season

Opening Week: Baseball and Bombs

The Yankees and Red Sox both finally won games yesterday after starting their seasons 0-3, while the Taliban have opened their season with a new offense.

The very fact that the US has been in Afghanistan so long that the press uses matter-of-fact phrasing to refer to the opening of fighting season demonstrates the depravity to which this war has descended. Today saw a number of bomb attacks across Afghanistan, with the death toll approaching 20 at the time of this writing.

The opening of the season, as described by the Washington Post:

At least 18 people, including police and civilians, were killed in attacks in Afghanistan on Tuesday, a spate of violence that coincides with the start of the country’s traditional fighting season.

Reuters notes the opening in this way:

Suicide bombers killed at least nineteen people in attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday, including 11 Afghan police, as insurgents ramped up violence ahead of the traditional summer fighting months.

To their credit, the New York Times avoided the season cliche, but their article was centered on the Herat bombing alone.

In crafting its new version of “victory” language, NATO is claiming that the Taliban will not be carrying out a spring offensive this year aimed at large NATO bases. Instead, as today’s bombings demonstrate, it appears that the targets will be Afghan security forces, government officials and civilians.

Returning to the Reuters article:

A NATO spokesman on Monday said insurgents had so far shown no sign of planning a repeat of last year’s unified spring offensive against foreign and Afghan forces, preferring isolated attacks on small units and bases.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the Helmand attack, saying it had been targeting the district governor and police chief, as well as other government officials.

Attacking Afghan police units and local authorities will make the planned exit of NATO forces much more difficult if these attacks result in fewer Afghans being willing to serve in these positions, since the stated strategy is to hand over authority to them as NATO forces withdraw.

So far, I’ve found no evidence that anyone has formed a fantasy league for the fighting in Afghanistan, so we haven’t completely plumbed the depths of how low this can go.

Update: Oh my. Alissa Rubin has updated her New York Times article so that it now covers the whole string of bombings, not just Herat. The new opening paragraph:

In a further sign that the insurgents’ spring offensive is under way, suicide bombers struck in western and southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing as many as 18 people, according to Afghan officials in Herat and Helmand, where the attacks took place.

 

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @KellyFlood3 I have come to accept that my dog will be more important in internet life, despite a decade or more, than I will. Oh well!
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jilliancyork Woof!! Yikes is missed http://t.co/ujHOwJ0EQs
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Three Americans Are Killed in a Shooting at Kabul Airport , via @nytimes http://t.co/5CLD6I2i50
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel A sterling, though not quite gold, point you make.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @LeslieMolony Yeah. Pretty sure that was yesterday's rat that she let age a while.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @ColMorrisDavis: @bmaz I agree.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @Sunshine2015K: @bmaz Recall Petition filed against Snohomish County Prosecutor 4 misappropriation of public funds; residents fed up w/c…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz If there is a dumber show about law on popular TV than "How to Get Away With Murder", it is hard to imagine what it could possibly be.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @HinaShamsi In retrospect, writing GWOT Finding to permit CIA to do whatever they want w/detainees, including torture might not @Krhawkins5
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz Well, he'll be sure to use those same steak secrets against me if he ever tries to prosecute. There's precedent, you know.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @MikeScarcella: Chicago prosecutors drop drug conspiracy charges against more than two dozen defendants in ATF stash-house stings http:/…
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel There is no accounting for taste. Anywhoo, you cannot inquire into "steak secrets" according to my friend the Clap.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2015
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031