Category Archives: Afghanistan

The Past Isn’t Even Past

Fuck Jeb and his entire family sideways with a rake: 

“I won’t talk about the past,” Bush said on Friday when a reporter asked him about an upcoming foreign policy speech in Chicago, according to Bloomberg Politics. “I’ll talk about the future. If I’m in the process of considering the possibility of running, it’s not about re-litigating anything in the past. It’s about trying to create a set of ideas and principles that will help us move forward.”

The past. Because nobody died today.  Nobody will die tomorrow. It’s the past.

You sick bastard. The bombs and guns and bullets your brother sent over there are still killing people every single day. The soldiers who come home are still dying, years later, some by inches and some by their own hands. And the politics you people poisoned are still burning through this country’s veins, and the way I know that is that you are showing your face in public and no one is throwing rotten fruit.

The past. How nice it must be to be able to shrug it off like that. How nice it must be to wake up free of nightmares, with all your limbs attached. How nice it must be to sleep beside your wife and children, all of whom are alive, beneath a roof without holes in it, in a house with running water, without fear of being fucking BEHEADED by the monsters your actions loosed. It’s the past, for you. How nice. How peaceful. How normal.

How convenient, you fucking horror show. How easy. How small. How mean.

A.

 

Fear Itself

Athenae and I rarely post about the same thing on the same day. It's that time again. The whole Bowe Bergdahl incident seems to be the apogee of Obama Derangement Syndrome. The GOP reaction is OTT, incoherent, and sadly predictable. Once again, they're confused as to whether the President is a power mad dictator or a weakling. You really can't have it both ways but making sense has never been high on the neo-cons agenda. Fear mongering is and I wish the stupid mongerfuckers would monger something else…

Here's the deal. It's apparently strong and resolute when Ronald Reagan and Oliver North TRADE ARMS FOR HOSTAGES but when President Obama executes a prisoner swap, it's evil, evil chile. Prisoner exchanges are routine, and Bergdahl is the last American POW in Afghanistan. We don't leave our people behind when we withdraw from a country. You would think that Senator McCain would get that but as Charlie Pierce put it earlier today:

Having already draped himself in a toga, McCain's response to the Obama administration has been both petulant and imperious, a small boy commanding an army of butterflies. This is most recently illustrated in his response to the deal cut by the administration to arrange the release of Bowe Bergdahl from captivity. The conservative chorus of opposition to the deal is a lovely harmonic convergence of complete hypocrisy and profound historical amnesia on the always delightful topic of "negotiating with terrorists." IA's official arms conduit to the Contras, on a shipment of weapons — and the scandal moved off in other directions, including selling missiles to Iran for the purposes of raising money for the Contras.

The thing that I find most irksome is that the whole controversy is over FIVE BEARDED GUYS. That's right, five beardos have been released and Senator Walnuts is making like Chicken Little. I was raised to think that we were the land of the free and the home of the brave, not a country that cowered when 5 guys who were held as enemy combatants are traded for an American serviceman. Does McCain even listen to himself any more? I'd rather listen to our greatest Democratic President who told us that, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

Of course, FDR was accused of being simultaneously a dictator and weakling too. Neo-conservative war mongers like John McCain should get a grip and stop trying to scare us to death. The aughties are over and your policies failed ,so STFU and go away already. I know that won't happen, but I am sick and tired of listening to their fear mongering, which is merely a reflection of their own scaredy cattedness. Is that a word? If not, it oughta be.

I'll give the Finn Brothers the last word, since unlike the GOP and perhaps even me in this post, they're only talking sense:

 

What is it with Neil Finn and tongues? "Seal my fate I get your tongue in the mail." I don't know about you but I've never gotten a tongue in the mail. I have eaten the odd tongue sammich though. A bit too chewy for my taste…

That is, finally, all.

McCain: All Those Wars I Supported Are Not Any Fun Anymore

It’s almost like spending a decade destablizing the Middle East had the effect of destabilizing it, you guys;

“It was a coup and it was the second time in two-and-a-half years that we have seen the military step in. It’s a strong indicator of the lack of American leadership and influence since we’ve urged the military not to do that,” McCain said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation,”according to Politico. “The place is descending into chaos but so is the entire Middle East because of the total vacuum and lack of American leadership…Whether it be the massacres in Syria; Lebanon is beset by sectarian violence; Jordan is about to collapse under the weight of refugees; Iraq is unraveling; Afghanistan — we’re having grave problems organizing a follow on force in Afghanistan.”

