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"Inside a U.S. Hostage Rescue Mission,"

from the Army Times. Thanks to Max Boot (Commentary's Contentions blog) for the pointer.

TerrencePhilip:
Wow, that is simply an amazing story. We get to hear very little about the work done by these units.
11.11.2008 10:10pm
Sagar:
read it on a mil blog yesterday; nice to see this get some play here. hopefully stories such as this will get out in MSM also.
11.11.2008 10:13pm
andrewpaterson (mail):
Wow. How cool. Great to read about it.
11.11.2008 10:54pm
Cynic (mail):
Beatiful, feel-good story indeed. Brings to mind "Wagging the Dog"
11.11.2008 11:17pm
Patrick McKenzie (mail):
>>
hopefully stories such as this will get out in MSM also.
>>

I imagine if they did you'd start to hear things like "They were just young men trying to earn some money in a war-torn country. The so-called kidnapper in the room with the so-called hostage, who had fed him every day and shown him pictures of his young daughter, was unarmed. Then he was cruelly executed with a bullet to the head while sleeping."

I'm glad our guys went in, got our guy out, and all the right people stayed safe. That said, I'm perfectly willing for the extent of our public recognition to be "Bad things happened to someone who kidnapped an American? *shrug* Tough world, ain't it."
11.12.2008 1:05am
Kevin P. (mail):
Great story. I wonder how many countless such stories have happened in the last few years that we never hear about.
11.12.2008 1:48am
therut (mail):
The MSM is a amazing failure. Has anyone heard anyting about IRAQ in the past year? How long will it take them to proclaim b/c of The ONE we are winning the war finally and deaths of our are very far apart and usually from things such as automobile accidents? Will they finally show footage on the nightly news of all the good things in Iraq? Anyone want to get a bet going on INTRADE?
11.12.2008 10:08am
AC:
Cynic:

Or "The Unit." Both written by David Mamet, incidentally.
11.12.2008 10:56am
Virginian:
Why isn't Chuck Norris (or whoever is today's, younger version --- please don't hurt me for calling you old, Chuck) making a movie based on this?
11.12.2008 12:55pm
Happyshooter:
NY Times Version Mode: "Evil US Forces, led by Bush, attack Islamic wedding groom and murder attendees to help a businessman save money."
11.12.2008 1:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
After the Senate Select Committe hearings on POWs and MIAs, a friend of mine--retired an O6--asked, rhetorically, how come Chuck Norris and Sly Stallone knew all this stuff twenty years ago [before then].
First, there are rumors floating around within the services. Then there are novels with action built around the rumors to make a good story.
Then the truth comes out.
Rumors were true and the novels weren't far off, either.
Pays to listen to rumors, I guess.
11.12.2008 1:29pm
David Warner:
Virginian,

"Why isn't Chuck Norris (or whoever is today's, younger version --- please don't hurt me for calling you old, Chuck) making a movie based on this?"

Chuck Norris is the younger version of Chuck Norris.

A movie like this one, maybe?
11.12.2008 1:55pm
eyesay:
It's a great story.

But this story provides zero support for the bizarre leaps of inference by some on this page that there is some kind of conspiracy on the part of U.S. media, either to be overly sympathetic to terrorists anywhere, or to minimize "success" in the war in Iraq.

Look, we all agree that casualties among U.S. and Iraqis are lower now than in the first couple of years of our involvement in The Great Bush Quagmire. So what? It was still a fool's errand; it was still the greatest blunder committed by the United States in the past 40 years, and possibly ever, and we're still there, hemorrhaging over $100 billion a year and tying up our forces so they are unavailable for deployment elsewhere.

If we hadn't invaded Iraq, we could have completed the project in Afghanistan (which started out so well, and which we largely abandoned). We invaded Iraq not for any valid provocation against the United States, because of lies about weapons of mass destruction and Bush-fomented citizen confusion over Iraq's responsibility over the attacks of September 11, 2001. Honi soit qui bon y pense.
11.12.2008 2:00pm
Virginian:
David Warner,

I was thinking more like this one.


