Congratulations From India

 ~~~

Oct 18, 2014

~~~

New Delhi, Oct 18 — Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, Saturday said Afghanistan had achieved “huge” progress under its former president Hamid Karzai and congratulated him for the formation of the new national unity government in that country.

Modi, who spoke with Karzai over phone, congratulated the former Afghan president for his leadership in ensuring a historic and peaceful political transition and formation of a national unity government in Afghanistan.

“This would not have been possible without the wisdom, courage and foresight of Karzai,” he said.

The prime minister noted that under Karzai, Afghanistan had achieved huge progress in its quest to build a strong, peaceful, inclusive, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan, an official release said here.

He also warmly recalled Karzai’s contribution to the strengthening of India-Afghanistan relations, the release said.

He said that both India and Afghanistan had new governments in place which look to Karzai as a mentor for guidance in furtherance of bilateral relations.

Karzai, on his part, said that he deeply cherished his long association with India. “No other country in the world had done as much for Afghanistan as India had despite constraints of resources”.

The former Afghan president said he was confident that the new government in Afghanistan will continue to attach the highest priority to strengthening ties with India.

~~~

https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/pm-congratulates-karzai-afghan-government-104624397.html

~~~

Women In The Infantry

~~~

Strategy Page

October 17, 2014

~~~

October 17, 2014: After two years of trying to justify allowing women into the infantry, artillery and armor and special operations forces, the U.S. government has decided to just order the military to make it happen and without degrading the capabilities of these units. While the army is inclined the just say yes, find out what quotas the politicians want and go through the motions, the marines are refusing to play along. The marines are pointing out that the research does not support the political demands and that actually implementing the quotas could get people killed while degrading the effectiveness of the units involved. This is yet another reason why many politicians do not like the marines.

Back in 2012 the U.S. Army and Marine Corps were ordered to come up with procedures to select women capable of handling infantry and special operations assignments and then recruit some women for these jobs. This had become an obsession with many politicians. None of these proponents of women in the infantry have ever served in the infantry, but they understood that if they proceeded without proof that women could handle the job, that decision could mean getting a lot of American soldiers and marines killed. If it came to that, the military could be blamed for not implementing the new policy correctly.

So far the tests, overseen by monitors reporting back to civilian officials in Congress and the White House, have failed to find the needed proof that women can handle infantry combat. The main problem the military has is their inability to make these politicians understand how combat operations actually work and what role sheer muscle plays in success, or simply survival. But many politicians have become obsessed with the idea that women should serve in the infantry and are ignoring the evidence.

All this comes after decades of allowing women to take jobs that were more and more likely to result in women having to deal with combat. Not infantry combat, but definitely dangerous situations where you were under attack and had to fight back or die. The last such prohibition is the U.S. Department of Defense policy that forbids the use of female troops in direct (infantry type) combat. Despite the ban many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan found themselves in firefights and exposed to roadside bombs, something that’s normal for a combat zone. Meanwhile, women were allowed to serve in MP (military police) units and serve regularly on convoy duty. Those convoys often included other female troops who were trained to fight back, if necessary. It was usually the MPs who did the fighting and the female MPs performed well. Several of them received medals for exceptional performance in combat. Hundreds of these female MPs were regularly in combat since September 11, 2001. This was the largest and longest exposure of American female troops to direct combat. Yet women have often been exposed to a lot of indirect combat. As far back as World War II, 25 percent of all troops in the army found themselves under fire at one time or another, although only about 15 percent of soldiers had a “direct combat” job. In Iraq women made up about 14 percent of the military personnel but only two percent of the casualties (dead and wounded). Most women do not want to be in combat but those who did get the job proved that they could handle it. This experience, however, did provide proof that women could perform in infantry or special operations type combat.

All this is actually an ancient problem. The issue of women in combat has long been contentious. Throughout history women have performed well in combat but mainly in situations where pure physical force was not a major factor. For example, women often played a large, and often decisive, part of the defending force in sieges. Many women learned to use the light bow (for hunting). While not as lethal as the heavy bows (like the English longbow), when the situation got desperate the female archers made a difference, especially if it was shooting a guys coming over the wall with rape and general mayhem in mind.

