Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Riot is an Ugly Thing...

A crash and suddenly a "riot", similar to the "spontaneous protests" regarding the Mohammed cartoons, develops. Bah. One interesting note - the "protestors" seem to have a beef with the former King, of all people, as well as President Karzai.

"A riot is an ugly thing...and I think it's just about time we had one!"

UPDATE: OK, so others have been thinking about this too. And doing a better job of it to boot. [see especially the Bill Roggio link]

UPDATE II: OK, this is getting suspicious. The deputy (a colorful character in his own right)to the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga says a motion was passed asking to prosecute the US servicemembers involved. Nothing about the "rioters" who killed dozens, looted NGO offices, etc. The Speaker - Younus Qanoni [Party: New Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Naween)] is no friend of Karzai's (see this paper - an excellent anaysis of the past election).

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm calling them all out, right now!!!!!

Who voted for this piece of work?

They have their opinions, I have mine. Their refusal to see the big picure and realize we are in a world war will cost millions of lives globally. They will sacrifice all to save their jobs and re-gain power in October. Congressman Murtha should step down for convicting these Marines without trial. Let them have their day in court.

Something That May or May Not Have Been Overheard

This may have been heard from a cubicle near, or not near, mine:

"I don't know Japanese medical practices, but how can they bill $77 dollars for 'night apparel' for an eye exam, and then on the same bill charge $111 for 'intimate apparel?"


How do you say "someone tried to enact their naughty nurse fantasy on our dime" in Japanese?

How Events Conspire to Keep Me Humble

It was quite hot at yesterday's ceremony in honor of MSG Moore. I was in my Class A uniform and it didn't come out of the experience without needing to be cleaned. So of to the dry cleaner in my office building I went this morning.

I almost considered not passing this little moment along, as it almost seems hokey - but I keep running into things like this. So...

Like many cleaners in the area, this one is a Korean immigrant, family run business. As I handed over my uniform, the lady at the counter asked me "you military?"

"Yes ma'am, I am"

"You Army?"

"Yes ma'am, I am Army."

"My son, he in ROTC at school."

"Really, which school?"

"______ University. He is Air Force ROTC."

I point to my glasses and tell her "I couldn't fly, my eyes are too bad, so I am Army instead." She was at least polite enough to laugh.

I think what had convinced me to publish this little scene was remembering this little dust up.
Compare and contrast - spoiled UC students actions, 1st generation immigrant's action. Who do you think appreciates their being in this country more?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

Bluff City cemetery, Elgin, IL - the Grand Army of the Republic Section.

Elgin, Illinois is quite serious about her veteran's memorials and the upkeep of their gravesites. Of course, this is a small city that lost over a hundred men in the Civil War, much less what she gave to WWI, WWII and Korea. This year the ceremony was dedicated to the dead of Vietnam, MSG Nelson Roger Moore (KIA 5/24/66) in particular.

This is the man that MSG Moore was:

His first tour of duty with the United States Army (MSGT/E-8, Special Forces) in Vietnam began on September 26, 1965, however he spent a total of 14 years in the Army - dying in South Vietnam at the age of 33 on May 24, 1966. His body was found three days later in a rice paddy near the Cambodian border and the Ho Chi Minh Trail. According to an old Courier News article from May of 1966, Moore was awarded the Air Force Flying Cross for his rescue of a downed bomber crew behind enemy lines. He led the crew through enemy lines without capture or harm. He was awarded the Silver Star when he, after being hit with a machine gun bullet, never lost his composure as senior advisor to the operation of his company (Hmong mountain village fighters) when ambushed by a platoon of guerrillas. Dazed, bleeding and not knowing the extent of his own wounds, he successfully organized the orderly movement of his company to a defensible position without suffering casualties and disrupted the Viet Cong's attempt to encircle his unit. He also acted as ground observer for air strikes directed only at certain enemy houses in Sahn Duo. This was done with such success that not one of the 150 innocent villagers were injured by five strikes on houses he had designated as hostile, according to citations. Moore was also awarded the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Bronze Star.

He was Elgin, Illinois' first casualty of the Vietnam War.

Friday, May 26, 2006

News of Afghanistan VIII

KabulPress photo of the day.

Friday already? OK, time once again for news you may or may not (probably not) have heard regarding Afghanistan. Let 'er rip!

Remember how I pointed out the Afghans might lend a hand? OK, maybe not...

