The official Sebastian Junger community
I don't know how this news plays to returning troops or their families.....but in my own view, and unfortunately being thousands of miles away, it seems to me the take away is that Afghans turning out to vote in what has been one of the scariest, dustiest, godless places on earth, Southern Afghanistan. as the whole country turned out to vote for a new parliament, turn out was low -- but its almost to be expected.
brave Afghanis in the Kandahar province -- a place where some analysts say the taliban were first able to summons the evil will to find the power to terrorize in their quest for power so many years ago, turned out to vote.
With NATO forces and Afghan police nearby, voting "booths" or machines" were, in some cases, no more than plastic boxes attached to donkeys (last year they used low flying planes to carry the paper ballots back to a central coutning place), but women and men turned out to vote.
Women were able to cast votes for women on the ballot -- something that would never have happened in taliban's afghanistan, and their own democratic process is already rolling along...with all its own bumps and imperfections along the road.
all this against a violent backdrop that is almost normal for Afghanistan, 33 bomb attacks, 63 rocket attacks, 11 civilians dead, 3 afghan police officers dead, according to interior minister 27 taliban killed saturday. The weekend is not over, and the expectaction that this election will be free of corruption is low...but, I see the fingerprints and handiwork and strategies of so many U-S troops is this work.