The word I receive from Kabuli friends is that Isikoff has singlehandedly turned US triumph in the country to a total disaster. It was thought an anomaly last summer that some wonderful–and tragically forgotten–American DynCorps workers (mostly ex-military and my good friends) were killed in an environment that was pro-American to the core. That could be seen as a terrible tragedy, an unreasonable sad event impinging on an overall positive atmosphere–a last ditch effort by desperate Al Qa’eda remnants from outside Afghanistan to vent anger at the overwhelming success of the Americans. Now thanks to one Bush-hating reporter (google Isikoff if you doubt his intentions,) the recidivist Taliban-Pathans of southeast Afghanistan once again have an issue to de-legitimize the Karzai-US alliance.
Now, it occurs to me that if the "Karzai-US alliance" can be so easily flushed down the toilet, it was probably a sham all along. Had the Newsweek incident not happened, do these people believe that this house of cards would have remained standing?
Of course, like most people commenting on this topic, I am almost totally ignorant, but I am far from convinced that the riots in Afghanistan were solely conerned with Newsweek's Periscope.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum pours some cold water on the fires of outrage and makes a valuable point: "The Taliban stages a resurgence every spring, anti-Americanism has been on the rise for some time, and the rioters in Afghanistan are responsible for the riots in Afghanistan. The Newsweek story is clearly just a pretext, and another story would have done just as well given their obvious animosity toward America."(emphasis added)
Imagine that. The rioters are responsible for the rioting.