What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Six-Day Friday War

MStFB Update
It was this article, titled 'Killing children on a day of prayer', that ran it home to me, I admit. The Talib offensive in Chora district, in Uruzgan province, which was also coordinated to coincide with a suicide bombing in Tarin Kowt, outside a girls' school, against Dutch soldiers (killing one soldier along with several children playing in the street), came on June 15: on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, the Jumu'ah. When the community goes to the mosque to have a congregational prayer at midday. More specifically it came just shortly before the midday prayer in fact, with the suicide car bomb attack timed at 11.15am. Subsequent fighting in Chora district then lasted from Friday to Wednesday, not exactly six days, but let's put it that way for a bit of symbolism.
For those who might every now and then confuse Arab-Israeli wars of the past, and mix up the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973, here's more reason for confusion. Talib insurgents took advantage of the Yom Kippur-effect here, the element of surprise built into the timing of the launch of their six-day 'war' in Chora district before the Jumu'ah. Hence the title of my post with the term to describe this as the 'Six-Day Friday War'.
I accept that I'm in no position to judge what Islamic doctrine may tell us of waging war on the day of prayer, and what exceptions may be allowed, and what not. One thing is clear though: in a proper analysis one has to point out that the surprise factor had to have figured in insurgents' calculations.
Oh, one more thing. It would be really interesting to hear all that was said at the Friday sermon in Tarin Kowt on June 15. Might be indicative of whatever change of mood the attack may have brought about.

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