One Night At The Stone Fox

~ I ~

The Boys

And Mission Gorge

     Tonight was going to be a big night for Pee Wee Johnson.  He sat at the stage, near the side door, and watched the young woman dance.  Tonight was going to be his molotoff cocktail ~ no matter what.

     His finger slipped a tremble around the rim of his half-full beer glass.  The go-go music to which the half-naked dancer was blooming like a fast motion rose, was nothing compared to the drums pounding in Pee Wee’s head.

     A thousand drums.

     There were two other young men sitting at the stage.  They were alone too ~ just like Pee Wee.  One of the two was Nick Bogie.  The other was Slim Chance.  These three boys visited the place regularly.  The place was The Stone Fox.

     “When you go to the bathroom, woman, let me know, ’cause I wanna eat the peanuts out of your shit!” yelled Nick Bogie at the strutting dancer.  He laughed like a loud joke in the middle of a vegetable garden.

     The dancer stuck her tongue out at him and made a prancing detour on the stage.

     Slim Chance watched and that was all.  His glass was empty.  A sensuously dressed working girl walked up behind him ~ perfectly.  “Want another beer?”

     Slim nodded.

     The topless go-go girl on the stage did her thing, her routine and her bread.  She was dynamite.  She was also exhausted.  It was almost midnight on a slow Monday.

     The music boomed.

     The drums in Pee Wee Johnson’s head banged along.  The dancer tossed a quick glance at Pee Wee.  He was a very short guy, maybe four feet high when he stood tall as he could and in elevator shoes.  The dancer rolled her eyeballs.  She couldn’t believe what she saw in Pee Wee’s eyes.  She did a special wiggle, shot another glance at him.  God, the little squirt looked unusually mean tonight (because, you see, tonight was his night for real action).

     “You’re giving me a heart attack, woman!”  yelled Nick Bogie at the dancer.  She smiled.  “In my pants!” snidely added Bogie.

     Crude bastard.

     He was a big guy.  A handsome guy.  And pretty drunk.  You see, he was having trouble at home.  His wife didn’t like him anymore.  Like mad he wanted to ask the dancer out to dinner.  But he just couldn’t get serious enough in this place.

     But Pee Wee Johnson was very serious, sitting over by the side door.

     Mission Gorge, by the way, was the name of the dancer.

~

~ II ~

Pee Wee Makes His Move

     The place rocked on.  The bartender let the beer flow.  The bouncer sat slumped over in the corner, bored, wishing he didn’t have to constantly put up with “flakey chicks.”  While Mission Gorge stomped her third song away on the stage, the other girls, “flakey chicks,” kept the glasses full and the pitchers too.

     Slim Chance also wanted to ask Mission Gorge out for dinner but figured it was hopeless.  A year ago he had caught a venereal desease that would stay with him until the day he died.  What was the point in asking a woman out to dinner, he figured, if there was no possibility of a screwing ~ some day?  So his entire life was hopeless.  Forever he would just sit and watch.

     Mission Gorge buttoned up and darted off the stage.  Quiet moments passed.  “You’re up, Sheila!”  moaned the bouncer.

     Sheila ascended the stage, pushed the buttons to her selected hit tunes and commenced in doing her thing just as Mission Gorge had done hers ~ about 100 times a night it seemed to these young women.

     Mission Gorge shyly dashed across the saloon, flashed by Slim Chance and Nick Bogie, her skin a glow, crispy light hair a flowin’ down her back, a ghost like look of prettiness on her face.  Her eyes swung around like machine guns aiming at empty beer glasses in the dim light ~ and full ash trays.  She was a gorgeous portrait etched in lightning.  She was always too quick.

     But not tonight.

     “Mission!” called Pee Wee, as she was about to flash by him too.  She detoured on over, cautiously, as if Pee Wee was a dangerous dreamer who thought he loved her.  And that’s exactly what he was!

     Gently he took her arm in his hand.  Nice.  Then his fingers went tight like a vice.  Mission Gorge locked her eyes onto his ~ saw his bright red desperation.  Her eyes grew wide with fear.  The gleam in his eye was too damn serious!  The world stood stark raving still for half a second.

     “What?” Mission Gorge managed to ask.

     “Oh nothin’,” said Pee Wee.  He picked her up in his arms and smashed out the side door into the night.

