Sofia Echo


Taliban say Mladenov was target of Kandahar attack

Author: The Sofia Echo Staff Date: Mon, Jan 25 2010 18 Comments, 3976 Views
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Taliban in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nato base on January 24 2010 in which four Bulgarian military personnel were wounded, with the Taliban saying that visiting Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Mladenov was the main target of the attack.
However, speaking to Bulgarian National Television on January 25 2010 on his return to Sofia, Mladenov – who is the country’s Foreign Minister-designate – cast doubt on the veracity of the Taliban claims.
News agency AFP, quoting a US-based monitoring group SITE, said that Mladenov had been the main target. On the internet, the Taliban said that six rockets had fallen inside the Kandahar airport area and one had fallen 200m from (Mladenov’s) location.
Mladenov told BNT that the claim by the Taliban was "absurd", and questioned the veracity of their claims because the details they gave were out of kilter with the actual facts of the event.
On January 25, the three Bulgarian military personnel who were seriously injured during the rocket attack were flown to Germany for treatment at the Landstuhl military hospital.
Mladenov said that the three were in stable condition at the moment.
He said that during the incident, which involved a 107mm Chinese-made rocket, he and others had taken cover. Within about 15 minutes of the attack, the injured were being casevaced for medical treatment, according to Mladenov.
Mladenov said that the claims were absurd because there had not been six rockets, as claimed by the Taliban, but only one, of a type that did not have an accurate guidance system.

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    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #18 00, 11, Fri, Jan 29 2010

      Note also, (the arrow below, if you click to the right) that BG is the only Axis country that ended up with more land after the war, than before it.
      This map is really rich as it has many pages.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #17 22, 09, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      Thanks for sending...very interesting to see it on the map like this. Also, the Chinese civilian casualties were horrific.

      I know we entered WW2 quite late, almost at the end. I fully believe that if it weren't for Pearl Harbor, we would have remained isolationist and not entered the war at all.

      My husband keeps at me to get an iPhone and now this iPad....Apple makes some fun stuff though...if you haven't already, get an Apple AirPort Express....everything can be connected (speakers in your whole house) and totally wireless and remote controlled [...]

      Read the full comment with your iPhone.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #16 20, 56, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      On the casualties map:
      Note that the Germans lost 3.2 million soldiers against the Russians.
      In the west they lost about 300,000 - less than 10%.
      That number however includes the 1940 invasion of France, in which the Americans took no part of. Strictly speaking the US can probably account for 100,000 German military killed at best - probably less.
      VS 3.2 million for the Russians - who won the war?

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #15 20, 49, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      Well this is why I try to stay as objective as I can. Often that forces you to arrive at unconventional realizations, like the one that WWII was the dirtiest American war and Afghanistan the cleanest.

      As far as the Russians: it wasn't "accuracy" as much as it wasn't a "policy" as it was with the Americans, to target civilians. First of all 90% of the war did take place on Russian soil and obviously the Germans didn't send their civilians there, but beyond that, the Americans didn't get seriously involved until almost the end of [...]

      Read the full comment the war. Remember that "D Day" happen as the Russians were at the gates of East Prussia - after 3 years of staggering losses and apocalyptic battles, Germany was as good as defeated.
      North Africa and even Italy was a relatively insignificant front.

      Most of the American participation consists of supplying the Russians, (very important) and bombing German civilians - probably with the same effect as the one you describe about 9.11. - far from demoralizing, it bolstered German resolve and determination, as it's usually the effect of terrorism.

      Not just Bulgarians, but any one with basic knowledge will agree that Russia won the war.

      I am so Appled up. Mac Pro, Mac Book Pro, Iphone, and probably two Ipads for the kids in the near future.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #14 20, 27, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      Yes, please send map. So what do you think accounts for the Russian accuracy in targeting only members of the military? Was it a concerted effort to spare civilian lives? Personally, I have no idea, but interesting to find out more about. I know many people believe Russia won the war. Ok, maybe just Bulgarians that I know. :)

      I think that a country's admonition of nobility in war is very typical. For a local example, I see it in posts here whenever there is any topic even remotely related to the former Yugoslavia. And this [...]

