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Friday, June 01, 2007

Afghanistan, Playin' Ball & Obama

  • Deutsche Polizeiausbildung ein Desaster
    The Germans have failed completely with their police training program. They were sending local, provincial policemen, aged 45 or 50 years old, who had no concept of Muslim culture and no concept of training. That has been a disaster. But we need the police to provide security, keep the peace, fight drugs, establish the writ of the state and to establish the writ of Karzai. Now the Americans have taken over, they are training an 80,000 member police force. This failure has been very critical. (From an interview with a Pakistani journalist who is somekind of a specialist on Afghanistan, no real surprises here for any regular reader.)

  • Obama has just changed my perception of him some, the guy plays ball! What I found really interesting, and what the NY Times mispresents in their article ('Cut to the future Mrs. Obama asking her brother to take her new boyfriend out on the court, to make sure he was not the type to hog the ball or call constant fouls.'), is that Obama's brother-in-law who was interviewed in accompanying video claims something which I have always believed in as well. It is possible to psychologically analze people through the way they play ball. I cannot really explain this, how it works precisely, but I sincerely believe that playing ball with someone tells me more about his character than talking to him for any extended period of time. You can pretend to be something you are not in virtually every situation, yet, that does not work on the court. Obama's wife back then did not want to know how he played ball of course, but rather what kind of an impression as a human being he made.

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