~

~ III ~

Prelude To The Kidnapping

Of Mission Gorge

     A few months earlier ~

     Pee Wee Johnson was sitting before the lone window in his hole-in-the-wall, watching the sun go down, when he decided he was so lonely and horny that he wanted to die.

     He had worked hard all day long on his job.  He lit a small cigar.  He watched the sun sink.  He partook of a gulp of cold beer from the can in his hand.  He listened to the cowboy music on his cheap little stereo.  A puff of tobacco smoke from his cigar somersaulted against the window and bloomed into nothing.

     “Shit, I wanna die,” he muttered.  But he got up and pedaled his bicycle to a local go-go bar instead ~ The Stone Fox.

     He ordered a pitcher of beer and watched the girls dance topless.  Then Mission Gorge stepped on stage.  He was in love.

     She wasn’t the prettiest.  She wasn’t the best dancer.  But Pee Wee liked the way she moved ~ quick, haughty, and she did funny things ~ funny things like wearing Slim Chance’s hat on her breasts as she danced, and balancing Nick Bogie’s tossed quarters on her nipples after the hat fell off.  There were two real sad looking dudes sitting at the stage and she had them laughing in no time.

     And Pee Wee too.

     He became a regular.  He wanted to ask Mission Gorge out to dinner just like Nick Bogie and Slim Chance ~ and two dozen other guys.  But this go-go bar just wasn’t Pee Wee’s territory.  And Mission Gorge was always too quick to ask out ~ always passed by in a flash ~

     A portrait etched in lightning.

     And anyway, Pee Wee was a Negro ~ a Negro who liked cowboy music.  What a drag!

     One night he looked at himself in the long mirror on the closet door in his hole-in-the-wall.  He was just four feet tall ~ in elevator shoes.  Women just didn’t see anything in this city except how tall you were.  Yet Pee Wee was determined to not go to bed with Jose, the Mexican homo.

     “Shit,” moaned Pee Wee.  A tear rolled down his cheek.  He put on some of that fine shit-kicking music ~ got out a book.

     He read the book for a while.  And had an idea.  He slammed the book down on the table and gritted at the walls, “Guts!”

~

~ IV ~

The Quiet Ride

     The big ol’ bouncer bolted to his feet and hollered, “Mission Gorge!  She’s been carried away!  By that little, little ~ ” He couldn’t finish what he was saying ~ sprinted for the side door.

     “Bastard!” growled the bartender.  He knocked over a pitcher of beer, screeched around the corner of the bar like a dragster (with smoking heels instead of tires) and followed the bouncer out the side door.

     Nick Bogie jumped across the stage and dove out the side door after them.

     Even passive Slim Chance ~ out the side door.

     With his 100-pound load and an “umph!” Pee Wee waddled across the street to a parked rented car.

     “What are you doing?” screamed Mission Gorge in his arms, wondering whether or not she should laugh.  Pee Wee was pretty strong for such a little guy.

     “Nothin’,” gritted Pee Wee and threw her in the driver’s side of the car.  She bumped her head.  He hopped in after her and slammed the door shut, locked it as the bouncer grabbed the exterior handle.  Mission Gorge decided not to laugh after her bump on the head and threw herself against the other door.  The inside handle had been removed.

     “Damn,” she moaned and turned to Pee Wee.  “You better let me out of here or I’ll bust your balls!”

     Pee Wee started the engine and his rented car ~ a ’79 Buick with a tired automatic transmission ~ screeched away amidst burning rubber and exhaust and night time neon ~ through a red light.  The bouncer bounced off the bumper and fell in the gutter next to an empty half-pint whiskey bottle.

     The bartender, meanwhile, hustled back inside to the telephone, of course, to call the cops.

     Nick Bogie and Slim Chance stood side by side on the sidewalk and scratched their heads in the night.

     “Damn nigger,” muttered Nick Bogie with his chest out.

     “Takes courage to do that,” said Slim Chance.  He pulled his hat down in a philosophical way.

     The bouncer was on his feet, in about half a second was seated in the driver’s seat of his own slick sports car ~ a late-model deep-sea blue jaguar ~ and in hot pursuit.

     But Pee Wee lost him.

     And the cops never got there.

     The passing neon lights of the city caressed the flushed cheek of the Stone Fox starlet.  The handle to the window on that side of the car had been removed also.  Pee Wee rolled down his own window and smiled.

     “Hi, Mission,” he said.

