The Taliban have won.
Thanks George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden!
19 years! Thousands of lives lost. Tens of thousands of wounded and injured who will never be the same again. Billions wasted.
This is a disgrace.
I know he didn’t lose it alone, but, for me, Joe Biden will always be the guy who lost Afghanistan. He left without a thought to consequences.
For the second time in 50 years, America is going to sit back and watch as an Army that we created is slaughtered by an enemy.
I doubt Joe Biden is even aware that Afghanistan is in trouble. Psaki is telling him that the Taliban have surrendered and that White Supremacists are the great danger to Afghanistan. AOC wants to fly to Afghanistan to preach Wokeness and Critical Race Theory. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are dancing and celebrating the death of these imperialist American soldiers.
“The key here is that we’re trying to end a war responsibly, deliberately,” Milley said, “and to do it on terms that guarantee the safety of the U.S. vital national security interests that are at stake in Afghanistan.”
The only responsible way to end a war is with victory.
It seems Mark Milley believes we can go to war, force a people to fight a war for us by financing their little toy military, lie to ourselves on PowerPoint for nearly two decades about how GREAT we are and what a GREATABULOUS job we’re doing and then, when we grow weary, we can just walk away from that conflict and call it responsible.
For if we speak it, it shall be…as long as we put it on a four blocker on PowerPoint in Arial font.
“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter.
The Afghan military needs leadership.
They have some good young leaders out there. Hopefully, a few of them decide that the sacrifice to help their people is a worthy effort for them. Gather these soldiers. Train them up. Lead them.
The Afghan political leadership is weak and corrupt. If they truly loved Afghanistan, they would get out of the way and let some young turk lead the way through this current crisis and into the future. The old, corrupt men need to get out of the way. Their way has led Afghanistan to disaster. They are selfish, decrepit old men. They need to go.
Afghanistan is a creation of the West. It’s a money cow and nothing more. The old men like Karzai, Abdullah and Ghani have failed because they lined their pockets and the pockets of their cronies for the past two decades. It is time for these and other greed driven warlords to get out of the way. They’ve done immeasurable damage.
I don’t know if Afghanistan will survive. I don’t even know if it should exist. Centralized government has never existed in the geographical area that we call Afghanistan. The Soviet Union tried to install one. The US tried to install one. Perhaps, it should not exist. It may never exist.
If Afghanistan is to become a real nation as opposed to a puppet government based entirely upon some outsider nation’s patronage, the old line must give way. The young leaders must step forward and step up.
It’s either that or Afghanistan splinters and we will get some mix of Taliban (Pashtun), Tajik, Hazara and possibly Da’esh led mini-States constantly warring upon one another as proxies of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the US, India, Russia and China.
The Taliban cannot accomplish much on their own. What no one is talking about is that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are arming and supporting these Taliban groups. Make no mistake. There is no monolithic Taliban power in Afghanistan. These Taliban groups are not warring in a vacuum.
I’m sure that China and Russia have pet groups in Afghanistan. I’m equally certain that Iran has their set of pet groups.
Iran does not want a Sunni Taliban power on their border.
India has no love for the idea of a Pashtun Wahhabi bent Taliban led power in alliance with Pakistan.
Neither China nor Russia want a Wahhabist Sunni (Salafist) Taliban fomenting Islamic Extremism into Western China, the Central Asian Stans and bordering regions.
The US should be working with Russia, China, and, yes, Iran to put the Taliban down and to keep their Saudi-Paki induced madness from spreading into the Central Asian plains, China and Eastern Europe. We should have been doing this for the past 20 years. Alas, we’ve allowed our arrogance to make us ignorant and we are here at the end of our Afghan epic having wasted two decades and two trillion dollars with our greatest triumphs being the creation of Dubai as a financial center of the Middle East, flooding the world with Afghan opium, Afghan multimillionaires and a few thousand newly minted Americans in the Afghans who served as interpreters. We also brilliantly created a National Defense force that has fallen apart in the first minutes after our departure.
