Rep. David Eastman: I was chief-of-police of the American military base in downtown Kabul. This is what I saw - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
HomeColumnsRep. David Eastman: I was chief-of-police of the American military base in downtown Kabul. This is what I saw

Rep. David Eastman: I was chief-of-police of the American military base in downtown Kabul. This is what I saw

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By DAVID EASTMAN

On my first flight to Afghanistan I came by way of Kyrgyzstan. By chance, we were on site the day the Government of Kyrgyzstan fell during the Tulip Revolution. Fortunately, the revolution was largely peaceful. My first visit to Kabul itself was on April 10, 2005. The American and NATO military presence in Afghanistan was high, and it was a relatively peaceful time to be in and around Kabul. It was the best of times.

Yes, there were bombings. One morning a vegetable cart blew up in front of a local high school. Another morning a bomb-laden bicycle blew up a taxicab. There were suicide attacks. There were IED’s. My brother would later survive four of them. Shortly after arriving in country, we experienced our first of many rocket attacks. One of the soldiers in my unit lost his leg responding to that first attack.

Five months into the deployment one of my classmates from West Point was killed. Less than two weeks later, my second classmate was killed. This was Afghanistan in the good times.

On one mission, my soldiers were directed to a firefight only to discover that it was a family, rather than a military, battle. An uncle, and his men, had come up against his nephew, and his men. The uncle prevailed. The nephew and all of his men were slaughtered.

We hear stories of the wild, wild west. The stories I’ve heard don’t hold a candle to Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, we were shown what appeared to be desert, and told how it had once been a fertile valley…until Genghis Khan had sacked it in the 13th century. No joke.

Police in Afghanistan were as much a problem as they were a solution. Stories were frequent about local police setting up unofficial checkpoints to shake down anyone passing by.

Police checkpoints were setup on the highway into Kabul. Officially, the purpose was to stop illegal drug shipments into Kabul. American soldiers were tasked with providing security for the policemen manning the checkpoints. But the checkpoints weren’t setup to stop drug shipments. How do I know? Because after completing one such mission, I received a complaint from the Afghan government in Kabul. On that particular night, someone in the government had failed to inform the local drug cartel about the checkpoint. The checkpoint had caused the convoy with the drugs to have to turn around, and the cartel had reached out to the Afghan government very upset about it! The Afghan government immediately called us to complain that “we were in the wrong place”. We weren’t.

On one occasion, a group of Kabul police officers grabbed a teen off the street in full view of one of my soldiers on base, and began to gang rape the teen. American soldiers rescued the teen from the attack and took those responsible into custody. The supervisor of the police officers contacted Washington, D.C. to file a complaint against me. Kabul is that kind of place.

Read: New York Times: U.S. Soldiers told to ignore sexual abuse of boys by Afghan allies

Afghanistan is today’s wild, wild west. Those who live there are allowed to have an AK-47 at home for personal protection. Maybe the events above can help explain why. Afghanistan is that kind of place.

That is, they were permitted an AK-47 until today. Today is August 31st. The deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw has now arrived. All firearms and ammunition are now outlawed, and those in Afghanistan have less than a week to turn over any ammunition or firearms they have to the Taliban. Only the Taliban may have weapons. According to the Taliban, citizens no longer need such protection.

As the provost marshal and senior law enforcement official for Camp Eggers, this is what I saw.

There were two places on base for soldiers to spend money; the coffee shop and the one-room department store (PX). In my first few months on the job, the manager of the coffee shop was fired and sent back to the states for embezzlement. So was the manager of the one-room department store.

This was the Afghanistan that we saw.

We have now added tens of billions of dollars of weapons and equipment to this war-torn land.

We have abandoned hundreds, if not thousands, of American citizens to the mercy of our avowed enemies.

Today, our allies in Afghanistan are being hunted down using weapons and technology provided by the American military and American taxpayers. In the future, it will become clear how many terrorists were brought to our shores on military flights out of Afghanistan. We do know that American lives were lost on Thursday. We know that American lives will be lost in the future as a consequence of what was permitted to take place over the past 18 days. What we do not yet know is how many lives.

From where I sit, John Harrington was certainly onto something four centuries ago:

“Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.” – John Harrington

David Eastman is the representative for District 10, Wasilla/Talkeetna. His website is www.davideastman.org.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • So many places are “that kind of place”. I always chuckle when my neighbor says: “…… he is just another good guy that made a bad decision”. He is making fun of those that think man is basically good. Your experience in Afghanistan gives proof to your point. It’s true that some places are $&@!! holes.

  • The New York Times article linked to is now behind a pay wall. There is a brief description of the article here: https://www.facebook.com/deastmanjr/posts/765073560305951

  • Gee l’Whizz!
    “…One morning a vegetable cart blew up in front of a local high school. Another morning a bomb-laden bicycle blew up a taxicab. There were suicide attacks. There were IED’s. My brother would later survive four of them. Shortly after arriving in country, we experienced our first of many rocket attacks. One of the soldiers in my unit lost his leg responding to that first attack.”

    See! See What happens when a country rejects Christ, the people are given over unto themselves and their own reasoning like destroying themselves and others. Although we don’t need to look too far Anchorage’s Assembly are destroying themselves right before our eyes.

    Hahaha. Sorry.

    • Us serpent handlers get no respect.

  • Excellent view of Kabul. Thanks David Eastman for your service in a combat zone. Seems as if we Americans look through our cultural lens and try to impress our culture on other cultures. Same thing happened in Vietnam. Will we ever learn? President Biden apparently has PTSD with his son, Bo. I also believe George W Bush got us into the Iraq war to avenge Saddam Hussein’s attempted asassination attempt on his father. Some things never change.

