If there were any doubt the spring would bring an upsurge of violence in Afghanistan, the past few days have removed it. Stories like this
abound in which dozens of people are killed in various battles, and now an allied counteroffensive
is killing dozens of both Taliban fighters and civilians. Amidst it all, President Karzai is blaming Pakistan
, saying that while it cracks down on al-Qaeda, it is letting the Taliban go, and elements of the regime are even supporting it. The last point is interesting, and may account for the rhetorical separation of al-Qaeda and the Taliban noted in Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's video. I remember a couple of years ago reading rumors that al-Qaeda had grown disgruntled with the Taliban for their ineffectiveness in retaking Afghanistan, while the latter felt that al-Qaeda was growing too committed to other theaters. If all this is true, it could amount to a definite shifting of the political situation among those who attacked us on September 11.
(Crossposted to American Footprints
, where Dan Darling has a useful comment and someone added a picture.)