February 21, 2008

A ticking bomb

Filed under: Politics/News — Tags: , , , — 4fooey @ 1:53 pm

On Sunday (17 Feb) there was another suicide bomb in Southern Afghanistan killing over 100 people – the blast happened at a dog fight just outside the Afghan city of Kandahar, a growing stronghold of the Taleban we are told. On Monday another suicide bomber drove his car near to a NATO convoy of Canadian troops near to Kandahar, killing 36 civilians, mainly people selling fruit beside the road – no NATO troops were killed. And then on Tuesday, there was a remote-controlled car bomb blast in the same area killing at least one person. Last November, a suicide bombing in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan killed 79 people – mostly school pupils – the blast was believed to be organised by the Taleban. Read ‘Scores killed in Afghan bombing‘ for the account of Sunday’s attack.

It seems the Taleban have a growing influence in parts of Afghanistan and are using increasingly deadly attacks to hit the official government and NATO troups – as always in this situation, civilians suffer the most with hundreds dying over the past months.

The tactic of using suicide bombing in Iraq has also been deadly, reaching a peak in 2006/07 with almost daily bomb attacks killing scores of civilians. One of the bloodiest and most abhorent was on 1 Feb this year, when more than 70 people were killed by two bombs in Baghdad, attached to two mentally disabled women and detonated remotely – is it possible, on the part of those who organised these bombings, to be more depraved than this? The story is reported here: Twin bombs kill scores in Baghdad.

With the very delicate situation in Iraq (even after the so-called ‘surge’ by the US), the uncertainty in Pakistan (after the assassination of Benizir Bhutto) and the resurgence of islamists in Afghanistan, the signs are very worrying for the whole region, and the wider world. Given that Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, the times ahead are potentially very dangerous with the danger of these weapons falling into ‘the wrong hands’. Meanwhile the violence continues in Afghanistan and the will of NATO countries there seems to waiver. Read about the wider picture in Afghanistan here: ‘Life in Afghanistan‘.

The US attempts to wage its so-called ‘war on terror’ in Iraq have failed – the whole Iraq policy was completely mis-handled. But at the time of the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair was right to highlight the potentially deadly mix of Weapons of Mass Destruction with dictatorships (non-democratic states), islamist regimes, and/or radical religious extremism (with their jihadist and suicide bomber mentality). This is something the UN and western countries need to tackle before it’s too late.


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