So what exactly kind of “American leadership” should have been provided, John McCain?

“Their economy is in terrible shape thanks to their policies but the fact is the United States should not be supporting this coup and it’s a tough call.”

Well, that clears that right up. What a goddamn choad. I seriously have no patience for these people, who long for some golden age when all America had to do was raise a national eyebrow and everybody behaved. You know, like in the 70s … I mean the 80s … I mean the 90s … I mean god damn it, everybody listen to John McCain!

When exactly did “American leadership” command the kind of instaneous obedience that John McCain is imagining it will here? When were we NOT facepalming all over the state department at the way somebody in that region was behaving? When was this paradise of bending to our will, and how exactly are we supposed to re-enact it now that everybody hates us due to us blowing up large portions of several countries and refusing to admit that that sucked?

If only we’d made the Iraqis build that statue of George W. Bush. That would have solved everything.

A.

Codetalkers

This:

The only people who find Alinsky’s writings radical are the Haves, because it suggests that the Have Nots have the power to equalize the system a little more. That’s a scary concept for the one percent for which the GOP is entirely dedicated. But unlike former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman in the clip above, I do think this resonates with those Republican voters notorious for voting against their own interests. Because not one of them will bother to get informed on Alinsky. Not one of them will bother to do any critical thinking but simply categorize Alinsky as one of those nefarious bad things from which to be frightened or suspicious of the liberal agenda.

I don’t actually think any of them will even HEAR Alinsky and be curious. I’d like to see polling done on Alinsky the way it’s done on political candidates for name recognition measurement, and find out, among the Republicans who just vote Republican because their hairdresser gives them the political news, how many of them even know who the hell he is.

And this:

Listening to this, I’m struck by one thing: if Newt is the candidate, he’s going to drive the discussion into all the nooks and crannies of noise and diversion that have occupied Fox News viewers since Obama’s victory. In other words, Newt is the candidate of the 2009 media cycle, where the Tea Party dominated media coverage.

Which goes back to something I’ve been talking about basically since 2008: NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THIS CRAP BUT OTHER CRAZY PEOPLE. Alinsky-an community organizaing tactics and socialist death panels and all this other Glenn Beck nonsense is just noise to your average Republican. This is too advanced for them. The War on Christmas, communist re-education camps, fascist light-bulb replacement and other Tea Party articles of faith sound just as crazy to mildly racist “independent” voters as they do to us.

Those nice white middle-class people are listening for code language, of course, but it’s “school choice” and “teachers’ unions” and “entitlement programs” and “parental responsibility” and “moral values” and “I don’t want to have to explain this to my children.” The old young bucks bying T-bone steaks thing, and why women need to have all these choices anyway. Maybe some vague intimations about how organic food is homosexual and no one should force you to eat it. A comment here or there about how Michelle Obama doesn’t know her place. Unless they’re the 27 percent parked in front of Fox all day, you ask any ten Republicans who Saul Alinsky is and they’ll probably ask if he’s an actor or an American Idol contestant.

(I didn’t know who he was until Republicans started boring on about him. Because there is a limited amount of space in my head for stuff that is not, at the moment, actively on fire.)

That’s not to say that 27 percent of Americans who are bugfuck crazy is an insignificant number, but it’s really not worth getting worked up about. The other 30 percent who are looking at the numbers and on average voting for the guy they think will punish black people, gay people and chicks for wanting their legal rights worry me far more.

A.

What Happens

A “litmus test” on Afghanistan:

Reaction to the Time cover has become something of an Internet litmus
test about attitudes toward the war, and what America’s responsibility
is in Afghanistan. Critics of the American presence in Afghanistan call
it “emotional blackmail” and even “war porn,” while those who fear the
consequences of abandoning Afghanistan see it as a powerful appeal to
conscience.

The debate was fueled in part by the language that
Time chose to accompany the photograph: “What Happens if We Leave
Afghanistan,” pointedly without a question mark.

That is exactly
what will happen,” said Manizha Naderi, referring to Aisha and cases
like hers. An Afghan-American whose group, Women for Afghan Women, runs
the shelter where Aisha stayed, Ms. Naderi said, “People need to see
this and know what the cost will be to abandon this country.”

