Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday Musings

Maiwand District Chief of Police
Ballpoint pen on lined paper, 7"x5"

A few days ago, I went out to the district of Maiwand to meet with the new District Governor and District Chief of Police.  It was an interesting trip.  I wound up sitting right next to the Governor and taking notes, so I couldn't do any sketches.  When we met with the Chief of Police, though, I managed to grab a seat to the side and was free to sketch away.  Here's the one of the DCoP.

The big news over the past few days has been the incident in the eastern part of the country where ISAF forces killed a number of Pakistani border troops.  Most of the news reporting that I've seen has focused on Pakistan's indignant response.  They've roundly condemned the attack as unprovoked, an assault on Pakistani sovereignty, and an international travesty.  Additionally, they've thrown us out of a base that we were using to launch drones and they've pulled out of the Bonn talks on the future of Afghanistan that just started.  And, in what will eventually affect me personally, they've closed ISAF's overland supply routes from the seaport of Karachi into Afghanistan for an indefinite period.  In response, we've issued our condolences to Pakistan, especially to the families of those killed, and launched an investigation into the incident.  Afghanistan has also issued condolences and tried to get Pakistan to come to the table in Bonn.  Pakistan, though, is in a helluva snit and does not want to play.

There is, of course, more to this story.  Afghan TV and print media are reporting that the Pakistani forces who were attacked had been shooting at an Afghan border village for some time, forcing residents to stay indoors.  These reports have also stated that an Afghan patrol, with ISAF backup, had come under fire from the Pakistani side of the border, which was what prompted the call for the ISAF attack helicopter to return fire.  I haven't seen any of this in Western news reports, though, only in Afghan.

So before everybody gets too excited and starts condemning ISAF forces as being trigger-happy cowboys (Pakistan's position), let's just wait until the investigation is done.  I bet it's not quite what we've heard so far.

In other news, I've been fighting a friction' cold for the past 3 weeks.  I'm sick of it.  SICK, I tell you!  It's knocked me on my butt several times.  I don't have time for this.  NyQuil and Mucinex and other drugs help the symptoms, but I want it to be gone.  Now, please.


lorraine said...

I have heard of the Pakistani shooting first over here too. This is one of those 5year old boy fights - "he hit me first - no, he hit me first" - back and forth adnauseam. As a mother of 3 sons I know how these go and they never end. The trouble is that it can never really be proved to the satisfaction of either party. Sad that men have to die is these cases. It isn't just a mother driven crazy. Stay safe and I hope your supply route isn't closed for too long. Thank you for blogging on the current events and for the drawings also. My girlfriend did that kind of on the spot art. We met when I was in India and she always saw things I wouldn't have noticed. Thanks again.

Shea said...

The taliban originated in Pakistan, Pakistan has for a long time wanted the land that is afghanistan,
Pakistan is a terrorist state, the only thing that binds the afghani's with them against us and the west is Islam,
The media is a propoganda machine. Everything is censored, and tailored to and for political, world, goals, that may or may not be obvious. Its all about making money, power, and control.
I think that Pakistan is one of the worst terrorist states in the world, But they are strategically located and they have NUKES.