Because the Taliban clearly don't give a shit about the people of Afghanistan
The war on terror is largely about winning the hearts and minds of people in terrorist hot spots around the world.
But as Raphael Alexander points out, the Taliban in Afghanistan need to win hearts and minds too -- although they're going about it in an entirely different manner.
Today, the Taliban targeted a convoy of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan with a car bomb. While wounding several Canadian soldiers, they killed 38 Afghan civilians.
This attack comes one day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 80 when he detonated himself at a dog fight just outside of Kandahar city.
While today's attack seems to uncover a lack of cooperation between NATO forces and Afghan security operating in the area -- Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid claims that he warned NATO about the known suicide bomb plot and asked them to steer clear of the area -- one thing becomes immediately apparent.
The Taliban doesn't give a flying fuck about the people of Afghanistan. The startling regularity with which they attack their own people is only one more reason to remain in Afghanistan and ensure they don't return to power.
An Islamic extremist's belief that cavorting with Westerners is spiritual pain worse than death is one thing entirely: but if the Taliban cared about the people of Afghanistan, they wouldn't put them at risk unnecessarily, and sure as hell wouldn't attack them directly.
The two attacks -- claiming 118 civilian lives between the two of them -- does underscore a key difference in the battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan: our NATO forces have to win their respect and loyalty. The Taliban will settle for fear.
The Taliban don't merely harbour terrorists when they're in power -- they are terrorists when they aren't. It's one of the most important reasons why they must be defeated.
It's another reason why we fight.