About Rawclyde!

I have employed a few pen names throughout the years ~ Rawclyde with an exclamation mark (!) is the one too sticky to go away...

Sheena Time!

episode 5

Old Timer Chronicle II

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Whad-a-ya do with a girl like Sheena Johnson?

Kills her dad, loves her mom, makes a bomb

Throws it thru the door of the boy’s locker room

Number one in class, will kick your ass

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Whad-a-ya do with a girl like that?

I’m living next door, doing a chore

Suddenly there she is in the driveway

Wearing a shredded washrag, calling me a fuckin’ fag

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My God, what am I supposed to do?

Here’s the girl next door making me her bottom floor

I’m working hard to be to be to be a man

She laughs & dares me to jump outta the frying pan

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The towers collapse in two-thousand-&-one

There’s Sheena standing there ~ the daughter of a machine gun

Stands there in my driveway as if the Princess of Mars

Enlists in the army & I follow, my eyes full of stars!

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Afghaneeland

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breakthrough

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editorial by guest scribe

afghanistan times

september 12, 2020

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The much-needed and long overdue peace talks got underway eventually on Saturday.  It is a critical point in time undeniably that Afghans are sitting across each other to find a political settlement to the ravaging decades-old Afghan conflict.

The hopes and expectations of all Afghan masses were realized with the launch of the intra-Afghan dialogue.  The peace literature and harmonious-filled remarks were unprecedented and made everyone optimistic.  Thus, this optimism shouldn’t be responded with a setback and disappointment.  Their hopes are now touching the sky,  imagining the fact that they are going to witness peace in their lifetimes and are going to be given a chance to rebuild their country in a peaceful environment, without bloodshed, misery, or tears.  Although it is a historic event, ‘this is only one side of the coin and a partial realization of Afghans’ demands.  The key and foremost request of theirs concerns a truce so that the term ‘warring sides’ is converted to ‘negotiating sides’ once and for all.  It’s of immense importance that the two sides agree to a comprehensive ceasefire.  An armistice that is immediate, comprehensive, unconditional and nationwide is the need of the hour.  At this juncture, both sides should take confidence-building measures to bring the much needed relief to those who have suffered for far too long and are still enduring the agony of the continuing violence.  As earlier written in these columns, one cannot stress the significance of a truce enough, not just a reduction in violence, something that is no longer enough.  The opportunity is at hand because all the preconditions have been fulfilled.  Nothing should prevent a ceasefire from being announced and observed by the sides.  This streak of ground-breaking moments should be maintained with another breakthrough of putting an end to hostilities.  A truce is the demand of all parties now ~ the Afghan government, the international community and most importantly the Afghan people.  The United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU) and NATO have all welcomed the start of the historic intra-Afghan negotiations and called it a window of opportunity for all sides to work together for the establishment of sustainable peace in Afghanistan.  The desperate calls for an armistice shouldn’t go unanswered now, especially by the Taliban.  A truce, when observed, would be the cornerstone for signing a peace pact in the same venue (Sheraton Hotel of Doha) that witnessed the inking of the US-Taliban peace deal in February.

The hype around the peace and this turning point in history should be sustained so that Afghans heave a sigh of relief one day and recall September 12 a date that saw the launch of intra-Afghan talks and as a day that decided their fate.

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behind the astronomical rise of violence

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afghanistan times

guest scribe

september 8, 2020

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KABUL: As ratcheted-up efforts to start peace talks coalesce with rising hostilities, Afghanistan army says Taliban have been defeated in the battleground.

The Afghan government and Taliban insurgents are claiming upper hand in the fighting, with intra-Afghan talks looming and violence rising in epic scale.

The army is repetitively haranguing about heavy losses to the Taliban in the war.  The Defense Ministry says Taliban attacks are being defended against as the army stands in defensive mode,  Such remarks have precedent, though.  As both warring sides prepare for peace talks, what is the reason behind a stratospheric surge in violence?