Bus, bus, magic bus! (Alright - not the one shown above)

"Honorable repatration" of refugees by Pakistan, hmmm?

"How many are you sending back?!"

Photos? You want photos? Try these.

From Helmand to London junkies, with love. Ok, not love, but for cash.

I've been workin' on the railroad, all the live long day!

Manners! Manners, people! This is the Wolesi Jirga for Heaven's sake! (Oh, and yes, I do know Haji Almas. If I was still there, I'd give him a piece of my mind...)

Cricket?! Oh, well. I guess I should have seen this one coming.

Continuing days of violence, some 60 suspected neo-Taliban insurgents died along with five men from Afghanistan's security forces in fighting in southern Afghanistan on May 24, AFP reported. The latest clash began on May 23, when insurgents attacked an Afghan army convoy on patrol in Oruzgan Province. "We launched a massive search and clean-up operation after the attack in which our troops spotted and killed 60 Taliban," said General Rahmatullah Raufi, the head of Afghan forces in the south. Raufi said four soldiers were killed in the fighting. The Interior Ministry said a policeman died in the same incident. An estimated 350 people -- overwhelmingly insurgents -- have died in recent days as fighting has raged in Afghanistan. Most of the violence has occurred in southern Afghanistan, where neo-Taliban insurgents are most active. But the security situation appears to be worsening somewhat in the north as well.

Lead story here.

"What did he say?"

by Spc. Michael Zuk. May 25, 2006 - Lt. Col. Christopher Cavoli, Battalion commander of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, attends a “shura” meeting with Afghan elders from the Korengal Valley of Kunar Province. Economic and security issues were discussed. [This photo appeared on]

Canadians hanging tough.

EU talking tough.

I am not sure what to make of this story. Agriculture had been coming back strong since the drought broke. Could be the usual alarmist talk from aid groups, could be right on track. I hope they are wrong, obviously.

This week's Afghan news source: 1st headlines

Thursday, May 25, 2006

On Medicine and terrorists/insurgents

This post was truly something to read. Besides the immediate, emotional impact - it led me to think about something I have not heard much, if anything about. The provision of medical care by The US and it's Coalition partners vs. that of the "insurgents" and AQ.

An overview of the Army's Medical Department can be found here. An overview of the Navy's Medical organization can be found here. An interesting inter-service organization of medical folks is this one. Way too much information for me to go into detail - please surf around when you go into each.

So what do our people do? They want to help. They treat our forces. They treat civilians hurt by enemy action. They help civilians every other way too. Every way.

We seem to save anyone hurt in combat. I mean ANYONE.

They are the BEST there ever was, were or are. I do meant the BEST. They save lives, period.

Oh, and I am not ignoring the Air Force either.

AQ offers its members in Pakistan "free medical". Saddam used to pitch in with some medical support. Saudi groups would pitch in for medical help afterwards too. AQ did have interest in pharmacies - but for other reasons.
I cannot find anything on insurgent medical assets - they do seem to threaten doctors however.

Oh, and one little personal memory that stands out - I have never seen US Marines so fiercely protective or respectful of anyone as they are of their "doc" - as they call their Navy Corpsmen that is assigned to them. From everything I saw and heard, those Corpsmen are cool under fire, and damned good at what they do.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CSM Bones was saying the same thing already

More proof that the good CSM is on top of the situation.


For some reason I am not privy to, Blogger is giving me fits. I cannot see most of my blog, no matter how I open it. My entire sidebar is missing, and the bottom of the page too. Heck, I am not even sure you'll be able to see this post... yeargh!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The not so friendly confines..AJ Bobble head doll

Usually it is a shirtless scumb-bag from Alsip beating up on an old first base coach as the theater in the round on 35th street. At least one cubby has some stones. Good job guys!!

Lost and Found

Fabled "Russian Plane" Burial Ground

Some of my favorite photos from this blog are those of the old Russian aircraft found around Bagram. Thanks to Google Earth I was actually able to locate the location... You can clearly see the large AN-12 aircraft and to the southwest is the MIG-21 in the Google Earth photo. You can see the same AN-12 and the MIG-21 in Major John's photo.

Google Earth is a great program. My son (age 10) likes to type in keywords ("Taj Mahal," "Big Ben," or "Acropolis") and then "fly" to those location. He also likes to scroll/zoom around from place to place freely. What a great learning tool for students and for adults (like me) whose geography knowledge is not so strong.

ADMINISTRATOR'S LUNCHTIME UPDATE: The white whale! The Whhiiiittte Whaaale!

