Thursday, August 20, 2009

Allied Forces + Afghan Police - Taliban = 1683 Heroes

First, personally, I am grateful to read in the news returns that
killed or injured
during the election.

Take that, Taliban.

There's a news clip copied from The New York Times below.
There's a little number in it that means a lot.

The number is 1683.

That's the number of brave souls who,
in Taliban-dominated Helmand Province,
despite threats of death
despite threats of dismemberment
despite fear of bombings at the voting centers
despite concerns of election corruption
cared enough about freedom
to walk to the polls
cast a vote for freedom.

We don't know who they are.
I don't know if they all were men, or if any might have been women
how many were too old to be dominated
or who had kids at home who needed them
who were young and in love
or who were just tired of being dominated
but I hope their neighbors see them walking tall.
I hope they walk tall for many years to come
and remember
that today
they looked bullying in the face
and dipped their finger in voting ink
in defiance of fear
in belief in courage.


I am - and I know we all are - so incredibly, incredibly proud of our loved ones who supported this election, either on the ground or in the air. Well DONE, Marines!

The Taliban failed to stop the voting Thursday in this dusty town in the insurgency’s heartland, but they did a good job of putting a scare into everyone who did. :

A total of 1,683 Afghan men cast ballots in the cement-brick school that served as the town’s main polling place, a number high enough to buoy the spirits of local officials — although no one could say how many voters were actually registered in the district, whose population is about 80,000. Those who defied the insurgents’ threats to sever the fingers of anyone caught voting were almost too nervous to talk.

“Until the day I die, I will support this government,” said Niamatullah, lowering his voice to a whisper and walking away from a crowd that had gathered outside the polling center. “But there is no security. The Taliban are still strong.”

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