Afghan Vignette 1: Those Cowardly Taliban

[The first in our series of very short posts featuring various imperial ironies.]

There is never enough adventure in some foreign war zones. Not like in Iraq, shit, those guys were hard core. I mean, what are the chances of getting your ass blown off in a good old fashioned firefight in Afghanistan? None. The Taliban are a bunch of cowards.

Those are my words, and really, not as ridiculous as the actual words of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andre Leon, speaking to the Associated Press. Used to fierce shootouts in Iraq, he was apparently looking forward to more of the same in Afghanistan, according to this valuable piece of punchy American war propaganda, with just a hint of retro bravado.

NOW ZAD, Afghanistan – After three tours in Iraq, U.S. Marine Sgt. Andre Leon was used to brutal shootouts with enemy fighters and expected more of the same in Afghanistan.

Instead, what he’s seen so far are anonymous attacks in the form of mines and roadside bombings — the mark of what he calls a cowardly adversary.

“I’m not impressed with them,” Leon, 25, of Herndon, Va., said this past week from a Marines camp deep in the southern province of Helmand, where U.S. forces are challenging Taliban insurgents and their devastating use of IEDs, or homemade bombs. “I expected more of a stand-and-fight. All these guys do is IEDs.”

Yes, indeed, what cowards the Taliban are…dressed up in body armor,

sitting in their MRAPs,

and calling in air strikes,


from a safe distance,

U.S. airstike in Now Now Zād, Helmand, Afghanistan

U.S. airstike in Now Now Zād, Helmand, Afghanistan

just like a bunch of coward pussies.

[Spit on ground, suck Marlboro, squint at sun]

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7 thoughts on “Afghan Vignette 1: Those Cowardly Taliban

  1. kwame

    Thanks for calling our attention to this war rhetoric. I recall reading of US officers in Iraq calling guerilla warfare and suicide bombings “cowardly.” My reaction was precisely the same as what you have highlighted here: smart bombs, depleted uranium, F16s and the like do not a “fair” fight make. The aim is clearly to obliterate your enemy. I am tempted to call it hypocrisy but I suppose it serves some psychological purpose for “our” troops who are engaged in unjust wars that have to date killed well over 700, 000 people. kzs

  2. MadAxe

    This is the kind of thing I love most about this blog.
    The only thing is that I bet these vignettes are going to get a lot grimmer once you start covering the Pentagon doublespeak next time they bomb a mass of civilians. I’m not saying that this happy stuff either.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      You are bad luck!

      Just a few hours after your posted this, this news:

      Blast after Afghan air strike, scores feared killed

      KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Scores of people were feared killed on Friday in a big fuel-tanker blast in northern Afghanistan that followed a NATO air strike in the area, Afghan officials said.

      NATO forces confirmed that they had carried out an air strike, and said their target was insurgents. They had no immediate information about the report of the explosion and casualties.

      Kunduz province Governor Mohammad Omar said as many as 90 people were feared killed, burned alive in the giant blast, which took place as villagers gathered to collect fuel from tanker trucks captured by Taliban militants.

      Yes, protecting civilians.

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