Once lightweight firearms appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries women were even deadlier in combat. Again, this only occurred in combat situations where the superior physical strength and sturdiness of men was not a factor. Much of infantry operations are all about the grunts (as infantry are often called) just moving themselves and their heavy loads into position for a fight. Here the sturdiness angle was all about the fact that men have more muscle and thicker bones. This makes men much less likely to suffer stress fractures or musculoskeletal injuries than women. This phenomenon has been noted as women became more active in sports like basketball. Modern infantry combat is intensely physical, and most women remain at a disadvantage here. There are some exception for specialist tasks that do not involve sturdiness or strength, like sniping. Then there is the hormonal angle. Men generate a lot more testosterone, a hormone that makes men more decisive and faster to act in combat. Moreover testosterone does not, as the popular myth goes, make you more aggressive, it does make you more aware and decisive. That makes a difference in combat.

The main problem today is that the average load for a combat infantryman is over 40 kg (88 pounds) and men (in general) have always had more muscle, upper body strength and the ability to handle heavy loads better than women. But in situations like convoy escort, base security, or support jobs in the combat zone the combat load is lower and more manageable for women. At that point there’s plenty of recent evidence that women can handle themselves in combat. That said, women, more than men, prefer to avoid serving in combat units. During the last decade American recruiters found it easier to find young men for combat units than for support jobs. It’s mainly female officers who demand the right to try out for combat jobs. That’s because the most of the senior jobs in the military go only to those who have some experience in a combat unit. But when the marines allowed 14 female marines to take the infantry officer course, none could pass and all agreed that they were treated just like the male trainees. This was not a unique situation.

Because of the strenuous nature of combat jobs (armor, artillery, and engineers, as well as infantry) there are physical standards for these occupations. The U.S. military calls it a profile and if you do not have the physical profile for a job, you can’t have it. Thus while many men are not physically fit for the infantry, even fewer women are. For example, 55 percent of women cannot do the three pull-ups required in the physical fitness test, compared to only one percent of men. Some women could meet the physical standards and be eager to have the job. But Western nations (including Canada) that have sought to recruit physically qualified female candidates for the infantry found few volunteers and even fewer who could meet the profile and pass the training. So while it is theoretically possible that there are some women out there who could handle the physical requirements, none have so far come forward to volunteer for infantry duty. A recent survey of female soldiers in the U.S. Army found that over 92 percent would not be interested in having an infantry job. The last two years of American research into the matter concluded that about three percent of women could be trained to the point where they were at the low end of the physically “qualified” people (male or female) for infantry combat. What that bit of data ignores is how many of those physically strong women would want a career in the infantry or special operations. There would be a few, but for the politicians who want women represented in infantry units this would smack of tokenism. Moreover this comes at a time when physical standards for American infantry and special operations troops have been increasing, because this was found to produce more effective troops and lower American casualties.

One area where women are sometimes recruited for infantry combat is in commando and paramilitary intelligence organizations. This is kept secret but having a combat-qualified woman along on some missions can be the key to success. While these women usually cannot carry as much weight, they often have language, cultural, and other skills that make them an essential part of the team. Exceptions can be made for exceptional people and the exceptional missions where they can be decisive. Women have long served as spies, and this is apparently how women came to become part of some commando organizations.

When the U.S. used conscription the infantry ended up with a lot of less-muscular and enthusiastic men in the infantry. Allowances were made for this, but for elite units there were no corners cut and everyone had to volunteer and meet high physical standards. That made a very noticeable difference in the combat abilities of the elite unit. Now all infantry are recruited to those old elite standards and it would wreck morale and decrease the number of male volunteers if it was mandated that some less physically qualified women be able to join infantry units. This doesn’t bother a lot of politicians but it does bother the guys out there getting shot at.

Meanwhile over the last century women have been increasingly a part of the military. In most Western nations over ten percent of military personnel are female. In the U.S. military it’s now 15 percent. A century ago it was under one percent (and most of those were nurses and other medical personnel). More women are in uniform now because there aren’t enough qualified men, especially for many of the technical jobs armed forces now have to deal with. In the United States women became more of a presence in the armed forces after the military went all-volunteer in the 1970s. That led to more and more combat-support jobs being opened to women. This became popular within the military because the women were often better at these support jobs. This led to women being allowed to serve on American combat ships in 1994. In most NATO countries between 5-10 percent of sailors are women, while in Britain it is 10 percent, and in the United States 16 percent.

Once women were allowed to fly combat aircraft, it was only a matter of time before some of them rose to command positions. Currently, about ten percent of navy officers are female, as are nine percent of enlisted personnel. Only 4.2 percent of navy aviators (pilots) are women, as are 6.9 percent of flight officers (non-pilot aircrew). In the air force five percent of pilots are women. Women now command warships and air combat units (including fighter squadrons). Some women, and their political supporters, want to do the same thing in the infantry and special operations. If only the physical problems could be taken care of.

