February 25th, 2010
09:27 AM ET

Inside the Marjah operation

Part of the U.S. Marines' mission in Marjah, Afghanistan, is to gain the confidence of residents as well as clear the Taliban-held area of improvised explosive devices.  CNN International Correspondent Atia Abawi has this behind the scenes look.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Penny Bechard

    After a month of not hearing from my son, I watched this video and there he was. Although it was only for a few seconds I am grateful to have seen his face and know that he is okay. Thank you a million times over for your reports. Because of you I got to see him, he looks healthy but very dirty and I'm okay with that.

    March 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Abdulameer

    Dear Nancy, you have every right to be a proud Marine Mom. You and your son deserve our honor and respect.

    At the same, that does not make you an expert on the Koran and Islam. You should be careful about expressing unfounded opinions. You accuse me of misinterpreting the Koran, but I did not interpret the Koran at all. I quoted it - without interpretation. Statements from the Koran such as "Non-Moslems are your open enemy" or "Non-Moslems are the vilest of creatures" do not require any interpretation. They are as plain as day. If you do not like what you read in those quotes, don't blame me. Blame Allah and the Moslems who believe that these are Allah's words.

    Your accusations against me are hateful and mean. I am not spreading hate. I am exposing it! If you want to prevent exposure and discussion of the Koran, then you make yourself an accomplice to violent religious bigotry.

    I understand that our objective is to free the Afghanis so that they can live in peace. My point is that their notion of freedom and peace is totally different from our notion of freedom and peace, and the reason is that they have Islamic values which are just not compatible with ours. Our policy is doomed to failure no matter how brave and generous and kind we are because there is no way that non-Moslems can win the hearts and minds of Moslems. The Koran forbids it. The Afghan Moslems we are helping may not like the Taliban, but the Taliban is family. We are aliens; and their Koran says that we are enemies.

    March 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Leader of Marines

    Marine Moms/wives/girlfriends,
    We all know how tremendously proud you all are of us. However, I want to tell you the same thing I tell my girl and my family:
    please please please take caution what you post on the Internet!!!!

    Make no mistakes. These terrorists are utilizing every means available to collect information which they could use to do us or our loved ones harm. They are not to be underestimated as primitive. This is a sophisticated obsessed enemy whose actors will stop at nothing to terrorize all that is good and innocent (like you, our loved ones). I'll step down off my soapbox now and share a few tips:
    -never use your full name
    -never disclose your hometown
    -please try to avoid discussing your marine's unit or current activities. He should not be discussing them with you either.

    I know you are all so proud, and I hate to be a fear monger, but trust no one! I guarantee people like that Abdul clown on here are collecting information.

    Keep sending the care packages and love to your warriors down range! God willing, we'll accomplish our mission and come home to you safe and sound.

    Semper Fidelis

    March 3, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nancy Ballard A Proud Marine Mom!!

    Whether or not your a Muslin is of no significance to me. I don't care. I have my faith, you have yours. You chose to bring Religion into this but you've been widely criticised by others on this blog for your inaccurate interpretation of the Koran.
    Your more of a radical extremist with no redeaming values. Your an instigator hiding somewhere and sending out these comments in hope of spreading your own anger.

    Regardless,the objective is to free the Afghans from oppression so they can live in peace. As I've already told you the Coalition forces along with the Afghan National Army {True Muslims} are fighting to eliminate the Taliban from Afghanistan.
    Semper Fi

    March 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Disabled Vet

    Hey awesome coverage of the EOD. I was a Sapper in the Army 93-96.
    We must support our Troops If we ever hope to achieve any victories in the Middle East!
    God Bless the U.S. Armed Forces, Hooah

    February 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TC1999

    Yes...the Coran doesnt say kill all non-muslims any more than the bible says kill all non christians. However...there is enough leway in both that leaves it open to misinterpretation and explotiation. I believe the Afghans...just like everyone else...want to live in peace, happiness, and relative prosperity. If you give that to any group of people...muslim, christians, or Atheists. They will likely be happy and peaceful. Take those basic necessties away...and well you have erroded Maslovs Heiracchy of needs. The peoples will decend into chaos. Fortunately the number one priority here is security and basic needs like water and electicity. Whichever side can suceed in providing that...will win the first battle for the hearts and minds.

    February 28, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    There are plenty of Koranic and Hadditic references, verses to which Muslims are not to befriend non-Muslims, nor treat them well even if that person is one of your own family.