The Defense Ministry spokesman, Fawad Aman, pins that anomaly to Taliban’s mission for leverage, “in which they have failed.”

“Taliban have struggled to seize control of more territory on the anvil of peace talks.  But they have been unable to do so.  Because Afghan defense and security forces are in a better position in every aspect,” he said.

Airstrikes in Laghman provinces killed at least 62 Taliban insurgents on Monday, a death toll that corroborates to government statement about militants losing ground.

On the opposite side, Taliban are also flaunting their prowess and gains in the battlefield with consecutive attacks on Afghan forces.  Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid recently said in a tweet that small groups of Afghan soldiers are defecting to the Taliban.

Some pundits believe the Afghan conundrum cannot be resolved militarily.  “Military power won’t present any solution.  And there now is an emphasis among all stakeholders on political solution to the Afghan war,” said Shafiq Amin, a Kabul University lecturer.

As war escalates, Kabul government is contemplating setting ceasefire as top agenda for peace talks with the Taliban, who say a truce won’t be possible before talks.

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old timer chronicle editor

rawclyde

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rocket attack

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by thomas gibbons-neff

new york times

august 30,2020

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KABUL, Afghanistan ~ Rockets launched at a U.S. military base and a joint U.S.-Afghan airfield in southern Afghanistan in recent weeks are believed to have been fired by the Taliban, according to three American military officials, in what would amount to a clear breach of the peace agreement between the United States and the insurgent group.

Roughly a dozen rockets struck in late July around Camp Bastion, a sprawling air base used by Afghan and American forces in the southern province of Helmand.  And several rockets were fired within the last week or so at Camp Dwyer, a large U.S. military base about 50 miles south of Bastion.

A Taliban commander familiar with the region denied that the group had carried  out any strikes on American bases in Helmand and said that the group would investigate.  The rocket strikes may also have been carried out by a Taliban faction that is against the agreement, according to one military official who was briefed on the matter.

There were no U.S. casualties in either attack, nor a public response from Washington during a stretch in which American officials have struggled to keep an already shaky peace process on track.

The American-led mission in Afghanistan also declined to comment.

Helmand Province, long considered the Taliban’s heartland and its opium-fueled financial breadbasket, is predominantly controlled by the insurgent group, though well-armed drug barons and differing tribal affiliations ensure that many allegiances and agendas in the region are murky.  Afghan government forces there are mostly constrained to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, and some villages that serve as district centers.

The February peace deal signed in Doha, the capital of Qatar, stipulates that the Taliban would refrain from striking American or NATO forces as they gradually withdrew from the country.  And the U.S. military would attack the Taliban only to defend Afghan forces.

The Taliban, long thought to be a conglomerate of various factions with differing agendas, seem to have largely stayed true to the agreement as a unified front, at least publicly, when it comes to not attacking American or coalition forces.  But as the Taliban have continued to mount heavy assaults against the Afghan military forces, the United States has carried out dozens of airstrikes to help the Afghans, officials say.

Another sticking point is the Taliban’s reluctance to condemn Al Qaeda, the terrorist group that carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and was harbored by the Taliban.  A clearly defined tenet of the Feb. 29 peace agreement calls for the Taliban to sever all ties with Al Qaeda before the total withdrawal of U.S. troops.  Pentagon officials believe Qaeda fighters continue to be well ingrained with Taliban rank and file.

Gen. Austin S. Miller, the commander of the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan, said last week that there was a “debate” on Taliban ties to Al Qaeda.

“There are very strict commitments there and they must be upheld,” General Miller told ITV, an Afghan news outlet.

Violations of the Feb. 29 deal are often raised privately by Taliban and U.S. officials through a communication channel established after the agreement’s signing.  Publicly, the Taliban have denounced the United States for carrying out airstrikes on their fighters, claiming the Americans were violating the deal.

“This is one part of a bigger picture,” said Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst on Afghanistan for the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based conflict resolution organization.