Advocates for women in combat also have to worry about combat casualties and the very well documented history of women in combat. During World War II over five million women served in the military, although they suffered fewer losses than the men, several hundred thousand did die. These women were often exposed to combat, especially when fighting as guerillas or operating anti-aircraft guns and early warning systems in Russia, Germany, and Britain. Russia also used women as traffic cops near the front line, as snipers, and as combat pilots. They tried using them as tank crews and regular infantry, but that didn’t work out. Women were most frequently employed in medical and other support jobs. The few who served as snipers or pilots were very good at it.

Most of the women who served in combat did so in guerilla units, especially in the Balkans and Russia. The women could not haul as heavy a load as the men but this was often not crucial, as many guerillas were only part-time fighters, living as civilians most of the time. Full time guerilla units often imposed the death penalty for pregnancy, although the women sometimes would not name the father. That said, guerilla organizations often imposed the death penalty for a number of offenses. The guerillas had few places to keep prisoners and sloppiness could get a lot of guerillas killed. The women tended to be more disciplined than the men and just as resolute in combat.

In the last century there have been several attempts to use women in combat units, and all have failed. When given a choice, far fewer women will choose combat jobs (infantry, armor, artillery). But duty as MPs does attract a lot of women, as do jobs like fighter, bomber, helicopter pilots and crews, and aboard warships. That works.

Meanwhile the casualty rate for women in Iraq was over ten times what it was in World War II, Vietnam, and the 1991 Gulf War (where 30,000 women served). A lot of the combat operations experienced by women in Iraq involved base security or guard duty. Female troops performed well in that. These were jobs that required alertness, attention to detail, and ability to quickly use your weapons when needed. Carrying a heavy load was not required. In convoy operations women have also done well, especially when it comes to spotting, and dealing with, IEDs (roadside bombs and ambushes). Going into the 21st century, warfare is becoming more automated and less dependent on muscle and testosterone. That gives women an edge, and they exploit it, just as they have done in so many other fields.

Meanwhile the military has been ordered to continue conducting experiments in order to find a way to justify allowing females in the infantry and special operations troops. After that comes the difficulty in finding women who are willing to volunteer and pass whatever standards survive.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmurph/20141017.aspx

~~~

“One Step Closer” by Nigel Hendrickson

http://soulrebel.cgsociety.org

~~~

Ants

by Rawclyde!

Thousands of ants

Tumble across the raggedy ground

At the feet of Col. Sheena Johnson

& her faithful hubby Habibullah

~

The couple sit cross-legged honing arrowheads of Sufi bliss

In front of the commander’s imported Native American teepee

“I’ve never seen a horde of ants like this,” says ex-Talib Habibullah

“I wonder where they are going?”

~

Elder Haji Mujadooti having trudged up the mountain-ridge trail

Stands out of breath amidst the horde of ants, tries to say something

He slaps his pants frantically, falls down, rolls around spastically

Thus disrupting the peaceful scene with idiotic old-man antics

~

Covered head to toe with angry biting ants

He heroically stands up & despite the pain he is suffering

Says to Habibulla’s infidel wife,  “Do something, Sheena!

Our courageous Afghan soldiers are dying below!”

~

~

Ahhh!

The commander knows Afghanistan

She knows Taliban & she knows ants too

She arises

~

The empress of the Afghaneeland village of Pluckame

Pulls Haji Mujadooti out of the jam in which he stands

“Darling husband, please tend to this poor wise man”

Habibullah smiles, arises & does as bidden

~

Barefoot, Sheena steps into the rapidly moving horde of angry ants

Not one lousy insect crawls onto one toe of the formidable goddess

She stands erect as the Rock of Gibraltar & prays to St. Joan of Arizona

Who in a distant land relays the message to heaven

~

And by God, Sheena’s Sufi bow materializes in her held out hand

Sufi armor crackles sparsely here & there on her outrageously perfect body

She picks up a freshly cut & carved & honed world-peace arrow

Fits it to the bow string, aims, shuts her eyes, let’s it go

~

The cosmic forces of the universe gather upon the arrowhead point

Thrust forward into the oblivion of every Taliban brain below

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

& divine revelations explode!!! 

