The governor of Parwan was faced a major, complex attack this weekend:
Just then, as he later recalled the moment, there were two explosions as a group of suicide bombers blew their way into the governor’s compound. In the three-hour firefight that followed, the attackers killed 22 people — 6 of them police officers, the rest government staff members and civilian visitors — before they were subdued.
Along the way, Salangi claims to have killed two attackers from his desk, which isn’t quite the feat of derring-do he probably thinks it is. As Christian Bleuer noted: “Governor Salangi, in fighting off the attackers personally, must have lost valuable time that he usually uses to steal land.”
That’s hardly the end of it. Salangi is one of those Tajik warlords all the human rights people freaked out about in 2001 and 2002. As a commander in Ahmed Shah Massoud’s militia-party Jamiat-i Islami, he was given a prominent job as the Chief of Police in Kabul. He lost that post in 2002, however, when he illegally bulldozed houses in some poor neighborhoods and sold the land to his friends. The scandal prompted his transfer to Wardak. He was also implicated in a 2003 incident where he personally beat and kicked university students who were protesting unfair grading practices.
Governor Salangi is a thug, in other words, one we probably shouldn’t be too sad to see attacked when we ponder the country’s future. While the loss of the police officers is sad, and sadly typical, we should expect more attacks like this. The Taliban will never lose support going after these monstrous men we have stupidly empowered and supported—and that says more about our prospects for victory than any single suicide attack.