WTF are we doing? Why is this man not in GITMO?

I tried to get very hard working interpreter into my old school......Denied. I should have sold him as a misplaced MURDERER who is just misunderstood. The BUSH hatters flock together. Silence from the women at YALE!!!!! I would love to see this dude get a TAJIK TUNEUP.

Continuing Education

My colleagues and I have to maintain a whole bucket of insurance adjustor licenses. Today, Texas gets to absorb a good chunk of my day in the dreaded continuing education. Gah!

Back later...

UPDATE: If there is one really good thing about Texas continuing education, it is that Texas lawyers teach it. To be a good Texas lawyer, you have to be a good storyteller, and a charming speaker. Good stuff!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Brown Sand Sailor Reaches Iraq

The Golden Arches over Kuwait

Our Iraq Correspondent has made it Basra. He completes some thoughts as follows:

Remember my note from weeks ago, when I wrote “Lawrence also raises some difficult questions about intent and idealism that might have relevance today, but I need some time to mull over that, so that will have to wait.”?

Well, I didn’t get much of a chance to read any Lawrence while in the desert or here in Baghdad or even much in Basra to date, but am still mulling over his book, and particular his warning early on “that men reading the story will not, for the love of the glamour of strangeness, go out to prostitute themselves and their talents in serving another race.”

While I’m not sure what Edward Said would have had said about the above formulation, it is pretty clear that Lawrence was bitter about his experiences during and after the Arab Revolt, mostly because the British government betrayed the very Arab cause he had helped form and lead to victory over the Turks, a betrayal he felt keenly since he suspected that outcome from the very beginning. This made the rallying cry of the revolt a false promise, both for the Arabs (as well as the Kurds).

And that rallying cry was freedom from Turkish oppression. And in its’ richness, and idealism and raw power, it cries off the pages of Lawrence’s book. As he put it, and in language that belies his earlier cynicism, “We were a self-centered army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of man’s creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare. As time went by our need to fight for the ideal increased to an unquestioning possession, riding with spur and rein over our doubts. Willy-nilly it became a faith. We had sold ourselves into its slavery, manacled together in its chain gang, bowed ourselves to serve its holiness with all our good and ill content.”

It is the old question. Is it worth the candle? What is that light on the horizon, is it freedom that approaches or are we lurching towards disaster?

Interestingly, I picked up the newspaper of the 4th Infantry Division (titled “The Ivy Leaf”) while in Baghdad, and it had an article (actually the last of five articles) on Lawrence’s “Arab Bulletin” notes, originally published in Cairo on 20 August 1917. The theme there, however, was not the search for a purpose – for as we have seen, Lawrence had thrown himself fully into the Arab adventure – but rather how best an Englishmen might work with and understand and be wise when working with Arabs.

The idea of freedom is deep in the Western idea of itself. Our constitutions, governments and indeed our very culture is a child of that Enlightenment project, with its’ emphasis on the rule of law, representative governments and the natural rights of the individual. Everything that goes along with those principles, from “We, the people…” to human rights and to “the pursuit of happiness,” all reside within that magical conception we call “freedom.”

And at root, once you clear away all the language about extremism or failed states or even oil, that is the ultimate project in the Middle East. And I did not say it was the only purpose, nor even the most important, but rather it is the bedrock goal, without it all else is fleeting. For with freedom, and I mean even an Arab version of freedom, most of our current problems vanish. Ok, they might not vanish, but they become different problems, manageable problems, problems of local governance, of disputes mostly solved in Parliament rather than by an Ak-47, problems that become status quo questions once an equilibrium (of whatever stripe) is reached. Iraq certainly doesn’t have to develop into Switzerland, or Poland, or even Italy for that matter to cease being a “problem,” it merely has to subside into that great mass of States around the world that do not cause problems for their neighbors (think Guatemala, Bolivia, Senegal, Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc.; all States that have more or less functioning (if corrupt) governments, adequate economic structures and a tolerable level of social violence (though none of us would want to live there).

You can see that in Iraq, where the constant, overriding goal of Coalition forces is to have the Iraqi government succeed, to grow, to develop its own capacity and strength and unique character, to become competent, to represent the people’s wishes and be responsible to them in so far as that is possible in a culture without a lot of experience with the rule of law, and one dominated by tribe and clan. And a society not necessarily open to change in that way, one not necessarily wanting to become more representative in a political manner, and therefore lose the tribal and clan structure of society.

