Marine Sgt. Michael Brattole 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."Now, listen, before some of you on the Left decide that I've become anti-war-on-terror and some of you on the Right decide that I've gone soft on terrorism:
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.Bold type isn't enough to draw attention to this lunacy -- COIN lunacy. Let's try that again:
"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.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.
That's horsecrap. Much of Dar al Islam is making war on us, and we need to fight back. I have never had any objection to that.
Tear up Afghanistan from end to end because they wouldn't turn over Bin Laden? No problem on my end!
Tear up Iraq from end to end if you have credible information that Saddam Hussein has WMDs and is prepared to fork them over to terrorists for use against the US? (Yes, I know: all I'm going to say about it is that everyone I heard, including the ranking Democrats, had been saying precisely that about Iraq and Hussein for quite a while before Bush took action.) No problem on my end!
All I asked for in either event was that Congress do its job and declare war before doing either.
What I have objected to--objected to from the beginning of our sojourn in Iraq--is making war without a declaration of war--no, "authorizations to use force" do not count, the Constitution knows nothing of such an animal--and trying to make Islamic societies which, historically, top to bottom, do not care for or about such Western niceties as inalienable rights and representative government into Western-style representative republics. It won't work. It never had a chance. It was doomed from the start. If your approach to stopping Islamic terrorism is contingent on winning Islamists over to our way of thinking, you might as well bring the troops home and let them secure our borders.