Eyesay,

Maybe it was a blunder (although hardly the greatest blunder in the history of the US), but that does not explain why it was huge front page news when we were losing but is no longer front page news now that we are (arguably) winning. It also does not explain why we are not told about the incredibly heroic exploits of our military (although I concede that the military itself bears much of the blame for the lack of good publicity). Where are the Audie Murphy's of this war? It also does not explain why Hollywood insists on only making movies in which the US and/or the US military are the bad guys. I am amazed at how Hollywood puts politics above profits.
11.12.2008 2:18pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
eyesay.
If the MSM were still interested in Iraq, now that it's won (cue demands to define "won"), we'd hear about Iraq.
But we don't.
And we don't "all agree" because there has been about as little reporting on casualty rates--except for lack of reporting of casualty rates--as could well be imagined.
You might believe it's a matter of bleeds-leads, but it looks more like Bush bleeds--leads. Otherwise, nobody cares.
And the mission in Afghanistan is going to be supported by liberals only until and if it can be used to end the mission in Iraq. Once Iraq is no longer an issue, I fully expect Af to be a quagmire and an illegal war and something which should be abandoned with apologies instanter.
11.12.2008 2:18pm
Matthew in Austin:
Eyesay,

The "media siding for terrorists" meme derives mostly from the media's history of sympathy with Hamas over Israel in Palestine, and the "media minimizing Iraq success meme" comes from the difficulty in finding stories like the one in this post in the MSM compared to the ease of finding stories about successful terrorist attacks. I think both of those points have strong supporting arguments and should hardly be called bizarre, though I freely admit is frequently exaggerated.

The long-term success of Bush's Iraq adventure will be determined by historians, and will largely be dependent on whether the fledgling democracy survives or collapses. Pretending that the verdict is already in speaks more about your personal convictions than it does about the affairs on the ground in Iraq, and does little to help your argument.
11.12.2008 2:21pm
Virginian:
I have a great idea! The military should immediately classify all reports of heroism on the battlefields of Iraq and declare that the secrecy of these exploits is imperative to national security.

That will guarantee front page placement in the NYT.
11.12.2008 2:38pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Virg.
Especially if the national security issue is made the subject of anxious-sounding, pleading phone calls to whichever of the Sulzgergers is dumb enough to still be associated with that rag.
11.12.2008 2:48pm
Al Maviva:
will largely be dependent on whether the fledgling democracy survives or collapses

