The Strange Battle Of Shah-I-Kot


| April 5, 2002


The Strange Battle Of Shah-I-Kot

Though U.S. commanders claim success in the war in Afghanistan and, more specifically, the battle against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces holed up in the Shah-i-Kot Mountains, writer Brendan O'Neill argues that it's nothing more than doublespeak.

Writing in Spiked-Online, the British online Webzine, O'Neill questions the Pentagon's assertion that commanders were 'wrapping up the operation...in little more than 24 hours.' Indeed, the 24-hour conflict has lasted weeks.

'As military commanders on the ground claimed to be 'on top' of the battle,' O'Neill writes, 'a senior Air Force commander in Washington said, 'The way we lost those seven guys was a repeat of Somalia' - conjuring up images of 1993's disastrous Battle of Mogadishu where 18 soldiers were killed, otherwise known in US military circles as 'our other Vietnam.''

O'Neill doubts whether we'll ever know the entire truth about Operation Anaconda, but notes, 'there are enough contradictory claims and clashing reports to suggest that it wasn't the 'unqualified and absolute success' claimed by General Tommy Franks.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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