America has a new and, thankfully, living Medal of Honor winner -- Kyle White -- whose bravery is now part of the annals of military history. The battle for which White has been honored was "a textbook ambush," according to the USA Today account, "by an enemy that vastly outnumbered the Americans and their Afghan comrades." Six Americans were killed that day in 2007. The other eight were wounded.
USA Today recounts the incident:
Fourteen Americans and a squad of Afghan National Army soldiers were attacked while strung out single file along a narrow trail devoid of cover. Scores of Taliban fighters crouched on the opposite side of the valley or were concealed ahead down the trail or on the ridge above. They opened fire at 3:30 p.m. as the setting sun was in the soldiers' eyes. Many of the attackers were in shadows, all but invisible to the Americans.
The Taliban even videoed the action so they could turn it into a propaganda film. But the battle all but escaped notice in American media.
The battle became known as the Bella Ambush, named after the outpost where the soldiers were headed that afternoon. ...
What led them into this trap?
COIN -- bankrupt, fantasy-based "counterinsurgency" strategy, weaponized "universalism," devised and implemented by multi-degreed leaders from Marx-based PC-world where visions of utopia remain unclouded, unmarred even by the needless sacrifice of real soldiers.
It is fair to say the Bella COIN Ambush started several months earlier:
During the summer of 2007, the platoon was based at a distant outpost near the village of Aranas, high in the Hindu Kush mountains. In August, the paratroopers of 1st Platoon came under attack at their base by about 100 Taliban fighters who overran nearly half the fort.
Half the 22 Americans were wounded. The platoon commander, 1st Lt. Matthew Ferrara, earned a Silver Star after calling in an airstrike on top of his position, killing the Taliban commander leading the attack.
That outpost near Aranas was abandoned in October, but Ferrara wanted to reconnect with the elders in Aranas and led a patrol up from Bella the night of Nov. 8. ...
It was pure fantasy that led this young lieutenant to "reconnect with the elders" -- fantasy represented to him as reality by his own "elders," a.k.a, senior COIN commanders whose mission in Afghanistan, as defined by Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, was to win the "trust" of the Afghans. "Trust" was the name of the COIN game, more important than any terrain, and more elusive than any unicorn. Seriously -- trust? Based on what commonality? What shared vision of life on this earth, or in the next? None. Winning trust, then, would become a matter of cajoling, begging for it, offering bribes, submission.
Humanity is a multivarious thing. Cultures that stone women and kill apostates, according to their law, are not the same as cultures that, in fact, outlaw and punish such crimes. Cultures that believe heaven is an underage whore house are not the same as cultures that envision angels and pearly gates. The gulf between the two is beyond obvious -- and beyond "trust." Our leaders to this very day, however, hide or are blind to the chasm, which now swallows us up. The truth at this point is an abyss of their own making: thousands dead, billions wasted -- and trust of the American people gone numb or shattered.
Like others, Ferrara paid with his life for his leaders' deceptions and blunders.
He met with [the elders] Nov. 9 but grew suspicious that a Taliban attack might be forming and ordered his patrol to hike back toward Bella that afternoon. They were en route when the ambush occurred.
Ferrara, 24, a West Point graduate from Torrance, Calif., died carrying a list of what the elders wanted for the winter — fuel and blankets — tucked in his pocket, Ostlund says. Ferrara was posthumously promoted to captain.
And the strategists, the presidents, the Congress, answer for nothing.