A question some would say is partially dependent on whether foreign support for the fledgling democracy continues, support that is in turn partly dependent on popular support in other democracies, which is partly dependent on the information reported to the voting public in those countries.
11.12.2008 2:49pm
eyesay:
Richard Aubrey: "And the mission in Afghanistan is going to be supported by liberals only until and if it can be used to end the mission in Iraq." How, then, do you explain that every single liberal in the U.S. House and Senate, except for one, voted for the mission in Afghanistan? That mission has overwhelming liberal support. It's the conservatives in the Bush administration, and their lackeys, not the liberals, who abandoned that project.
11.12.2008 4:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
eye
You can check youtube and liveleak. The mission is not abandoned. Still fighting going on there.
Problem is that the problem is different. Armor and artillery--useful initially in Iraq--are not much use in Afghanistan.
The tribal issue is more pronounced.
The commander wants more resources, and will get them, if Bush gets a third term.
But in no way was it "abandoned". That you said it was is...interesting and says a good deal about you.
However, I may have spoken without taking a recent election into account. If O wants to keep on in Af, he may get liberal support.
But if he does not, if he and his buddies want to throw away Iraq and Af, I expect the left will applaud him.
11.12.2008 4:57pm
eyesay:
Richard: I don't mean abandoned entirely. I just mean abandoned to a significant extent. And I believe that the facts bear that out. We invaded Afghanistan and overturned the Taliban regime. Suddenly, it was safe for men to shave their beards, girls started going to school again, and kite flying flourished. Then we largely withdrew, and we didn't secure our gains. You tell me: what portion of school-aged Afghan girls are in school? If we hadn't abandoned Afghanistan, we could have protected education for girls and got the rate close to 100%, giving a generation the opportunity for a better future.
11.12.2008 5:23pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
eye.
Withdrew? What were the force levels in 2003, say, and now?
Problem is, the Taliban is reorganizing. They got bounced out of their usual area--being in charge--and switched to insurgency.
As you know, since it's in all the lefty manuals, no government can protect every single piece of valuable property. The insurgents go after what remains. And the left can be counted on to proclaim the bombing of some minor government or civil society asset as proof the terrs are winning.
Goes back at least to the Thirties.
I keep referring to the Symbionese Liberation Army with a maximum membership of about a dozen. They sure as hell kept the Bay Area hopping, didn't they? And their end has supplied the left with another story of fascist atrocity. Win-win.
Now, I'm telling you this not because I think you don't know it. I'm telling you this because you obviously think I don't know it.
Now you can bother somebody else.
11.12.2008 7:11pm
eyesay:
Richard, I mix in liberal circles, and I don't recall anyone ever saying anything positive about the Symbionese Liberation Army, or anything but elation as its members were captured. I'm telling you this not because I think you don't know it. I'm telling you this because you obviously think I don't know it. Now you can bother somebody else, darling.
11.12.2008 8:06pm
eyesay:
Richard, you are correct that I demand to have a definition for "victory in Iraq" before I can agree that we "won." If by "victory" you mean "deposed Saddam Hussein" then we won. I would recognize "victory" by the existence of a stable, government where the electricity runs 24/7 like it did under Saddam Hussein, and where people can go for a walk in daylight, unarmed, and feel safe, and where a Sunni can walk in a Shi'ite neighborhood and a Shi'ite can walk in a Sunni neighborhood and nobody cares. It was like that under Saddam Hussein, and until we get back to the the status quo ante, the Iraqis are worse off, and I don't see how you can call making something worse a "victory."
11.12.2008 8:44pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
eye.
Now the folks in Iraq are concerned about car bombs. Beore, they were worried about being snatched by the secret police for recreational torture.
Markets are, according to various reports, "thrving" and "vibrant" as is the night life.
Such as it is in a dry country. Michael Yon has a series of pictures of a Christian church being reopened by the Muslim neighbors of the fled Christians.
I will admit that SH kept certain of the Muslims under control, or had them working their magic for him, and now that he's gone, we can see something of Iraqi/Muslim society. Hey. Maybe those people really are different from us. Killing Christians and all. Like in the West Bank.

I didn't say anybody liked the SLA, except the left was defending it. Angela Davis, linked to them just retired from a cushy job, after having supplied a gun for courtroom murder. "Guilty as sin, free as a bird", quoth David Horowitz, "what a country." And been a lefty speaker getting pretty good fees here and there.
And its end was a matter of fascist violence, just hear the left.

My original point, instead of wanting to see elephantine moves involving changing history the left finds inconvenient, is to point out that it doesn't take many people to make an organized, civilized, well-policed society look as if anarchy is just about to arrive. In the case of the SLA, about a dozen.

There are more than a dozen in Af.
11.12.2008 9:09pm
David Warner:
Matthew in Austin,

"Pretending that the verdict is already in speaks more about your personal convictions than it does about the affairs on the ground in Iraq, and does little to help your argument."

Lies! Lies, I tell you!

Only time can heal such wounds.
11.13.2008 3:25pm
TCO:
It's a great story, but we shouldn't try to get this in the news more. Operational advantage and surprise are worth more than pulci relations. anyone who knows much, knows that Delta and such do these kinds of things at times. we don't need to know about secret sub ops either. Or what codes NSA has broken.
11.15.2008 7:06pm