|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The audacity of a suicide-bomb attack on Tuesday at the gates of the main American base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney underscores why President Bush sent him there — a deepening American concern that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resurgent.
American officials insisted that the importance of the attack, by a single suicide bomber who blew himself up a mile away from where the vice president was staying, was primarily symbolic. It was more successful at grabbing headlines and filling television screens with a scene of carnage than at getting anywhere near Mr. Cheney.
But the strike nonetheless demonstrated that Al Qaeda and the Taliban appear stronger and more emboldened in the region than at any time since the American invasion of the country five years ago, and since the Bush administration claimed to have decimated much of their middle management. And it fed directly into the debate over who is to blame.
The leaders with whom Mr. Cheney met on his mission to Pakistan and Afghanistan have appeared increasingly incapable of controlling the chaos, and have pointed fingers at one another.
Mr. Cheney said the attack was a reminder that terrorists seek “to question the authority of the central government,” and argued that it underscored the need for a renewed American effort.
His critics, on the other hand, said the strike was another reminder of how Iraq had diverted the Bush administration from finishing the job in Afghanistan.