“The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along several other officials,” a Taliban statement said.
The death of LTG Raziq was a National Tragedy. It has caused dissension among the ranks in the ANDSF and the ASSF. It as caused a rift in relationships between the Coalition and the Afghan National Security Forces.
This cannot stand.
This is what the Taliban want.
It cannot stand.
Despite what the Taliban have said about him. LTG Raziq was a national hero of the Afghan people. He was a solid ally of free people and those who love life and liberty throughout the World.
The lies of the Taliban had led to Green on Blue incidents between US Forces and Afghan Forces. This was their intent. This was their strategy.
It cannot stand.
If Afghanistan wishes to be free. If Afghans wish to be masters of their destiny. If the people of Afghanistan wish to define their lives as they see fit. It cannot stand.
The United States has made mistakes. The United States is working hard to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Again, the United States had made mistakes.
The only mistake that the United States has made as concerns LTG Raziq is that he was not protected as befit his importance to the National and International situation and his importance to the cause of Peace and Liberty.
We should have protected him as if he were the last breath of Liberty in Afghanistan. We did not. We failed.
And so did the Afghan people.
The people of Afghanistan are failing again in allowing the spread of malicious rumors intended to prop up the interests and strategy of the Taliban. The Afghan people should defy these rumors. They should deny these rumors.
No United States Citizen, General or Soldier had anything to do with the death of LTG Raziq. The Taliban admitted to killing him.
In a statement, the Taliban referred to Gen Raziq as a “brutal police chief”. It said it had targeted both him and Gen Miller, but the Pentagon denied that the US commander was among the key targets.
For me, he was a personal hero. I know of his exploits and I respected him as a hero of Afghanistan.
It is time for the people of Afghanistan to step up. To throw off the yoke that the Taliban would place upon their necks. There can be no return to public shootings of women in the Kabul Olympic stadium. There can be no return to executions and beatings because a man has not grown a fist full of beard or is late to Masjid on Juma.
It is time for the people of Afghanistan to deny these insane rumors and to tell the Talban that they cannot rule them. That they will not allow a return to Taliban interpreted Sharia.
The United States would be insane to have done so.
Who profited and continues to profit from the death of LTG Raziq? ONLY THE TALIBAN!
First a little background. I gave a two week logistics course in Herat from 2007 to 2010. My classes were officer heavy. Majority were MAJ to COL with a few GOs sprinkled in. However, when I went to the Districts, I instructed CPT and below with a few NCOs involved.
Lessons learned are as follows:
1. Afghans have a great respect for Teachers. I ran into students out in the Districts and Provinces. They would put their hands over their hearts, bow slightly and address me as Teacher. They would thank me and seek advice. It happened quite often.
Afghanistan is an Asian culture. This respect for teachers goes back to the Chinese classical era (Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, Confucious, etc).
Use that to your advantage by having your Interpreter refer to the instructors as Teachers.
2. Show respect for Islam. Regardless of your personal feelings. If you have to, fake the funk.
3. Let them get to know you. I set aside time in all of my classes for this. A period in the beginning where I talked about who I am, where I came from and the experience that made me the “expert” who teaches them these new techniques, etc.
4. I ended every class day with a couple of videos. Jennifer Lopez or Shakira. Nothing too crazy that might offend. They loved it. This actually drove people to attend my classes religiously. If I skipped a day or forgot to play the videos, my students would request them.
While these videos played, some of the students would approach me and talk to me on the side. It allowed me to get to know my students and gave them a temporary break or a new experience.
Many of these guys have never seen the internet or a music video.
5. Don’t be afraid to RESPECTFULLY speak about politics and religion. I learned much doing this about the motivations and personalities of my students.
6. Your interpreter is your primary source of contact and communication. I know this seems obvious but, for some reason, it is not.
The Teacher’s (instructor’s) relationship with the Afghan Interpreter will heavily influence your relationship with and effectiveness as an instructor/teacher.
If you do not like your Interpreter, it will show. If you have a poorly skilled interpreter, you will not be able to communicate the skills, TTPs, etc that you wish to pass on to your students.
