We lost 31 SpecOps Warriors

Blackie

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... Dam ... our guys ain't even home yet from their final mission ...

.... Yall .. please just dial the war commentary back or into another thread ..

... There .. is a heavy kind of dark feeling around here in Virginia Beach ...

... The families of these guys live here for the most part ..

... there is a thunder storm rolling thru right now ...
 
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Thumpalumpacus

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... Hold on now ... all other accounts have the aircraft leaving after the mission ... not landing ..

... You see how nothing can be believed now ? .....

... for all we know one of the afghans on board set off an explosive vest ..
and if that was to get out ...

.. That would would be it .... The American people would demand an imeadite withdrawel of all forces.

I would hope .... but they may just .... go shopping ....

It's a fair point you make. I'd want to see video before accepting that; lacking that, I'd want to see photos of the wreckage, particularly the cockpit and side-door.
 

Blackie

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It's a fair point you make. I'd want to see video before accepting that; lacking that, I'd want to see photos of the wreckage, particularly the cockpit and side-door.

Why is NATO recovering the wreckage ?
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I couldn't tell you, except that perhaps the troops on the ground are allied but not American.
 

nick1962

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They're not stupid. We're not at war.

Combat units are out on a hearts and minds mission, and can't fight until they're being shot at.

They know this. In most cases the village 1 mile from their op is filled with guerrillas. Every time they walk through, you don't know who is on what team.

The British Army has specialised in 'hearts and minds' stuff for decades, but personally I don't think these medieval sh*theads are worth it; if it was up to me I would nuke the whole country off the map. And pop one on those two-faced pakistanis as well.
 

Roberteaux

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The British Army has specialised in 'hearts and minds' stuff for decades, but personally I don't think these medieval sh*theads are worth it; if it was up to me I would nuke the whole country off the map. And pop one on those two-faced pakistanis as well.

Not entirely sure about nuking them, but I agree that this effort doesn't seem to be worth a damn either. But I keep thinking about those poppy fields further north. Isn't it strange how there's always some sort of war adjacent to highly productive opium fields? How much is that crop actually worth, anyway... or is there another value to opium that I'm simply not getting, something strategic? What is the ultimate value of it, aside from legitimate medical uses?

Not exactly sure how that piece fits into the puzzle, or what value to assign it in the scheme of things. But I know it's in there, somehow.

And I'm not sure if we're really causing any sort of permanent social changes in Afghanistan anyway. I suppose it's nice that people don't have to wear a beard in Kabul for the time being... or that the women don't *necessarily* have to dress like the KKK lady's auxiliary... but to say that we are "nation building" would be the only justification for the loss of life on the humanitarian side of things-- if it actually had a telling effect, that is.

And militarily, at least the area is a magnet for Jihidis who might otherwise be preoccupied with attacking the Great Satan a bit more directly... more terrorism, in other words. The full geopolitical/strategic value of Afghanistan in the military sense is a thing I don't quite comprehend at this time. Any ideas?

My negative attitude towards Pakistan goes back to a time well before the current hostilities. I am also somewhat less than fond of most Saudis. The Kuwaitis ain't too bad... not that I trust them, though. While their state wasn't literally built on Wahhabism-- that most "redneck", dark, and provincial of all Muslim interpretations-- at this point in time that particular sect's beliefs do appear to be spreading, if only as a showcase-type of portrayal.

Wahhabist Hypocrisy

--R
 

Thumpalumpacus

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And I'm not sure if we're really causing any sort of permanent social changes in Afghanistan anyway. I suppose it's nice that people don't have to wear a beard in Kabul for the time being... or that the women don't *necessarily* have to dress like the KKK lady's auxiliary... but to say that we are "nation building" would be the only justification for the loss of life on the humanitarian side of things-- if it actually had a telling effect, that is.

And even then, I'm not sure we should be going in and fixing what cultural morés we find offensive at gunpoint.

And militarily, at least the area is a magnet for Jihidis who might otherwise be preoccupied with attacking the Great Satan a bit more directly... more terrorism, in other words. The full geopolitical/strategic value of Afghanistan in the military sense is a thing I don't quite comprehend at this time. Any ideas?

It's possible that you have a solid point here, but I'm not sold on it. If we weren't there, I think the Pakistani government would be the next target. One reason they had such a shitfit over our raid to kill ObL -- and the other backhands they've been giving us over the last couple of years -- is to shore up support for the government from the conservatives there ... the ones who are aiding and housing the Afghani insurgents when they play border-tag. The problem is that with religiously-motivated movements, compromise is a non-starter. These conservatives will hate the Pakistani government just as much at the end of the day, and worse, will also view it with contempt, because in that culture, compromising with an antagonist is viewed as a sign of weakness.
 

Roberteaux

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And even then, I'm not sure we should be going in and fixing what cultural morés we find offensive at gunpoint.

I'm not all that hot on the idea of killing people for strictly cultural reasons myself... I'm actually more or less indifferent to what-all anybody else is doing so long as it doesn't somehow impact directly on our country's security. But the whole nation building exercise has been billed as being some form of liberation for those who really are enslaved by a group of political-religious extremists. How much truth there is to this, I dunno. A dab of it somewhere, I might suppose.

