“Holy shit it’s only Wednesday.”
— George Carlin
(Illustration found here).
In surfing the news this morning, a lot ofÂ Dookie spills off the rim of the Net, but the world’s bat-shit crazy goings-on continues unabated, although with a flourish of zero finesse.
One of the titular events that would drive a Wednesday’s slurping up a quart of Jack Daniels, is major bullshitter Leon Panetta’s double-lying bullshit on the happy-wonderful state of the horror of Afghanistan.
Panetta, the US defense honcho, was in country to spread goodwill via bullshitting, in this particular case, to American troops at a base near the Afghan border with Pakistan.
From Aljazeera English:
“We’re moving in the right direction and we’re winning this very tough conflict,” he said.
Panetta told reporters that Washington would continue to back Pakistani efforts to secure its border regions.
“This has been a difficult and complicated relationship as all of you know, but it is an important relationship, and it is one that we have to continue to work at,” he said.
The dispute between the US and Pakistan is also beginning to raise some concern from the Afghani government, Smith reported.
Panetta also played down concerns about Afghanistan’s future, saying 2011 had been a “turning point” for the country, citing lower levels of violence and the successful turnover of portions of the country to Afghan control.
“Clearly I think Afghanistan is on a much better track in terms of our ability to eventually transition to an Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself,” he said.
However, in the same story:
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reported from Kabul that while the US and its allies are arguing that progress has been made ahead of the 2015 withdrawal, UN statistics that violence has peaked in 2011 contradict this assertion.
“In the east of Afghanistan, NATO’s own figures say there’s been a 21 per cent increase in what it calls enemy attacks,” he said.
However — again!
Leon makes no mention of the possibility of Afghanistan might spiral into a similar situation Iraq blundered through five years ago — the horror of sectarian violence.
Especially after this week’s suicide bombing of a shrine near Kabul.
At least 56 people were killed in a blast in Kabul on the Shia holy day of Ashoura. A second near-simultaneous strike killed four people and injured 21 in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif as a convoy of Shias was driving past.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attacks but suspicion centred on Sunni armed groups based in neighbouring Pakistan.
“Without any doubt, the enemies of Afghanistan are trying to separate the Afghan people,” Karzai said in a statement.
He did not blame any specific group, but when he uses the phrase “enemies of Afghanistan,” it is widely believed that he is referring to countries, including Pakistan, that he suspects are backing fighters in Afghanistan.
Until now, the decade-long Afghan war has largely been spared sectarian violence.
Although the US (and its NATO allies) are supposed to be out of the country in two years, there’s considerable evidence, some troops will remain until maybe 2025 — the Afghan war may never have an end.
A couple of other events seem noteworthy this morning — horrible violence in places that usually don’t encounter such things — one in Belgium, the other in Italy.
First, in Liege, Belgium, where a guyÂ lobbed hand grenades and fired indiscriminately into crowds near a Christmas market, killing four people, wounding more than 100 and creating panic before killing himself.
Police later discovered a woman’s body at a storage facility used by the shooter/lobber, which raised the death toll to six — including an 18-month-old baby.
Meanwhile, in Florence, Italy, another guy opened fire in a crowed market, killing two Senegalese traders and injuring three others — this guy also apparently killed himself later, his body found in an underground car-park.
The mayor of Florence: “These are the actions of a lone killer – a lucid, mad and racist killer,” Matteo Renzi said, adding that such behaviour was out of character for the city and had shocked it to its core.
And Carlin’s note from above was aimed at drinking booze:Â “And this should go without saying. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m going to say it: Drinking and driving donâ€™t mix.Â Do your drinking early in the morning and get it out of the way.Â Then go driving while the visibility is still good.”