Kabul awoke to a good size suicide attack this morning at 8:30 a.m. Kabul-time killing several civilians and injuring five NATO ISAF troops. Twelve Afghan security forces were injured as well as six Afghan civilians. ISAF Commander General Stanley A. McChrystal blazed through to assess the situation escorted by Italian Carabinieri. McChrystal only said “I am concerned about anyone who is trying to kill innocent Afghans” before he and his guards barged through to the crime scene leaving the media in their wake. Canadian Brig. Gen. Eric Trembley briefed the press about 50 metres from the site of the attack. A lone bomber worked his way through various checkpoints and detonated a VBIED in front of the main gate. A coup for insurgent intelligence gathering and an embarrassment for NATO just five days before the presidential election. “It tells a lot about the Taleban code of conduct” Trembley told those assembled, referring to the tete-a-tete NATO and Mullah Muhammed Omar have been having this summer over the limiting of civilian casualties. I asked Trembley whether the bomber was working along or with another operative guiding him to the target. He stated that it was too early to get into anything that specific until the ANA finished conducting its forensic investigation. Italian, French, American, British and Canadian soldiers milled about while the local fire department dealt with the smoking debris. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack very close to the fortified blast walls of the American embassy in Kabul’s Orwellian diplomatic quarter.
I disconnected with my driver and was waiting around for a taxi when two educated local boys approached me in perfect English saying the such suicide attacks, the de rigueur method of the post-modern jihadist, are forbidden within the ideological confines of Islam. One of them presciently asked “Why do you think we muslims are doing this to each other?” Not wanting to get into a debate, I replied that there was a sickness that had permeated very deeply in the political core of the ummah, the global Muslim community, and things like literacy and opportunity were the only weapons against such narrow barbarism. “What is your religion?” the other asked. “I’m a (Catholic) Christian” I replied.
“Ahh you Christians have big hearts. You are here trying to help us. Who is your bishop?”
I tried to explain that I’m an avid secularist which is unfathomable in such a pious, poor country where belief in God is the only thing millions have to cling to.