As
Ms. Naderi would be the first to concede, however, things are already
bad enough for women in Afghanistan without a return to a government
run by the Taliban.

So far, we’ve already abandoned that country twice. Once, when we held a little useless proxy war there and used it to get our national rocks off and then fucked off and left it, and twice, when our glorious War Preznit decided Iraq would be way more fun to blow up becauseit just would so shut up. So to act like now, now we’re going to huff off into the sunset and that will be somethingnew for us is just stupid. Afghanistan and its people have had plenty of practice being abandoned by us (and by other countries whose examples of nation-building ADD we failed to heed).

I said during the campaign and I said when Obama announced his Afghanistan troop increase that everybody was looking for a way out of Afghanistan that didn’t make us the asshole. That didn’t make us the latest in a long line of countries that came in with great speeches and big guns and slouched out with a halfhearted “sorry we blew some of your relatives up, guys, our bad” parade. All we’re doing now is trying to find something to drape some bunting over, to find a way to say, no, we’re notthose douchebags, we’re a good country and we did this better than everybody else did.

It’s a desperate search for pundit-meaning, a way to make David Brooks and David Broder feel good about themselves, a way for Joe Klein to write columns that don’t make him feel like a dirty, anti-military, America-hating hippie. It’s a way for Obama and his advisors to say they unfucked the dog George W. Bush fucked, did the warright, and made everything better. It’s a passion play for the benefit of the American people, and I would be a little more tolerant of it as a piece of masturbatory theater if the benefit to our national psyche wasn’t offset by LOTS AND LOTS OF DEAD PEOPLE.

I’m not discounting the plight of women in Afghanistan. Plenty of DFHs were all about kicking Taliban ass long before 9/11 focused the rest of the world on how much things fucking sucked over there. But I have a major problem fetishizing one particular group of women when a staggering portion of the world treats women like dogs or worse and does so without Time magazine using the victims of religious and political violence as arguments for prolonging war. We can hold in our minds at once the concept that what happened to Bibi Aisha is cruel and horrible, and that it does not obligate us to continue to wage a war that didn’t stop her mutilation in the first place.

There’s no “litmus test” here.

A.

—–

Happy Kerry Photo: Suck It Up Edition

2004_going_upriver_the_long_war_of_john_kerry_001

Seriously:

“However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious
questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents
may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to
get the policy right more urgent.”

And to peoplewhining who should know better:

“The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified
information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives
of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national
security,” National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones said in a
statement. “Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these
documents – the United States government learned from news
organizations that these documents would be posted.”

Oh, God Almighty, calm down. Your president got elected on the premise that the war was fucked up and he’d have to unfuck it. It’s not like you didn’t know this stuff. And to be allI do declare Miss Scarlett about the rest of the American public getting to know this stuff strains credulity and moves the focus from what could have been, “Yeah, this is why you elected us, to fix this shit” to “no no no no bad journalism!” is just amateurish. Anyone paying attention knows how this works.

Surprise us, wouldja, and for once deal with the substance instead of the bunting it’s wrapped in?

A.

—–

Only Talking Sense

Holy crap, someone in Washington is talking sense about Afghanistan albeit off the record and to the British press:

The White House is revising itsAfghanistan strategy to embrace the idea of negotiating with senior members of theTaliban through third parties – a policy to which it had previously been lukewarm.

Negotiating
with the Taliban has long been advocated by Hamid Karzai, the Afghan
president, and the British and Pakistani governments, but resisted by
Washington.

The Guardian has learned that while the American
government is still officially resistant to the idea of talks with
Taliban leaders, behind the scenes a shift is under way and Washington
is encouraging Karzai to take a lead in such negotiations.

“There
is a change of mindset in DC,” a senior official in Washington said.
“There is no military solution. That means you have to find something
else. There was something missing.”

That missing element was talks with the Taliban leadership, the official added.

The
American rethink comes in the aftermath of the departure last month of
General Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan.

Barack
Obama, apparently frustrated at the way the war is going, has reminded
his national security advisers that while he was on the election
campaign trail in 2008, he had advocated talking to America’s enemies.

It’s about frakking time. That war is clearly unwinnable in the classic sense: the best that can be hoped for is that the Taliban won’t overrun the country. No central Afghan government has ever controlled the entire country and none ever will, it’s topographically impossible. Geography is destiny: there will be always be rebels in the hills shooting down at the government in places like Colombia and Afghanistan.

