The Taliban: fanatics yes, but cowards - hardly
"The Taliban is a bunch of cowards," says Brigadier-General David Fraser, the Canadian commander in southern Afghanistan, responding to a bicycle-riding suicide bomber who killed four Canadian soldiers this morning.
Cowards? The guy blew himself up for heaven's sake! Fanatical yes, deluded maybe, but cowardly, I think not. He offered up his life, not risked it as our soldiers do, but offered it up. It doesn't get any gutsier - or crazier - than that.
The Taliban are fighting the most high-tech army the world has ever seen with minimal resources. They confront artillery, helicopter gun ships, predator drones, tanks, soldiers decked out in body armour, the whole panoply of modern military weaponry, with little more than rifles, grenade launchers and home-made bombs on bicycles.
I understand the general's distress, and of course he has to maintain his men's morale, but his enemy is anything but "a bunch of cowards."