"Obama's An Idiot" is where my political bitches now live. Go ye thereto and read.

Friday, April 20, 2007

E-Fucking-Zactly

As you know, I've been mentioning "D" a time or two. He goes by "Pick" most of the time, so that's what I'll refer to him here as.

In one of his notes I replied to, I asked if he minded me posting some of an email he sent. His reply:
"One of the reasons that make it worth strapping on bro...freedom of speech. Feel free to post anything you want that doesn't m bear ass you for knowing me"
M bare ass? Far from it. Damn proud to have you as a bud, Pick. I'm thinking up the recipe (home brew request) as we speak.

So with that I'll post a bit of news he sent:
[...]
The whole place is tucked into what is pretty much downtown Kabul, a pretty large city. I'd say similar to Denver. We are very secure, as just down the block is the presidential palace, various embassies, the International Security Force Afghanistan, etc. So there is pretty much an entire army of President Karzi's handpicked troops guarding us. I would say that in the 2 minute shuttle ride from the Safe houses to Camp Eggers you pass 5 checkpoints, are negotiating barriers the entire time, and pass maybe 200 armed soldiers. Very, very secure. Eggers itself is surrounded by a 20 something foot wall, and that's where the US forces take over with machine guns and tanks all over. And everyone is armed.

The safe houses are basically mansions that have been taken over by the various "foreign" militaries here. There are maybe 10 housing US troops, all in a one block area. This whole area is also patrolled by the same group of soldiers, with extremely controlled entry and is surrounded by a very high wall with razor wire on top. We are so safe that the only time we have to wear the body armour and have our weapons loaded is during the shuttle ride. At the safe houses and Camp Eggers you can take it off. I would estimate that each house is 6 to 8 bedroom and very nice with all the comforts of home, including cable tv and wireless internet access. So after I learn more I'll hopefully be able to hook up the laptop at "home".

I took a "pass" on the Driving training, as I had promised a certain blue eyed/red haired beauty to stay safe, so have no desire to leave the secure area and drive around. I saw all I need to see on the drive up from Bagram. The country is dry and mountainous, and we saw lots of Bedouin camps with their goats and camels. The city is chaotic as it digs itself out of the last 50 decades of Soviet then Taliban rule, with limited running water and electricity. Many of their buildings were destroyed in the wars and are still in ruins. Traffic is an absolute nightmare and I want nothing to do with it.

The Afghans themselves are simply overjoyed that we are here. We freed them from the Taliban which were pretty much hated by all, have maintained a very light hand and let them establish their own government, and pumped an enoumous amount of money into the country. They are very cordial and friendly...eager to be of any help they can. They have an old school way of making you feel welcome, preffering to chat and have tea before even thinking about getting down to bussiness. It's kinda charming, and I'm actually very impressed.

The fighting that remains in the Country is all concentrated down-south in the Kandahar area, the stronghold of al queda and the Talaban. The ease of hitting with an ied or sniper then slipping across the paki border is making life difficult. There are random, standoff attacks on coalition forces, but no pinched fire fights to speak of. The Afghans themselves are the only ones that get in that kind of fight, and they always win. The "spring offensive" is all a media hyped frenzy, and has developed into absolutely nothing.

So basically I've decided that I'm not here to fight anybody, I'm here to help a friend stand up. I think that is the attitude of everyone I work with. We maintain a very vigilant state, but the only real concerns are the very, very rare ied or suicide bomber.

How's that for a paper? Hah don't remember when I've rambled so much. But I hope it puts your mind at some ease, because I know the "not knowing" is the hard part.

And of course while I miss everyone terribly, I am still very glad that I am here and doing my small part to empower these people and let democracy shine. Their's is an old, old culture and they deserve a break.

[...]
That's the news so far. Now, if you have a minute and want to say 'Hello' to Pick, send an email to the address in my profile and I'll hand out his addy. I don't want spammers to go gabbing it, so I'll not post it here.





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4 comments:

Jean said...

He sounds like one helluva man!

curmudgeon said...

Jean,
One of the good guys fer sher.

SK said...

Wow!! Thanks for posting that...I've already emailed him;-)

curmudgeon said...

Thanks again sk!