~

Suddenly beyond anybody’s wildest expectation

There are no more Taliban in the tumultuous nation of Afghanistan

The insurgents have transformed into the silliest looking little ants ever seen

All carrying rifles tinier than toothpicks

~

Pvt. Ghani Gandhara gut-shot and breathing his last breath

Picks up one of these purple insects on the end of his thumb & smiles

The Afghan National Army defending the nation’s new democracy shall prevail

Pvt. Gandhara leaps beyond the veil… 

~

Text / Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~

Col. Sheena Johnson at the helm of

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Conversion

http://joellewisart.com/?p=15

~~~

Romans, Chapter 13, St. Paul

~~~

Everyone is to obey the governing authorities, because there is no authority except from God and so whatever authorities exist have been appointed by God.  So anyone who disobeys an authority is rebelling against God’s ordinance; and rebels must expect to receive the condemnation they deserve.  Magistrates bring fear not to those who do good, but to those who do evil.  So if you want to live with no fear of authority, live honestly and you will have its approval; it is there to serve God for you and for your good.  But if you do wrong, then you may well be afraid; because it is not for nothing that the symbol of authority is the sword: it is there to serve God, too, as his avenger, to bring retribution to wrongdoers.  You must be obedient, therefore, not only because of this retribution, but also for conscience’s sake.  And this is why you should pay taxes, too, because the authorities are all serving God as his agents, even while they are busily occupied with that particular task.  Pay to each one what is due to each: taxes to the one to whom tax is due, tolls to the one to whom tolls are due, respect to the one to whom respect is due, honor to the one to whom honor is due…

~~~

http://joellewisart.com/?page_id=424

~~~

The only thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other person is to fulfill the law.  All these:  You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed up in this single phrase:  You must love your neighbor as yourself.  Love can cause no harm to your neighbor, and so love is the fulfillment of the Law…

~~~

http://joellewisart.com

~~~

Besides, you know the time has come;  the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe.  The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light.  Let us live decently, as in the light of day;  with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy.  Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled…

~~~

New Jerusalem Bible

standard edition

1999

~~~

Art courtesy of Joel Lewis

~~~

Editor: Rawclyde!

~~~

Transformation

~

by Rawclyde!

~

I discovered when I was young

Below the border in a Tijuana bar

That everyone on planet Earth

Is a Mexican

~

All I had to do to know this was true

Was down another shot of tequila & look around

Sure enough

Everyone was a Mexican, even me

~

Now I look around & I see

Some people don’t believe this at all

How foolish they be

We’re all Mexicans & free!

~

~

So, as Col. Sheena Johnson

plucks a Sufi arrow from her quiver & takes aim

From her perch in our Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

Hovering over Murrieta, California

~

Yes, as she takes aim

At the poor misguided U.S. citizens who are protesting

The arrival of a mere 60,000 unaccompanied refugee children

From those mysterious lands below the border

~

I know that with the release of the taut string of her Sufi bow

Those protesters in Murrieta can be believers

Twang!

And now they are Mexicans too

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

~

Sufi Arrows

2d_woman_archer

~

Endless subterfuge becomes entwined in the Afghan run-off election

The Karzai government fires half the election committee

Replaces them with ballot-box-stuffing secret agents

Front-runner Abdullah Abdullah begins a protest movement

~

Ballot-box-stuffing secret agents?

Col. Sheena Johnson & her side-kick Mysterious Mamoodia

Two archers extraordinaire take articulate aim

From Capt’n Fiddler’s Sufi Bubble floating above Afghanistan

~

Hafiz Qari and Yousef Ahmadi

Stuff ballot boxes merrily in a tiny village

Lost in the outermost dusty districts of Afghanistan

In a village of 40 people 4000 votes for the runner-up materialize

~

Thunk!  Yousef’s eyes pop out

He’s got a sudden headache, a split-second later is knocked out

An arrow stuck in the top of his head

Special delivery from Mahmoodia of Pluckame

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

Takes extraordinary strides across Afghanistan’s pale blue

Arrows rain-down on ballot-box stuffers, they’re all knocked out

& a big bubble of miracle heads-out over the sea

~

Can an impossible bubble like this make a difference?

Maybe in a head or two somewhere & that is all

God only knows how the ripples from one pebble thrown in a pond

Spread & spread across the universe!

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

Rawclyde

!

(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

Floating Above Afghanistan

Shakara Ledard

~

“What’s going on?” says Mamoodia, her miracle belly

Quivering charmfully in a cold morning breeze

Her belly button puckering up & alert for a clue to today’s events

“We seem to be in a bubble floating in the sky”

~

107391

~

Sheena grimaces & she surmises, “Fiddler’s doing”

She & I know each other like 2 buds on the same bush

Mamoodia, my savior, replies to Sheena, my other savior

“Uncle Chucky’s coma has him, & us too, soaring”

~

bhutto_obit_1227

~

Sheena shakes her head scornfully

The two half-naked women stand on the mountain ridge

Well away from Pluckame, the Afghan village

Which is totally isolated now in Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Sufi Bubble

~

GoddessDanceW

~

Which is just as well because women like this

Would not get along too well in war-torn Afghanistan proper

The whole mountain ridge is in a bubble now

Floating across the pale blue above Afghanistan!

