The title of an Al-Jazeera article released on February 25, 2012 is “DEADLIEST day in Afghanistan’s Quran protests” (Web-site/URL: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/02/20122249155462781.html). NO SURPRISE THERE.
“The fourth straight day of protests over the burning of Qurans at a US-led base in Afghanistan have led to the death of 11 Afghans, including a protester who was shot dead in the capital Kabul. Friday’s (February 24, 2012) deaths, the most since protests began on Tuesday (February 21, 2012), bring the four day total to 25 dead, including two US soldiers”. “Fresh protests were held on Saturday (February 25, 2012) in the provinces of Laghman, Nangarhar and Sar-e-pul provinces. Seven protesters were killed on Friday (February 24, 2012) in the western city of Herat, where protesters tried to STORM the US consulate. Another protester died in the Pol-e-Khomri area of northern Baghlan province. Two deaths were also reported in the eastern province of Khost”. “Demonstrations have been reported in several locations across the country, including Ghazni, Nangarhar, Paktia, Kunar, Bamiyan and Khost”.
“Hundreds of demonstrators marched toward the palace of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, chanting “DEATH TO America!”, prompting security forces to fire into the air IN AN ATTEMPT to disperse them“. Karzai, of course, can generally be considered/regarded as a US ally and of course, the security forces FAILED in their attempt to do this (i.e. “disperse” the crowd).
According to Sediqqi (presumably a government official), “Although PEACEFUL demonstrations are the right of (the) people, we strongly urge our countrymen to fully avoid turning them into violent ones“. Many of these “demonstrations” HAVE ALREADY “turned” VIOLENT.
“Two US soldiers were also killed on Thursday (February 23, 2012) when an “individual wearing the Afghan army uniform” opened fire on them at a military base in Khogyani, in eastern Nangarhar province”. Of course, we all know well by now that it is highly likely that “an “individual wearing the Afghan army uniform” IS NOT a member of the Afghan army, a unit that is generally friendly to the United States, but an INSURGENT instead.
“Speaking to Al Jazeera in Kabul, Afghan political analyst Haseeb Humayoon said the rising death count in the protests show “the room for error is REDUCING“ for international forces in the country. Humayoon also said “some VERY IRRESPONSIBLE ACTORS IN THE POLITICAL ARENA do actually use this for very minor, very small political ends of their own“. Could we have EXPECTED anything else? These are POLITICIANS and POLITICIANS are “actors”.
According to John Allen, “commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan”, “We’re here for OUR FRIENDS. We’re here for OUR PARTNERS. We’re here for the Afghan people … Now is how we show the Afghan people that as bad as that act was at Bagram, it was UNINTENTIONAL (?) and Americans and ISAF soldiers DO NOT stand for this“. Allen surely WILL HAVE AN UPHILL BATTLE to prove that the latest burning of Korans “was unintentional”.
“An Afghan government delegation investigating the burning described the incident as “SHAMEFUL” (obviously), but issued an overnight appeal for calm from the protesters”. “In view of the particular security situation in the country, we call on ALL our Muslim citizens of Afghanistan to EXERCISE SELF-RESTRAINT and extra vigilance in dealing with the issue“. It sure DOESN’T seem like Afghans are “exercising self-restraint” here with “self-restraint” clearly being the point of emphasis.
“US citizens have been advised to “avoid ANY unnecessary movement” by the (US) embassy (in Kabul)”. US officials are clearly NERVOUS/ON EDGE.
Finally, “Demonstrations in the last three days have drawn thousands of ANGRY protesters to the streets, chanting “DEATH TO AMERICA!” and SMASHING shops and windows“. “anger” is certainly an emotion that we DON’T need any more of and “death to America” and “smashing shops and windows” is the latest example of EMOTIONS BOILING OVER.
So, we have another application of Pastor TERRY JONES’ “Burn a Koran Day” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrki70TdoJs), which certainly WON’T enhance US reputation/help US interests in the Middle East.