    Islamic ruled country's thru-out the Middle East tax non-Muslims and treat non-Muslims perhaps professionally but definitely not as equally accepted friends that are fellow Muslims.

    Besides the few remaining Marjah residents trusting America soldiers won't shoot them in the back, nor bomb their women and children if they flee in a caravan from the fighting (sorry but that trust was already broken), the main aspect of trust is expected to come from the thousands of shake and bake Afghanistan Police forces that are pouring into Marjah.

    Unfortunately, very few appear to have actually asked the Marjah residents and business owners that DO NOT TRUST the Afghanistan Police because those residents and business owners have repeatedly stated the Afghanistan Police have robbed, stolen, extorted and demanded bribes from them and their goods.

    There is no winning the hearts and minds of people by forcing them to submit to a corrupt Govt. Leader and a corrupt Police Force.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Teresa

    Many thanks to Atia for all the great coverage of the men with 1/6 A Co. My husband is LT Emison with 2nd platoon....I can tell you I have greatly appreciated all the coverage! Many thinks, keep up the great work! You have done wonders for us all!

    February 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Abdulameer

    Dear Nancy,
    You asked whether I am a Moslem. The answer should be obvious: no, I am not.

    And you seem to think that "Moslem" is a misspelling. No, it is not. Look it up in any English dictionary. "Moslem" is a perfectly normal English word with no derogatory implication. I admit that it is not the politically correct term, but I do not feel constrained to follow the dogmas of political correctness - and neither should you.

    If you have not read the Koran carefully, you should definitely do so. If that is too much of a task, then by all means read Robert Spencer's book, "The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran." If you want to understand the way religious Moslems think, then you must know what is in the Koran.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nancy Ballard A Proud Marine Mom!!


    Your comment starts out saying you’re a non Muslim and finishes with the insinuation that you are a Muslim. Well are you or not a Muslim? Either way please learn how to spell it. In any case most people realize that true Muslims are loyal to Islam. You’re wrong to state that true Muslims believe that all other people on this earth are their enemies. That’s just your opinion. You’re also wrong about the objective of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. The Coalition forces along with the Afghan National Army {True Muslims} are fighting to eliminate the Taliban from Afghanistan and make that country secure and free of terrorists. In case you didn’t notice Marjah is now free.The Tribal Elders in that region are welcoming this freedom. You apparently are in need of a reality check since you don’t understand that the end result will be the people of Afghanistan will enjoy a better quality of life.
    Semper Fi

    February 26, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. septimus severius

    you are a stupid yankee how doesn t know what he is talking about ,,,muslims did not go to your country and destroy it ,,,,you did ,,,,ben laden is your deed,,,not ours,,,do not the muslums have the right to defend themselves ,,,,,we do not need your democratie ,,,,can you ask why are you there ?,,,

    February 26, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    If we quickly rebuild, construct some roads and build up Marjah I would believe that the Muslims would have faith in our missions in Afghanistan. As long as we keep on target with this new strategy we will have a new ally in south Asia and Afghanistan would become a new democratic state with more of the freedoms that we enjoy as long as the government works for the people and not themselves.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The Wife

    Abdulameer, where in the Koran does it say that non-Muslims are the enemy? I've read the majority of the Koran and I don't remember reading that part. I've also spoken to friends who are devout Muslims and they said Muslims who believe what you are saying are the extremists that we are fighting. A good, faithful Muslim wants to live in peace so they can worship the way they want without others telling them it is wrong.

    February 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cindi Trickler

    Hi Atia. I'm Sgt. John Trickler's mom. Just wanted to say thank you for the coverage of ACO. 1/6. I send out war updates to a large number of supporters of our Marines, everytime I hear from John. It's been great seeing our men. They are amazing boots. Is there anything you need we could send in a care pkg. We mostly send our packages to John and he hands out the goodies. Have a great evening. Semper Fidelis, Cindi

    February 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nancy Ballard

    Thank you for keeping all the Marine familys so well informed.We dont get your type of coverage on the television news. You and all the Marines are in our prayers
    Semper Fi

    February 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Abdulameer

    How are we, non-Moslems, supposed to win the hearts and minds of Moslems? This doesn't amke any sense at all. Moslems are totally loyal to Islam and other Moslems, not to unbelievers. Any policy based on winning the hearts and minds of Moslems is doomed to fail. Moslems are raised to believe that non-Moslems are enemies and the vilest of creatures. That is what the Koran says. For them to befriend us, they would have to violate the commandments in the Koran. It won't happen.

    February 25, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |