The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hearts & Minds Update

'Haditha investigation' substantially complete

Pentagon sources said the killings began after a roadside bomb killed 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas at 7:15 a.m. on November 19 in Haditha, a city along the Euphrates River in western Iraq.

The Marines originally reported that 15 civilians also died in that blast.

But according to the Pentagon sources' account, the Marines immediately suspected four Iraqi teenagers in a taxi and fatally shot them, along with the driver, when the Marines said they failed to lie on the ground as ordered.

The hunt for the bombers then moved to a nearby house, where seven people -- including two women and children -- were killed. Then eight people, including six women, were shot and killed next door, while women in a third house were not harmed, the sources said. In a fourth house, four men were killed.

Kabul riot suggests unstable Afghanistan

An early morning traffic accident in Kabul involving a US military vehicle rapidly degenerated yesterday into the worst upheaval in the Afghan capital since the fall of the Taliban, as angry protesters burned vehicles and buildings, ransacked shops and aid agencies and hurled rocks and invective at American soldiers.

By the time the authorities imposed a rare night-time curfew in the normally peaceable capital, eight people had been killed and more than 100 injured. The upheaval was a shock to a city long considered an oasis of security, and a serious blow to the authority of the president, Hamid Karzai, who is struggling to contain an escalating insurgency in the south.

It was also an alarming day for an American military, already battling large-scale violence in Iraq and squaring up to an emboldened and nuclear-minded Iran. Now the future of Afghanistan, often trumpeted as a triumph for US foreign policy, is coming under increasing scrutiny.