     She glared at him in disbelief.  But the sudden quiet in the car, like nicely chilled milk, poured into her ears, filled up an empty soul, after having spent so many hours in that damn bar.  She decided to kick back and enjoy the subdued poetry of the situation.

     After a long moment she smiled nervously.  “Hello, Pee Wee.”

     He glanced at her, stretched his arm across the top of the steering wheel ~ relaxed.  “I’ve never seen you smile like that before.”

     “We’ve never been this close to each other with nobody else around.”

     Pee Wee nodded.

     They rolled along ~ hit a freeway ramp ~ speeded up.  Pee Wee rolled the window up ~ opened the wing-a-ding.

     “How come you did that?” asked Mission Gorge.

     “Did what?”

     “Kidnapped me!”  She laughed.

     “Well.”  Pee Wee pondered.  “Well.  I wanna ask you out to dinner.  But I can never get myself to do it at the Stone Fox ~ which happens to be the only place I ever see you at.  So I had to get you outta that place some how.  And so ~ ”  He reached over to the glove compartment, opened it.  And stuck a cigarette into Mission Gorge’s mouth ~ her favorite brand.  He lit it for her with the car’s cigarette lighter.

     “Thank you,” said the young lady.  She opened the wing-a-ding on her side of the car.  She blew a slow stream of smoke out in front of her face.  “It feels good to sit down,” she said.

     Pee Wee smiled.  “Will you go out to dinner with me?”

     “No.”

     Pee Wee’s smile disappeared.  “Why not?”

     “I’ve got two kids and an old man,” said Mission Gorge.

     “Oh.”  Pee Wee slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand.  “I should have known!”

     “Good try, Pee Wee.  Real Good.”

     “Is he a good old man?”

     “He’s okay.”  Her eyes went neon.

     They zoomed along the freeway into the night, surrounded by emptiness, plenty of room for talk.

     “You see, Pee Wee, all you guys back at the club, you all are patrons.  I’ve gotta keep my distance.  Mission Gorge isn’t even my real name!  I dance for you and serve you.  You pay for my bread and my shed ~ and the shed I have is some pretty nice shelter.  Understand?”

     “Yeah.”

     “Now I gotta get back to work.”

     “What for?  Why don’t you take the rest of the night off?”

     “‘Cause I’m getting nervous.”

     Pee Wee Johnson re-navigated the vessel toward Mission Gorge’s harbor of labor.  They sailed in silence.  A few blocks away from their destination Mission suddenly said, “Stop the car.”

     He did.

     She slid over, put her arms around his neck and gave him a long slow kiss.  Pee Wee Johnson, to say the least, was surprised.  It was a kiss to be reckoned with.  It was a kiss that could re-write encyclopedias ~ and inspire clouds in the sky to “moo” like cows.

     Later that night ~

     When Pee Wee was walking the path to his hole-in-the-wall, he was greeted in the shadows by Jose, the Mexican homo.

     “Hello, handsome,” coo-ed Jose.

     “What’s happening?” muttered Pee Wee.

     “Ohhhhhhh, not much,” coo-ed Jose.  He rested his hand on the little negro’s shoulder.

     Ordinarily Pee Wee would have stiffened.  But tonight he settled back on his heels, gazed up into the dark taunting eyes of Jose.  Upon the smaller fellow’s lips a little smile began to play.  Pee Wee’s hand near his hip rolled itself into a tight fist.  He brought it way way way back ~

     And decked the batata.

~

~

fiction by Rawclyde!

1980

pretty gal photos courtesy of Anja Rubik        ~         text copyright Clyde Collins 1989 2010

Taliban Anna

 ~

I loaned her a book

on Afghanistan & now

she is

Taliban Anna

~

Steve gave her 40 dollars to

buy pizza & beer but

she bought

Taliban music instead

~

Samantha_Mumba_Dancing_Ice

~

Since they locked-up the balconey

Steve has disappeared

I know where he went

Guantanamo Hell

~

And I know who sent him

it wasn’t God

it was

Taliban Anna!

~

She smiles like a

mountain lion dozing in

the sun while she hones

her legs for action

~

samantha-mumba-4432-1920x1080

~

Everybody here believes

her smile is that of

a little girl hoarding candy

and that is all

~

But I know better than most

who she really is because

I’m the old man who

lives across the hall

~

She’s Taliban Anna

and beware

she has become the living

and terrible Jihad call!