As Feisal, son of Hussein ibn Ali the Sherif of Mecca, and leader of the Arab Revolt put it to Lawrence, the English “… hunger for desolate lands, to build them up; and so, perhaps, one day Arabia will seem to them precious. Your good and my good, perhaps they are different, and either forced good or forced evil will make a people cry with pain. Does the ore admire the flame which transforms it? There is no reason for offence, but a people too weak are clamant over their little own. Our race will have a cripple’s temper till it has found its feet.”

And so the question remains, can American and British and other Coalition forces power, and influence, and culture, and money, and sacrifice, and machinery, and skills, and desire, and yes, blood and death, meet and defeat the spinning, swirling, centrifugal forces of tribalism, blood feud, oil wealth, religious fanaticism and corruption by bringing self-government to places that have very little experience with such a thing beyond kin and clan?

Lawrence thought it possible, but at great cost. As he noted, the Arab revolt ran down a “… stormy road from birth through weakness, pain and doubt to red victory. It was the just end to an adventure which had dared so much, but after the victory there came a slow time of disillusionment, and then a night in which the fighting men found that all their hopes had failed them. Now, at last, may there have come to them the white peace of the end, in the knowledge that they achieved a deathless thing, a lucent inspiration to the children of their race.”

Would that we will say the same in the years to come.

Fair Winds and Following Sands!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cambodia in '70......Western Pakistan in '06

Fire and maneuver. Destroy the Enemy in his base. The Violence will not end until we actively pursue and end this poison allowed to fester along the Afghan/Pak border. They will go back and recruit the next class out of the madrassa mills. The media wants to depict this as out of control violence, the ANP did well and out of the 100 or so deaths 90 were Taliban. Sounds like a good day to me.

I'm Sick of Paying for This Sort of Thing

You know, I don't care what language you speak, as long as I don't have to pay for your ignorance. I don't want to pay to get everything printed in whatever language you speak (or read) and I don't want to pay lawmakers to worry about it.

It also irks me that a lot of products are now bilingual, but the private sector goes where they money leads, so I can't really blame them.

Also, check out the update on the animals on the roof!

"Kite Runner" Webquest

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve.”
- from the novel, "Kite Runner"

Major John posted about the novel, “Kite Runner,” some time ago. Here at UIUC, the novel is read by undergraduates in the Secondary Education - English program as part of their teacher certification preparation. I cross-searched the novel with “webquests” - a web-based instructional strategy that encourages K-12 students to use information gathering and higher order thinking skills to engage in “messy” content and issues posed by the teacher. I teach many workshops to K-12 preservice and service teachers on how to build their own webquests. When well-designed, this approach moves students from mere fact-finding to dealing with multiple (and often contradictory) life experiences, perspectives, values, and ways of knowing.

The “Kite Runner WebQuest” looks like a good webquest that has students explore complex issues within the novel including bonds, relationships, fathers/sons, privilege/poverty, men/women, and cultural differences. I like how students in this webquest must use the web to locate images that illusrate the book's themes.

It also looks like there is a "Kite Runner" film coming out in 2007...

DVC Mania!

For everyone living in a cave (I'm talkin' to you, Osama!), The Da Vinci Code opens today (in the US)! I'd love to see it this weekend, but probably not enough to wrestle with the crowds. I can wait, especially since the early reviews have been mediocre at best. I'm pretty sure all the people who have read the book are evenly split among a) comparing it favorably to sliced bread, b) despising it with a white-hot anger of holy righteousness, and c) thinking Dan Brown's writing skills almost put L. Ron Hubbard to shame. No matter what, I don't think there's a person alive who wouldn't change places with Dan Brown these days.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, although the infamous "back story" of Jesus/Mary Magdalene/Holy Grail/Rennes le Chateau/Templar/Rosslyn Chapel/Priory du Sion secret history fun, which so many people have seen as some sort of epiphany, is nothing new to me. I've been reading books in this vein for most of my adult life, and trust me when I say Dan Brown didn't come up with a single thing that hasn't been said a hundred times before. But he did make a fun post-modern pulp adventure story out of it.

Everyone knows about the connection to Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln, but I personally prefer The Templar Conspiracy by Picknett and Prince. If you really like this sort of thing, other favorites of mine (although touching only tangentially on Da Vinci Code-esque material) include Fingerprints of the Gods by Hancock (for a more "scholarly" updating of Von Daniken), Rule by Secrecy by Marrs (for the most way-out combination of secret societies and aliens throughout history you could want to find). If you want something a bit more grounded (if you can call the John Birch Society grounded), but no less fascinating, I recommend The Unseen Hand by Epperson.