You and your Interpreter should be seamless. The Interpreter should be an extension of the Instructor.
When you are addressing the class, ADDRESS the CLASS. Then give your Interpreter the nod to translate. Look your students in the eye (collectively and individually) as you instruct. Do not address your Interpreter as you instruct your class/course. This will become second nature over time.
7. Speak a bit of Dari and/or Pashtun. The Afghans love this. A little is all it takes.
8. Greet your students at the door of the class each day (if this is possible). I did this each morning as they arrived. It sets the tone. It allows them to become comfortable with you. It shows that you care about them.
9. Do not be afraid to touch them. I put my arm around my Afghan counterparts shoulders all of the time. Touch has the amazing capacity to affect people’s impressions of you. It works. It will increase their respect and affection for you as their teacher enabling you to become a more effective instructor.
10. Learn a bit about the history of Afghanistan. King Mohammad Zahir Shah (Pashtoon), Dawood Khan (Pashtoon) , Doostum (Uzbek), Ahmad Shah Massoud (Tajik), Abdul Haq (Pashtoon). Learn the difference between a Hazara, Tajik and Pashtoon. Learn the difference between a Shi’a and a Sunni. They will be impressed. It works. I’ve used this to great effect with the ANP, ABP, ANA and our guys.
11. Understand that, though these guys may be uneducated, they are not unintelligent. These guys catch on quick. They pay attention to how you treat them. They pay attention to your frustration levels. They understand body language. They may learn differently than you. They may take a bit more time than you wish because of the language barrier. They are not dumb.
12. Never show anger. This is an Asian culture. Face saving is incredibly important and delicate. They will kill over loss of face. Smile, be patient and laugh freely.
And finally, though it may seem to be common sense:
NEVER OFFEND ISLAM or MOHAMMAD. Do this once and you may as well quit and go home.
Afghanistan is not the Graveyard of Empires. There is not one Empire in the history of humankind that has ended specifically because of Imperial Adventures in Afghanistan.
To the contrary, Empires have rarely attempted to conquer Afghanistan. Parts of modern day Afghanistan have been co-opted into various Empires. Afghanistan has been used as a stepping stone to other conquests. Most often, the lands that are now called Afghanistan have been worthless in and of themselves. Instead, Afghanistan is a crossroads of Empire. No one has ever wanted to rule the people here. They’re far too stubborn and unruly or they used to be.
Now, the people of Afghanistan have become bastardized miniaturized versions of Islamic takfirin or salafis. They aren’t quite certain what it means. Most of them have no idea of their owns history. Many who strive to live peaceably, do so with a bent towards the Western world and our Globalist, consumerist homogeneity. Still others have been fatigued by decades of war with the Soviet Union, Mujahideen, the Paki-Saudi birthed Taliban, America and the West or the various insurgents, Taliban, al Qaeda and IS movements within the country. A very small minority will fight to the last man, yours or theirs, until they are simply left alone to be what they wish to be without interference from a foreign created, centralized State.
No great Afghan Army has ever defeated a foreign power. They have won key battles only to lose the larger war. This has happened with every incursion into their territory. More often than not, foreign armies simply lose interest in the area as it loses its momentary geographic importance or various empires declined and withdrew their forces from the region for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with the people of this historical crossroads.
If we were to compare the region to other historical crossroads, the most apt comparison would the the Levant. Empires arose. Empires conquered the area as they moved through. Empires fell. The people of the Levant rarely ruled anyone but were ruled by everyone.
Afghanistan has been the same. Empires have risen and entered the region. Perhaps, they stayed for a while as did the Greeks when they created the Bactrian civilization. Empires fell and withdrew through the same route leaving the area called Afghanistan to its petty, metropolitan potentates who rarely ruled anymore than 100 miles from the cities which they ruled. The tribes have been co-opted into Imperial Armies and then left to fend for themselves as these same Empires fell away to be replaced by others.
I can think of few Great Empires which bothered to conquer the area we now call Afghanistan.
