The Last Tweet of General Daud

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by Joshua Foust on 5/28/2011 · 8 comments

The last tweet of General Mohammad Daud Daud. He was reporting this incident in Takhar province, where a Taliban commander is accused of burning two people alive. This morning he was targeted in a massive suicide bomb at the Governor’s Palace in Taloqan and killed, along with three German soldiers and an unknown number of Afghans.

While I’m confused as to why it took immolation to prompt an order to capture a Taliban commander, General Daud was universally respected in Afghanistan. His death is a serious blow to the country, and to those he served.


Update: A friend reminds me that this is the same General Daud profiled by Graeme Smith, alleged to be deeply involved in some nasty business with opium smugglers, who have also been protecting the Taliban. This might explain a bit why Daud felt the need to specially order the detention of the Taliban human-arsonist. And for many years now, General Daud has been fingered as being at the center of the opium industry in Afghanistan.

As for why I said he was “universally respected,” above? That’s the impression I got from my friends who were initially telling me about the hit job on him. Goes to show you that everyone can get swayed by news of a magical pet favorite Afghan. I’m normally better than that, and I apologize.

It’s still damned weird to see people with twitter feeds get killed off like this.

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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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CE May 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm

And they almost got the northern NATO commander, Maj. Gen. Kneip.

It’s one thing to lose some of your grunts on patrol, but when generals start getting blown up at their own meetings, you know you have some serious ‘intelligence deficiencies’ on your hands.

I shake my head in Afghanistan’s general direction.

Eli Wurth May 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm

And why would you shake your head? Because they’re doing exactly what we’d be doing if 1/2 million Chinese troops were occupying the United States.

There seems to be this constant refrain from the interventionist crowd that goes, “and all we do for them, and this is what we get in return???”

You’re shocked and disgusted because they don’t seem to be responding to our noble gestures in the manner you’d like them to. Again, ask yourself what you would do under occupation by a foreign army…

carl May 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Eli I’ve heard that nonsense about what would you do if a foreign army came in over and over. Superficially appealing but incomplete. It would more properly be “What would you do if a foreign army came in and intervened on one side of a civil war and helped defeat one of the sides that was thoroughly disliked by most everybody and then that side repaired to neighboring country that was using them to fight a proxy war while our side then proceeded to ignore the place or blunder around for years? Huh, what would you do?”

I am sure college students are real impressed by the simpler form of the question though?

CE May 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I ‘smh’ at the malarkey of tragic stallions—or, steeds? Ponies? What was it again?—that is Afghanistan. I’m certainly not smh-ing at the Afghans who are just doing that which is encoded in their DNA. You read waaaay too much into my parting line.

And the answer to your question is super easy: not a goddamn thing. Because, you see, a land army, Chinese or otherwise, would never invade the continental mass otherwise known as America. Nobody would be stupid enough to even attempt such a ludicrously ludicrous move, especially the Chinese. In fact, any Chinese who heard you utter such a laughably nonsensical hypothetical would be insulted that you would think so lowly of their geopolitical and military IQ.

As for the reason we don’t have to or ever will have to worry about a continental invasion, you can thank the Gods of Geology/Plate Tectonics that bequeathed to us the two wonderful, all-natural moats that we like to call the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. You can’t buy a first line of defense like that.

Paradoxically, those geographical characteristics which serve to isolate and protect us also force us to take a more interventionist approach in order to be connected to the geopolitically strategic regions of the globe. It is because we are continentally secluded that we find it necessary to maintain outposts—military, diplomatic, cultural—lest we find ourselves ‘out of the loop.’ Consequently, I think of our current interventionist, ‘imperial’ policy more as a byproduct of geography than as an evil plot by the Freemason-Bilderberg-Illuminati-Goldman Sachs quadrumvirate to take over the world. But that’s just me.

I’m not an interventionist out of pleasure or ideology; I’m an interventionist out of resignation to the geographical realities of America’s position—both literal as well as figurative—in the world.

(But Afghanistan and Iraq were, are, and will continue to be complete clusterf*cks and I have a hard time respecting the intellects of those who dreamt up, ordered and planned for such interventionist abominations.)

Osman May 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Yeah, you totally missed the point of what Eli was saying.

the lost flaneur May 29, 2011 at 1:26 am

After the assassination of Said Mustafa Kazemi, the death of Daud is the greatest loss to the Tajik-centered Northern Alliance camp in Kabul. This is also an alarm to other emerging faces like Amrulla Saleh the former head of intelligence agency, who is very vocal against the Taliban and Pakistan.
This indecent, apart from other consequences will definitely widen the distance between the Tajiks and the Pashtuns within the government, and that will not be good for the general peace process in Afghanistan.
… May Satan help us!

Don Bacon May 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

The investigative team which is expert in explosive devices has come to the conclusion that this was not a suicide attack,’ Lutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security, said

‘This was a pre-planted explosive device,’ Mashal told the German Press Agency dpa on the basis of preliminary findings. He said the bomb had been remotely detonated when the officials left the security meeting.

‘In the beginning everybody believed that it might be a suicide attack because that has become a usual trend in different parts of Afghanistan,’ he said.

Arabkiller June 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

a coward act by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. fuck thos bastards. bomb this two countrys and the world be a better place to live. dead to the enmeys of Khorasan(present Afghanistan). RIP our beloved General Mohammed Daud Daud.

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