Posted by: Christian | March 4, 2007

The Power(lessness) of Today’s Riots in Jalalabad

March 4, 2007.

If you conscientiously follow the stream of good news coming out of Afghanistan then you have definitely heard about the riot in Jalalabad (affectionately called “J-Bad” by the troops). And even if you only occasionally tune into news from Afghanistan you can’t miss hearing about the incident since it is the lead story in the western media at the moment. The coverage is, as usual, poor and incomplete. The sketchy details so far are this: minibus bomb and ambush targeting American patrol in city of Jalalabad turns into 8 civilians being shot and killed by US soldiers. And, as one can predict, angry locals take to the streets for the ritual of anger.

So why am I bringing this up when you can get the news anywhere? Well, last week I wrote about riots in Afghan cities in an entry titled “The Power(lessness) of the Mob in Afghanistan.”. This was not out of any sort of prescience, but rather a timely coincidence. You can read my post here.

If todays riots follows the pattern of the Kabul riots of 2006 (or the “Newsweek Koran abuse” riots that occured in Jalalabad a couple of years ago), then you can expect the supposed “thousands” of demonstrators to go home after yelling “Death to Karzai! Death to America!” and throwing a few rocks. If I’m wrong and the riot escalates then I’ll eat this blog entry.


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