The Brits did not try to conquer Afghanistan (it didn’t exist). The Brits came in and created a buffer zone between their Brit Raj and the Russian Empire. Yes, they had set backs. All in all, they accomplished what they set out to accomplish.
The Soviets would more than likely still be in the Stan if the US and Saudi Arabia had not funded the Muj and given them modern arms.
The Greeks established a lasting culture in the Stan. We can still see the remains of it. The Pathans didn’t defeat Alexander. Legend has it that Qandahar (Iskandhar) was originally settled by Alexander and named for him [by him]. The Bactrian Civilization, created by Greek settlers and soldiers, lasted for hundreds of years. Remnants of this civilization can be seen today.
The Mongols kicked ass in the Stan. It was never a case of the Mongol Empire(s) being unable to hold this land. They crushed the Islamic rulers in the Stan. Absolutely crushed the bastards. The Mongols who settled and ruled the area eventually converted to Islam. They weren’t defeated. They simply became one and the same. The Hazara, said to be the descendants of the original Mongols, are still in the Stan as a lasting legacy. Balkh is still a ruin as a lasting legacy of the power of Jinghiss Khan and his progeny.
Tamerlane came in and took the joint then ignored it.
The Moghuls led by Babar Khan conquered the Stan and kept it until the British Raj weakened them. One can visit Babur’s grave and the mini-Taj built for him by his grandson Shah Jahan.
The Sassanids held Khorasan for quite a long time.
There were other conquerors who passed through.
What is now Afghanistan has never been valuable as a whole. Khorasan was a center of Islamic learning for hundreds of years. It was said to be the most beautiful city and the most learned city in this part of the world. It is one of the few cities that was an actual center of learning FOR WOMEN in the Islamic World thanks to the wife of Timur the Lame.
There were others.
This is not the graveyard of empires. This is a place that has always been on the periphery of empires because there has, historically, been nothing of value that empires desire except for the ability to pass through on the way to the conquest of India, China, Eurasia, Europe, Persia, etc.
There has been no Empire which has fallen specifically because of that Empire’s adventures in the land of the Pathan.
I so wish that the media would stop perpetuating this inane nonsense.
Even so, I still love the cartoons that the myth produces.
No Middle Eastern Army can stand against the US Army. None. Not one. North Korea’s Military will be crushed in a few weeks, if they and we are foolish enough to engage in that war. The question would not be military defeat of North Korea. The question as it was in 1950 is Chinese reaction.
Insurgents can hold out because the US, Israel and other Western Forces will attempt to minimize civilian casualties. Conversely, the insurgents such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLA, ISIS, al Qaeda will purposely target civilians and manifest amongst civilians in order to raise the civilian death toll so that Western NGOs will place blame on the Western Armies and on Israel.
If Israel or the US Military were to turn loose and not care about civilian casualties or infrastructure, these insurgents would be defeated swiftly. Western Politicians send Western Armies into the field with one eye blinded, one arm tied to one leg with trigger fingers glued to the palm. The US military could defeat the insurgents if they were allowed to plow through and kill everything in sight. If the US Military were to wage total war, there is not an insurgent group which could withstand the pressure of such a war. The will of the people would be destroyed.
If an American General was to be set loose in the fashion of W. T. Sherman or Genghis Khan, there is not a force extant in the Middle East who could stand before them. Not one.
The West attempts to be civilized. We are back to the gentlemanly wars of the 18th Century. Tea at noon. Battle at 1330 sharp. Turns at volleys. Pish Pish.
The Cold War with the Soviet Union turned the American Military soft. That same Cold War destroyed the will of Western Europe to survive.
One of the bigger problems in the Stan is continuity. The Military come and go with a frequency that is mind numbing.
- SMs not wanted at their command
- ROAD Scholars
- Guys who volunteered
Category 1 are usually exemplified by a willingness to sit around and do nothing (aka shitheads or duds). They either don’t want to do anything and don’t care about the mission or they truly suck and are incapable of doing anything but damage.
