Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Half way mark
Well I'm almost at the half way point and I'll be home soon on leave.
Some things I've learned;
The way to help and change this country is through education. That means it may take a couple generations for the changes to take effect. As of now, most Provinces, the outlying ones, only allow boys to attend classes. Girls go to school in the bigger cities, but even they are in danger from attacks, as was the case of the two girls that were sprayed in the face with acid on their way to class.
The men we are training to be police are not doing it for reasons that most American men and women become cops. They have no concept of the "thin blue line", and are mostly doing it for the money, (about $100 a month), or the power to strong arm villagers for money and goods.
Yes, they are warriors, but they are also very lazy. I won't go into personal hygiene, which is a blog all by itself and I really don't feel like talking about it right now.
The US Military;
Let me say this, soldiers are soldiers and always have been. They are young men and women at war and are dealing with it like soldiers always have. They make due. The Officers however are a different story. I wish there were more over here like Ray and Tom, who I'd work for anytime. But the Officers I've met and worked with over here leave much to be desired. Most are basically arrogant punks and the big problem with how the military is conducting this operation begins with them.
As far as I know, we are here to help the Afgan people bring democracy to their country and get rid of the Taliban. If you run a scorched earth policy and treat the locals like they're the bad guys, all you do is push the young men towards joining the Taliban. Counter productive if you ask me. You can't roll into a village with big noisy armored vehicles and threaten villagers with bodily harm for wnating to get close enough to ask for water and expect the Afghans to accept us openly. It won't work. You're just breading younger terrorists.
I can't say it hasn't been hard, it has. Not the work or the conditions. Being away for so long. The hardest part has been being apart from my family and freinds. I'm fortunate I have such good support from back home. Thank you all.