Monthly Archives: August 2011

Senator’s first tour in a combat zone verified

Unfortunately, it wasn’t Viet Nam as Senator Richard Blumenthal has stated several times in his public life. 

How can you tell when a politician is lying?

Instead, Sentator Blumenthal’s first tour in a combat zone was his boondoggle to Pakistan and Afghanistan this week (it is his first trip as Senator, not sure if he ever tried the political gesture before).

Prior to a flight from North KAIA in Kabul, I was attending a meeting at the ISAF Joint Command (IJC) on the same base.  Just before entering the IJC compound, a friend and I positively identified Senator Blumenthal exiting the compound.  While we were certain this was the Senator (the size of the entourage was one give away), his visit to the theater was confirmed by a quick online search.  The trip will undoubtedly prove beneficial when, like every other politician, he uses the trip to trumpet his concern for the troops and expertise in foreign affairs.

Whether this actually qualifies as a combat tour is still under debate.  In one of his first acts as president in 2009, President Obama officially renamed the “Global War on Terror” the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

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Afghanistan is not Berzerkistan

But it’s hard to tell the difference!

Groundfob Day

Atheist Chaplains?

I have too much time on my hands because I’m able to find and read this:  Military atheists seeking the rights and benefits offered to religious groups.  Clearly, there are too many other people with too much time on their hands.  Our entitlement focus is so extreme that even when we declare that we need nothing, we still insist on getting something.

Psalm 53:1,The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.”

Good Idea Fairy

Are the Afghans Ready?

For all the victories we make with the Afghans, it seems like there are equally negative stories to offset them.  The first two paragraphs are not encouraging:  Afghans show little progress

We committed to creating an ANSF that was capable of keeping Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists.  How much more time, money, and lives are required to reach that goal?  Is it even attainable?  And now that we have been set on a timeline by the President, does it even matter?

Afghan Affluenza

In the U.S., we have telephones and even television.  In Japan, they have heated seats.  In Afghanistan, they have $250,000 up-armored Humvees. 

You may think I talking about the latest in vehicle luxury.  Unfortunately, I am not.  This is about bathrooms.

As hot as it get’s in the summer, it gets equally cold during the winter.  Our standard for construction is to place the bathrooms in a separate facility so if they over flow or or otherwise have problems, they don’t ruin the sleeping or working facilities with them.  These facilities, known as LSS (Life Support System), are not always heated effectively.  The quarter-million-dollar Humvees we provide the ANA do have effective heaters.

Earlier this year, an inventory was conducted of  all vehicles.  In one location, only 18 of the 36 up-armored Humvees could be found.  The inspectors asked where the remaining 18 were and they were shown.  Upon opening the doors, they were greeting with the putrid smell of feces and urine (not uncommon in Afghanistan).  Each vehicle was filled with human waste.  During the winter, the Afghans had been warming-up the Humvees and then using them to relieve bodily functions in the warmer, more comfortable environment.

The good news is that stress level went down in ANA soldiers since they didn’t have to worry about incoming fire when sitting “in” the toilet.