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Nov 20

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, November 20, 2010 5:36 AM 

Marine Sgt. Michael Brattole (above) has been evacuated from Afghanistan to be treated in a US military hospital for extensive wounds suffered when a fragmentation grenade, which disperses "notched wire and ball bearings," ripped through his chest while he was leading a patrol earlier this month. He has already had open heart surgery "to remove shrapnel."

What was Brattole, 22, doing when he was so grievously wounded? Military officials aren't saying much, but a photographer who had been embedded with the Marine's unit last month made his overall mission pretty clear to the NJ.com. Brattole and his men had been ordered to find and domesticate a herd of unicorns.

In Afghanistan, Brattole led troops on patrol in Marjah in Helmand Province and tried to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, according to Cali Bagby, a journalist who was embedded last month with Brattole’s unit, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

"There’s a lot of mud buildings spread out, but it’s extremely impoverished. A lot of areas are just desert," Bagby said. "It’s a very depressing landscape, and they’re trying to get the local people to stand up (to the Taliban)."

Bagby recalled Brattole’s regiment enduring temperatures of 120 degrees in the summer and 100 degrees as late as September.

On one mission, the soldiers tried to find a tribal elder to offer their support. They walked all day and climbed walls each carrying 90 pounds of gear, but couldn’t find the man.

Bold type isn't enough to draw attention to this lunacy -- COIN lunacy. Let's try that again:

On one mission, the soldiers tried to find a tribal elder to offer their support. They walked all day and climbed walls each carrying 90 pounds of gear, but couldn’t find the man.

My dream Congressional House Armed Services Committee hearing: I want to know who conceived of this find-a-unicorn program, who ordered the mission, whether anyone, anyone at all, expressed any doubt whatsoever that such a man existed, or if he existed was worth finding because the whole hearts-and-minds racket was nothing but a utopian mirage, not a battle plan, and whether this particular theoretical heart and mind out there was worth potentially losing one of our own.

The news report continued:

The mission could be described by the same word that Brattole’s family uses for him: tough.

Brattole is tough. This mission is insane. Come home, America.

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