Huh?The first and only legit­i­mately tar­geted nation in the “war” on “ter­ror” is slid­ing deeper into tur­moil even as Cheney blats more partei slogans.

The “lib­eral” media is once more point­ing out some prob­lems with the Bush camp’s han­dling of … of real­ity. The state of affairs in Afghanistan has been steadily declin­ing for a while now; MSNBC, the Washington Post and doubt­less a few other sources are report­ing a sui­cide bomb­ing in Afghanistan that took place over the week­end — at a funeral for a gov­er­nor there who had been killed by a sui­cide bomber.

The gov­er­nor, Hakim Taniwal, was appar­ently quite pop­u­lar and well liked. He was killed on Sunday when

[T]he bomber threw him­self under their vehi­cle and det­o­nated the explo­sives as they were approach­ing the governor’s office in the provin­cial cap­i­tal, Gardez, about 80 miles south of Kabul.

The fol­low­ing day, at his funeral,

A sui­cide bomber struck […], and four senior mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment at the ser­vice escaped unhurt, offi­cials and wit­nesses said. At least six peo­ple were killed and dozens were wounded.

Meanwhile, we’re learn­ing that things in Afghanistan are falling apart faster than any­one expected. The WA Post had another piece on life there in gen­eral, pass­ing along this information:

Life is hard, but it is peace­ful, and that is what mat­ters most,” said [Mahmad] Naib, 55, a mason who was shov­el­ing debris Thursday out of the newly plas­tered mosque.

That was just a cou­ple of days before the attack in Kabul that killed Taniwal. And iron­i­cally the “war” on “ter­ror” seems to be dove­tail­ing into the “war” on “drugs” as well:

At the same time, opium poppy cul­ti­va­tion, vir­tu­ally wiped out by the Taliban, has soared to record lev­els, largely in the south. Nationwide it increased by 59 per­cent in the past year alone, accord­ing to new U.N. fig­ures. Drug traf­fick­ers have formed pro­tec­tive alliances with the Islamic insurgents.

Huh??Yeah. Not only did we pound the hell out of Afghanistan and then aban­don it; we seem to have elim­i­nated the one force in the coun­try that stopped drug pro­duc­tion (but, of course, mur­dered women and chil­dren; but then, you expect a few casu­al­ties in any war, even the one on drugs … ’cause fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice … uh … cain’t get fooled again) … after which the drug pro­duc­tion stepped up and is now par­tially in the hands of the very “tur’rists” Bushie boy claims to want defeated.

So … let’s see. Currently we’re 0 for 2 in han­dling nations that are, or were, actual or alleged threats to the US. We’ve done noth­ing real to help in Iraq — things there are much worse than before we invaded, and the US is def­i­nitely not “safer” from “tur’rism”. Nor, I should add, is the rest of the world.

As for Afghanistan, the once-​​ousted Taliban is on the rise there again. The Taliban hosted the Qaeda back in the days before WTC. You think they’ll be revis­it­ing old friends?

Furthermore, the LA Times has reminded us (oh, and the “tur’rists”, of course; you can be sure accu­sa­tions against the Times will sur­face from the less-​​hinged among us) that most of the com­mer­cial har­bors in Los Angeles are still not safe, despite the vast vol­umes of money swal­lowed whole by the Depatment of Vaterland Homeland Security.

In terms of mar­itime secu­rity, have peo­ple done things? Yes,” said retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Stephen E. Flynn, a con­sul­tant and expert on port secu­rity. “But are we keep­ing pace with ter­ror­ists’ capa­bil­i­ties and the poten­tial con­se­quences five years after 9/​11? The answer is no.”

The prob­lem is the big old metal boxes that are stuffed full of good­ies to fill the aisles at Wal-​​Mart.

A key vul­ner­a­bil­ity, Flynn and oth­ers say, remains the ubiq­ui­tous cargo con­tainer, the main­stay of inter­na­tional com­merce and a poten­tial Trojan horse in the age of terrorism.

I won­der how long it’ll be before port secu­rity is again handed over to a Dubai-​​owned com­pany, and just why the Fed isn’t tak­ing care of it instead?

Oh yeah. Katrina.

Of course all of this — my writ­ing it, your read­ing it, and the news media’s report­ing it — is giv­ing aid to the “tur’rists”, accord­ing to US veep Dick “Dick” Cheney. Both MSNBC and the WA Post again got this one [empha­sis mine].

The vice pres­i­dent said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq “have doubts” the United States will fin­ish the job there. “And those doubts are encour­aged, obvi­ously, when they see the kind of debate that we’ve had in the United States,” he said. “Suggestions, for exam­ple, that we should with­draw U.S. forces from Iraq sim­ply feed into that whole notion, val­i­dates the strat­egy of the ter­ror­ists.”

Right. By dis­cussing pos­si­ble res­o­lu­tions to the Iraq quag­mire, we’re let­ting the “tur’rists” win. I guess we know where Rummy gets his ideas.

Dick kept at it on his inter­view with Tim Russert on Meet the Press. He refuses to fess the lie,

[S]aying the admin­is­tra­tion would have done “exactly the same thing” even if it knew before the war what he acknowl­edged know­ing now — that Iraq did not have stock­piles of weapons of mass destruction.

And he refuses to acknowl­edge obvi­ous real­ity, again push­ing the partei dri­vel that

The United States must stay the course, how­ever, because while the sit­u­a­tion is “dif­fi­cult,” it is sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter, he said.

And, nat­u­rally, he hits the fear but­ton as hard as he can.

He said the threat that dri­ves admin­is­tra­tion think­ing is “the pos­si­bil­ity of a cell of al-​​Qaeda in the midst of one of our own cities with a nuclear weapon, or a bio­log­i­cal agent. In that case, you’d be deal­ing — for exam­ple, if on 9/​11 they’d had a nuke instead of an air­plane, you’d have been look­ing at a casu­alty toll that would rival all the deaths in all the wars fought by Americans in 230 years.”

Yet, baf­flingly, he’s will­ing to let Los Angeles’s ports go unguarded.

Isn’t it great that Bush and Company are so ded­i­cated to spread­ing love for American-​​style democ­racy in the Middle East?

Now if only they’d try let­ting democ­racy flour­ish here.

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