We are losing the war on terror. Here’s more evidence that Bush’s policy of ignoring Afghanistan in order to pour money and lives down their Iraqi black hole is a complete and utter failure. The very military base where Vice President Cheney was staying during his unannounced visit to Afghanistan was targeted and attacked by a suicide bomber:
A suicide bomber killed at least two foreign soldiers, one an American, outside the main US military base in Afghanistan today during a visit by Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President.
Mr Cheney was not hurt in the attack but the explosion sent up a plume of smoke visible to reporters inside the base who were traveling with him and American military officials declared a red alert inside the compound.
The blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at Bagram, where there is a small market. One stall holder called the explosion “huge” and said many of the casualties were taken inside the base for treatment.
Mr Cheney had spent the night at Bagram but left the base about 90 minutes after the 10am blast to travel to Kabul for a planned meeting with President Karzai.
Bush is surging troops into in Iraq, and threatening Iran with the “military option.” Meanwhile the Taliban has returned in strength to the Afghan countryside, Al Qaeda has reorganized and reconstituted itself in Northwestern Pakistan, and yes, Osama Bin Ladin is still alive and on the loose 5 and 1/2 years after the 9/11 attacks. Oh, and, as Seymour Hersh has reported, Bush is now helping to finance a religious war in the Middle East between radical Shi’ites (who hate us) and radical Sunnis (who hate us more). That’s right Bush is helping Sunni terrorist organizations with ties to Al Qaeda.
And the security situation in Afghanistan is so poor that the Taliban was able to mount a suicide bomb attack against the very US base where Cheney was supposedly being kept safe before his meeting with President Karzai in Kabul. The Taliban knew when Cheney arrived at Bagram and was able to mount a coordinated attack despite all of the secrecy surrounding the Vice President’s itinerary. Not exactly a a cheery thought, is it?
I am glad that Mr. Cheney is unharmed. Unlike Ann Coulter and the bomb throwers on the right which the Washington Post and TIME magazine see fit to laud at every opportunity, I do not wish for the death of any human being, even someone who is likely guilty of war crimes, such as Dick Cheney. I am, however, saddened by the deaths of those who suffered most from the effects of that blast which was aimed at Mr. Cheney, as well as the deaths of all the people, Americans and Iraqis and Afghanis, whose lives have been cut short by the reckless and incompetent actions of the Bush administration since 9/11.
Terrorist attacks are on the increase since we invaded Iraq and abandoned Afghanistan. At the same time, the ability of our military to respond to major threats has declined, and homeland security measures to protect our most vulnerable facilities and populations have been intentionally given short shrift by President Bush.
This attack on Vice President Cheney is in many ways a metaphor for all of those failures. We have not been made safer by President Bush’s “War on Terror.” Quite the contrary. And should the day come when Al Qaeda is actually able to explode a nuclear device in one of our cities, as a former head of a CIA unit responsible for Al Qaeda recently claimed, the blame for that attack will fall heavily on the individual most responsible for our misguided war policies: Dick Cheney.