Saturday, April 16, 2011

Suicide du jour: Discontent, Death & Democracy

Pick a day any day.

Today not far from Kabul a suicider killed himself and 9 others.

That makes 10. All were equally valuable humans with potential.

All were men.

All were clothed in some variation of uniform.

All were clothed to convey a 'message', perform some act of 'service' which included murder.

Death was the intended objective of all who died and death was the result.

Like the rest of US and NATO media, the Reuters story and headline (see below) is constructed to convey a sense that some of the dead were more valued than others. Valuable to whom? The 'foreign' (quote from story) white, male even though they are the invaders and occupiers, while also being soldiers born of mothers and possibly having sisters.

The 4 Afghan soldiers are presented and implied as less valuable, male, brown, the 'locals' the ones in need of being led by the 'foreign' white, now also as dead as the ones they led. The suicide 'attacker' is constructed as faceless, nameless and perhaps he deserves to be (perhaps not), for his act of death, an act he shared with all the others he killed.

The Taliban, created by the USCIA during the US-invented Cold War with the USSR, claimed responsibility for the deaths.

I'll keep working on this blog entry for a while

Reuters copyright

Suicide attack kills 5 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan


Afghan blast kills nine troops AFP – Map locating Jalalabad in Afghanistan.A Taliban suicide bomber wearing an army uniform killed five foreign …

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By Rafiq Sherzad – 1 hr 49 mins ago

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber in an Afghan army uniform killed five foreign and four Afghan soldiers on Saturday at a sprawling desert base in the east of the country, the highest toll on NATO-led troops in a single attack for several months.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense said it was investigating whether the attacker was an insurgent disguised in a fake uniform, or the latest in a string of "rogue" members of the Afghan security forces who have turned on their colleagues and mentors.

On Friday, a suicide bomber in police uniform evaded tight security in police Headquarters in Kandahar city and killed Khan Mohammad Mujahid, provincial police chief of Kandahar.

The latest attack was inside one of the biggest military installations in increasingly volatile east Afghanistan, home to the 201st Corps of the Afghan army, Afghan officials say.

The NATO-led coalition said it happened on a neighboring foreign base, during a meeting. The two are located close together in the Gamberi desert, a remote area that stretches between Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.

"Our reporting indicates there was a meeting taking place and that is when the attack happened," said Major Tim James, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

The attack highlights the pressure the U.S. and NATO troops face as they rapidly train Afghan security forces to pave the way for critical security handover which begins later this year, in the face of a spiraling insurgency.

Over 120 foreign soldiers have died this year in Afghanistan, but this is the deadliest single incident since December last year, when a suicide car bomber killed six NATO and two Afghan troops in Kandahar province.


Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in an email statement, saying 12 foreign troops and 14 Afghan soldiers were killed. The group frequently exaggerates casualty figures.

He said the bomber was from central Daikondi province, had enlisted with the Afghan army a month ago and detonated his explosives at a meeting between Afghan and foreign troops.

The Defense Ministry declined immediate comment on whether the attacker was a real soldier, saying it was investigating.

The uniform does not prove conclusively that he was a soldier because Afghan security force outfits are readily available in markets across the country -- although their sale is technically illegal.

Despite tighter vetting began by Afghan authorities for recruits, there are worries about the Taliban's ability to infiltrate the Afghan security forces.

Western forces in Afghanistan have begun to train counter-intelligence agents to help root them out.

U.S. Lieutenant General William Caldwell, head of the U.S. and NATO training mission in Afghanistan, said earlier this week 222 agents had been trained since the program began last summer, and there was a target of 445 agents by the end of the year.

(Writing by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Emma Graham-Harrison)

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