Five British soldiers are dead today, fatalities of see-no-Islam political correctness. The story from the AP:
KABUL— An Afghan policeman opened fire on British soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing five before fleeing, British and Afghan authorities said Wednesday, raising concerns about discipline within the Afghan forces and possible infiltration by insurgents.
The attack Tuesday afternoon came a month after an Afghan policeman on patrol with U.S. soldiers fired on the Americans, killing two.
And a couple of months after an Afghan policeman in Kabul shot and seriously wounded an American soldier on a "U.S. police mentoring team."
Training and operating jointly with Afghan police and soldiers is key to NATO's strategy of dealing with the spreading Taliban-led insurgency and, ultimately, allowing international forces to leave Afghanistan.
Attacks such as these will heighten concern about the effectiveness of the Afghan forces.
The effectiveness???? How about concern about their loyalty?
Lt. Col. David Wakefield, spokesman for the British forces, told Sky News that the soldiers had been mentoring Afghan national police and had been working and living in the police checkpoint in Helmand's Nad-e-Ali district.
"It is our initial understanding that an individual Afghan policeman possibly acting in conjunction with one other started firing inside the checkpoint before fleeing from the scene," he said.
A Helmand police official said authorities searched through the night and on Wednesday for the attacker. He said the man had been working as a police officer in the area for three years, and had passed through a police academy in Kandahar. The official, who spoke on condition his name not be used because of the sensitivity of the situation, said it was unclear what his motives were.
Is that Dar al-Islam or Duh al-Islam?
The attacker was on the roof of a police checkpoint and opened fire on the British soldiers, who returned fire. Six other soldiers were wounded, as were two Afghan policemen, NATO forces headquarters in Kabul said in a statement.
NATO said the attack was being investigated by NATO forces and Afghan authorities.
The British fatalities were among the largest in a single incident in Afghanistan. They brought the total number of British forces who have died in Afghanistan to 229. Britain has 9,000 troops in the country, the second largest force after the United States. Last month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced plans to increase troop numbers by 500.
Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah who was the main challenger to President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan's recent fraud-marred election, said the continuing violence showed the Karzai administration had failed to bring peace to the country despite assistance from international forces.
It's unclear whether Abdullah Abdullah is commenting directly on the murder of the British troops. If so, the phrase "continuing violence" deflects attention from the implications of an act of perfidy that reveals the insoluable conflict between Islam and post-Christendom built into our misbegotten "nation-building" project.
"As far as the presence of international forces in Afghanistan is concerned, eight years of golden opportunity we have missed. You were here. Your soldiers were here, and they have made sacrifices for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan," Abdullah said during a news conference in Kabul.
"But eight years down the road we still need more troops. In the absence of a credible and reliable and legitimate partner, more soldiers, more resources" are needed, he said.
That's well and good for AA. But how do you say "nada" in Pashtun? That's what we get in return for this gargantuan Western effort.
Presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said it was an isolated attack.
Sure. Just as last month's Afghan attack on US forces, killing two, was an isolated attack. And just as September's Afghan attack on US forces, wounding one, was an isolated attack. And just as the September ambush at Ganjgal, likely aided by Afghan forces, that killed four US Marines was an isolated attack. And just as August's "fire sack" ambush, likely aided by Afghan forces, killing Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, was an isolated attack. It's simply amazing how many "isolated" attacks there have been (see below for more).
"These are incidents that can happen anywhere. The crazy man who has done this has also attacked the Afghan police," he told the AP. "You can't use this isolated incident to say that there is a problem with the police force of Afghanistan. In the U.S., people shoot up people in a shopping mall. There are crazy people everywhere."
Not that we don't have garden-variety monsters who "shoot up" shopping malls, but the Afghan spokesman has unwittingly connected some jihadi dots here. Chances are the Afghan policeman killed the British soldiers to advance Allah's law. Well, consider a couple of shopping mall killers, or wannabe killers, in the news of late: They were doing the same thing.
There's "Massachusetts man" Tarek Mehanna, who was recently arrested and charged with plotting attacks on shopping malls as part of his "violent jihad" against America. And there's John Allen Muhammed, the "DC sniper," who, with his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, terrorized the Washington area by "shooting up" shopping malls, gas stations, etc., back in 2002 in a free-lance jihad that murdered at least 10 people. (Muhammed is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Virginia on November 10.) You didn't know Muhhammed was a jihadist? See Michelle Malkin's gallery of Malvo's jihad drawings here for a refresher.
Back to the Afghanistan:
Karzai issued a statement condemning the killings and offering condolences to the people of Britain and the relatives of the soldiers.
Sounds numbingly perfunctory.
The commander of international forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said he discussed the shooting with Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, who "gave me his assurance that this incident will be fully and transparently investigated."
"We will not let this event deter our resolve to building a partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces to provide for Afghanistan's future," he said in a joint statement issued by NATO forces and the ministry.
In other words, all of these dead soldiers are sacrifices Gen. McChrystal is willing to make on the altar of multiculturally-driven zealotry.
Atmar said the attack "appears to be an isolated incident."
More "isolated incidents":
Last year, Afghan policemen twice attacked American soldiers in the space of about month. In October 2008, a policeman threw a grenade and opened fire on a U.S. foot patrol, killing one soldier, while in September, an officer opened fire at a Paktia police station, killing a soldier and wounding three before he was fatally shot.
Peter Galbraith, the former top American official at the U.N. mission in Afghanistan who had called attention to fraud charges in the country's presidential election, told British radio that police training and recruiting had been "rushed" in Afghanistan.
"It is a terrible tragedy but it is, I won't quite say inevitable, but it is not surprising," he told BBC Radio 4.
Is he saying that more training would have prevented this attack?
"The process of police training and recruiting has been very rushed. Normally the police get an eight-week training course. That is actually very short and there isn't a lot of vetting of police before they are hired."
The Afghan policeman suspected in today's attack was on the force for three years. How much more "vetting" is Galbraith talking about?
Such attacks have also occurred in Iraq, where U.S. and coalition forces are engaged in a similar process of mentoring and training the Iraqi army and police.
In February, two Iraqi policeman opened fire at a police outpost in northern Iraq, killing an American soldier and an interpreter and wounding three U.S. soldiers _ the fourth attack since late 2007 with suspected links to Iraqi security units.
In London, Brown extended his condolences to the soldiers' families.
"They fought to make Afghanistan more secure, but above all to make Britain safer from the terrorism and extremism which continues to threaten us from the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.
Geography lesson: How does "terrorism" and "extremism" (they never, ever say "jihad" and "sharia") in the "border areas" of Afpak possibly threaten Great Britain? Answer: They don't. They only threaten Great Britain, along with other Western governments, so long as we continue to let jihad (terrorism) and sharia (extremism) inside our countries.