March 10th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Going old school in Marjah

A school built by Americans in 1950s is being used as a base by the U.S. military in their operation in Marjah. But now Afghanistan's government is taking the building back in order to make it a school again, which would make it one of the few in the area.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. SLM

    Daniel II, Bravo.

    May 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. russian leader

    so sad that american army is using school to progress the terror, as russian, i feel and i believe russian soliders are more merciful and compassionate with civilians than us army, praise be to russia, i dont know why america is feeding hate to others, its so sad, i think third world war is close because of american policy, so sad life
    why americans dont change?

    March 23, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. David

    It's sad to read the litany of comments based upon each individual's personal bias and projection of their imagined scenarios, without knowledge, but with much imagination. Most have little to do with reality, but accurately reflect the individual's thinking only. Having served with the Marines in the major conflict phase of teh Iraq War, I will simply pass my personal experience along. We pitched our one-man tents on the floors of the Ad Diwaniyah University. The buildings had been thoroughly trashed by retreating irregular forces of Saddam Hussein – every window broken, all electrical fixtures ripped out, all books burned, all laboratory beakers, etc. broken. Rubble was piled deep on the floors. This was our headquarters for our logistics command for about two months, before we turned it over to the Iraqis. In the meantime, we cleaned up all the rubble, repalced the windows, doors, and replaced electrical lighting, We restored the campus to a usable state. Officers and enlisted all participated. We also fixed broken medical equipment at the local hospital, and our Navy nurses and doctors cleaned the floors, helped trained the eager Iraqi medical folks and provided medicaltions and equipment to them. Oh, yes. I also served with Marines (helicopter squadron) in Vietnam and held a village sick call twice weekly. My squadron mates and I continued the humanitarian aspects of our mission in 2006, building an elementary school for 380 Vietnamese childiren, and a village medical dispensary.
    For those commentators who have been duped by left-wing propaganda, you foster lies that reflect not reality, but your own thinking only. Ask yourself, what have YOU ever done yourself for those people? People everywhere cheer the opportunity for liberty, security and opportunity. Visit Vietnam - they love America - they are my brothers. I look forward to building a school in Iraq. You, too, can make a positive difference instead of just sharing your cowering, imaginary remarks.

    March 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    Rebuilding the school is a good idea, but it's clearly premature to start doing so if the area is still "hot." We built the school and it operated for decades until the Taliban decided that ignorance, illiteracy, and violence against children were virtues. Then the school was basically abandoned. Now, in combat in the area, US forces use the stoutly constructed building as a base, but are willing to get out to allow it to go back to being a school. This a great example of the US helping AFG any way it can.
    Perhaps we should permanently have a small base nearby or adjacent to the school so the next time the Taliban decide they want to kill some kids or teachers they instead get torn up.

    March 18, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |

    We have been blowing things up and then rebuilding them as far back as wwii and with some suscess and the practical application of building schools and the the populations infustructure will go a long way of bring the young to our way of thinking -instead of driving them away before they can get achance to see the good that we can do

    March 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. w. leslie

    Too bad GBA does not understand what is going on. I suppose that is one of the benefits recieved by mocking the brave men and women that allow GBA to say anything without fear of reprisal. If anything this story shows how the inability to follow through with a plan may have consequences decades later. I am thankful our Marines could find a hardened complex to make camp at. I am also proud that they will be moving out to accomidate the desire of the Afghans. It speaks highly of their selfless service and our commitment to try to get it right. I agree with GBA in only one respect...GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    March 17, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. rj1

    What about this story would prompt any snide or snarky remarks? Yes, war is terrible, and yes, some people do make money off war, but people make money off everything. People make money off helping Haiti rebuild, they make money off helping new-born babies, they make money off educating children, and curing cancer. So, since war is inevitable, and will always be going on somewhere in the world, why would it surprise anyone that there will be people profiting from this?
    The school is going to be used again, for the education of children, which, will hopefully bring about a positive change in the world. Why would we not want to encourage this?

    March 16, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel II

    Daniel, you seem to despise everything the United States stands for. But that's Ok, because you have Freedom of Speech here. You also have the freedom to move to another country if you like. I'm sure North Korea will take you, or even Myammar. They don't have big contractors or bankers or civil engineers and they are not at war. Why don't you allow them to be graced by your presence there???

    May God bless you on your journey.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. meto

    i see know aghganestan goverment get the school backthe qestion is what after that
    bring school back will get egucation in this country from bad to best
    standard of education in this country soooooooooo bad so i ask the amrican govermant
    show some human right waht you always say

    March 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Been There...U?

    I was wondering how many of the above individuals that are mocking what's going on in Afghanistan have actually been there and seen first hand what's going on? Not just what they're being told...and I guess only the Democrats want something to good to happen Eideard?

    March 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. william sinclair

    God Bless America 'gets' what he, or she, wants. Too bad GBA.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. A. Smith, Oregon

    Schools in the Middle East war zones are like Taliban magnets. Muslim women are targeted, especially teachers of Muslim women. If the American troops are not going to prepare and protect against that eventuality thru political correctness of simple ineptitude, why even bother? You'll end up just getting a large number of Afghanistan civilian children and women killed, maimed and murdered.

    March 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eideard

    A story worth repeating.

    Guaranteed to upset Republicans.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Daniel

    I expect that when the kids start to chant "Allah Akbar,but NATO akbar-er"then the campaign for Marjah will be touted a comlete success.Then comes the big contractors,bankers,civil engineers and what have you to make a gigantic fortune out of this dispicable war.

    March 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. god bless america

    oh I see, so that's what Marine civil affairs officer Lt. George Russo meant by saying ..“First I studied to build, then I was trained to destroy,”. The schools in Mar-d-jah, were turned into military posts. Now (3 years later?) time to re-build the schools so the kiddies go back to school! However, if the Taliban insurgency comes back, the military would be able to (re-use) them again as military posts...Got it!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Ben Wademan provides an excellent insight in what is not being done in Afghanista, but should be done! I wish I could help, but I lack the economic resources. Schools, hospitals, paved roads are desperately needed to raise the peoples' morale and to shift their pernicious allegiances away from the warlords! I just wonder why the Habitat for Humanity is not helpung in Afghanistan. What is clearly needed is an innovative strong leadership. Funds are out there, not just in the U.S., but in many places abroad. But funds need to be located. In the meantime, the disillusion is already setting in, as needy people wait in vain! I am grateful for the sensible reports of Ben Wademan! More people like him are needed, and more real action on the ground!

    March 10, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |