Archive for March 8th, 2007

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Camp Phoenix’s “Rambo”

March 8, 2007

I thought I’d do some checking up on the war that doesn’t seem to get talked about nearly enough in the media, so I did a search for “Afghanistan” on Digg, and an interesting story caught my attention: Afghan ‘Rambo’ stops bombers

This is a normal day for Rambo, an Afghan who has stood guard here for more than four years, pledging his life to the American soldiers that rid his land of the Taliban. But on Jan. 16, Rambo’s gatekeeping made him a bona fide hero.

On that day, Rambo wrenched open the driver’s side door of a moving car and wrestled a suicide bomber into submission before he could detonate his explosives. President Bush lauded him in a nationally televised speech several weeks ago, and before that, slightly exaggerated accounts of his feat circled through cyberspace, pleading for America to offer him citizenship or at least a medal.

I must have missed it when Bush mentioned him, since I’d never heard of this guy before.  Here he is:

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I did some more searching, and found a little more background on Rambo on the Stars & Stripes site from Jan. ’05:  ‘Rambo’ helps keep U.S. base in Afghanistan secure

A person would be hard pressed to find anyone in the camp who doesn’t know or hasn’t heard of Rambo, so named by troops in the 10th Mountain Division.

“He’s definitely a legend on this camp,” Sgt. Michael Sweet said.

While Sweet, an Indiana National Guardsman, is a shift sergeant, it’s abundantly clear that Rambo is the primary gatekeeper.

In June 2003, when U.S. forces first rolled up to the front gate of what was then a Russian-Afghan transport company, Rambo was waiting. He hasn’t left.

Stories of Rambo permeate the base. Some are factual. Others are not.

“This is my hooch,” he says through an interpreter as he opens the door to a small, cramped room immediately off the front gate.

His real name is Jamal Udin, born in Kabul “maybe 41 years ago,” he said, to parents who moved to the capital from northern Afghanistan.

After reading all that, it’s clear to me that Rambo embodies the reason we are in Afghanistan, and reaffirms my belief that we are there for the right reasons.  So, I’ll do what the troops stationed there do, and give Rambo a hearty salute myself.  Best of luck to all of you.

For a soldier’s perspective on ‘Rambo‘ , and other things relating to Camp Phoenix and the daily life of the troops in Afghanistan, check out this excellent blog: Afghanistan Without a Clue (aka: AWAC) 

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See also: Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix

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He went to jail for WHAT?

March 8, 2007

To say this aspect of our law bothers me is an understatement. Oh, I realize you don’t know what it is I’m talking about, now do you?

Gentle reader, I’m talking about a then17-year old boy getting 10 years in prison for receiving oral sex from a then 15-year old girl.

I’m a big fan of Dateline’s To Catch a Predator series. Those men are completely evil, twisted [censored.] If you’re a grown man, and you want to de-virginized a 13 year old, either boy or girl, then yes– you deserve to have your face plasted on primetime tv. I don’t feel sorry for these men. I also don’t believe these sting operations are entrapment. These men actively hang out in chat rooms full of teenagers, then make dates to visit the teens. Quite a few have sexually-charged chats, as well as going so far as to send web cam photos of their genitalia to the teens.

That, by anyone’s definition (if you’re a member of NAMBLA, go away right now.) is a crime.

Let me get back to the case of Genarlow Wilson. As a senior in high school, he had a consentual sexual experience with a sophomore. Big deal, right? We’re talking about two people, who are in the same school, and are within 24 months of age of each other.

Yet, he’s the one who received jail time! For a consentual sexual interaction! In the technical sense of the word, both were still virgins after the act, no one was harmed (raped) and no one ended up as a teenage mom!

Oh sure, I understand the prosecutor offered Wilson a deal. Five years in prison, and Wilson must register as a sex offender.

I can understand why the teen didn’t jump at that deal! A registered sex offender? The kid wouldn’t even be able to get a job working at Goodwill.

Our Constitution makes no designation between children or adults. State laws have done their best to address the situtions and plights of those under the “legal” age of whatever. What we’ve done, is failed our children miserably. Some commit murder, and get put on trial as an adult. Others commit murder, and end up in a family court. Others go to prison, and other go to juvy detention. It makes absolutely no sense to me, that in this day and age of enlightment, we are going to send a teen to jail for 10 years, for having consentual sex with another teen in his age/developmental group.

It’s about time legistlation is enacted, which recognizes the mindset and developmental abilities of children. There should be a set of laws for children who commit crimes, as well as children who rape.

And, the law should find a way to recognize consentual sex between teenagers, including an age range of those involved with whom. In Wilson’s case, we’re not talking about a 17-year old boy having oral sex with a 13-year old girl. That’s certainly a marked developmental difference. We’re not even talking about a 19-year old boy having oral sex with a 15-year old girl.

What say you?