Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This is what I'm bloody well talking about!

You must pardon me while I attempt to experience an aneurysm.

See if you can follow me on this one.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are recovering from us stomping a mudhole in their collective butts and then walking it dry. They are, in a nutshell, becoming pains-in-the-arse -- again.

Given this, don't you think that the opportunity to reduce the majority of the Taliban HMFICs into itty-bitty pieces flying past Allah's crapper at blast-wave velocities just might be too good to pass up?

There they were. Packed cheek-to-jowl and nut-to-butt in one nice big open area, and us with a Hellfire-armed Predator drone accidentally stumbling by. The ultimate Afghani Target-Rich environment.

And we didn't do a damned thing about it, except watch the little goat-molesters scamper back into the hills.

You know why we let them go?

Because they were in a cemetery, and it might be bad P.R. to disassemble a cemetery just to kill 190 TALIBAN PISMIRES!

Are you [deleted] me?! It's a CEMETERY! Hell, use enough explosive and you can kill the little bastards AND bury them, all at the same time! It's a Public Service!

Think of the financial favour we'd be doing for their relatives -- gravediggers don't come cheap.

This is what I'm talking about. We've got 190+ Taliban -- certified Bad Dudes -- in an area with not a whole lot of innocent by-standers, said area also coincidentally containing an veritable truck-load of gravestones which make absolutely wonderful shrapnel in the presence of high-explosives; and what do we do?

We just watch them gambol off into the hills, with nary a care on their homicidal little minds.

What the [deleted] kind of war is this?

Yes. They were in a cemetery. Yes, high-explosives do Bad Things to cemeteries. Damn the luck and you may fire when ready, Gridley.


I despair, I really do.



Hammer said...

I've been folowing this all day.

Sick effing sick. This needs to be total war whether its in a mosque,
graveyard or anywhere for that matter.

Screw public opinion! According to the media everyone hates us anyway.

Its time to meet the terrorists gloves off, no rules, no quarter.

wolfwalker said...

Good rant, 'Dawg, and I pretty much agree. Really stupid thing to do, missing such a chance.

On the other hand, I happen to be of the opinion that most of our military leadership are reasonably bright chaps, and incidents like this result more from blind-spot thinking than from gross incompetence or an outright desire to lose. If I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd bet that when that particular ROE was written, the writer based it on a mental image of one or two Bad Guys in the middle of a crowd of civilians. No one ever thought we'd get a shot at two hundred Bad Guys with nary a civilian in sight. Probably no one ever thought the Bad Guys would be that incredibly stupid. But the chance occurred, and the rule as written didn't have any weasel room, so some overly-concerned-about-his-career officer said "no."

I won't be surprised if the officer in question gets quietly sidelined, and the rule gets quietly rewritten to say that if the entire crowd is Bad Guys, go ahead and nail 'em. The public statements about "we're fine with this result" are just that: PR.

If it happens again, though, I won't be so charitable.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Having, in the last couple of years, read a little book called (as I recall) THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE, I have become convinced that Mr. Bush's strategy in both Iraq and Afganistan is dictated by something called THE MARINES' SMALL WARS MANUAL. As I understand it this is the distillation of the Marines' experiences in the Philippines and sets a pattern of building infrastructure, while teaching the locals to deal with their own troublemakers. I haven't read the thing, but I'll bet (based on reading histories of the Philippines campaign) that it is strong on avoiding behavior that would shock the locals, such as shooting up religious sites. Let the LOCALS go after the banditos in the mosque or whatever....

Bush is after more than wiping out the Taliban, he hopes to leave a society capable of and interested in keeping their own nutballs under control. To that end he is letting the nutballs do all the violating of peoples' feelings. He wants them to chase the terrorists into the trees and keep them there because he doesn't wan us to still be there nursemaiding folks fifty years from now.

It may not work, but the alternatives are political poison just now.

Chris (in Southeast TX) said...

Yup, this is f*cked up!!! During WWII, and I'm sure most other wars, there sometimes was HEAVY fighting in cemeteries. I don't remember anyone bitching about it.... Oh, but wait! They weren't MUSLIMS!!!! The way I understand this, its OK for Muslims to bomb moskes (sp?), kill civilians (also Muslims) by a train load and just leave their bodies. BUT, the minute we kill a few terrorist and burn their bodies as a health issue, our troops got DISCIPLINED for it!!! You're right, we truely are retarded to put up with this....

Don't get me wrong, I think we should try to minimize REAL civilian casualties. If they were in a hospital or a school, I think it would have been the right decision not to unload on them. BUT A F*CKING CEMETERY???????

Maybe we should just have designated Taliban killing areas, marked with yellow paint. We probably should get those areas approved by them and then it would be fair?

Nathaniel Firethorn said...

The problem sounds like responsibility is too diffuse. The highest person in the chain of command who could act, and failed to do so, should get what Admiral Husband E. Kimmel got.

Glenmore said...

I don't think we know enough to condemn. Do we KNOW these were all (or mostly) Talibunnies? If so, how - do we have coverts among them? Do we know the local political situation - is it at a 'tipping point' and which way would whacking those guys (and collateral damage) have tipped it?

I do think whoever released that photo has had an unpleasant visit with his CO - and should have.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when the government is more worried about the press than the safety of the rest of its taxpayers.

Of course, had they gone ahead with the attack the same press would have soundly denounced it.

DiamondMair said...

This was a case where it would have been far, far better to have asked forgiveness than to have begged permission - when they were identified, whoever had his/her finger on the button to the missile should have fired ..................
Semper Fi'

Anonymous said...

I can understand (and generally agree with) a policy designed to avoid killing a bunch of innocent civilians to get at one or two terrorists. However, this one appears on its surface to be a huge SNAFU. If it turns out that the initial reports are true, that we missed taking out nearly 200 BGs because some liberal papers here would have been upset about it, then the officer in charge needs to be sacked.

You know, policy also needs to consider the cost of NOT killing a really bad BG, even if civilians might be killed as part of the package. After all, these are murderers. How many people will a terrorist murder over the years if we don't take him out NOW? And 190 of these SOBs? To me, there is no question that we should have made that entire cemetary a giant killing field - cluster bombs, napalm, MOABs, etc. in very generous quantities. By missing this chance, it is likely that thousands of innocents will die.

Flintlock Tom said...

Well, did we at least follow some of the BGs back to their burrows and mark them for future...attention?

Anonymous said...

Where's your sense of fair play? We're fighting the poor widdle terrorists who have no tanks,artillery,or drones so we just have to fight this war with both arms,legs,and testicles tied behind our backs.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Would it be acceptable strategy when dealing with a dispersed, shadowy group to let them get comfortable enough to organize and build ranks again, and then go blow those ranks away wholesale?

If I was a Talibani on the ground at that funeral, and saw that there were 190 of us and nothing happened, I'd sure as heck be emboldened. In fact, I might be unafraid enough to enter the next Taliban "summit" with 300 of my best buds right before a hellfire drops the roof on our heads.

Though, 190... that's a might massive target. There ought to at least be official reprimands involved and career-staining, if not just shorts-staining.

308Mike said...

These idiots still don't realize we're in a WAR! On top of that, there are FAR too many Clintardites still having around positions of power and current intelligence in DC, people Bush should have tossed YEARS AGO.