They can beg and they can plead
But they can't see the light, that's right
'Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right, 'cause we are
Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
--Material Girl, Madonna
Foreman says these jobs are going boys
and they ain't coming back to your hometown
--My Hometown, Bruce Springsteen
Ranger Observation of the Day:
Visualize an Army that used to invade Continents,
is now assaulting mud brick huts
There is finally good news from the Afghanistan front, or should we say, the OST Front?
said it hoped to secure the area in days, set up a local government and rush in development aid in a first test of the new U.S. strategy for turning the tide of the eight-year war" (Bombs Slow Advance in Marjah).
So, after eight+ years of warfare, we are finally getting around to securing the mud brick town of Marjah, which is a step to securing the Afghan nation, one mud brick at a time. Whew, that's a load off. Baby steps, dontcha know.
If one adds up enough mud bricks one will end up with a whole bunch of mud bricks. Then add in Mr. Karzai (he of the dashing silk scarves and lamb cap), and it will miraculously add up to ... a bigger bunch of mud bricks! Enormous progress, and one must wonder why eight years needed to pass before Marjah became a blessed integrated part of the Free World?
"The Taliban appeared to have scattered in the face of overwhelming force, possibly waiting to regroup and stage attacks later to foil the alliance's plan to stabilize the area and expand Afghan government control in the volatile south.
"NATO said two of its soldiers were killed in the first day of the operation — one American and one Briton, according to military officials in their countries. Afghan authorities said at least 20 insurgents were killed."
This news release is confusing to an old Ranger: Are we fighting Taliban, or insurgents? Why is there no mention of al-Qaeda killed in this action? Are we killing off Taliban fighters before they are amnestied by Karzai, or before we can buy them off with bribes and cash bonuses?
Why are we killing Taliban members when both Petraeus and McChrystal are mouthing the catechism that the Taliban must be reintegrated via negotiations? If they are dead, they cannot be reintegrated.
In addition, who will occupy all those desirable mud brick huts that are so essential to the freedom and safety of our homeland? They need window dressing and other things from Target and maybe even IKEA to make them habitable, per Western standards.
Now that Marjah is a beacon of light in an endless war, Ranger will suggest that the mentality of our ownership society be earnestly transplanted in Helmand province. It has worked so well here in our neighborhood.