Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Disheartening News from Bagram

I was reading the Mudville Gazette this morning (you should be doing that too) when I saw a story about rioting near Bagram AF. My old friend Kabir Ahmed is quoted a few times. I did notice that the Washington Post calls him the Bagram Police Chief...er, not as such. He is the District Attorney - granted, their version of the District Attorney has a lot more power than ours, and he can direct police forces - but he is not the district police chief.

Kabir inspecting construction we were paying for under CERP, for the Bagram District government offices.

The most disheartening thing about the riot (after the people being killed, of course) was that the local shops near the first gate were broken into and damaged. This really tells me that outsiders were brought into the area to stage this riot.


Blogger tempus42 said...

Sure, Major John leaves, and the whole places goes to hell. Just I would expect.... ;)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Major John said...

Don't kid Tempus - I beat myself up a little bit about that - not too much, but a little. I was the Civil-Military Operations Officer for that area. It's not ego, it's just "what if" thinking...

4:09 PM  
Blogger CSMBones said...

I agree...it's begining to get a little personal. We have had two riots there this year because of iresponsible actions of media. The lies spread by Newsweek about the Koran in the tiolets and now this.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Major John said...


I have to wonder if you and I were there if we couldn't have done a little mitigation of all this.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

MJ, just because the people there are not as competent as you (as we are conjecturing) doesn't mean that there are no compentent people to go there and set it right.

You should not beat yourself up if the Army doesn't assign appropriate people there. It's not your responsibility anymore.

Let it go.

That said, I wonder why Afghanidan hasn't responded to my comments on his blog. That's MY base!!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Prop, I know that - it is just that CSM and I had some pretty good ties to some of the people in the area (Kabir and I in particular). I am not saying we would have prevented the whole thing, or that nobody else can do anything right, etc (note I said mitigate, not prevent). It is just that maybe we would have caught wind of something a little earlier, etc. I just feel bad for the people who live in Bagram village, not that I am an egomaniac who thinks he can stop all problems in their tracks.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Iago said...

Hi...I saw your post and wanted to drop you a line. I was in Bagram right before you got there (if I remember right). In fact, I think your unit replaced ours (the 213th ASG).

Glad you guys made it back safe.

It's weird seeing familiar faces in you pics (like Kabir).

Keep up the good work!

5:43 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

Hello Iago.

MJ: I wasn't talking about your head being too big, but your heart. Don't beat yourself up.

11:55 PM  
Blogger CSMBones said...

I don't think we could have done much to stop this. The anger and the ingnorance seems to be operating a few levels above our pay grades.

10:05 PM  
Blogger dave bones said...

do a lot of people look pleased to see you or do a lot of people look at you with hate in their eyes?

8:13 PM  
Blogger Major John said...


Almost everyone was either happy or curious to see us. I had a couple of bad experiences, but everything else was terrific.
That is what was so disappointing about the people coming to Bagram to cause trouble - the local people are used to us, work with us and are quite peaceful.

9:14 AM  
Blogger dave bones said...

That is bizzare. When I was in pakistan I didn't even bother trying to get into Afghanistan. Everyone hated me enogh in Pakistan. In Afghanistan if you didn't have a beard of a fist length you were put in jail till you did.

I'm not really in favour of the war on terror as you could probably see from my blog, but I try to make myself aware of all sides.

1:11 PM  

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