On a related note, I am lucky enough to be one of the 10,000 finalists for Google's Da Vinci Code Quest. The final round starts today, so wish me luck!

ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE: Apparently there may have been a few changes in some scenes of the movie.

News of Afghanistan VII

Hi, my Dad will be back in a minute - please feel free to browse the store in the meantime...

Another week of interesting stories from Afghanistan. Lets get right to it!

The Bulgarians will help run operations at Kabul International Airport.

"Yeah, Pervez, I'm talkin' to you!"

Somehow I get the feeling that Afghanistan and Pakistan still have a little making up to do...

Who is the enemy in Afghanistan? This should give you a little idea - attacking UN deminers. [I have written about this myself in the past].

Yes, yes - more on my constant theme of what do you do with the former militiamen.

Friends offer to help when things get scary.

Afghan editorial cartoon from e-Ariana.

In music news - the new National Anthem is in Pashto, and based on a poem.

Why you shouldn't bother an Afghan at 8:30pm... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Heh.

Canada is the latest to show they are deadly serious when it comes to backing Afghanistan.

Those frickin' weapons caches around Bagram... It's going to take a while to finish cleaning that area up.

When you set up a fixed position against an opponent that has air power, you die.

Speaking of Bagram, and other places in CFC-A, here is link to the Freedom Watch, an in-house paper.

Guess there wasn't room for them at Yale. Fortunately there was somewhere else.

Refugees - please leave. Uh-oh.

This Week's Afghan News Source is Kabul Press

The VOA doesn't ask "paper of plastic"? They ask

Pashto or ...


Thursday, May 18, 2006


OK, so I start the day off answering a request for an interview by a major news organization with a proud "yes"( after the State Public Affairs Officer gave his the thumbs up, of course). I was also secure in the knowledge that I was going to Fort Bragg for a terrific 63 day training course.

Within two hours, the interview was called off, as the network decided to change what they were covering (I was going to be talking on immigration related matters) and my school gets pulled.


What are you looking for?

News of Afghanistan tomorrow - today, I got nothing. Peek in every once in awhile, you never know when events will warrant some comment from one of us.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Intolerable! How dare they?!

HERAT, 16 May (IRIN) - Gold's Gym is one of the most popular spots for women in the western Afghan city of Herat. The first female sports centre to open in this conservative city, it is spearheading a small revolution in women's leisure and fitness.
"I could never imagine a place like this while I was [weight] training secretly in my house. But all that has come true and I am now one of the fittest body builders in our club," said Marzia, 25, sporting muscled arms and a toned body, while pumping iron with a dozen other women.
The facility, open for nearly two years, seems at odds with a country where, just five years ago under the hard line Taliban regime, women were not allowed to work, study or even leave their homes without an all-enveloping burqa gown and an accompanying male relative.
The situation in Herat did not improve much for women after the Taliban, as former governor and Mujaheddin fighter Ismail Khan - not known for his liberal views - ruled the city with an iron fist until he was replaced in September 2004.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a 2002 report on western Afghanistan, said that Ismail Khan had censored women's groups, intimidated outspoken female leaders and sidelined women from his administration.
But since Khan's departure the city has experienced a renaissance for women - with cafes, driving schools and sports clubs appearing to cater for female clients in a society where sexual segregation is the norm.
"First it was so difficult to convince my family to let me attend a bodybuilding club. But now they are proud of me and understand that it's my right," Marzai grinned.
The mushrooming of women's sports facilities in Herat is good news for the country's fledgling Olympic movement. "Now we have more than 700 women in eight bodybuilding clubs," Ziaulhaq Zia, deputy head of Herat's Olympic sports department, said.
According to the department, two additional female clubs - for volleyball and basketball - opened this year in the ancient city. There is also demand for hockey, football and baseball from Herat's women, according to Zia.
"Sports facilities are a big step towards the improvement of women's rights in our country. Women should come out of their homes and take part in social activities," Sima Sher Mohammady, head of Herat province women's affairs department, said.

All I can say is that if it would make Ismail Khan angry, I am for it!
[h/t CSM Bones]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I always have loved a fence......The good old days...Hey, they have rallies on Mayday and they want to nationalize industry? They wear Che t-shirts? I feel reborn. Scouts out!!!!!

