KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban announced the beginning of their spring military offensive against the U.S.-led coalition Saturday…
At first, this seemed like standard Afghan fare. But after like a nanosecond, it hit me: “spring military offensive?” Is this a war or a line of designer clothing? “The Taliban announced…?” They can announce this? Like, with a press conference?
What the hell…?
This is not a political statement, really. It’s more like a pointing out of things that are ridiculous, like when an enemy combatant that’s not an actual nation launches a seasonal approach to killing people. (I know the tables can be turned, because the Pentagon releases information on plans of attack. Shock and awe, for example.) Another bit of AP writing contained the phrase “spring fighting season.” Are you kidding me?
Obviously, though, this is no joke. The “spring military offensive” begins tomorrow, and will be geared against US-coalition bases and Afghan officials. I didn’t read far enough to find out exactly what distiguishes the spring offensive from any other, but the fact that they break it down by season may indicate as much about the length of the war as it does about where they’re fighting it.
And this little glimpse at the PR of war isn’t new, either. Al Qaeda actually has reps who will go on TV for interviews. Boy, times have changed. Can you imagine an official representative of the Viet Cong chatting with Walter Cronkite in a side-by-side set of boxes?
By the way, the Taliban made the announcement in a two-page statement. Not a press conference. I’m guessing they don’t have a studio, but I could be wrong… Al Qaeda seems to make videos everywhere they go. With backdrops, even.
To make matters absolutely awful, however, immediately after I read the article I cracked wise to my friend Kara. “Oh, the spring military offensive is much different from the others. The fabrics are lighter, the gun-toting accessories are completely interchangable…” On and on I went.
Then about an hour later I remembered: Kara’s fiance’ deployed for Afghanistan about six weeks ago. She’s a wreck about it.
And I’m a total thoughtless cad.
I sent a text message to one of my sisters (the one whose humor is most like mine): “i just went on and on to kara about the taliban’s spring military offensive like it’s a fashion show. her fiance’ is there. i suck.”
“ha! awkward! … funny, tho” was her reply.
Because if you’re going to make your friend cry, it’s best to make sure the humor you intended is clear, at least.
This is like that time a week ago when I made a “your mom” joke to a co-worker whose mother died.
Later today, I went to grab some food and reached over a little girl to take the last sample of bread scraps from the tray of freebies while I waited for my order. The little girl’s bright eyes went dull when she felt around on the tray she was too small to see, and realized there were no scraps left. I was mid-chew when I realized what I had done.
That’s right, kid. I took it. I took the last scrap without even thinking of you. I’m on a roll today. Next I’m going to steal a cup of change from a blind beggar on the street. And he won’t even know it was me.