Sunday, October 29, 2006

Letters home

Captain Secher's emails home. MSNBC prints a deceased Marine Captain's emails to his family. The article honestly finds that the emails can't be spun. There are some journeys whose ends we don't know. Captain Secher lets us know what he was thinking up to the time when a sniper killed him. Here's an excerpt:

"Anytime an American fires a weapon there has to be an investigation into why there was an escalation of force. That wouldn't have stopped us from firing, but it prevents us from just firing indiscriminately. We have to have positively identified targets. That is why I am now a big fan of having the Iraqis with us. They can fire at whatever the hell they want, we call it the "Iraqi Death Blossom." These guys receive one shot and the whole unit fires at everything in sight until the attached American unit gets them to control their fire. That's fine with me."


Blogger Sparks fly said...

Of course it seems calculated to destroy the Republican's hold on congress.

But consider: that man died in an imperfect world fighting for desency and honor. He did not die in bed in an old folks home peeing his pants full of drugs not knowing where he was. I hope he was a christian and if he was I'll be seeing him and many others like him one day and it will be a delight to "live" with them forever.

And there will be no tears.

10/29/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

...and the whole unit fires at everything in sight ...

One has to wonder if there are instances where the Iraqi's firing at "everything in sight" turn around and start shooting at the Americans supporting them.

Although, to be fair, *all* of the things I have read written by soldiers there swear by their Iraqi comrades as totally trusted brothers. I'm just saying.

10/29/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

It appears to me that the term ""Iraqi Death Blossom" comes from that one-off Star Wars ripoff film of the 80's, "The Starfighter".

It refers to a tactic in where you enable the enemy to get within range and then spin around and shoot them all in about 30 sec. Dangerous to everyone but the guys doing the shooting.

Amazing what persists from the movies. When they captured Saddam the U.S forces were using callsigns taken from the film "Red Dawn."

10/30/2006 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I have been involved in two 'death blossoms' and I didn't like either one of them. With the Iraqis shooting everywhere our LT couldnt figure out where the real bad guys where firing from, so we were unable to advance and destroy.

The death blossom may have some defensive value, but the tactic sucks for offensive moves.

Actually, the blossom isn't really a 'tactic'. Its a result of unprofessional troops who put their own safety over the safety of the innocent bystanders who happen to be eating lunch nearby or sipping tea on their front porch.

10/30/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Nahncee: If your scenario had happened it would have been all over the MSM for days. The Vietnam war ended 30 years ago. Please remember to take all of your medicine every day.

10/30/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Smitten Eagle said...

One thing we don't have in these emails is context. We don't know the situation of the enemies or the locals when the Iraqis are shooting at everything in sight. Closer reading of his emails indicates that the locals know when an ambush or attack is imminant, thus the citizens evacuate the area and the attack happens. This leads me to believe that the bulk of the damage being done is being done to insurgents themselvs or to the local infrastructure (which is in disrepair).

I fought in Hit with the 22d MEU(SOC) in late 2005-early 2006. Here's a link to the 22d MEU(SOC) photo archive. Most of the good pics of Hit are going to be under the 1st Battalion, 2d Marines link in the archive.

Camp Hit is certainly not camp cupcake, but I've been in worse places. There's electricity and clean water. I don't remember Camp Hit as being constructed of wooden huts that the captain recalls...rather there's some Saddam-era barracks that the Marines stayed in. Who knows?!--maybe the barracks have been bulldozed for new construction. All said, Camp Hit isn't nearly the worst place I've served in combat (Afghanistan was much more austere).

10/30/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sparks fly said,"I hope he was a christian and if he was I'll be seeing him and many others like him one day and it will be a delight to "live" with them forever."

Why wait? Your Marine Recruiter can arrange for you to live with them today. Until you do, you don't qualify to 'live with them forever'.

Semper Fi

10/30/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...


and you know who I am?

Hey, life's a bitch, and then you die,...and go to hell or heaven.

Maybe you don't know who you are either.

And there is salvation in no one else. For there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. Acts: 4:12

I wish I could say Semper Fi but I was in another branch of the military and I don't remember any comparable slogan.

All the best.

10/30/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Robert Schwartz on Iraqis posing as allies then whacking Coalition soldiers:

Nahncee: If your scenario had happened it would have been all over the MSM for days. The Vietnam war ended 30 years ago. Please remember to take all of your medicine every day.

No, actually you need "meds" if you post ignorantly on an issue you are clearly unaware of.

The Brits concluded that Iraqi soldiers murdered two Brit officers then claimed they were killed in a firefight with insurgents - omitting of course they were in fact insurgents themselves.

A 5-man marine recon team was whacked by "Iraqi friendlies" near Haditha. They came out of their garrison and killed the 5 after getting close and opening up with machine guns. The squads commander made a fatal mistake in letting the Iraqi soldiers approach without taking a precautionary force protection position.

We have arrested Iraqi soldiers on US bases caught doing scouting and target ranging for insurgent mortar squads.

Raids have been tipped off if the Iraqi soldiers (or cops) are notified beforehand and not held incommunicado and monitored.

Appartantly, we also just discovered that several hundred thousand weapons the US bought and gave to the Iraqi Army are now missing and presumably in the hands of insurgents and militia.

And the police are even worse, leading the rampant kidnapping rings.

The milblogs show that many trust "their Iraqis" while not having a high regard for their fighting abilities and admitting without the US behind them, they would likely evaporate..And very concerned about the infiltration and "enemy within" problem involving "other" noble purple-fingered, freedom-loving, democracy-hungry Iraqis in uniform.

10/30/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Iraqi Death Blossom." ... man, I'm going to have to write that one down.

10/30/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Zawahiri Was Target in U.S. Attack on Religious School in Pakistan.

October 30, 2006 1:15 PM

Alexis Debat Reports:

Pakistan_rubble_zawahiri_nrAyman al Zawahiri was the target of a Predator missile attack this morning on a religious school in Pakistan, according to Pakistani intelligence sources.

ABC News has learned the raid was launched after U.S. intelligence received tips and examined Predator reconnaissance indicating that al Qaeda's No. 2 man may have been staying at the school, which is located in the Bajaur region near the village that is thought to be al Qaeda's winter headquarters.

Despite earlier reports that the missiles had been launched by Pakistani military helicopters, Pakistani intelligence sources now tell ABC News that the missiles were fired from a U.S. Predator drone plane.

Between two and five senior al Qaeda militants were killed in the attack, including the mastermind of the airliners plot in the U.K., according to Pakistani intelligence sources.

No word yet on whether or not Zawahiri was killed in the raid, but one Pakistani intelligence source did express doubt that Zawahiri would have been staying in a madrassa, which is an obvious target for strikes against militants. That source, however, did express confidence that Pakistani intelligence is closing in on Zawahiri's location.

One of the clerics who is believed to have been killed today, Maulana Liaquat, was one of the two main local leaders believed to be protecting Zawahiri.

Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News they believe they have "boxed" Zawahiri in a 40-square-mile area between the Khalozai Valley in Bajaur and the village of Pashat in Kunar, Afghanistan. They hope to capture or kill him in the next few months.

10/30/2006 12:14:00 PM  

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