Friday, July 30, 2010

What He Said!

LawDog is articulating exactly what I feel about this:

Having identified their target, a fierce battle ensued during which the warlord was killed. To prove that they had got their man, the Gurkhas attempted to remove the body for identification. Further enemy fire necessitated a fast exit minus corpse. So, an unnamed soldier drew his kukri  -  the standard-issue Gurkha knife  -  removed the man's head and legged it.
You send a soldier out to kill or capture a bad guy, and tell him that you really need to have positive ID on said bad guy after the fact.  The soldier tries to bring back the dead bad guy in one piece, but rather than extend  a firefight where he and his mates might get shot or worse, he takes enough of Mr. Ali bin Badguy and heads back.  Mission accomplished.

And then the British MOD, which has used Gurkhas as shock troops for a very long time precisely because they are wholly dedicated to their missions and have a reputation for being bloodthirsty when taken under fire, decides that this act of war might hurt the tender sensibilities of the Taliban.  You know, those fun loving chaps who like to murder women in front of their families for the offense of showing their faces in public.  Or behead a reporter and send a video of it back to the western press so his widow can see it.  Yeah, those guys.

Here's the money quote from LawDog:

The allies are blowing quantities of Taleban into mincemeat with assorted artillery rounds, bombs, mortar shells, bombs, rockets, bombs, missiles, and bombs -- you damned well can't tell me that all the sticky bits are getting recovered after Abdul the Moderately Rabid catches a 500-pound GBU amidships -- so why are you getting all wrapped around the axle because one or more Gurkhas did the needful with a knife instead of high-explosive?
 Too many of us have forgotten that war is a costly, bloody, disgusting thing.  It is not neat and sanitized like a movie or a video game.  Even the gun camera videos from helicopters and Raptors fail to show how brutal being on the receiving end can be.

And that's the point.  If you don't have the stomach for what the soldier on the ground has to A. complete the mission, and B. get home in one piece, then don't send him to do your bidding. 

Troops like Gurkhas are trained from an early age to find, fix, and flay their enemy.  And now the British MOD is having a hissy fit over it.

This young man should be given a medal for finishing his mission in such a way that lessened the danger to his unit, not sent home to await punishment after an investigation.  The MOD needs to be flushed like a filthy stable and re-peopled with personnel who understand what it's like at the sharp, shitty end of the stick. 

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