This time, on a landmark Kabul hotel, in which 21 were killed, including the 9 insurgents. In a previous post, I spoke about how, a decade after the initial invasion of their country, the Taliban are still coordinating these skillful attacks against the coalition forces. While all of the attackers were killed, they left behind a trail of venomous carnage. Stories like this remind me of my reading on the Vietnam War, and lessons that we should have learned from that, such as that you can win virtually every battle and still lose to an opponent via a sheer force of will and a willingness to sacrifice anything and everything.
It also reminded me of something that someone said, I forget where I saw or read this. This person was speaking of 9/11 and said that the total budget for the plotting and implementation of the attack ran something like $500,000. He then contrasted that with U.S. government spending in response to 9/11, which numbers in the trillions. I don't think it requires much imagination to see where repeated instances of this would lead, to a country that spends itself into oblivion. Assuming that Bin Laden was the ringleader of the 9/11 attacks, he said that he wanted to engage the U.S. in economic warfare. Well, I think the end result was beyond his wildest dreams, and he might be well on his way to see his wish, albeit posthumously. Just think of how much it cost to train those NATO troops and Afghan soldiers who engaged in combat with the Taliban, as well as the helicopter and the weaponry that was used in this fight.
To close, a quote from one of Hamid Karzai's senior aides brings back memories. He referred to the attackers as "cowards", as Bush and many others did of the 9/11 attackers. As Bill Maher famously pointed out, risking your own life, no matter how fucked up the objectives, is not exactly cowardly. Many other things (depraved, demented, whether synonym you prefer), but not cowardly, in my book.