A daily look at war, sports, and everything in between, by Amy Davidson.March 15, 2012
Afghanistan: Getting Out of the Way
What happened in Afghanistan Wednesday, just before Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s plane landed? Worse things than we knew at first, and what we knew—a stolen truck hurtling toward the runway—had been bad enough. (I wrote about the incident over at Daily Comment, in a post about the mystery of the anti-war voter.) The Washington Post quotes Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, as saying that the driver was an Afghan working for NATO forces as an interpreter:“He took a vehicle by force, drove it onto a ramp, at a high rate of speed, drove it at individuals who had to get out of the way to keep from getting hit by it, and then a flash of smoke and fire in the cab,” Kirby told reporters.
The “individuals who had to get out of the way” were senior Marine officers, according to the Post. And the truck was carrying canisters of gasoline, which were meant to explode; in the lesser fire, the attacker was burned over seventy per cent of his body and soon died. Who sent him? How did he get a job on the base, and so close to Panetta and others?
And what happened in Afghanistan Thursday? The Taliban said that they didn’t want to negotiate with us; President Hamid Karzai said that he wanted our troops in his country to only stay in bases. What would they be doing there, then? Waiting to be called out to thwart a palace coup against him? What, really, are they doing there now?
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Close Read: Afghanistan: Getting Out of the Way : The New Yorker