  • Well told narrative of stories we’ve heard too many times before. And the only question I have is: was the teen a boy or girl? My nephew was ordered to not interfere when they raped a preteen boy. My nephew was killed for trying to bring running water to a stone age village.
    Genghis Khan had the right idea of how to deal with it.

  • Thanks for the perspective. Your single article is worth far more than a sack full of Sullivan’s whining. I do have a question though that I think you might be able to add color to. You stated the following…
    “We have abandoned hundreds, if not thousands, of American citizens to the mercy of our avowed enemies.”
    .
    In an area where boys are at risk of being sodomized in the streets by the local authorities, bombs, chaos, IED’s, killings, suicide attacks, family differences being settled by mass slaughter, rocket attacks and gov’t managed drug trafficking, please describe these abandoned US citizen’s raison d’être. To many of us that have never been to Kabul it doesn’t make sense that anyone would mistake it for an ideal vacation getaway. The assumption is that anyone there would be military personnel and if not military, what might our military Cheif of Police suspect those individuals might be up to and why would thousands of them not be able to make a ten day exit window?

  • Thanks for your courageous service, Rep. Eastman. It must be really hard to work in Juneau with sissy-men Democrat representatives who hate the military and spit in your face for being a Conservative.

  • David is the person to run for Murkowski’s seat in 2022 – we need a strong leader who has stood up for election integrity and who is brave enough to say out loud that this current regime has committed treason.

  • Wow. That is very compelling. So tragic. We need to keep this country in pray. For those that can’t leave as well as those that could have but we’re left behind. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for your service and continued bravery Rep. Eastman. Alaska is lucky to have a patriot of your caliber in our corner of the world.

  • “Nation Stunned That 20-Year Catastrophe Could End So Catastrophically”. The Onion.

    Remember, Trump set the stage.

    • Doggie-style Whid:
      You have ZERO cred here at MRAK. A true ignoranus.

  • Might you care to run for a U.S. Senate seat against a far-left, long-in-the-tooth incumbent who’s clung to her ill-gotten office for far too long and a vacuous, sound-bite spewing, carpet-bagging, neocon swamp rat who’s hoping to soak Alaskans for yet another costly move and a fat paycheck to poorly represent them in DC, Mr. Eastman?

    You’ll have my vote if so, honey.

  • Thank you sir, for your past, and continuing service. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Thank you, Representative Eastman, for calling the Biden Administration’s actions treasonous. They are indeed. My family spent 17 years in the Middle East. The knowledge of what is happening there now to American citizens, men women and children, our allies and their families, with the full support and criminal behavior of ignoring the obvious by this administration and the military officers who advised and made it happen is truly sickening. Biden should be hanged for this.

  • Eastman has documented why we should never have militarized Afghanistan in the first place. Taliban wanted to negotiate in 2001 and Rumsfeldt refused. Now Eastman is repeating anti immigrant nonsense about terrorists embedded in the refugees. Not sure why voters in the Mat-Su tolerate Eastman who does nothing in Juneau but obstruct other legislators.

    • When “other legislators” are intent on destroying our economy, livelihoods, privacy and freedoms, it is a noble and honorable man who “obstructs” their patent evil. And they are truly, inarguably evil.

  • Excellent!!!! Thank You for Your and Your Brother’s Service.

  • Thank you for you service Representative Eastman, both in the military and in the legislature! You exhibit exceptional honor and integrity and truly care for the people. You set an example that your fellow legislators would be wise follow!

  • Class action law suites can be effective and we will use it.

  • Thank you, David.

  • A question was asked ‘for the Americans left behind, why were they even in Afghanistan to begin with?’

    During my time in Afghanistan, I met with military and civilian contractors, missionaries, foreign aid workers, diplomatic and security personnel, teachers, those who ran medical clinics and orphanages. Many of them were Americans. One report earlier this year listed Christians in Afghanistan as the second-fastest growing Christian body in the world.

    Why were they there? In many cases, they were there because the United States Government asked them to go. Twenty years is a long time. As with the Soviets before us, some American citizens were born there.

    How did they not get out in time? If recent news reports are correct, the current administration lied to them (and encouraged others, including the Government of Afghanistan, to lie to them) about the approaching dangers, so that American political leaders could save face. Even as provincial capitals were falling to the Taliban, the U.S. was telling them the country could fall “within six months”.

    We told them they had more time. We then abandoned Bagram, which would have provided logistical support for evacuations. We then abandoned Kabul and told Americans to “shelter-in-place” at home and not to travel to the airport. Some Americans who did travel to the airport to leave were turned away, repeatedly. We have witnessed, and are witnessing, an abdication of our duty to make the protection of American citizens our national priority.

    • Man, you were doing pretty good there right up to the point that it seemed we should risk life and resources rescuing religious nutters. As a whole they should be smarter and the chance to purge the denser among them doesn’t come around often enough.
      .
      “One report earlier this year listed Christians in Afghanistan as the second-fastest growing Christian body in the world.”
      .
      That is an inappropriate goal in a war zone. Messy situation and unfortunate but that’s where divine intervention needs to be a real option; not American soldier’s lives.

    • Please run for Murkowski’s senate seat! We need an honorable person who is willing to stand up to the corruption in this country. Thank you for your service and bravery standing up to election fraud & the covid vaccine

  • Well written, insightful, and heart felt. Thank you once again for your honorable efforts and service, both overseas and here at home, Representative Eastman.

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