I’m glad that Obama is reviving his strongly stated campaign position that to make peace anywhere in the world one must talk to one’s adversaries. One reason the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is all process and no peace is that both sides want to dictate who they’ll negotiate with. You cannot pick your negotiating partners. If Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern and the loyalists and nationalists were able to end the Troubles in Northern Ireland, anything is possible. Northern Ireland should have been Blair’s legacy BUT unfortunately for all concerned Iraq defined his government.

British Prime Minister David (Call me Dave) Cameron will be meeting with Obama this week and will surely have his back on this point. It’s time to start winding things down in Afghanistan and if we need to use General Petraeus’ surge thingee as cover, so be it. I’m glad that after years of nonsense, tentative moves towards a more sensible policy are being made. It’s time for us to go.

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McChrystal Cracked

I’d come around to the McChrystal must go viewpoint so I’m gladit happened so quickly.Not only does he deserve to be shitcanned for mouthing off but his favorite beer is Bud Lite Lime. Holy girl drink, Batman.

On a serious note, I thought it was politically ingenious to slide Petraeus into the command slot. The wingers have expressed such unconditional love for him that it will be *harder* for them to gin up outrage over this.

McChrystal Blue Persuasion

General Stanley McChrystal and his staff have big mouths. They didn’t
tell a reporter that stuff was off the record when they were in bars and
eateries.Another
fine story from Rolling Stone this time around by freelancer Michael Hastings.

I’m too lazy to dig for the bullet points on my own so I’ll let the Gray Lady do the talking:

A McChrystal aide is quoted saying of Mr. Holbrooke: “The Boss says he’s
like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he’s going
to be fired, so that makes him dangerous.”

On another occasion, General McChrystal is described as reacting with
exasperation when he receives an e-mail message from Mr. Holbrooke. “Oh,
not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don’t even want to open it.”

The article also describes a conversation in which General McChrystal
and an aide talk about Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden is known to have opposed the
decision to escalate the war, preferring instead a slimmed-down plan
focused on containing terrorism.

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” General McChrystal jokes.

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say ‘Bite me?’ “

Classic trash talk or bar room bravado. But why on earth did they not go OFF THE FUCKING RECORD? I have friends in the MSM and we always explicitly ask one another that something be off the record or unattributed; especially if it’s juicy. This is juicy.

Bob Gates has already rebuked the wayward (there’s that word again) General. John Kerry is urging caution.Steve Clemons wants his ass fired.

Right now, I lean towards a stern rebuke unless the Veep wants McChrystal gone. Given Biden’s own history, he’s likely to be forgiving of the General making a pun that he’s heard before. Many times.He’s just biding time…

What do y’all think should happen to McChrystal? Rebuked? Fired? Mocked?

I’m not sure where I’ll end up in this debate but I know one thing for sure: McChrystal rubs me the wrong way and not in a new age flake sorta way. I do, however, love his name, it’s so punworthy. I guess you already noticed that…

Happy Democrat photo: Once more, with context

Mtp

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, I– I– I would hope I– look, it’s one
thing to be outspoken. It’s another thing to be outspoken in a way that
misrepresents the facts. And I– I guess– again, I– it’s almost like
Dick is trying to rewrite history. I can understand where the– why
that would be– you know, an impulse. And maybe he isn’t– literally,
I’m not being facetious.Maybe he’s not fully informed of what’s going
on. I
mean, the progress we have made. There has never been as much
emphasis and resources brought against Al Qaeda.The success rate
exceeds anything that occurred in the last Administration.
And they did
their best. I’m not– I’m not impugning their effort. It’s simply not
true that the President of the United States is not prosecuting the war
against Al Qaeda with a vigor that’s never been seen before. It’s
real. It’s deep. It’s successful.
(emphasis mine)

“Exceeds anything that occurred in the last Administration.”

Context:

We’ve hadMullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in custody in Karachi since last week, Dick.

—–

Ambivalent

Obama’s speech hasn’t sent me racing to the barricades to either oppose or support his policy. The best thing about the speech was its tone: somber and sober. Nobody does the two S’s as well as the President. The worst thing about the speech was the troop increase: I doubt that it will work. Foreign powers have been trying to secure the rural areas of Afghanistan for centuries and there are always rebels in the mountains shooting at them. It’s a combination of geography and culture: Afghanistan remains a largely illiterate country dominated by tribes and war lords.