We recently had the pleasure of a guy of the second sort receiving the heave ho from our area. He tried poorly to do everything and I mean everything but accomplished nothing. We likened him to a puppy chasing around silver, bouncy balls. He’d catch one. He’d start a project. Then he’d see another shiny ball bouncing down the path and chase after that one. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
This, of course, left others playing catch the ball behind him because much of what he’d start affected other lines of effort or, more accurately, threw wrenches in other lines of effort. We had just been getting the Afghans to take responsibility for themselves and to actually DO things on their own. It all ended within a month of his arrival as he let them do what they do all too well. They suckered him into doing their work so that they could sit back and relax. This Captain thought that it made him popular with the Afghans. Alas, they all saw him for what he was and couldn’t stand him.
He also had an issue with Black people. I couldn’t pin it down but the guy had problems with any Black person who did not outrank him or couldn’t help him chase bouncy, shiny balls around camp.
This guy was worse than worthless. He did real damage to the effort. This should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, this is the affect of a great many of the WIAS Tasking output. In many AORs, WIAS tasker is a profane curse.
Another of these WIAS worthies used open source email to put out SECRET information. This mental giant was actually an Intel Officer. Yes, they’re that bad.
Category 2 are usually lazy and are just riding out the year. Some of them can be motivated to act. Some of them can be tricked into acting. Others couldn’t be dislodged from their complacency and F’hobbitian methods with a strike from Thor’s Mjolnir.
Category 3 are usually guys who are motivated and will help get things done. Most of these folks will listen to those who have been here a minute. They have military imperatives that they must, at least, attempt to accomplish and that a guy like me must understand and, if possible, assist him in accomplishing.
Cat 3 guys usually do some good. Especially if they listen well and/or have taken some time to learn about Afghan culture and the history of the ANDSF.
Unfortunately, Cat 3s are about One in 10,000.
Some Special Units rotate in for 90 days a pop. These guys are hard chargers who want to go to war and kill something. Some of them do well and do good. Others…well, not so much.
Last but not least, the Commanders. We get guys who go with the flow. We get guys who think they are making GREAT CHANGES that are mere reinventions of wheels tried in’ 07 or ’13. You get Commanders who land on the ground with a Squadron of Good Idea Fairies with unworkable nonsense. And you get some good Commanders who try to take what is working and improve it, discard foolishness and try to rework seemingly insoluble problems.
Back to continuity.
Individuals pop in and out of Afghanistan on 90 day to 9 Month tours. The WIAS tasker guys may stay a full year or may not. We’ve had quite a few of these guys get Pink Slips and head home 3 to 6 months early.
Some Contractors do a year and roll out.
However, you also have Contractors who stay for years at a time and know the lay of the land.
Deliverables may or may not be vague as hell.
You’ve got some Contractors who do some really great things AND you’ve got some who sit around and do as little as possible. Skaters who do just enough to seem relevant and not be descoped.
There are contractors over here who are hot shit and WANT desperately to accomplish something…anything. BUT, for the most part, if a Contractor makes a suggestion, the suggestion is all but ignored.
It’s not an atmosphere conducive to accomplishing much.
Contracts in the Stan are horribly written and are, oft times, inflexible.
Another huge problem is the low pay of the interpreters. The interpreter/translator is key. You get what you pay for. When I worked with Dyncorp, I was able to draw in the best around the country because we paid them better than anyone else.
Other contracts throw interpreter/translators into the verbiage as if an afterthought. “Oh yeah, we need some of those local talky fuckers.” That makes for some wretched hiring practices. You get guys who can barely speak English and can’t translate to save their lives.
These are some of the issues.
With high Military turnover, no one really cares. They’re here to do their year and roll out. You get a few who do care but not many.
We have one Major who thinks that it is his job to make the Afghans fail.
We have Generals who tell us that the Afghans cannot fail.
There are zero consequences for failure, corruption, incompetence, outright criminality, etc within the Afghan Army.
The ANSSF conduct something like 80% of the operations against the enemy even though they make up less than 15% of the force. The regular ANDSF who make up 80 to 85% of the force can’t fight their way out of their own FOBs.