The hell if it is I'm not so sure those people see their lot as enslavement, or if they want to be "liberated" or "enlightened" to begin with. Religionists can be a funny lot like that, and nobody likes outsiders telling them what to do under any circumstances. As an analogy: you bust a bunch of prostitutes who are slaves, but they are angry with the police for closing down their ops and way of surviving... but also out of loyalty to the very pimp who profits from their servitude. Again: nobody likes an interloper to begin with, and those people might not even know that there are better ways to live than under the Taliban.

And frankly, I wouldn't mind even that so much, if they'd just chiil out whereas we are concerned. However, the Wahhabist interpretation really is that the mere presence of infidels in their AO is an infectious defilement that cannot be tolerated. And I am aware that not everybody who practices Islam necessarily embraces Wahhabism or Salafism. There is coercion in place here and there that sometimes causes others to at least pretend they do, though. Kind of like the old Italian guy in Catch-22 who waved a Fascist flag when Mussolini was in control of Rome, a Nazi flag when the Germans trooped in, and then the Stars and Stripes when the US showed up. The whole thing is sometimes a case of: leave me the fvck alone, and I'll fly your stupid flag-- buttholes! The incentive grows stronger when somebody might actually kill you for not doing so, too.

Hard for me to evaluate what's really going on over there, then, except that I am sure that it all has a lot to do with $$$ and temporal power, when viewed from a certain perspective well above that of my own.

As for the allure of a battleground to the eager young Jihadi, I am sure that there are certainly young men who are indeed fighting in that area for that very reason and no other. It's like saying that a lot of Union soldiers fought as abolitionists, even if the top eschelon may have had other fish to fry as well. If I were some sort of Big Boss, I wouldn't actually care what motivated my thugs so much, so long as it wasn't totally out of line with a few of my own ideals and I didn't have to fake my enthusiasm all that much-- and so long as they fought hard and well. So I don't actually know what weight to assign this factor, either-- except to say that it is a factor of some sort. Some young men are prone towards severe militancy, is all I can tell ya there. And it's not just the Muslim youth... not by a long shot.

Pak continues to have a lot of violence, despite our presence (or lack of it), and I suspect they're sort of trying to do some sort of balancing act. Not well schooled enough in the matter to really argue any point about it, but they are definitely involved in some sort of attempt to appease the militants, and that's why I don't trust them at all. I continue to remain convinced that Osama was under some form of house arrest, but was nonetheless a "guest" of the Pak ISI.

The problem is that with religiously-motivated movements, compromise is a non-starter. These conservatives will hate the Pakistani government just as much at the end of the day, and worse, will also view it with contempt, because in that culture, compromising with an antagonist is viewed as a sign of weakness.

This model makes perfect sense to me.

Geo: if you're reading this, why don't you show a couple of links?

--R
 

Louie

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They were heroes, in my book.

It was the highest one-day death toll for Navy Special Warfare personnel since WW2, even worse than this one:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWAhVbayGv4]‪Hans Zimmer - Black Hawk Down (Main Theme)‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]

Respect, and RIP.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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But the whole nation building exercise has been billed as being some form of liberation for those who really are enslaved by a group of political-religious extremists. How much truth there is to this, I dunno. A dab of it somewhere, I might suppose.

The hell if it is I'm not so sure those people see their lot as enslavement, or if they want to be "liberated" or "enlightened" to begin with. Religionists can be a funny lot like that, and nobody likes outsiders telling them what to do under any circumstances. --R

Well, the Taliban are an off-shoot of conservative Sunni Islam. As such they broadly discriminate against women, and in ways even worse than the Wahabis in Saudi and Kuwait; for instance, the Taliban deny girls formal education, whereas in Saudi Arabia, women can receive university educations. The State Dept published a document that, while flawed ("Islam has a tradition of protecting the rights of women and children. In fact, Islam has specific provisions which define the rights of women in areas such as marriage, divorce, and property rights"), outlines some of the extremely harsh measures enacted by the Taliban.

And your point about willingness to suffer such odium is fair. I'm sure many of the women there chafe under what is essentially gender-apartheid, but I'm sure many others approve of it ... such is the insidious nature of social programming. Perhaps a variation on Stockholm Syndrome?

At any rate, whatever the issues are that may offend our own sensibilities, the fact is that if the people wish to live under Sharia'a then I don't see it being our business to tell them they cannot. As you point out, people will reject the most sensible propositions when those are foisted upon them with force. At this point, as much as I think Afghan women have got the shit-end of the stick, I regard my fellow GIs and their safe return as being more important than restructuring Afghan society, a task which would probably be better-handled by slow cultural osmosis, rather than PGMs.

eta: Also, you'll maybe find this article with the accompanying polls interesting.
 

Hamtone

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Hearts and minds at the core is good however it was poorly implemented. If any of you are interested, read up on the bananna wars. This is where the Marine Corps small war manual was developed. It wasnt until about 07 or so when they decided that this style would be more effective than just essentially doing move to contact or whatever the hell they were doing. The problem is they started getting their hands on changing tactics so very late whether it was because our eyes were on Iraq or just poor leadership.

Im sure there is some serious broken hearts in little creek and beyond, damn shame.
 

Hamtone

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I was just watching the news what a mixed bag on that bird. Clearly it was an extraction team. Navy eod, af pj's, and seals.
 

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