~

MFP-SS12_9

~

On my tiny magic carpet I twirl like an insect

Around my two favorite ladies of the universe

Then return to my prone comatose body

Entering thru the wide-open corridor of my left nostril…

~

Fiddler's Magic Carpet

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

Rawclyde!

~

Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~

additional reading by

Jennifer Paetsch

https://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/358620/1/ghost-of-doors

~

Coma III

FlyingCarpet

~

by Rawclyde!

~

I love my magic carpet

I ride it every day

Now that I’m in a coma

I arrive right away

~

This morning while riding

In a shrunken state

Like an ant on a bread crumb

However, I was late

~

burkha

~

I was supposed to sing in

Mamoodia’s ear

Before she arose from her blankets

She’s up now without cheer

~

She peers at my somnolent form

on the mat in the corner

She is now wearing her burka

& I’m eternally the foreigner

~

Sufi_by_zweeZwyy

~

Lost in a maelstrom deeper & deeper

Of comatose sleep nobody can understand

Nobody but he who voyages thusly

In strange strange Afghaneeland

~

Yes, lying there with plenty of time to think

He has discovered lots of things

How to do this, how to do that

& how to give Afghaneeland wings

~

cosmicdance

~

Being as this strange land is

Really just a bubble in mine own head

I have discovered that it is I who is in charge

As I, yes, I twilight sleep on that thin bed

~

However, as I also ride my magic carpet

Here & there throughout the house

I discover my colonel

Sneaking a kiss with her ex-Taliban spouse

~

celticdragon_3_by_sayara_s-d6i90ru

http://sayara-s.deviantart.com/art/CelticDragon-3-393451050

~

What a reminder is this!

How can it be that I rule this bubble

When Colonel Sheena Johnson rules me?

I, Capt’n Chuck Fiddler, gots trouble

~

DSCN5948_resize

~

Until I figure out what to do

I’ll continue my coma, my coma true blue

Where there is trouble, comfort may be found too

Mamoodia’s arrow stuck in the heel of my shoe

~

Deviantart-Stock-Collection-Hijab-2014-5

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

Text / Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~

Capt’n Fiddler’s Crash Landing

 Capt'n Fiddler's Prosthetic Leg

~

Floating up & down, floating all around

A floating nightmare unable to hit ground

I see Kabul, I see Herat

The parachute an eternal tea-party hat

~

Down below in Pluckame I see

The last Taliban setting fire to the voting shed

I loosen my artificial leg, it falls free

Like a smart bomb it hits him in the head

~

This vortex of wind is exasperating me

I shrug, embrace Afghaneeland reality

Dozing off with one leg left a dangle

I become a banner of star spangle

~

Sunrise sunset ticktocks by again & again

Dehydration comes along, hyperventilation too

Pretty soon I’m twirling with a crazy-boy grin

& a palpitating heart tells me I’m about thru

~

Then an arrow sticks into the heel of my one & only boot

Tied to the arrow is a very long string

This string gets taut as someone hauls me down

My last leg breaks when I slide across the ground

~

Mine is now a sorry plight

Without flight & without fight

Yours truly blacks out

& without light

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

Rawclyde!

~

(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

~

A New Breed In The Village

Burka_284113450_large

~

by Rawclyde!

~

Deception & camouflage & secret looks

Secret codes & secret trails to secret nooks

The glint of a knife & someone suddenly gone

Someone trusted suddenly faking a yawn

~

The U.S. Army colonel & her ex-Taliban spouse

Sneeking in & out of your very own house

Growing crooked, growing mean

A sudden realization that you’re a human being

~

Looking for God, looking for a friendly nod

Cleaning the dead enemy’s weapon with oil & rod

Not getting too rude while cooking some food

Trying to get some sleep but only able to brood

~

Then ye notice the bow, look close at an arrow

Accidentally shoot a poor innocent sparrow

Get the Goddess from God knows where

To finally see you & share

~

Some of her knowledge, some of her skill

Secret lessons, a miracle, a talent to kill

Hide like a gloomy secret agent everything that you are

An infinitely shining rapidly rising morning star…

~

image_561306132020288593710

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Text / Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~