Monday, July 2, 2012

Taliban momentum: Seven civilians killed, 23 wounded in Kandahar, Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber killed seven people and wounded 23 near Kandahar University in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the AP reported.

The attack occurred near the gates of the university; the victims were all civilians.

Attacks in Kandahar [and other parts of Afghanistan] have been on the rise.

During his visit to Afghanistan in May, President Obama said that the "tide [of the Taliban] had turned" and that "we broke the Taliban's momentum." However, the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers, after returning from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan in May, said that the Taliban had grown stronger over the last three years.

"Attacks [in Afghanistan] are up," said Feinstein. "I think we'd both say that what we've found is that the Taliban is stronger." Rep. Rogers agreed with Feinstein's assessment.

The New York Times reported in May that the phrase "Afghan Good Enough" has been making the rounds at the White House and State Department.

"Gone is the much greater expectation that NATO will leave behind a cohesive central government with real influence beyond Kabul and a handful of other population centers," the Times reported. "Gone is the assumption that Helmand Province, Kandahar and the rest of the heavily contested south — where the bulk of the 2010 influx of troops was sent — will remain entirely in the control of the central government once that area is transferred to Afghanistan's fledgling national security forces."

New York Times Washington correspondent, David Sanger, author of a new book on the Obama administration's handling of the Afghan War, noted in a recent interview that "it seems fairly likely that a few years from now, we will see some parts of [Afghanistan] that are significantly under Taliban control."

Nevertheless, if Obama - the political rhetorician-in-chief - says "we broke the Taliban's momentum" that's really all that matters; all statements that run contrary to Obama's, are just the same old, worn out truisms.

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