      Read the full comment vitriol goes back much farther than the 90's. If you believed everything people wrote, absolutely no one did anything wrong, but rather they were the ones who were wronged. Doesn't make one difference which side is being discussed. The similarity is that each side believes that they were noble and the other side was not.

      Ah, the iPhone....are you planning on getting the new iPad?

    • AnonymousValeriThu, Jan 28 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #12 17, 43, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      seriously, from historical pov Afghanistan and Iraq are the most honorable wars in US history, if there is such a thing indeed.
      Here is the first concerted effort to avoid civilian casulties.
      In Vietnam there still was carpet bombing, but over all it represents a positive evolution, bacause civilians weren't targeted - perhaps because it was essentially a civil war, and the enemy civilians weren't that clearly identifyable.

      WWII was by far the worse show of inhumanity on all sides, but to justify American behaviour with the nobility of [...]

      Read the full comment the cause is curious.
      Objectivly, it's equal to shooting down 300 civilian aircraft from Muslim countries to free the world from Islamic oppresion - it just wouldn't fly, no pun.
      US participation in WWII fighting was very much a side show, as the war was essentially a war between Germany and USSR.
      I'll post a map of the fighting ( when I get home - not sure how to do it from my ameican iPhone;) and for the fact is that for whatever reasons the vast majority of the casulties inflicted on Germany and Japan, by the Americans or the Brits, were civilian.
      By contrast, the vast majority on Germans and Japanese killed by the Russians were military. The Russians account for 95% of all German military casulties...
      Very shameful period for the US and still not open for honest exhamination.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #11 16, 20, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      I was wondering when you were going to mention Japan. :) I also figured you were going to mention my own subjectivity. :) I admit, many times, I am not always very subjective, I can only tell you that 9/11 absolutely changed my worldview. Right or wrong, that is just my perspective. I know that my country does things that are contrary to its liberal democratic ideology. However, we are certainly not alone. History is replete with examples of this....we don't even have to go back very far.

      Vietnam was all over the TV, every night, [...]

      Read the full comment people could sit in their living rooms and watch the war. Between this, the unpopular draft, questioning our government about fighting a foreign war half a world away, all culminated in Vietnam becoming a very unpopular and politically divisive war. It still is today, and is generally used to oppose any military action we undertake. We are still wary of 'another Vietnam', which is starting to look like Iraq. In my family, Nixon is still a crook who got us even further into Vietnam. I had two uncles there. My father would have been as well, but already had served his 4 years before the draft.

      Now, with WW2, the 'sell' was freeing the world from Nazis and the Japanese, for many, this was what made WW2 an 'honorable' war vs. Vietnam. We were fighting to free the world from the likes of Hitler. Both my grandfathers, 3 great uncles and a great aunt all served in WW2. But then, I come from a military family dating back to the Civil War (for the North, thank you). This is what governments tell people to fight wars...this is not to say that there is not a real threat sometimes. All countries do this if they cannot force people to fight (Russia in WW2 for example).

      I agree, today, there is no earthly way that any U.S. President would be able to use an atomic weapon. All sides participating in the war did atrocious things.

      With Afghanistan and Iraq, I will say that it is very difficult to separate the civilians from the combatants. The combatants purposefully hide themselves amongst the civilian population, putting people at even greater risk.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #10 08, 42, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      I was just musing over this bit:
      You were asking me if I see terrorism as a subjective term, while you were exhibiting very much subjective view on American terrorism in WWII, by attempting to justify it as somehow "stopping Germany";). WWII is probably the most shameful chapter in US history, and it's very ironic that it's glorified so much in the US. Perhaps because there is no political element at play about that period, unlike the Vietnam chapter which still seems to generate political divisions in the US, probably because it was your first [...]