It’s a seriously and incredibly strange endeavor in the Stan.
Personally, I think we’ve done about all we can do. UNLESS we have a serious leadership paradigm change.
And maybe we’ve got that with Trump/Mattis. Somehow, I doubt it.
Oh yeah…don’t get me started on the ISAF folks. The turks are worthless.
The Spaniards can’t do anything. The Italians drink wine. The Brits look hard but do very little except create rules that adds red tape to everything that they touch.
I went over to RS HQ once. You need a letter signed by a Colonel in triplicate just to get a room for the night. Everything else is correspondingly difficult to accomplish there.
The RS (ISAF) Badge is a great example of the cohesion of the effort here.
US bases won’t accept the ISAF badge for much, if anything.
In order to get onto HKIA, one must have an ISAF badge or one must be escorted. Even if one has a CAC.
It is quite possibly the dumbest thing in the world.
All of this is before anyone even thinks of going outside of the wire which doesn’t happen for about 99% of the US and Coalition Forces. Thanks to Dan Bolger, the whole of the US and Coalition Forces are F’hobbitized. Stuck on some base somewhere and can’t find their way to a local Nan shop much less a Taliban stronghold even though most any Afghan knows exactly where the Talibs. Insurgents and bandits are holed up at any given moment.
Hell, I used to be able to ride around Kabul and tell you exactly where the insurgents were hiding. I could point out bandit houses.
Now, though, I doubt that there are more than 20 American SMs who know jackshit about the Afghan countryside or where and who a local insurgent, bandit or bad guy might be.
Yet, even Hekmetyar has come in from the cold. lol That old bastard is playing some game. I can smell it.
Liberals, Leftists, Conservatives, Neo-Cons, Neo-Liberals, Islamists, Pan-Islamists and everyone else concerned keep speaking of a long awaited Islamic Reformation.
Actually, that Reformation has already began and is ongoing. Except that Islam is going from a slumbering megalith to an extremist controlled ideology.Islam began a long sleep sometime in the 1700-1800 era. It went near comatose after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Two things occurred to awaken Islam:
Conflict in the Middle East predates Islam by thousands of years. This region is a crossroads of history. Traditions of hate, violence and war date back to before the Greeks and Persians to the earliest stories of the pre-Phoenician peoples. Expecting “Peace in the Middle East” One may as well search for the burial place of Genghis Khan. Find one; you may find the other.
None of this is to say that the United States or Britain is to blame for Islamic Extremism. Islam was born in blood. It will die in blood. Islam was spread via conquest. Muslims and Liberals love to deny this. However, the Islamic Empire spread from Medina to Andalusia (Spain) in an amazingly short period of time. None of these territories invited Mohammad, Abu Bakr or Uthman into their lands. Islam did not quietly knock and ask for admittance. Islam rode at the head of a world devouring empire. People “submitted” to Allah not because they suddenly saw the light. They converted or “reverted” because it was the prudent thing to do. If you were given the choice between conversion, death or high taxes and second/third class citizenship in your own lands, most would choose to convert.
Islam is a violent Abrahamic religion. All three of the religions spawned by Abraham are violent and full of blood lust — Xtianity, Judaism and Islam.
The Extremist Muslims are following the path of previous Muslims including that of Mohammad. Denial of this is denial of historic reality.
Islam is violent. It also knows peace. However, like Xtianity, the majority of the religions is about purifying the world and making it ready for God/Allah via force.
Same God, same violence, same hatred for the non-believer. Muslims choose which path to follow. Those who choose violence choose that path regardless of outside influence. They would choose that path even if the US and Britain had never existed as neither existed when the Islamic Empire first invaded Europe, Africa and Asia.
“We have a common task, Afghanistan, the United States of America, and the civilized world, to launch a joint struggle against fundamentalism,” Najibullah told the Times, and “described what he thought would happen to his country if Islamic extremists took power in Kabul.”
