The White House announced with deep regret that the guerrillas in Afghanistan had not been destroyed and that it was too early to talk about a victory. Well, yes, what victory can there be if the Americans had nine of their soldiers killed in the Afghan province of Paktia within only one week. No wonder the American president had to react to the tragic events. Bush did not want to limit this to the common phrases from the Pentagon generals.
The president decided to talk to the nation himself and to tell the severe truth to the nation: these victims are not the last. Bush said that the struggle with terrorism was inevitably connected with losses. At the end of the speech, Bush said that history called upon America to defend freedom, and he swore to fight with al-Qaida terrorists, no matter where they are.
The NBC television company reported that 1200 soldiers (American military men and the soldiers of America’s allies), as well as 800 Afghans, were taking part in the so-called Operation Anaconda. An top Afghan military official said that they are being resisted by at least 2000 al-Qaida gunmen: Arabs, Chechens, Pakistanis, and Taliban.
The majority of the American land forces deployed in Afghanistan – three battalions – were dispatched to Bagram Airbase on the outskirts of Kabul in order to maintain the offensive. The Americans intend to finish off the guerrillas in the next couple of days. In the meantime, Afghan Islamic Press news agency reported that one of the gunmen’s commanders said that his people would fight till the very end. “The struggle against America for the predominance of Islam and for the protection of our country will last until our last breath."
The price of the victory is very high for both parties: the Taliban must prove to the Islamic world that they have not been destroyed, that they were still fighting, and America needs a victory in order to save its own face, taking into consideration the fact that Afghanistan is only the beginning.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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