      Read the full comment politicized war.

      Afghanistan and Iraq have been a much more honorable show of US military force, in that civilian casualties, if not always scrupulously avoided, have not been inflicted on purpose, unlike in WWII. I believe that the reason for that is not only the communication technology revolution, which makes any such a PR nightmare, but also the general moral betterment of the modern generations, vs the "Greatest Generation".

      Think about this: Can you imagine the political outcry against a US president nuking a city to force a government to capitulate today? Even before the atomic bombs on Japan, the Americans devised new efficient ways to destroy Japanese civilians - realizing that their homes were made of paper and wood, they fire bomb many cities, taking into account winds as well, for best results. Considering that the only "American" target the Japanese ever attacked was a military installation at Perl Harbor, it's hard to imagine the readiness to burn their civilians alive. Truman didn't have much objections at home, nor did he have any recorded moral doubts as he went to church on Sunday.

      The only mystery in it for me, is how many Americans still justify their country's WWII terrorism - I'll have to attribute it to lack of historical perspective, as a measure of generosity at that....

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #9 00, 54, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      "It sounds as though you are saying that terrorism is simply in the eye of the beholder.."

      Not at all.
      terrorism is a tactic. War is abhorrent, not its various forms so much. It's all about killing and destroying.
      American bombing of Germany was terrorism, as well as 9.11. attack and frankly so was the Greek farmers leaving the tractor on the Bulgarian train's tacks yesterday.
      Size/scale and excuse/reason are irrelevant. The form of warfare that qualifies as terrorism is just that - form of warfare and it involves hurting [...]

      Read the full comment innocent civilians with the goal of applying pressure on governments..

      Answer: I am all history buff. Late Republic fanatic;)

      "... normally, when a population faces environmental pressures, such as not too much food, the population generally decreases..."

      Sorry, but quite the opposite. All living beens respond to environmental adversity with increased birth rates. That is very basic Darwinian law. The ultimate goal is always the survival of the gene. (truly unrelated - why do you think men are more promiscuous - because the survival chances of our gene is directly linked to the number of places deposited;)

      The lesser the survival chance of newborns, the more of them. In fact blacks and hispanics in the US are disproportionally overweight and they mature very very early - some African American girls get their menstruation at 7 and are pregnant by 12-14 - the same with our Roma.

      The reason is the sudden (100 years or so) introduction of readily available nutrition to organisms, which are evolutionary conditioned to procreate under much more adversed settings of scarcity. Unlike the Europeans, who have had centuries to adjust to better means of food production, their organisms aren't prepared to absorb the influx.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #8 00, 01, Thu, Jan 28 2010

      It sounds as though you are saying that terrorism is simply in the eye of the beholder....the reason (excuse) for the terrorism is irrelevant and the moral cause can only be justified by which side you happen to be on. If we accept that, then there is never a situation where terrorism is abhorrent and anathema to civilized society. Guess it depends on where you are sitting in relation to the terrorists.

      Are you an all history buff, or particular to WWII? I am no expert on that subject (amateur or otherwise) but from a sheer [...]

      Read the full comment tactical matter, wasn't that the point, while the Germans were on the Russian front?

      I generally agree with you on globalization...I don't understand these anti-globalization nuts. The world has always been global...we've been moving people and goods around the world for a long long time. For me, the only thing that has changed (which I realize is the important part)is the technology which allows us to do it faster and more efficiently. Also, I would add that because of the internet, money and information also moves much much faster. I have been in the logistics industry for a long time, and in various capacities. It's amazing actually. Now, globalization is not always pleasant for everyone. I've seen it firsthand in a few places. But, overall, I am a huge free trade advocate.

      On a separate but somewhat related note, normally, when a population faces environmental pressures, such as not too much food, the population generally decreases. Not sure how they are able to continue to propagate the species in some of the most difficult places on earth.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #7 22, 02, Wed, Jan 27 2010

      "Not sure I agree with you on the sole purpose of air raids by the US and UK during WWII. This was done to try to stop Germany, not just to terrorize it."