“The military’s general silence or lack of comment of what seems to be an ongoing dynamic in the conflict feels like a reflection of a larger trend of the Americans willing to overlook ambiguities in how the February agreement is being upheld in the interest of not jeopardizing an agreement that already feels very fragile.”

In the recent attacks, the Taliban fired rockets from several miles away that were mostly inaccurate, said one military official familiar with the events.  After rockets struck Camp Dwyer, American aircraft retaliated by striking the launch site, destroying a cluster of munitions that had yet to be fired, the official said.

Camp Dwyer, a British base that was turned over to the Americans at the height of the war, is quietly becoming the strategic hub for American troops remaining in southern Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan has plans to shuttle troops to Camp Dwyer from its large airfield in Kandahar before closing the base in Kandahar altogether in the coming months, according to military officials.  Under the February agreement, five American bases were closed and handed over to Afghan forces.

Camp Bastion was once the logistics hub for U.S. and NATO troops in Helmand Province.  Conjoined by the U.S. Marine base Camp Leatherneck, the base was handed over to the Afghan security forces in 2014.

Several months later, as the Taliban began retaking much of the province, American forces returned, establishing a small base there and using the airfield for helicopter refueling and other operations.

There are roughly 8,000 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan, with plans to draw down to about 4,500 by the fall.  Four American service members have been killed during combat operations this year, a relatively small number compared to this time in 2019, when more than a dozen U.S. troops had already been killed.

The Afghan government and the Taliban are stalled on the cusp of direct negotiations in Qatar as a dispute continues about a prisoner exchange on both sides.

Under the deal between the United States and the Taliban, which initiated the phased withdrawal of American troops, direct peace negotiations between the Afghan sides were conditioned on swapping 5,000 Taliban prisoners with 1,000 Afghan security forces held by the insurgents.

While the Taliban has released the Afghan prisoners, President Ashraf Ghani was reluctant to release 400 Taliban prisoners accused of serious crimes until a consultative assembly, convened this month, approved their release.

The talks were expected to begin in a matter of days after Mr. Ghani decreed the release of the last prisoners.  But new hiccups have emerged:  The Afghan government has conditioned the release of the Taliban on the freeing of more than a dozen Afghan commandos and pilots the insurgents are holding.  Australia, France and the United States have also expressed concerns about the release of half a dozen prisoners.

While France and Australia do not want those members of the Taliban accused of attacks on their citizens released, the United States has said it has reason to believe two of the Taliban fighters to be released would join the Islamic State, a senior Afghan official said.

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taimoor shaw in kandahar and mujib mashal in kabul contributed to this article…

She Who Is Obeyed

Tanya R as Col Sheena Jepisode 6

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After about 6 weeks of boot camp

us new recruits of 1st Platoon got our 1st break

in the barracks dayroom for 3 hours

Sheena showed up with a joint for her & I to share

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Outside we ducked thru a wooden door below the building

The floor was dirt, the ceiling low, the walls unpainted

In the darkness the match flared

Sheena’s face flashed forth that of Saint Joan of Arc!

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Stunned, I took a toke, Saint Joan, she cracked a joke

Thoroughly stoned we levitated into the dayroom

sat quietly on a plastic couch

1st Platoon spastically whirled around us

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Over-wired by 6 weeks of boot camp

All the worthless bums were soldiers now

Hair cropped, grins big, suddenly too healthy to relax

While Sheena & I sat silently stoned, watching

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Pool balls cracked & ricocheted

Dumb jokes splattered, laughter clattered

Sheena lifted her fatigues, made me kiss her tummy

In full view of all those raw recruits

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Her warm belly-button sucked me into Afghaneeland

Mission Impossible become a dreamy Betty Boop slope

In a slobbery Tora Bora cave I become a slippery slave

Swallowing the orders & commands of Col. Sheena Johnson!

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(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

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She Who Is Obeyed

The Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

by rawclyde

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