By lex, on September 11th, 2011
Today is the day we tell our stories. You have heard it before, but this is mine:
We had left Pearl Harbor three days earlier, our weapons unloaded as were a thousand sailors and officers to make room for a Tiger Cruise: Fathers, sons and brothers, mothers and daughters, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews. They would spend the last six days of our deployment with us, enjoying their exposure to an aircraft carrier at sea.
We had returned after a six month deployment from the brutal summertime heat of the Arabian Gulf, our air wing patrolling the Southern No Fly Zone in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, getting shot at, and shooting back in that desultory but deadly way that we had by then become accustomed to. Not really at war. Not really at peace. Always waiting for the first blow to land.
By lex, on September 4th, 2011
As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks draw nigh, one senses a desire to try and frame the last ten years in some sepia tinted portrait, place it in a box and put it away. It’s been a long ten years, and – having seen all too well what we are up against overseas, and having witnessed so much human tragedy in the fight against violent extremism – you get the feeling that we’d like to talk about something else.
By lex, on June 2nd, 2011
Meet Army SFC Leroy Arthur Petry, the second living awardee of the Medal of Honor:
Recognizing the threat that the enemy grenade posed to his fellow Rangers, Petry — despite his own wounds and with complete disregard for his personal safety — consciously and deliberately risked his life to move to and secure the live enemy grenade and consciously throw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers, according to battlefield reports.
As Petry released the grenade in the direction of the enemy, preventing the serious injury or death of Higgins and Robinson, it detonated and catastrophically amputated his right hand.
With a clear mind, Petry assessed his wound and placed a tourniquet on his right arm. Once this was complete, he reported that he was still in contact with the enemy and that he had been wounded again…
Higgins later wrote in a statement, “if not for Staff Sergeant Petry’s actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed…”
Petry currently serves as a liaison officer for the United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition-Northwest Region, and provides oversight to wounded warriors, ill and injured servicemembers and their families…
He has deployed eight times in support of the War on Terror, with two tours to Iraq and six tours to Afghanistan.
That’s all I’ve got: “Geez.”
Back To The Index
By lex, on May 2nd, 2011
I’m pretty sure that the DEVGRU bubbas sent to capture or kill Osama bin Laden didn’t mind skipping past option one, and moving directly to option two. Trying a captured OBL would have been, 1) better than he deserved and, 2) intensely problematical. Pre-trial confinement anywhere but at Guantanamo would have been a security nightmare for the site chosen, and GTMO isn’t taking in any new customers. So maybe it’s a little ironic that a president who came to office promising more of that good old rule of law unleashed the hounds of direct action, not that I take objection.
But today we learn that the intel which led to OBL’s death was generated by the same “enhanced interrogation techniques” that the President Obama eliminated:
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system.
Hat’s off to President Obama for pulling the trigger on the assault. Hat’s off to President Bush for doing what had to be done to start the kill chain.
OBL dying a natural death in his sheltered compound was never an acceptable alternative.
Back To The Index
By lex, on May 1st, 2011
News reports are saying that Osama bin Laden is dead, and that US troops have custody of his remains. Boots on deck = Huah.
1) Rot in hell, motherfucker. Too many people here and in other places have suffered and died for your toxic vision. Three thousand New Yorkers and God knows how many Arabs and Afghans.
2) Max props to those patriots who signed on, fought, died or came back wounded because of 1). Heroes forever.
3) Pakistan: Thanks for nothing.
It ain’t over, but today is a good day.
Back To The Index
By lex, on November 30th, 2010
Asymmetric warfare is the term of art for a conflict between two belligerents with markedly different levels of military power. The weaker power, unable or unwilling to engage in a stand-up fight, will use strategies and tactics that exploit the characteristic weaknesses of the stronger one. When such tactics blur the line between soldier and civilian, politics and war, they are often referred to as “fourth generation warfare,” or 4GW.
Fourth generation warfare “takes place on all fronts, economical, political, the media, military, and civilian.”
By lex, on October 14th, 2010
US Army Major Nidal Hassan gets a preliminary hearing, prior to his General Court Martial:
The first few of dozens of witnesses to the 2009 massacre on this sprawling Army base gave chilling testimony on Wednesday in a pretrial hearing for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is charged in the attack.