It was such a delight to wake in the night to rain splattering and spattering on the skylight, the leaves, the railing of the porch. And when Koko and I went out walking this morning all the plants were saying, “mahalo,” for the brief showers that failed to even touch all the soil, but at least washed off some of the dust so they can breathe.
I’m sure all the Afghanis are breathing a sigh of relief now that their saviors have finally taken Marjah and so can stop killing and maiming them. As The Washington Post reports:
Most of the wounded civilians recuperating at the whitewashed Italian-run hospital said their injuries were caused by "the foreign soldiers" - a claim that does not bode well for international and Afghan forces who are trying to get residents to renounce the Taliban and embrace the Afghan government.
Bernard Metraux, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Helmand province, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that as many as 40,000 people trapped by fighting in and around Marjah have little to no access to medical care.
As it turns out, all that death and destruction was apparently wrought for one reason, according to Washington Post reporters Greg Jaffe and Craig Whitlock:
[to] convince Americans that a new era has arrived in the eight-year long war…." U.S. military officials in Afghanistan "hope a large and loud victory in Marjah will convince the American public that they deserve more time to demonstrate that extra troops and new tactics can yield better results on the battlefield."
Meanwhile, the occupation is solidly under way as the U.S. rushes to install a new governor of Marjah. As the Christian Science Monitor reports:
The speedy rollout in Marjah of the new US strategy to “clear, hold, and build” is part of the renewed US strategy of wresting momentum from the Taliban. But some experts warn there is no way to install good government overnight.
Can you say puppet?
Much closer to home, I followed up on a comment left on a recent post and confirmed that yes, Dr. Becky Rhoades, director of the Kauai Humane Society, was indeed cited on Jan. 29 for having a dog on a section of the Path where dogs are not allowed. Hers was one of five citations issued since the ordinance took effect on Dec. 1, 2008.
Yes, this is the very same Dr. Becky Rhoades who is continually preaching responsibility among dog owners, who launched a citizen’s patrol to ensure people were picking up their dog’s doodoo on the Path and who told the County Council:
“I honestly believe we will have better dog stewardship if we pass these ordinances,” she said.
Can you say ironic?