Category Archives: Culture

We have met the enemy and he is insensitive

The U.S. Army believes that the U.S. military’s insensitivity is a reason why terrorists are killing us in Afghanistan.  More specifically, the Breitbart story “New Army Handbook: ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Lack of Empathy’ cause of U.S. Deaths” says a draft army handbook attributes the rise in Green-on-Blue deaths to our ignorance and/or lack of empathy for Afghans.

Confused yet?

Hello?  We’re spending BILLIONS in Afghanistan and giving THOUSANDS of lives and our own military thinks we are insensitive? 

This clearly reflects the intrusion of politics into our modern military–a shame and disgrace but a harbinger of things to come for new recruits.  Fortunately, the Breitbart article implies that the handbook should never see the light of day. 

But with kooks in Congress like Senator “we’ve got to eliminate the rich” Frank Lautenberg saying things like “[Republicans in Congress] don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution,” our military will be even more politicized and the “blame us first” mentality is not the last we’ll see of politics in uniform.

On a positive note, more homosexuals in the military should improve our sensitivity.

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Afghan Right Data Storage

Maybe this is Ali Mohd Kamil’s* idea of a filing system.  Since sinks are the prefered bathing venue (on the rare occasion when a bath is desired), the shower is a huge waste of space. . . until now.

Plenty of surplus space. . .

According to a U.S. official that may or may not desire to remain anonymous, this is “[Afghan] Government records storage at the Ministry of Interior.”  Continuing, he says:

Yes, these are showers;
No, the water has not been turned off; and
Yes, water drips from the shower heads.

Perhaps the record of U.S. involvement can be washed from the Afghan records if not the collective memory of the residents and our economy. 

. . . but it may be tough to find that “one” document.

The U.S. has thought of other document storage options.  But for $12 Billion, you would think someone would have thought of buying a file cabinet.

*Ali Mohd Kamil is an apparent Afghan entrepreneur that has posted a couple of shameless requests for work on other pages of this site.

Afghan Air Force growing financially independent

ISAF probably didn’t have this in mind when they established the goal to make the Afghan National Army, or Afghan Air Force, independent and self-sustaining: Afghan Air Force Probed in Drug RunningA complete story (if you don’t have a WSJ account) is at ABC News and elsewhere.

In addition to the donkey-borne IEDs, we now have flying drug mules–who said Afghans weren’t able to adapt and modernize?  It’s good to see that taxpayer dollars are finally going to something that will be endure in Afghanistan.

This puts Joint Ceremonies and operations in a whole new light.

Rainmakers in Foggy Bottom

Think trying to rebuild a war-torn, 14th century country, isolated from any reliable supply line, and surrounded by hostile countries is difficult?  Try finding a spot for a filing cabinet in the Afghan Embassy in Washington, DC. 

In the report After Scuffle at Afghan Embassy, a Spotlight on Connections, The New York Times stumbles across a few of the countless reasons Afghanistan is more than a country that simply needs a little help.  If this is how they treat themselves, imagine how they treat Americans, Brits, Canadians, Germans, Latvians, Mongolians, French, Spanish, Italians, Jordanians, Polish, Turks, etc., etc.  But you don’t have to imagine.  If you watch the news, they don’t just punch, they often kill.  And it’s getting better all the time.

There is a simple solution:  The Afghan installing the file cabinet needs to give the file cabinet to the objecting Afghan with a payment for the honor of trying to help (all paid with U.S. cash, of course).

ANDU, ADU, NMAA, ANSU. . . Let’s call the whole thing off

The following is an NTM-A version of a “snuff film” since the British Advisors prohibited its filming due to security concerns surrounding the upcoming grand opening of the “West Point” of Afghanistan (don’t worry, the film is completely G-Rated although the millions spent on British pet-projects is unfit for any audience).

Keeping a $200 million dollar project on the “down-low” is tough enough with the neighbors stealing building supplies (allah providentially providing, of course), but for the Engineers to publicly proclaim the project via YouTube is over-the-top.

Western building materials are in great supply near ANSU (or pink EIFS buildings and double-pane windows have become de rigueur)

Since the Brits refer to the site as the Afghan National Defense University (ANDU), others refer to it as Afghan Defense University (ADU), the Engineers refer to it as Afghan National Security University (ANSU), and the site will be the home of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan (NMAA), Religious and Cultural Affairs (RCA) Branch School, Legal School, and numerous other schools, the operational deception is sure to confuse anyone looking to cause trouble. . .

. . . Until now.

Afghan past created on Hollywood set

Just as some nuts are inclined to believe that a missile took down the Pentagon and President Bush orchestrated 9/11 (yet was the dumbest president in history), Foreign Policy filed the photo essay Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan. . . which is bound to create some doubters.

Industry, education, medicine, textiles, public transportation, music.  It seems like an impossible past for the city of Kabul.  The older Afghans assure us that this is the way in was (at least in Kabul) and books and movies like The Kite Runner attest to the same.

It’s a good story that gives hope that Afghanistan can climb its way out of the middle ages again–even if it requires a moon shot.

Life is cheap–labor is cheaper

Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”

The ant may be a good model for working hard and doing what we should be doing without needing to be told, but that doesn’t mean that the ant’s methods are the best.

No one will accuse the Afghans of being efficient.  But they do know how to get the job done (even if not to western standards).  Consider the following video recorded at Camp Eggers, Afghanistan:

These Afghan construction workers refuse to let a second floor keep them from accomplishing the mission.    The solution isn’t always the easiest but it just may be the most expedient.

Innovative?  Efficient?  Safe?  Back breaking?  You decide. 

Since it seems that one of our goals here in Afghanistan is to pump as much money into the economy, this is a most efficient way of doing it.  Unfortunately, it does little to modernize a country stuck in the Stone Age.

Maybe these guys should audition for “Afghanistan’s Got Talent.”