~

4124390_ori_jki2-Y29udGVudDguZmxpeHN0ZXIuY29tL3Bob3RvLzQxLzI0LzM5

http://shahamat-english.com

~

She plays Taliban music

night & day as

loud as she wants

because I let her

~

I know better than to

get on the bad side

of Taliban Anna’s

field of blooming poppy flowers

~

The call of the wild is

cupcakes & kool-aid

compared to the howling

death chant of Taliban Anna

~

As it plays on her little

music box she occasionally trills

like a bird licking her wings

for this evening’s flight

~

I bury my daily routine deep

into the rhythmic beat

of Taliban Anna’s haunting

of the American soul…

~

samantha_mumba

~

model:

Samantha Mumba

~

poem by Rawclyde!

~

(Text: Copyright Clyde Collins 2013)

~

The Elder Inside The Sufi Bubble

 by Rawclyde!

~

Tiny bubbles & colossal bubbles

All kinds of bubbles blowing in the wind

Full of Sufi miracles

Impossible to comprehend

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

Inside which resides the mountain ridge

On which is perched the village of Pluckame

Now hovers above a borderland of Afghanistan

~

~

Afghan National Army soldiers fire their guns

The Taliban keep a comin’ outta Pakistan

Faraway Iraq sucks up American air support

But for one strange bubble in the sky

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

The most viable support Afghan soldiers have got now

From the United States or from their own nation

Has them buffaloed & worried

~

~

No Afghan president yet to replace the old one

American firepower as good as gone

Pakistan nextdoor going nuts, refugees everywhere

And Taliban!

~

40 soldiers surrounded by 1,000 screaming enemy

And 10,000 ricocheting singing bullets

 Repeatedly look up & pray for a stray Warthog aeroplane

But all they see up there is a bubble!

~

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

Offers them as much soothing consolation as an unarmed goat

With a bell around his neck warning every Talib in the vicinity

That he is lamb-chops sneeking around

~

One Afghan patriot, Pvt. Ghani Gandhara, gets a bullet in the belly

Moans, gazes futiley at the sky & spies the damn bubble

 That pretends to be a Sufi miracle floating amidst the tumultuous clouds

 The wounded private cries out, “Ah shit!  Allah loves the Taliban!!!”

~

~

One of the oldest living faces on planet Earth shows up

Magnified magnificently on the soapy orb above the profusely bleeding soldier

And, thusly, an elder of the village inside it speaks forth to Pvt. Gandhara

“Have faith.  It’s all you’ve got right now.”

~

~

Tiny bubbles & colossal bubbles

All kinds of bubbles blowing in the wind

Full of Sufi miracles

Too wondrous to comprehend

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Text / Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~~~

ANA soldier photos by Victor Blue

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asia/photographer-embeds-five-day-clearing-mission-afghan-troops-n177381

~~~

Incidentally

books by independent author Jnana Hodson: 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/401122

via Smashwords ebooks

~~~

Blowing Bubbles In The USA

~

I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated & acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people…

~

~

Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God ~ what is good and acceptable and mature…

~

~

And through the grace that I have been given, I say this to every one of you:  never pride yourself on being better than you really are, but think of yourself dis-passionately, recognizing that God has given to each one his measure of faith…

~

~

Just as each of us has various parts in one body, and the parts do not all have the same function:  in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Christ, and as different parts are all joined to one another…

~

~

Then since the gifts that we have differ according to the grace that was given to each of us:  if it is a gift of prophecy, we should prophecy as much as our faith tells us;  if it is a gift of practical service, let us devote ourselves to serving;  if it is teaching, to teaching;  if it is encouraging, to encouraging…

~

~

When you give, you should give generously from the heart;  if you are put in charge, you must be conscientious;  if you do works of mercy, let it be because you enjoy doing them… 

~

~

Let love be without any pretense.  Avoid what is evil;  stick to what is good.  In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself…

~

~

In the service of the Lord, work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit…

~

~

Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship;  keep praying regularly;  share with any of God’s holy people who are in need;  look for opportunities to be hospitable…

~

~

Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them.  Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.  Give the same consideration to all others alike.  Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms.  Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.  Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect.  As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone.  Never try to get revenge:  leave that, my dear friends, to the Retribution.  As scripture says:  Vengeance is mine ~ I will pay them back, the Lord promises.  And more:  If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat;  if thirsty, something to drink.  By this, you will be heaping red-hot coals on his head.  Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.