This is a tough time to be President; much of Obama’s job is to clean up the messes left behind by therecklessness, arrogance and stupidity of the Bushies. The Pashtun tribal areas of what could be called Afpakistan are perhaps the biggest mess of all. There was a rush to invade Afghanistan combined with mindless support for the Pakistani military junta of Musharraf. As we all know, that’s what set the stage for the current mess.

Obama made it clear that he considers this course to be the least bad one for the country. I not only hope that he’s right but that he will resist the inevitable demands from the Pentagon for more boots on the ground. I was relieved that he set a timeline for withdrawal and hope that he sticks to it. I think we should start withdrawing earlier than that and follow the sage advice of the Vietnam era Republican Senator from Vermont, George Aiken and “declare victory” and get the hell out of there pronto. Yeah, I know, everyone quotes Aiken at times like these but troubled times call for the classics. Speaking of which, Dan Rather was on the Rachel Maddow Show Monday night and also invoked the Aiken refrain:

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Visit msnbc.com forbreaking news, world news, andnews about the economy

‘We have no interest in occupying your country’

That’s probably what set the wingnuts off:

The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They have
been confronted with occupation – by the Soviet Union, and then by
foreign al Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes.
So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand – America seeks an
end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying
your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open
the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human
rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with
Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect – to isolate those who destroy;
to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will
leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your
partner, and never your patron.

John wants to know why they’re pissed, and this is why, and this is all it’s about:

THEY NEVER WANTED TO HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN EVER AT ALL.

Once they put their flags down and went back to work, they weredone, man. They have the story they need to tell in their heads, and it’s about how Bush saved the people of Afghanistan with his freedom missiles. They didn’t want to have to do the messy clean-up. They never do. These are the dicks that trash the party and then slither out and leave you to clean up all the broken glass and vomit. Then the next day they’re all, “Hey, bro, when we doin’ that again, huh? Bitchin'” and then make some comment about a co-worker’s tits.

A.

Say What?

In a sign of how far right the GOP has moved, legendary fantasist, liar and douchebag, Oliver North is advisingHouse Goopers on Afghanistan. I wonder if he’ll suggest sending bibles to Karzai’s brother instead of CIA lucre.

I’ve *never* understood, the Ollie North cult amongst the wingnuts; especially because the Reagans *both* repudiated everything he claimed about his relationship with Ronnie. I guess the Reagan cult is like everything else on the far right: they pick what they like and disregard the rest. Sheesh…

Care Package Update

Hey everybody. I just got word that our care packages have safely arrived in Afghanistan!

From leinie:

Got this message this morning:

Subject: Just thought you should know.

“We have recieved those packages that was sent by your blog group. The
coffee is outstanding and I dont think anyone expected to get such high
end stuff in acare package. Please send my thanks to all. Thank you.”

You’re all pretty great, you know.

A.

What’s the Goal?

Obama and Afghanistan:

As the cold and snow gets ready to come, there is a real sense that
it’s the last best time to turn the tide against the militants. We
know from today’s discussion at the White House that there is no plan
to remove troops from Afghanistan, where this year President Obama has
already added 21,000 soldiers. Even Vice-President Biden’s
recommendation of a surgical approach against Al-Qaeda does not involve
a draw down. Perhaps the number will not be 40,000 troops, but I find
it hard to think that there won’t be some escalation. We might have
been there for eight years, but the war for the hearts and minds of
Afghanistan only began this year.

You know, the editors of The Poor Man were the ones who said, about Iraq, that once you fuck the dog, the dog is fucked. It can’t be unfucked. You can not fuck the dog again, you can resolve to never fuck any dog anywhere ever for the rest of your life, but you can’t unfuck that particular dog in that particular instance. I don’t know how you screw up a war, and then un-screw it up. Especially since literally no one including all the Republicans getting ready to hang this war around Obama’s neck can define for America what winning looks like.

No violence? None at all? “Acceptable” levels? How many dead kids are acceptable? No Taliban? We didn’t give a damn about the Taliban and the plight of women in Afghanistan until 9/11 and then we only wanted some shit to get blowed up, so don’t tell me this is about the Taliban. The destruction of Al Qaeda? How on earth … Some kind of sicko math where only X suicide bombings means everybody can come home? If anyone out there has an answer to this I’d love to hear it because right now winning seems to mean … good stuff, and I don’t know what signs we’re looking for.

