the frontline would shift from Asia to British streets.”


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