~

Saint Paul

Romans Chapter 12

The New Jerusalem Bible

standard edition

1999

~

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)

~

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

~

Shrapnel From Afghanistan IX

kabul graveyard

Kabul graveyard

~

quoting

The Wrong Enemy

a book by Carlotta Gall

copyright 2014

~

They were poor farmers with weather-beaten faces and gnarled hands.  They slipped off their muddied galoshes and sat cross-legged on the floor of a deep verandah, sipping green tea as Wudood recounted his story of the uprising.  As I looked around at the gathering of elders, I realized what I was witnessing:  the end of the road for the Taliban in this area…

~

He was proud that he had never been driven from his home ~ not by the Soviets, not by the chaos of mujahideen rule, not by the seven years of Taliban govern- ment, and not through ten years on the frontline between Taliban insurgents and American and NATO forces…

~

_44791030_afghan_afp466b

Afghan farmer

~

Resentment of the Taliban was already brewing in the village of Pishin Gan Sayedan.  When villagers had begun their yearly collective task of cleaning the irrigation canal, digging out the silt and clearing the undergrowth along the sloping banks, the Taliban commander Mullah Noor Mohammad turned up with a group of fighters and ordered them to stop.  The undergrowth provided the Taliban with good cover for ambushes, he told them.  The villagers answered back that they needed the water to flow for their crops.  They continued working.  These Taliban were outsiders, and the villagers were fed up with them.  The Taliban caused trouble by laying mines everywhere and staging ambushes in the village.  Now they were threatening the villagers’ livelihood by disrupting the irrigation supply.  “The Taliban were saying we don’t care if your fields die, or if you die, so the people said, ‘Then you can die,'” one resident told me.

The Taliban resorted to force.  They waded in with their rifle butts, cracking several people on the head and breaking the arms of two of the farmers.  They detained the village elder in charge of the canal cleaning and took him off to their base in the desert.

Just a few days later, the Taliban returned, looking for Wudood and his sons.  By now the mood in the village was boiling.  Villagers who had lost relatives to the Taliban offered their support to Wudood.  When he met with the police chief, they hatched a plan.  Sultun Mohammed immediately sent a posse of fifteen men to guard Wudood’s house in case the Taliban came back.  After three days of waiting, they decided to spring an attack on Taliban positions in the nearby village of Kakaran.  The place was an operational base where the Taliban were making bombs and explosives, and where they believed the Taliban commander stayed since the approaches were heavily mined.  The police gathered a force of local and national police and intelligence officers, and attacked from two sides.  Thirty to forty unarmed villagers accompanied the police, guiding them through the land mines and acting as lookouts.  In a short firefight, they shot three members of the Taliban and seized control of the village.  The Taliban commander, Mullah Noor Mohammad, escaped with ten others.  The police knew his radio code name, Rahmani, and were able to follow his movements on the radio.  The three wounded Talibs died as they retreated south.

Villagers from all around, delighted that the Taliban had been sent packing, now came forward to give their support to Wudood.  They thronged his courtyard and pledged to stand with him.  His group of thirty supporters grew to hundreds, from thirty different villages.  Overnight the whole of Zangabad turned against the Taliban…

~

sourthern reaches of Afghanistan

Southern reaches of Afghanistan

~

Having security forces strong enough to protect them had encouraged the people to turn against the Taliban, General Razziq said…

~

By the end of February, fifty men from Zangabad had joined the local police program.  Villages further along the horn of Panjwayi had come over to the government and were asking for local police, Sultan Mohammed, the police chief, told me.  “It is not thirty, not fifty, it is hundreds of villages…”

~

Afghan village

~

An Afghan elder who lived  in Quetta (Pakistan) and knew many members of the Taliban in his neighborhood told me that the insurgent fighters were more scared of the local police than the NATO forces and all their firepower.  “Forty-two countries have come here with all their high-tech equipment, but the Taliban are not as scared of their technology as they are of the local police.”

In Zare, the local police turned the tables on the Taliban.  Drawn from the villages, trained and mentored by U.S. special forces, they were largely responsible for preventing the Taliban from regaining a foothold in the district in 2012, and the population swung behind them, residents told us…

~

afghan village homes

~

By September 2012, spontaneous uprisings against Taliban forces had occurred in half a dozen places around the country including Ghazni, Nuristan, Wardak, Ghor, Faryab, and Logar provinces…

~

In Kamdesh in Nuristan, local tribesmen fought for months against a determined Taliban and al Qaeda force.  At one point the government and the United States flew in supplies and commandos to assist them.  A senior Afghan intelligence official warned that it was not enough and the government was going to lose the moment.  Kamdesh remained cut off by road, and the government was doing nothing to clear the route, the official told me.  Karzai was issuing orders, but the ministry responsible was not acting.  Nevertheless the tribesmen hung on…

~

Looks like northeast Afghanistan...