“If fundamentalism comes to Afghanistan, war will continue for many more years,” Najibullah said. “Afghanistan will turn into a center of world smuggling for narcotic drugs. Afghanistan will be turned into a center for terrorism.”
President Najibullah, Afghanistan, 1989
and it only took three years…
The Young British Soldier
When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East 'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast, An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier. Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, Serve, serve, serve as a soldier, So-oldier OF the Queen! Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay, An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may: A soldier what's fit for a soldier. Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . . First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts, For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts -- Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts -- An' it's bad for the young British soldier. Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . . When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt -- Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout, For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out, An' it crumples the young British soldier. Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . . But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead: You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said: If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead, An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier. Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . . If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind, Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind; Be handy and civil, and then you will find That it's beer for the young British soldier. Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . . Now, if you must marry, take care she is old -- A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told, For beauty won't help if your rations is cold, Nor love ain't enough for a soldier. 'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . . If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! -- Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both, An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier. Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . . When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck, Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck, Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck And march to your front like a soldier. Front, front, front like a soldier . . . When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch, Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch; She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich, An' she'll fight for the young British soldier. Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . . When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine, The guns o' the enemy wheel into line, Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine, For noise never startles the soldier. Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . . If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white, Remember it's ruin to run from a fight: So take open order, lie down, and sit tight, And wait for supports like a soldier. Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . . When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, So-oldier of the Queen!
No Regrets: An American Adventure in Afghanistan on Amazon Kindle
Marijuana, like alcohol, is neither inherently good nor evil. It is a substance that occurs in nature. If abused, it can harm. If not, there are actually healthful properties and benefits to those who use it. Marijuana, on the whole, is much less harmful than alcohol and other “drugs.”
One person’s weakness should not negatively affect the lives of others. The weakness of some should not be justification for the use of force or tyranny of the State.
America must ask itself. Is the prohibition of a plant which grows wild in nature worth the Billions of dollars invested? Is prohibition of marijuana worth the lives damaged and destroyed? Is marijuana prohibition more important than the proven medical benefits of marijuana?
The Government of the United States of America has waged a war of lies against the American People for well over 100 years in this War On Drugs. Marijuana and Hemp have hundreds of possible applications that would be beneficial to Americans and the American Economy. Ending the War On Drugs, or at least the marijuana portion of it, would save the American Tax Payer Billions of Dollars.
Why, knowing all of this, would we continue to support a War On Drugs that has truly only been a War on American Liberty and the American People?
Think about this America.
Insanity is occurring at this moment.
An Afghan acquaintance has “kidnapped” a young women and run off with her. I don’t think she was kidnapped so much as they have simply decided that they can’t live without each other and absconded away with one another…for the sake of their youthful, idealized, idyllic love.
Much to the consternation of his family and friends. He has also caused some turmoil for some folks who have helped him out along the way here in the Stan. His father may have faked a heart attack to escape the scene that now evolves and has situated himself in a hotel in Kabul. That may be the “Ariana Hotel.” His father may have had an actual heart attack or episode from the stress of tonight’s events. I’m not sure.
I called one of my acquaintances cell numbers only to reach his family. Specifically his father…who did not sound healthy at all. The father gave his phone to his young son who spoke English quite well. I asked after my young friend. Little Brother excitedly replied; “Wahid not come home after work. We looking for Wahid. If Wahid call you…you tell us.”
Little Brother is who informed me of their location – the Ariana Hotel.
As of this moment, this young man and his lady friend are on the run. Being that this is Afghanistan and his family SEEMS to have connections, I fear more for the safety and welfare of this young woman.
In Kabul and Herat, there are Women’s Prisons which hold many young Afghan ladies who were guilty of nothing more than being in love and running off with a young fellow. These women are usually found guilty of the idiotic “Crimes Against Chastity” and/or “bewitching young men and forcing immorality upon them.”
I’m sure the young man will get his hand slapped and little else. I fear that, if they are found or return of their own volition, the young girl is going to wind up in Kabul Women’s Prison.
There is another unfortunate twist to this.
