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A Father’s Role In Different Cultures

One scorching hot afternoon my team and I were pushing up into well-known Taliban held territory. This was a place called Shingazi. As we got closer we could hear the enemy radio chatter picking up talking about how they were going to kill us and send us all to hell,. typical Taliban radio chat.

As we slowed down our vehicle advance, due to fear of striking an IED, the tension was getting thick.

We knew they could see us, but we couldn’t see them…

Finally, as I inched my vehicle up against the corner of a compound wall…

Shhhhhh, plung,  BOOM!

A rocket propelled grenade was fired at my buddy’s truck about 100 yards off to our 1-O’clock, ricocheted into the air and burst above us. Then the machine gun fire came tinging in on the side of their vehicle.

“Troops in contact” my team commander reported in.

“Finally,” I thought, “now we know its on.”

Amidst the indirect mortar fire our machine guns began opening up back at the ghost fighters that we still couldn’t see. The Taliban were masters at this. They had fighting positions set up behind fighting positions for so many decades that unless we stumbled upon them by accident, it was damn near impossible to see with the untrained eye.

We decided to dismount from the vehicle and take over the compound next to our truck.

That’s when I opened my door and noticed her.

A little Afghan girl picking up the brass shell casings as they fell off the top of our truck from the .50 cal machine gun. They were still so hot she had to use her dress as a bag for carrying them.

“What the f**k?” I thought to myself. I yelled at her to get lost and sent her off scattering hoping she didn’t get hit by a stray. The Taliban were notorious for this. Give little kids explosives and crank them off one near American forces, or to use them as human shields becuase they knew we wouldn’t shoot them through a little kid… Truly despicable evil.

As the fight went on we eventually pushed them back enough to where there was a lull in the fight. Multiple times though the girl kept coming back into the middle of the battlefield to catch our spent brass shell casings. Even after I had my linguist yell at her father to keep her inside I still found this little girl perusing across the battlefield in pursuit of her brass shell casings.

Finally during a major lull in the fight, I had my linguist yell at the dad one more time to keep this girl inside!

His answer astonished me…

“Why?” He said?

“I do not care if she gets killed. If she gets hit by a bullet then that is one less mouth to feed, but if she doesn’t and she makes it back with the brass I can go into the market and sell it for a good price and make some money.” “So you just keep fighting and she will keep collecting.”

I couldn’t believe this guy. Daughters, and really just kids in general, mean so little to these people that they are actually willing to get them killed over money.

I wanted to shoot him in his d**k… This guy didn’t deserve to procreate any longer… Of course I didn’t, but wow did I ever have the urge.

You see, in America, and in 90% of the rest of the world, we view Father’s as someone who is a protector, teacher, mentor, and guide. Someone we look up to, so that we can learn the ways of our ancestors, and the ways of the world. We look at our Father’s as someone who is to teach us about trust, and strength, resiliency, and responsibility. As someone who is there to shower us in their eternal love. Not just as the noun, but as a verb, an action.

However, that isn’t the case everywhere else.

Remember this when you objectively view your life. That if you were blessed enough to have been raised in a society that encourages a male role model, then you must take advantage of that.

And if you are a Father, remember that… You were blessed enough to be born in a nation or society that encourages that type of role model, and it is therefore your duty to provide the same.

DON’T make the mistake of taking advantage of that….

Happy Father’s Day everyone.




Surviving a Protest: A Guide for Travelers

 

 

Introduction When visiting a foreign country, travelers often receive warnings about potential protest activities. The U.S. Department of State commonly advises its citizens to steer clear of all demonstrations due to the potential for sudden violence. However, understanding the underlying reasons for protests and identifying the primary targets can equip travelers with the knowledge to navigate these situations.

 

Understanding Protests Protests have seen an uptick in frequency globally. A study by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a German organization, noted an increase in protests annually from 2006 to mid-2013. It’s essential to note that a country’s history of protests doesn’t necessarily predict the nature of its future demonstrations. Cambodia, known for its peaceful rallies, recently witnessed violent clashes. Meanwhile, in South Africa, often termed the “protest capital of the world,” many demonstrations conclude peacefully.

It’s intriguing for foreigners to observe protests as they provide insight into a country’s political dynamics. However, caution is essential. In some instances, bystanders have been injured or killed during violent episodes, such as during protests in Istanbul, Turkey, and Guangdong, China.

 

Recognizing Key Indicators Certain indicators can help travelers gauge the potential for and nature of protests. Anti-government protests, while predominantly targeting local law enforcement or infrastructure, can sometimes harm foreigners inadvertently. For example, in Thailand and Greece, 2010 saw anti-government protests that did not specifically target foreigners.

However, protests against another nation might directly affect associated individuals or businesses, like the anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam and the anti-Israeli protests in Germany and France.

Various universal issues can trigger protests globally, such as cuts in government subsidies, allegations of electoral fraud, or perceived infringements on democratic rights.

 

Common Impacts on Travelers For most travelers, the most notable disruption due to protests is transportation. Protests can block roads, overload public transportation systems, and cause traffic snarls. Thankfully, many protests are publicized in advance, aiding travelers in planning alternate routes. Social media platforms often provide real-time updates on protest activities, helping both residents and visitors stay informed and make necessary adjustments.

During prolonged periods of unrest, companies have sometimes permitted employees to work remotely or even temporarily leave the affected region. While every organization must devise its own response strategy, grasping the basic dynamics of protests can inform these decisions.

 

For More Information For detailed analyses on recent regional protests, refer to OSAC’s various reports. Direct any queries related to this topic to OSAC’s Cross Regional Analyst.

 

 

 

 

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