And from reading about the meeting it’s pretty clear I’m not the only one confused:

“There
were a number of people who spoke out with a lot of caution about
getting in deeper and what the endpoint is,” Mr. Levin said in an
interview. Mr. Levin, who promoted accelerated training of Afghan
forces, then met alone with Mr. Obama to expand on his views.

Others
shared their skepticism in interviews. “Clearly, there is hesitancy
about the prospect of sending 40,000 more troops,” said RepresentativeNita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York.

SenatorJohn Kerry,
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said after the meeting
that “it would be irresponsible” to send more troops until it became
clear “what is possible in Afghanistan.”

A.

Care Packages

I was JOKING about needing a forklift, but it might be useful in getting all of this to the post office:

Carepackage.stuff

It’s hard to see under all of the everything but for the record that is 25 pounds of coffee (at least, 25 is when I stopped counting the coffee), video games, snackies, hundreds of minutes of phone time, more peanuts, animal crackers, goldfish, fancy fruit-nut mixes, handfuls of candy, card games and magazines than you can fit in six priority mail boxes. I need to pick up one, maybe two more on my way home from work.

Carepackages.packed

Now it all goes to the post office. I sent leinie a pic and here’s what she sent back:

E and his buddies are going to get all this stuff that says,
hey, in the midst of the teabaggers and the silly season and elevating
corporations so they have more rights than people, brouhahas onMTV
and baseball playoffs and jackasses on Survivor, you aren’t forgotten.
We remember you. We wish you didn’t have to be there, but since you
are, thank you for your service and have a touch of home. Partially
because it is a bunch of strangers, who have never met him, hell,
they’ve never met me, and they could still find it in their hearts to
say this one, this sailor (cuz he’s on loan to the Army from the Navy)
is important and let’s recognize him, for no other reason than a handle
and opinion and foul mouth in a chat box somehow managed to make him
real for you. That in the shittiest economy of our lifetime, with
people getting squeezed on all sides, people could find a little
something to send to do this. In some ways, it’s unreal, and yet it is
because it is SO real, real people, real humanity, real goodness, that
I’m as touched as I am.

Mission most definitely accomplished, all. Thank you.

A.

Care Package Update

Guys?

SEVEN FREAKING HUNDRED FREAKING DOLLARS.

When I put upa post asking for donations for a care package for leinie’s son and his fellow servicemen and women in Afghanistan, I thought maybe we’ll raise a hundred bucks. Get a few pounds of coffee, some phone cards, a video game, put it in a box and send it over there with a note saying we’re thinking of you and please come home safe to your parents.

When we got to $250 that first day, I thought holy shit. And I thought hey, let’s see if we can raise it to $300, nice round number, easy to keep track of. When you got it to $400, Itotally and completely jokingly mentioned $500, thinking damn, these people are out of control. This is a lot of coffee. I wonder if we’ll have to get some kind of import/export license for all this stuff.

Then I went out of town for the weekend, to visit a dear friend, and was telling her all about you guys and your diabolical plot to overcaffeinate the U.S. military in Afghanistan, and was pretty much offline for a few days. I should leave you all unattended more often, because by the time I got back yesterday afternoon, you had raised the fund toSEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS OH MY GOD.

It will take a couple of days for Paypal to transfer the money to a bank account where I can access it, but probably on Wednesday or Thursday Mr. A and I and the camera are taking a gigantic shopping trip, and we will post the pictures. And we will mail the stuff overseas. And in a week or two (hopefully not much longer) a lot of people in harm’s way are going to know how much you care about them. You’re amazing.

Thank you to everyone who contributed, who lent suggestions and words of support. I hope I sent a note to everybody who chipped in, and if I missed anyone I’m so sorry, but thank you all again. Thank you thank you thank you.

A.

So, About How You ROCK …

I asked you guys to getthe care package fund to $300 and you got it to$400!!!

I’m afraid to even mention thepossibility of $500. You all might break Paypal.

I will be keeping this reminder up until Monday, at which time I’ll be shutting it down and going on the world’s biggest shopping spree with a camera, Mr. A, the ferrets, and possibly a forklift. This is gonna be a lot of awesome. Way to go!

A.