      No Expat, it was identical to what the Osama types are attempting. It was to punish, demoralize, frighten, and intimidate = terrorize. There was very little military value in bombing civilian centers. In fact German war output was at its highest in March - April of '45 - the hight of the bombing raids, and the bulk of their military was engaged against [...]

      Read the full comment the Russians, not in Dresden.

      I am an amateur historian and have dived deep into the facts.

      "As far as Chechnya or the dissolution of Yugoslavia with regards to the US supporting Muslims in favor of Christians, I think this was due to larger geopolitical concerns which superseded any allegiance to Christianity."

      Of course. I am not even saying that it was right or wrong. It was US interests as they saw them. Note how I always add "as the saw them" simply because the question of was it in US interests, is very much debatable.

      "Well, Haiti has a lot of problems, even before the earthquake. Extreme poverty is obviously one of them."

      Poverty is a consequence/effect, not a reason. I personally believe in Globalization as a positive phenomena, because history has proven that only people, engaged in material pursuits, and having enrichment opportunities, naturally tend to lower their birth rates. I travel a lot, and have become convinced that the biggest danger for human survival is not Russian/American nukes, terrorism, or Global Warming or anything like that. The biggest danger comes from countless adorable little, usually brownish, babies made incredibly irresponsibly all over the developing world, by absolutely ignorant parents...

    • Anonymous neutral
      #6 20, 53, Wed, Jan 27 2010

      I think you did mention modern terrorism in your earlier post....

      Not sure I agree with you on the sole purpose of air raids by the US and UK during WWII. This was done to try to stop Germany, not just to terrorize it. Plus, really weren't there advances in air combat that really allowed for an increase in air raids (on both sides)vs. just fighting on land?

      As far as Chechnya or the dissolution of Yugoslavia with regards to the US supporting Muslims in favor of Christians, I think this was [...]

      Read the full comment due to larger geopolitical concerns which superseded any allegiance to Christianity. Without taking sides in either of those two situations (both countries have complex histories, various ethnic and religious groups, etc.), we can probably both agree that what happened in both places was a disaster.

      Missiles in Poland? Even though Russia and the US are friends now, not sure if there is much trust in this relationship yet. Putin is also very self interested and will act accordingly.

      For me, personally, I am an international relations realist (in the philosophical sense)....all countries (all of them) will act in their own self interest, if they can exert influence over others, they certainly will.

      Well, Haiti has a lot of problems, even before the earthquake. Extreme poverty is obviously one of them. The country is politically and economically unstable and has been for a long time. Whether this can be attributed to too much US involvement in managing their dictators is debatable, for sure. You never know, Haiti was the only country which saw the only successful slave revolt. :)

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #5 19, 52, Wed, Jan 27 2010

      I should've said "modern terrorism" was a 19th century creation. Otherwise killing civilians to terrorize and deter is timeless. The US and UK still hold the record though, (far ahead of the Germans in WWII) as they account for about 3 million German civilians killed from the air for purely terror purpose, meaning no military value.
      The German's civilian extermination (of Jews and others) was basically an attempt to eliminate population, not so much to terrorize it..

      "... how do you contain people who will sacrifice themselves to kill civilian targets?" [...]

      Read the full comment
      You don't. You learn to live with an acceptable level of casualties, and try not to disrupt the world's economy too much, while you police the situation. Policing is really the right word here - the goal of police is not to eliminate crime, but to keep it at reasonable levels, and probably confine it to particular areas as to allow the rest of us to live productive lives, so that we can basically pay for the rest.

