No reports to the ANA, Rafi Combined Combat Operations Center work in the morning and afternoon. Shura prep, lunch with General, Mohammad’s Birthday
Met with Rafi in the morning and in the afternoon to cover again what he needed to talk about at the shura. He acted like it was the first time even though he drew his own pictures, and wrote his own notes that I showed to him again. He tried to retype some things that Samir had written down. He said they did make sense. Sammy read them, and said he simply didn’t understand the Dari. How do you teach someone who doesn’t understand his own language? Had lunch with the general. A couple of Colonels were down from MoD [Ministry of Defence] on an ISAF [International Security Assistance Force]-mandated verification trip. They were supposed to verify the number of vehicles at the kandaks. They ended up talking about corruption in the ANA [Afghan National Army]. They said that all of the Generals in Kabul had their own businesses on the side, and wondered whether Marines had businesses on the side too. They were coy about what the generals were involved in. The General cornered me into getting 10 color photos on photo paper of him because I needed him to re-order his 1st Kandak to attend the shura. It is funny the kinds of things that they are concerned about. A self-portrait is a big deal. The Afghans were not doing much, if any, work yesterday because it was Mohammad’s birthday. Sammy talked to me a little bit about religion. It is kind of funny, we were told that these guys were totally religious, some of them are, but that doesn’t mean they know the Koran, or the Torah, or the old testament, or the new testament for that matter. They have only a sketchy understanding of when mohammad lived in relation to Jesus, the patriarchs, Moses, etc. odd. They can only talk about small snippets of stories with that of Joseph (Yousef), the creation, the flood, Abraham (Ibrahim). It makes me wonder if they know the Koran all that well if they don’t know the common books.
Capt Arthur totaled up all of the stuff that he is responsible for in contracting. It made it up to 4.5 million dollars. This is just money spent on the temporary Afghan camp, not the permanent facilities which are meant to be built to American standards a couple of kilometers away. This seems odd. What an astronomical waste. We can’t help but build and the Afghans can’t help but destroy.