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Jul 2nd, 2010

USAID Site Attacked in Afghanistan; 4 Killed

Suicide bomber blows hole in building, sparking five-hour gunbattle

Image: USAID compound in Kunduz
Afghan security force members stand outside a USAID compound in Kunduz, Afghanistan, after it was attacked by militants on Friday, July 2, 2010. (Photo: AP)

July 2, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban suicide attackers stormed a four-story house used by an American aid organization in north Afghanistan on Friday, killing four people before dying in a fierce, five-hour gunbattle with Afghan security forces.

The pre-dawn attack appeared part of a militant campaign against international development organizations at a time when the U.S. and its allies are trying to accelerate civilian aid efforts to turn back the Taliban.

It came on the same day that Gen. David Petraeus landed in the Afghan capital to take command of U.S. and international forces fighting the nearly 9-year-old war. Petraeus arrived from Brussels where he sought to reassure allies that the war against the Taliban was on track despite rising casualties and problems regaining control over key parts of the country.

Insurgents began their brazen attack in Kunduz at about 3:30 a.m. A suicide car bomber blew a hole in the wall around a building used by Development Alternatives Inc., a global consulting company based in the Washington, D.C., area on contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. The company is working on governance and community development issues in the area.

At least five other attackers, all wearing explosive vests, then ran inside the building, according to Afghan police and army officials. The insurgents killed or wounded security guards and others before dying themselves in a gunbattle with Afghan security forces who raced to the scene. …


Related report

Petraeus arrives to lead faltering Afghan war (Reuters, July 2, 2010) — General takes command amid sinking support, growing costs of lengthy conflict. … Full story

Timeline: U.S. war in Afghanistan



GOP Chair Blasted for Afghan War Remarks

Michael Steele called conflict ‘a war of Obama’s choosing’


Steele attempts to rewrite Afghan war history (MSNBC “Countdown,” July 2, 2010) — MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe talks with Keith Olbermann about RNC chairman Michael Steele’s attempt to blame Barack Obama for choosing to go to war in Afghanistan. Steele has been criticized in the past for gaffes and mismanagement of committee funds. (07:29)

By Philip Elliott

July 2, 2010

WASHINGTON — Republican chairman Michael Steele drew criticism from within his own party Friday, including calls to resign, after saying the 9-year-old commitment of U.S. troops to Afghanistan was a mistaken “war of Obama’s choosing.”

As criticism swelled, Steele issued a statement stressing his support for U.S. troops, but he did not acknowledge his factual error about a war launched by former President George W. Bush in response for the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A senior official in Bush’s administration said it would be impossible for the Republican National Committee to speak with credibility on foreign policy if Steele remained chairman. …

Conservative columnist Bill Kristol, writing for The Weekly Standard, was among the first to say Steele should resign. …

In remarks captured Thursday on camera and posted online, Steele criticized President Barack Obama and his handling of the Afghan war and suggested the war cannot be won.

“If he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who’s tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed,” Steele said. “And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.” …

“This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

The United States and allies overthrew Afghanistan’s Taliban government after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. The war lagged as the United States shifted its focus to Iraq, but Obama shifted the focus to Afghanistan and planned to send 30,000 more troops to the country. …

Looking to mitigate the political fallout, Steele issued a statement saying, “There is no question that America must win the war on terror. … And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.” …

Erick Erickson, the editor of the popular conservative website and an opinion leader among younger Republicans, also called for Steele’s ouster. …

Earlier this year, his oversight of the RNC was called into question because of lavish spending, including money to entertain donors at a lesbian-themed bondage club in Los Angeles. That incident led to the departure of a key Steele adviser, the party’s finance chief and the top committee staffer.



2 American soldiers die in Iraq (AP, July 2, 2010) – The U.S. military says two American soldiers have died in Iraq. … Full story

Gunmen kill senior Iraqi Sunni cleric (Reuters, July 2, 2010) – A senior Sunni cleric from the western province of Anbar was shot dead on Friday evening, as tensions simmered in Iraq following an inconclusive election in March that produced no outright winner, police said. … Full story

4 members of Iraq security forces killed (AP, July 1, 2010) – Two soldiers and two members of a government-backed Sunni militia fighting al-Qaida were killed in a day of attacks across Iraq, police officials said Thursday. … Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — July 2, 2009

ACORN: Bachmann ‘Pants on Fire’

Pants on Fire!ACORN will be a paid partner with the Census Bureau and “they will be in charge of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public.”
Michele Bachmann on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 in an interview with the Washington Times.

ACORN will not be “in charge” of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public, as Bachmann said. … Once again, she is making a scaremongering claim about ACORN with facts that are ridiculously wrong. So we have to set the meter on fire once again. She earns another Pants on Fire.

One-year retrospective: One year ago today I reported that PolitiFact’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Truth-O-Meter rated Rep. Michele Bachmann’s “scaremongering claim” that ACORN will be a paid partner of the Census Bureau and “in charge” of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public in the 2010 U.S. Census as [Liar, Liar] Pants on Fire.

One Response to “Taliban Attack USAID Compound”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » American Bloodshed Persists in Afghanistan Says:

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