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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Meanwhile, in the first Bush Quagmire

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan and U.S. troops backed by warplanes killed as many as 50 militants in a daylong battle near the Pakistani border, the U.S. military said Tuesday, one of the bloodiest clashes since American forces entered Afghanistan.

At least one Afghan soldier also was killed and three others wounded in Monday's fighting in Khost province, a former al Qaeda stronghold about 120 miles south of the capital, Kabul.

"Allied forces staved off rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun fire throughout the day and into the night," a U.S. military statement said. "The exact number of enemy casualties is unknown, but pilots flying overhead estimated that approximately 40-50 insurgents were killed."
I'm sure, in some pathetic veterans hospital in Russia, the patients are having a long, bitter laugh at the foolish Americans getting caught in the same mess they were caught in 20 years ago.

CNN's headline for the story is "U.S.: Afghan battle leaves 50 dead." Even though that's the upper range of estimates from pilots flying overhead. Of course, everyone they killed is an "insurgent" by definition. Two years ago they would have said "al Qaeda or Taliban," but how can you claim victory in the war for opium if you keep killing the same people over and over? Why do I bother asking--they'll say whatever they want whenever they want, secure in the knowledge that 99% of the country can't remember two weeks ago, much less two years.