Judging by the volume of press calls I have been fielding at the beach today, the MSM are treating the car bomb that went off in Kabul as a big deal. Why this should be the case I’m not sure; the easiest explanation is that it’s a slow news day. It is true that seven people were killed and 90 or so were wounded, but the bombers did not succeed in penetrating the NATO-headquarters compound or the U.S. embassy.
It’s hard to see what significance, if any, this action has beyond the obvious attention-seeking of the Taliban as national elections approach. They know that the best way to get attention is by attacking in Kabul, where the international news media are headquartered. But coming after a recent attack in which some rockets fired at Kabul caused minimal damage, the car-bomb attack demonstrates not the prowess of the Taliban but rather their ineffectuality. Compared with various insurgent groups that have shown a repeated ability to slaughter dozens, even hundreds, of people in Baghdad, the Taliban are not a very significant threat to the capital of Afghanistan.
Anyone can set off a car bomb. But there’s a big difference between such a random act of violence and the ability to mount a concerted campaign of terror in Afghanistan’s largest city. So far, thank heavens, the Taliban have not shown themselves capable of significantly disrupting life in the capital. But don’t expect to hear that in the media coverage.