The young lady in question is supposedly pregnant. The Father allegedly being my young acquaintance. Supposedly, they’ve “run off to Qandahar.” I’ve tried to contact him to talk some sense into him. Alas, my efforts bear no fruit.
Sounds like something out of a crime novel, does it not.
I hope everything works out. I fear it will not.
The other twist to this is Sharia law combined with Afghan customs. The oft discussed Pashtunwali has another side to it’s code of hospitality. It is a code of revenge. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Blood for blood.
If Wahid has either kidnapped this young lady. He will owe a blood debt for he has dishonored the family of the young lady. Wahid’s actions have humiliated this young woman’s family. That stain upon their family honor will exist until they have extracted a measure of satisfaction. This can be paid in blood or gold. The family might even demand female siblings of Wahid’s family as a means of settling this dispute. If the debt is not paid in gold or women, blood will be demanded. They will hunt Wahid. They may even avenge their “honor” by murdering or kidnapping members of his family.
Badal –may be understood as vengeance, revenge or justice. It requires violent reaction to a death, injury or insult. Advances on one’s zan, [ZAHN] zar [ZAHR] or zamin [ZAH-meen] (“women,” “wealth,” or “land”) are the most common offenses requiring revenge. The only acceptable defense of honor is revenge, equal to but not exceeding the original insult. Avenging an insult to a woman’s sexual purity is particularly important.
Worse than this is the fact that every 6 months, each organization stops what they are doing, looks around and heads in a different direction. About every 18 months, the cycle of stupidity circles back around to exactly the same priorities and organizational structure as before.
The United State Army reinvents the wheel in Afghanistan on average every 18 months. The State Department has their own wheels that they keep re-inventing as well.
And no one communicates with anyone else.
The only continuity has been the contractors who have been there, done that, seen it all. Contractors are exactly the last people whom any United States organization would ask for advice, assistance or guidance. This is so despite continuity being the exact reason for which Contractors are hired. Most Contractors work closely with the US Military and State Department. Even so, when it comes to major decisions, the way ahead or guidance, Contractors are usually the very last persons whom the US Military will seek out for input.
It is amazing. I’ve seen the same programs attempted and failed at least three times each.
And still the worm turns…It is almost as if we want to fail.
Bergdahl is exactly what irks me about many of our young people today. They want all of the benefits without any of the responsibilities. Bergdahl signed a contract.
I don’t believe he should be put to death for desertion.
However, his desertion caused others to be placed in harms way and to die. He may well have caused harm to come to other Americans by divulging information to the taliban.
If his actions caused the deaths of American citizens, should he not be given the same fate? If he caused the taliban to be able to kill Americans by his actions, should he pay no price for that crime.
I don’t care how troubled he was with the war in Afghanistan or some of his fellow Americans. If his desertion and subsequent actions caused Americans to die, should he not be punished?
If I caused your son or daughter to be killed through my willful, negligent actions would you simply forgive me?
I’m not going to call this guy a coward. I believe it took courage to walk off of the FOB and into the unknown that is the Afghan countryside. I know. I’ve been out there.
That said, his actions were selfish. His actions were negligent. He had moral reservations. He should have taken them up the chain of command. I’ve called folks out in Afghanistan for their treatment of the Afghans. I’ve called folks out for their attitudes towards the Afghans.
Bottom line is that Bowe Bergdahl signed a contract. He was fine with benefiting from said contract. When it came time to fulfill his side of the bargain, he balked. The military is not like other jobs. The consequences can and often times are more serious than working at McDonald’s, Google, GE or Best Buy. An individuals decisions can affect the lives of many.
Bergdahl’s actions likely caused the deaths of several Americans. Bergdahl’s actions caused Obama to make decisions on an international level in releasing 5 taliban ranking personnel who may murder more Americans, Afghans and others.
Is Bergdahl somehow above consequences?
Agree or disagree with the Afghan War, it matters not. Bergdahl’s actions have consequences. That weight is heavy. There is a price to pay for such actions and for the consequences of said actions.