Monday, September 18, 2006

19 September 06, 3 months into it.

I woke up this morning and realized that the smell I smelled was my brain cells smoking.... It is really easy to over think life. Some of the happiest people I know are very much in a "take life as it comes" way of life. I suppose that can have its dangers too.....

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my wife, my mother, my grandmother, and to Kim J., (Does anyone else think it ironic that my wife, mom and grandmother all have birthdays with in a day of each other??? I am going to begin taking stock in florists in August and sell in October. Hmmmm

A couple of thoughts: We conducted a successful mission yesterday. We managed to capture some munitions with out having them fired in our general direction that is a big plus. On the way back we passed about 4 people moving through the desert and the ANA stopped them and searched each one. I was happy about that as I really didn't want an angry armed Afghan (alliteration anyone?? anyone??) behind us as we moved out with our munitions. It did make me wonder though how they feel about it, I have done that a lot with the ANA in the last couple of months, and the people are invariably pleasant. They don't have angry eyes, they typically are happy that the ANA is in the area to provide that stability.

Of course I wonder what my reaction would be, and in the US it would be kind of comical in a warped way. "Excuse me officer, are you illegally profiling me??” I am not sure that I would tolerate it with as much grace as they do. Of course we have no reason to have that happen. In this location they have seen so much violence in the last 25 years that every one understands the reason for a search.

We profile single men who are on motorcycles, and groups of men in Cargo trucks. And single men in Corrollas. That is just the way it is. The bad guys don't travel with their wives and children. We did not have any issues with the people we stopped, some store keepers with an overloaded truck, and three separate men on motorcycles. You will be happy to know that we don’t profile based on age, as the men who work with or for the Taliban have no age boundaries. The motivations that they might have to attempt to harm US or ANA soldiers can be as basic as acting out of fear of injury to their families, to getting an extra 1000 Afghani, ($20 US), and or a combination of the two.

There is of course a reason for the profiling. Drug and arms are shipped in overloaded cargo trucks hidden in a variety of means. We confiscated about 30 lbs of opium early on this summer, but did not arrest the men carrying it, as the system here has no way of dealing with them. 30 lbs of Opium Tar! I have no idea what that is worth, but I believe we probably ruined their post harvest plans. The people who plant IEDs like to travel in groups of single men on motorcycles, 3-5 in a group. You might say, well every man travels single on a motor cycle, but in fact there are as many as 3 people I have seen on many motorcycles. 3 people on a motorcycle have just one thing on their mind; getting where they are going, so they can get off the bike. These are not your Honda Goldwings or your speed rockets; these are 125 cc engines with 2 wheels.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

But don't you know that our government has said that profiling doesn't work? That as soon as you profile the bad guys they will just do something to not fit the profile? Right.....

Maybe that's why as I was re-entering the US last week WITH MY WIFE AND CHILD AND YOUR STEPCHILD, I was pulled off for additional screening even though I hadn't set off the metal detector, was BAREFOOT and wearing SHORTS and a T-SHIRT.

Damn, I just feel so warm and fuzzy and safe knowing that our leaders are so compentent!

Keep up the blog...