Northeastern Afghanistan

~

When I remember the beleaguered state of Afghanistan in 2001, I marvel at the changes the American intervention has wrought:  the rebuilding, the modernity, the bright graduates in every office.  Yet after thirteen years, a trillion dollars spent, 120,000 foreign troops deployed at the height, and tens of thousands of lives lost, the fundamentals of Afghanistan’s predicament remain the same:  a weak state, prey to the ambitions of its neighbors and extremist Islamists.  The United States and its NATO allies are departing with the job only half done.  Counter-insurgency is slow work.  A comprehensive effort to turn things around only began in 2010.  The fruits were only starting to show in 2013, and progress remains fragile.

Meanwhile the real enemy remains at large.  The Taliban and al Qaeda will certainly seek to regain bases and territory in Afghanistan upon the departure of Western troops.  Few Afghans believe that their government and security forces can keep the Taliban at bay.  I believe they can, but they will need long-term financial and military support…

~

village boys with gifts Afghanistan

Gifts

~

The Haqqania madrassa, near the famous Moghul fort of Attock in Pakistan, is a notorious establishment; it follows the fundamentalist Deobandi sect and is often described as the alma mater of the Afghan jihad since it has trained generations of students over three decades for war in Afghanistan…

~

The Haqqania madrassa houses three thousand religious students from Pashtun areas, Afghans and Pakistanis, in large, white-washed residence blocks built around a series of courtyards.  Ninety-five percent of the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan have passed through its classrooms, a spokesman for the madrassa, Syed Mohammad Yousuf Shah, proudly told me…

~

Jalaluddin Haqqani or son

Jalaluddin “The Ugly” Haqqani

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Their most famous graduate is Jalaluddin Haqqani, the veteran Afghan mujahideen commander, who took his name from the madrassa and won renown as a ferocious warrior against the Soviet occupation.  During that time, he forged strong ties with Arab groups, including bin Laden’s, and the ISI (Pakistan secret service).  He served as a minister in the mujahideen and Taliban governments, and remained an important ally to Pakistan, with control of a large section of eastern Afghanistan.  That did not change after 9/11.  He continued to head a network of commanders known as the Haqqani network and became the main protector of al Qaeda in North Waziristan.  His long and close ties to the ISI and to Arab groups has been the critical element in creating a safe haven in the tribal areas for the Taliban and foreign militants.  It is Haqqani who is the linchpin for the entire ISI operation in the tribal areas.  He is the most powerful commander who oversees all the other groups.  Now elderly, he has passed daily operations to his son, Sirajuddin.  Born of an Arab mother, Sirajuddin Haqqani is known as the Khalifa, or Caliph, to his followers although he does not have a high religious standng.  He derives his power from his military clout and mafia businesses.  His network has become the main instrument for ISI-directed attacks in Kabul and eastern Afghanistan…

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The Sufi

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Wahabi Extremism

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Taliban Focus

 by Rawclyde

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I believe that's a U.S. Marine

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The woman in the yellow polka-dot burka

Comes back with a pot full of sweet tea

As Taliban bullets whistle & sing all around & always miss

The Taliban are so captivated they can’t hit her

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She is so obviously good lookin’ under that burka

Such beauty glorifies the entire world

Makes it livable for humankind

And drives Taliban outta their mind

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Ten thousand bullets miss the two Afghan soldiers too

Cuz’ they are her Afghaneeland friends

The three of them lounge on the blanket in the shade

And drink their tea

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As the three musketeers partake

A moaning & a groaning grows louder & louder in the sky

Two A-10 Warthog aeroplanes approach

Looking for Taliban & find them

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Behind the pile of boulders

The Warthogs find ten thousand of the culprits

And blast them into bloody pulp

While Col. Sheena Johnson & the Afghan soldiers sip their tea…

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Yellow Burqa

Photos courtesy of the United States Air Force & Lucy Kafanov

http://www.lucykafanov.com

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The Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

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Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

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