      I actually see US wars in the Islamic world as a long term positive. Many of those folks need to be brought out from their medieval existence, and that will hurt all of us, but it needs to be done.
      As a non American, I can't see the US as allies in that they have a record of killing Christians to help Muslims (or supporting Muslims in their war against Christians) extremists in many areas, most notably in the former USSR and the Balkans. I have a hard time supporting them as they put missiles in countries like Poland, obviously NOT directed against some common threat, but against Russia, which I don't see as a threat to civilization at all. (in fact I see Haiti as much more dangerous, as 45% of them are children - that should send shivers down your spine, because no victory is more permanent than the demographic one).
      So the US is acting upon her interests, as they see them, which is what I would expect.

      BG should support the US, but for the right price - again a balance;)

    • Anonymous neutral
      #4 18, 33, Wed, Jan 27 2010

      I know that many people absolutely believe that the U.S. presence in the Middle East, whether it's our military presence or over oil, is what has exacerbated this current problem with Islamic terrorists. If you look historically at Al-Qaeda's actions around the world, they haven't limited themselves to only U.S. targets. Yet, I think that some countries think they might somehow be immune from terrorism. They may find themselves rudely awakened for no other reason than they have a very different world view than Islamic fundamentalists. This is what I mean by 'cultural', which can also be construed to include [...]

      Read the full comment 'religious', as they oftentimes are inseparable. Even containment will prove itself to be difficult, how do you contain people who will sacrifice themselves to kill civilian targets? You will probably reply "balance" but this is not an easy task to achieve.

      Personally, I think that terrorism is a very very old tactic, that goes back to the time when humans first started fighting with each other....which probably coincided with the time we could walk upright. Didn't learn this in my history class, but they did teach me how to read. :) Ha ha! That being said, it was a long time ago that I was in school, you know, back when we were fighting the Cold War.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #3 23, 21, Tue, Jan 26 2010

      If US military involvement was the reason for terrorism, the Serbs would've been the biggest terrorist, since their country was in for very rough handling 10 years a go.

      I think all religions are basically money scams, but Islam can be particularly dangerous for those practicing.
      If you look around, the western (Christian) victims of Islamic terrorists, are about 2-5% of the total deaths. The rest are Muslims. Not to mention the dire economic consequences Islamic jihad causes in the Muslim countries.
      The only issue with the US is the cultural one, [...]

      Read the full comment in that they are prone to attempt "to solve" this, like other parts of life's imperfections they usually believe possible, and that can play in the Osama's hands. After all, attention is their main goal.

      Terrorism is like drunk driving - it can only be contained, not eliminated, so declaring war on it, is very counterintuitive to my European mind.
      To most Americans, terrorism is a Muslim invention, but that's just the short comings of their history classes.
      Modern terrorism was invented by Left Wing extremists in the 19th century Russia. Many of them were actually Jewish intellectuals.
      The Russian Tsar who liberated Bulgaria from the Turks (and emancipated the Russian serfs, incidentally) was assassinated by just such terrorists, after no less than 8 attempts.
      19th century Europe was really suffering from terrorism, culminating with the 1915 Sarajevo assassination that triggered WWI.
      It will always be with us, but nevertheless failed states are a huge liability for all...

    • Anonymous neutral
      #2 21, 49, Tue, Jan 26 2010

      Some are quick to write off modern day acts of terrorism solely as the byproduct of U.S. presence and involvement in the Middle East (over oil or any other geopolitical concerns). This is a simplistic view. I believe the jihadists hate more than just the U.S. or western military presence, they hate what they deem to be a "western" way of life. By "western" I do not just mean "American". They want to live under their version of sharia law, and any country with cultural mores which differ can potentially become a target. I find it interesting in France, for [...]

      Read the full comment example, that they have become increasingly restrictive in how Islam is practiced in their country (which is their prerogative). It is this type of cultural conflict, not just a military one, that we will continue to see.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #1 19, 04, Tue, Jan 26 2010

      These people are in the stone age...

      As anti-American as I can be, I just don't see how whole countries can me allowed to fester under in such Islamic dark ages, especially as the world shrinks by the day. Sadly I don't see the Afghan or the eventual Yemen or Somalia war as a war of choice, not just for the US but for the rest of civilization...

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