Americans remember today the suicide attack by al-Qaeda terrorists on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, on October 12, 2000. The bombers sailed a small boat near the destroyer and detonated explosive charges, opening a hole in the port side of the ship 60 by 40 feet in diameter. The blast killed 17 crew members and injured 39.

ObamaIn a famous TV commercial from the 1980s, an elderly woman, surveying the minuscule amount of hamburger in the middle of a bun, asks pointedly, “Where’s the beef?” One year after President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize despite having been in office only a short time, ABC News’ Russell Goldman reports that many people are asking, “Where’s the peace?”

The average Afghan — and, indeed, the average American — may be deriving very little benefit from the United States’ continued occupation of Afghanistan and the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that continue to be poured into that country, but in both countries the well-connected make out quite handsomely. In Afghanistan, the key to prosperity and power, it seems, is having the surname of Karzai, as in President Hamid Karzai.

Voice of America and other news sources reported on October 4 that the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for an attack on about 20 tanker trucks carrying fuel bound for NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan. The report cited a police report that claimed that at least three people were killed when militant gunmen fired on the tankers and then set them on fire. The attack occurred at a truck depot near Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, before dawn on October 4. 

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told reporters that the attacks would continue until the supply convoys are stopped. The militant group also said it was avenging NATO drone strikes on Pakistani territory.

US soldier in AfghanistanPresident Barack Obama may have publicly stated that U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, but according to reporter Bob Woodward, both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus have other ideas. The Huffington Post reports that Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, portrays Gates and Petraeus as anticipating — in Gates’s case, perhaps even desiring — a long-term U.S. presence in the “graveyard of empires.”

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