Monday, December 11, 2023
Aug 29

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, August 29, 2010 6:14 AM 

A platoon leader named Blake Hall has written a moving tribute in the Washington Post to a young Iraqi interpreter named Roy killed in a 2008 blast. The story includes the following anecdote, emblematic of the stunted mindset responsible for what should be recognized someday as America's wars of terrible waste in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hall, recalling events of the "surge" year of 2007, writes:

My platoon was patrolling Dora 12 hours a day, taking turns with another, and we were always tired. I had lost 20 pounds in two months because I usually chose sleeping over eating when we returned to the base. On the roof, the scouts and I were looking at one another with half-closed, bloodshot eyes when the muezzin in the mosque began chanting in Arabic. His voice streamed from the speakers strapped to the top of the minaret and reverberated off the concrete buildings.

Unlike the call to prayer, there was no "Allahu akbar," no pause after each recital, just a stream of words that sounded angry but were otherwise unintelligible to me. I checked my watch. It was too early for the second prayer of the day.

Sgt. Lesner, a scout who carried a grenade launcher beneath his carbine, asked, "What's up with the guy in the mosque freestyling, sir?"

"I don't know." I clicked my radio and asked the team downstairs to send Roy to a window so he could hear.

His voice crackled over my handset: "This is not good, sir. The imam is telling the neighborhood to rise up against the Americans. He is calling the men to jihad."

What did Hall do?

I ordered the platoon to full security, sent scouts running to grab rockets and extra ammunition from the trucks, and told the scout team leader to get two marksmen ready to fire on the mosque's speakers. I then radioed headquarters and requested permission to fire. But shooting at a mosque, even one inciting the neighborhood to attack us, would be a public relations nightmare for the Army.

Permission was denied, so my men and I sat and listened to the enemy organize an attack.

Ultimately, the men repulsed the ensuing attack without US casualties.

But let's mull this "public relations nightmare for the Army" that trumped the platoon leader's plan to stop the call to jihad. Incredibly, to the US Army brass, it was better for the platoon to just sit there and allow the call to jihad against the platoon (being the nearest infidel target) raise and psych up the maximum number of  enemy forces than permit the platoon to stop the call to jihad by disabling the loudspeakers. Better to let the platoon take its chances, the Army believed, than risk a "public relations nightmare" by firing on mosque speakers broadcasting messages inciting local Iraqis to kill Americans.

Why? One obvious answer is the probable Al Jazeera response -- "Americans fire on mosque for no reason." But what else is new? And who fights a war paralyzed by the prospect enemy propaganda? (Don't answer that.) Why not have mounted our own pr campaign? Why not have started one against mosques inciting jihad to kill Americans?

Of course, a pr campiagn to stop the call to jihad would involve acknowleging the call to jihad -- not to mention acknowleging jihad, Islamic law and culture, dhimmitude, and a host of complicating factors the US has spent the past nine years avoiding in an array of see-no-Islam policy- and war-making. There's the Army's pr nightmare. But this chronic failure of nerve has resulted not only in fatally flawed strategic planning. It has showed our enemies that we are more afraid of the facts about the Islamic world than losing our own people, our materiel, our money, our prestige and power -- everything. No wonder any political talk of victory or success (or just plain silence about what it's all about) leaves nothing but hollow vibrations.

Of course, Hall and his men were lucky. They were only denied permission to disable a set of  loud-speakers at a local mosque. I heard a report out of Afghanistan from a field grade officer about a US  position, circa Bush administration, that was shelled 79 out of 100 days from an enemy position at a nearby mosque. Permission to call in an airstrike on the enemy position at the mosque was denied by Washington every time it was requested because the mosque was deemed a "cultural center."

Just sit there, boys, and respect Islam.

Sounds like Mayor Bloomberg's show-and-tell war on terror and tyranny in action.

<December 2023>
December, 2023
November, 2023
October, 2023
September, 2023
August, 2023
July, 2023
June, 2023
May, 2023
April, 2023
March, 2023
February, 2023
January, 2023
December, 2022
November, 2022
October, 2022
September, 2022
August, 2022
July, 2022
June, 2022
May, 2022
April, 2022
March, 2022
February, 2022
January, 2022
December, 2021
November, 2021
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West