Kandahar, a battlefield even before U.S. offensive

Carlotta Gall reports from Kandahar:

American forces have begun operations to push back Taliban insurgents in this most important southern province, the birthplace and spiritual home of the Taliban, and a full-scale offensive is expected in coming weeks.

But the Taliban have already turned this city into a battlefield as they prepare for the operation, which American officials hope will be decisive in breaking the insurgency’s grip on southern Afghanistan.

When American forces all arrive, they will encounter challenges larger than any other in Afghanistan. Taliban suicide bombings and assassinations have left this city virtually paralyzed by fear. The insurgents boldly walk the streets, visit shops and even press people into keeping guns and other supplies in their houses for them in preparation for urban warfare, residents say.

The government, corrupt and ineffective, lacks almost any popular support. Anyone connected to the government lives in fear of assassination. Its few officials sit barricaded behind high blast walls. Services are scant. Security, people say, is at its worst since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.

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1 thought on “Kandahar, a battlefield even before U.S. offensive

  1. DE Teodoru

    Four suicides in Moscow and SecState Clinton puts forward her crazy notion that it’s all one issue, Russia and US vs. terrorism. Whatever evil US imposed on Afghans it is more from command incompetence and wanting to keep down out losses rather than Moscow’s insistence on conquering territory by sanitizing it of natives. We seek to prosecute in open court as criminals terrorists who visited death upon us, not exterminate all people sharing their ethnic roots. So how could we be rowing side-by-side the same boat as Putin? We look for an ecologic balance as the solution but Putin wants to kill every fish in the sea to repopulate with a more docile stock. Nothing troubles their exploitation of the region. Their tradition goes back to the Tsars, killing out of weakness of both might and right while ours involves a promise of attempting to remove the motive for terrorizing us. Admittedly, under Israeli tutelage, US forces had almost become like Russian and Israeli forces, both influenced by the old KGBers who either migrated to Israel or stood with Putin, both devoted to scorched earth lebensraum expansion into their near abroad. Some of Stalin’s tutors moved to Israel and some stayed home; but Sec. Clinton’s words would make one think they also moved and taken the lead in the US military. So far this seems far from true so for America to be characterized as of one with Russia (ipso-facto one with Israel) in fighting terrorism paralyzes the moral grounds on which our moral reproach to the Zionazis is based. Was this indeed her intent? Too many Americans died to uphold the American military morality at war for her to so reckless make our war on terror one with that of Putin’s scorched earth in Chechnya and Israel’s assault on Gaza (both of similar source of mentors). How low will she stoop for victory in 2012?

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