First, an alternative biography of the suspected shooter:
Western officials said Mr. Salangi was a driver for an Afghan intelligence official at the ministry who may have had access to the restricted area where the U.S. advisers were shot in the head.
A driver? Really? With independent access to a highly secure area? There is something not right about that. Either the facts as presented are wrong, or the security procedures in the Interior Ministry are outrageous. And what explains the huge difference between the different characterizations of the shooter. First reports: Afghan intel officer with high responsibilities. This report: driver for the intel official.
The Karzai response-properly, the lack thereof-is an outrage:
Mr. Karzai didn’t even mention the American deaths in his opening statement during a news conference on Sunday. He expressed his condolences—but not an apology—only when asked by a reporter about the shootings of Americans.
While his Interior Ministry earlier Sunday identified Mr. Salangi as the chief suspect, Mr. Karzai also kept alive speculation—explicitly rejected by U.S. military officials—that the two Americans may have been killed by another Westerner.
“It is not yet clearly known as to who has committed this and where he was from, whether Afghan or foreigner or any other element involved,” he said.
Mr. Karzai’s response was “unfortunate,” one senior American official said.
Unfortunate? Is that what they call it now? How big is the euphemism dictionary, anyways?
Mr. Karzai’s remarks Sunday focused instead on the investigation into how the Qurans were burned at Bagram, and on attempts to launch peace talks with the Taliban.
Hello! The cluephone is ringing. Some people-including a former Ranger and Afghan War vet who now works for a think tank-aren’t picking up:
“The Afghan leadership has been painfully slow to realize the gravity of these events and to understand how little patience Americans have for the war in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Exum. “President Karzai has to understand that patience for the continued commitment to Afghanistan is wearing very thin.”
Karzai understands perfectly. Perfectly. That is the point.
Need another clue? The Afghans are flogging the Koran angle for all it is worth:
Afghan officials describe Saboor as a man who never never suggested any radical tendencies, leading them to assume that he was inspired by the accidental burning of Qurans by U.S. troops last Tuesday.
They are playing this for all it is worth. They are fanning the flames-almost literally. Why?
It may not be clear to some-or maybe some who do understand are playing very dumb-but is seems pretty obvious that this is all part of a concerted effort by Karzai and his Pashtun and Pakistani allies to push out NATO and the US. Why is virtually all of the media pretending otherwise? And why is the administration enabling the Muslims-legitimately-outraged-by-Koran-desecration meme? That is less clear to me, but none of the explanations that immediately come to mind are encouraging-or any other word associated with “courage.”