Sunday, July 20, 2008

On Site in Kabul, A Friend's Impressions Of Waiting to See Barack

My friend, who is serving in Afghanastan wrote me last night about his impressions of waiting to see Barack. Can't say his name as you really can't be out politically while serving active duty but he said I could post his view to share with all of you.

Just got to see Sen Obama on his way from the US embassy in Kabul. You should have seen the security coverage, several Blackhawks circling as his chinook came in and following his motorcade out. Though seeing him (from a distance) out here is thrill, even more exciting was the crowd of service members from many nations who waited for a momentary glimpse.

Of course, out here (almost) any excitement is welcomed in the stretches of boredom that accompany duty in Afghanistan, but as we waited for something to happen for over an hour the discussion of everyone's feeling and thoughts for the election and Afghanistan's future revealed just how much people out here are pinning their hopes on the US to make a good call this November and for the next president to get things done to recover from recent setbacks.

These are the guys and gals who have been on multiple combat tours, some here, many in Iraq, and sound bites about "Cutting and Running" or "Bring It On" don't go far. They want intelligent discussion and results.

I hope American voters are smart enough to demand the same for the next few months, and the next four years.

As everyone focuses on each little shift in campaign strategy, each media story of the day, I hope they remember that momentary disappointments or elation need to be kept in the context of the folks dying out here. Lost another Coalition soldier yesterday afternoon, and it has been a rough week for civilian casualties in the crossfire with a resurgent Taliban.

Very glad Sen Obama knows this is where he should be, if only for a day or two.

As one British Sergeant exclaimed, "I just got a photo of the next
President of the United States!" I do hope he is
right. -- Kabul, Afghanistan
I was happy to get a second email from my friend this morning. He did get to meet Barack in person and sent me a picture. He was smiling from ear to ear.