Because You Asked For It

It took a little digging, but I finally found a photo of a sheep on a roof.

It turns out that the sheep don't live on the roofs in Kenosha, WI, but in Door County.

It looks like you guys were right, the roof isn't doing too well under the weight.

Thanks to a Donut reader (Betsy) I found out why I couldn't find sheep on roofs in WI. It's because they are not sheep, they're GOATS!

On the Border

OK, so I have been mulling over the use of the Guard on the US-Mexico border.

First thing I remembered from my ILE course: One of the Core Competencies of the US Army is to "Support Civil Authorities"...OK, so we are supposed to be able to help.

What about the legalities? Two things leap out right away; Posse Comitatus, and Title 32 of the US Code. If Congress actually decides to act under it's Article I Section 8 authority [“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions."] then it is legal, period. At that point, per Article II, Section 2 - after Congress orders the militia “called into the actual service of the United States” then the President acts as commander in chief “of the Militia of the several States.” Should Congress dither (hard to imagine, yes?) then the Guard units called up would probably have to operate under Title 32 orders, and be bound by strict Rules of Engagement and orders to stick to non-law enforcement roles. This has been the case in many uses of the Guard for Counter-drug efforts, for example. It is a bother to try and follow all this, but I rather prefer the bother to acting unconstitutionally/unlawfully.

Alright, so if it is something we can do, and it is legal - should we be doing it? Hmmm. A tougher question. I think if it truly stays temporary, why not. If it morphs into an ongoing and semi-permanent mission, I might have to rethink the whole thing.

Of course, we have had extensive forces placed on the southern border before... and I would really rather not have this type of thing occur again.

UPDATE: I should have nmentioned above that once Congress gives the big thumbs up, we would probably be under Title 10 USC.

Also, I have had prior thoughts on the use of the Guard - here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hmmm. Not Bad - but waiting for details

The Devil will be in the details, but not a bad effort by the CinC tonight. I first noticed how the President didn't shy away from using the term "illegal immigrant" - I had almost expected to hear "undocumented worker", as if someone had just forgotten to apply for some pesky slip of paper... My thoughts on Guard deployment will follow - I have a few things to put in order.

The Gnomes of Zurich (Financial Services)?

Resistance is futile, you will have a little Z in all of you ... soon.

Hmmm. I'll Get Back To You.

The Devil is in the details, as always. I have shared some thoughts on the use of the Guard before, and later tonight or tomorrow morning I will share some more after I see what the CinC has to say.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day?

Besides my own Mother - of course - I have only two reasons to consider Mother's Day special:

Happy Mother's Day. You are the best Mommy two kiddos could ever hope for.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I just heard about the new hit movie in Turkey - Valley of the Wolves Iraq. I'm sure this will be a firestorm of controversy, if it isn't already and I'm just behind the times. U.S. news is starting to report that the film (the most expensive ever produced in Turkey) is receiving thunderous ovations and borders on anti-American propaganda. Or is it just another action movie featuring the "evil government" as the main villain, as so many do these days? Are American stars Billy Zane and Gary Busey traitors? I'll certainly be curious to hear Major John's opinion on this.

Friday News of Afghanistan VI

I'm running a bit slow today...if only I could have had a nice pot of Alokozay tea to get going.

So, here we go for another week:

The Australians will be increasing their troop levels in Afghanistan. They are sure more than an 80% ally to the Afghans!

What does the future hold? Ali Ahmad Jalali opines.

I am not sure what to make of this ruling on the status of Afghan hijackers in Britain.

Two women that suffered a terrible loss on 9/11/01 turn to help Afghanistan.

Power lines cross Afghanistan - as long as they pay a toll...

(I continue to flog this issue, I know) What to do with the disarmed militia?

General Eikenberry doesn't dance around the subject when it comes to what is happening in Afghanistan.

When I saw this article, I was cheered - not only because the women need the assistance, and that I used to cover Kapisa Province in my work for TF Eagle, but that Governor Murad looks to be as good as I hoped.

Heh. It seems the Afghan Parliament's lower house has learned how to grease the squeaky wheels. Actually that might be a bit harsh - I saw how little the people that these increases are targeted for had to live on...

Dammit - this is something I really didn't want to happen. I want the distributors hurt, not the farmers.

Afghan News Source of the Week: e-Ariana. A very high quality, comprehensive site.

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