July 11, 2006


Taliban in search of a winning formula (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 12 July 2006)

KARACHI - The Taliban's spring offensive in Afghanistan is now three months old. It is the biggest ever mounted against foreign forces in the country since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, and it has taken a heavy toll on insurgency as well as coalition forces.
And, according to one of the Taliban's top 10 commanders who spoke to Asia Times Online, the rising spiral of death is just the tip of the iceberg and the coalition's "Operation Mountain Thrust" in the southwest of the country will be severely challenged...
Despite Jangvi's optimism, though, the fact is that the Taliban have only inflicted about 100 casualties on coalition forces in the past three months, while the body count of Taliban and civilians in southwestern Afghanistan, most of them Taliban supporters, is estimated at more than 2,000...
And critically, in some areas the insurgency has degenerated into an unholy mess of internecine strife, so much so that even Karzai has decried the bloodshed and called on coalition forces to alter their tactics as "even the Taliban are sons of the soil"...
Jangvi is unperturbed, though. "More foreign troops means more of their casualties. This would be the time for the world Muslim community to understand that jihad in Afghanistan has reached a significant level and it is time again to help the resistance with manpower and money."

That "internecine strife" and 20 to 1 kill ration has really raised their spirits.

Posted by Pepys at July 11, 2006 1:40 PM

Oh yeah, I was in a heavy metal band in High School called Internecine Strife. We did mostly Smiths covers.

Posted by: Pepys at July 11, 2006 1:51 PM

I believe 20:1 is the casualty ratio. The kill ratio is higher.

Posted by: pj at July 11, 2006 3:10 PM

Pepys' band caused more lasting damage to civilization with their Smiths covers than the Taliban could hope to cause in three years of an "offensive" this militarily inept.

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 11, 2006 3:20 PM

Our Girlfriend in a Coma was something to behold.

Posted by: Pepys at July 11, 2006 4:21 PM

Pepys, how do you feel about other webloggers stealing your material?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 11, 2006 5:45 PM

We're gonna take it to the parking lot after our last set.

Posted by: Pepys at July 11, 2006 5:48 PM

-- Karzai has decried the bloodshed and called on coalition forces to alter their tactics as "even the Taliban are sons of the soil"...--

You're going to have to choose, Karzai.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 11, 2006 7:52 PM

There is an interesting ambiguity here in the use of the word "internecine." The word is supposed to mean exceptionally bloody, as to describe, for example, the battle of Blenheim. Unfortunately, the word has been so commonly misused to indicate something like intramural, pitting brother against brother, such as the battle of Pharsalus, that the made-up meaning has become accepted as a legitimate alternate.


Presumably, the word could be used either way, or both ways at once, to describe Antietam-Sharpsburg. I point this out because the use of the word here is similarly ambiguous, leaving us wondering which meaning is intended.

Thus once again sloppy, undisciplined usage has destroyed a perfectly good word.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 12, 2006 6:26 AM