Words from the front line: the bloody truth of Helmand

#1
Words from the front line: the bloody truth of Helmand – by a combat soldier

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/23/afghanistan-soldier-diary-helmand-taliban

No doubt having seen what an Officer had written, this chap decided to do the same. The difference being that the letter to the Indy did not give away information useful to the enemy.

While you obviously feel for seeing your mates getting smashed (who doesn't) you really should have engaged brain before putting this out.

Did you spare a thought for the guys still stuck out here who will be doing the drills and driving the vehicles you describe?

Think you're a big man? I think you're a cnut.

Thanks for nothing
 
#2
My my This guy has taken out 30 telaban and dropped a sniper at 500 yds.
Mind you still had time for A cup of English tea, a Top Draw English Cup of tea.
My arrse.
john
 
#3
I've been out so long that I have absolutely no concept as to how true this is. There is sufficient detail to ID this bloke and his diary would have carried more weight if I could trust the Grauniad to have made all the checks and confirm the outcome.
That said, if this is true and timely, it should be repeated in every form of media there is. Down to Notice Boards in village halls. It should be a hand out at WB events. It is not just the fatalities; the injury toll from IED-type attacks must be high. And then there is the PTSD that will trickle out over the next 8 to 10 years.
I understand the attitude that withdrawal would be a dishonour to the fallen and make their sacrifice worthless. I cannot see this; a hero or good man killed today will still be a hero or good man tomorrow regardless. With all respect, I have to use a financial adage - we are throwing good money after bad.
We are trying to sell democracy to a nation of warlords and tribes. I have the feeling that they will take all they can get in reorganising as we wish and then revert to their old ways. Iraq seems to be a model for this. The Brown & Milly Band conspiracy to scare civpop with talk of better to fight them there that in SE10 is rubbish. The AQ/Talib organisation is such that they can train, plot and deploy on attacks from any country with Islamic environment. The world appears unable to deal with Captain Birdseye off the coast of Somalia; what hope in dealing with AQ/Talib based in the wide open spaces there? We have seen the efficiency of terrorists operating from Indonesia so there could be another homeland.
If the Grauniad's Man in Helmand serves to expand the debate of stay/come out, it would be a good crusade.
 
#4
I know I have no knowledge of this but it sounds awfully made up. I mean there is every problem that has been in bad forces publicity in the past 5 years.
 
#5
Vaughany said:
I know I have no knowledge of this but it sounds awfully made up. I mean there is every problem that has been in bad forces publicity in the past 5 years.
Exactly. Still going on about SA80s- I don't recall too many blokes on this forum who have used the A2 on operations having much bad to say about it. The whole style of the piece just doesn't ring true for some reason. Of course I could be wrong...
 
#6
Not being funny, but this doesnt ring true. Maybe the guy is genuine, but the litany of "kit breaking" and the way that he seems to jump from FOB to Bastion doesnt seem right.

If he is genuine then I'm sorry, but I can't help but feel that the Guardian may have been duped here...
 
#7
jim30 said:
Not being funny, but this doesnt ring true. Maybe the guy is genuine, but the litany of "kit breaking" and the way that he seems to jump from FOB to Bastion doesnt seem right.

If he is genuine then I'm sorry, but I can't help but feel that the Guardian may have been duped here...
Seconded. It does read a little like a fairy tale.
 
#8
What do folks think of Michael Yon's dispatches?
 
#9
I believe that I know the author of this piece and have e mailed him to verify it. He is a genuine bloke and I wont go into the details of his service but lets just say he's done more than his fair share over 25 years.
 

Schaden

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Does sound a bit like something off the naafi - could it be possible that someone is playing an evul joke on some poor jurno?
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
#12
Vaughany said:
I know I have no knowledge of this but it sounds awfully made up.
IMO, it's not what he says but the way it is written that seems wrong. Has the text been changed for ease of reading (I would expect a statement to that effect) or was this written expecting publication rather than as a diary?

IMD
 
#14
Part of it rings true but bits seem a bit dubious, perhaps over exagerated for the press? Especially about the a2. From my tour I don't know anybody who had problems with the a2. Minimi had a lot of stoppages but as far as I was aware the a2 was fine.
 
#16
OldRedCap said:
I understand the attitude that withdrawal would be a dishonour to the fallen and make their sacrifice worthless. I cannot see this; a hero or good man killed today will still be a hero or good man tomorrow regardless. With all respect, I have to use a financial adage - we are throwing good money after bad.
We are trying to sell democracy to a nation of warlords and tribes. I have the feeling that they will take all they can get in reorganising as we wish and then revert to their old ways.
So what is your alternative? Allow Afghanistan to return to the pre 2001 status of haven for training terrorist savages to fly planes into skyscrapers and detonate bombs in the Tube? And what do we do then, when again the new barbarian rulers of Afghanistan refuse to turn over the planners of the atrocities, invade Afghanistan yet again? Maybe we'll just take the cheap and easy way the next time, and airburst a nuke over Kabul? Either we stay there and continue the fight, or we leave and we revisit 9/12/01 all over again in a few years.
 
#17
OldRedCap said:
So what is your alternative? Allow Afghanistan to return to the pre 2001 status of haven for training terrorist savages to fly planes into skyscrapers and detonate bombs in the Tube?
Ask yourself why 911 happened. You should watch Team America World Police - more than a grain of truth there.

The article style doesn't read right - too much stating the obvious. Unless it has been doctored before going into print?
 
#18
herr_flick said:
OldRedCap said:
So what is your alternative? Allow Afghanistan to return to the pre 2001 status of haven for training terrorist savages to fly planes into skyscrapers and detonate bombs in the Tube?
Ask yourself why 911 happened. You should watch Team America World Police - more than a grain of truth there.
Because some backwards savages don't like women who wear slacks, don't like cultures where women aren't stoned for showing their ankles, where women are given educations and health care, where music and dancing is allowed, and where books other than the Koran are read. And they want to force the rest of the world to live by their twisted little rules.

Wait, I'm supposed to respect the cultural sensitivities of these primitive screwheads?

Civilize 'em with a Krag, thank you.
 
#19
Yank_Lurker said:
herr_flick said:
OldRedCap said:
So what is your alternative? Allow Afghanistan to return to the pre 2001 status of haven for training terrorist savages to fly planes into skyscrapers and detonate bombs in the Tube?
Ask yourself why 911 happened. You should watch Team America World Police - more than a grain of truth there.
Because some backwards savages don't like women who wear slacks, don't like cultures where women aren't stoned for showing their ankles, where women are given educations and health care, where music and dancing is allowed, and where books other than the Koran are read. And they want to force the rest of the world to live by their twisted little rules.

Wait, I'm supposed to respect the cultural sensitivities of these primitive screwheads?

Civilize 'em with a Krag, thank you.
Haven't heard that one in a while! :)
 
#20
Yank_Lurker said:
Civilize 'em with a Krag, thank you.
Wikipedia is great:

The Krag-Jørgensen is a repeating bolt action rifle designed by the Norwegians Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jørgensen in the late 19th century. It was adopted as a standard arm by Denmark, the United States of America and Norway. About 300 were delivered to Boer forces of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, or ZAR.

A distinctive feature of the Krag-Jørgensen action was its magazine. While many other rifles of its era used an integral box magazine, the magazine of the Krag-Jørgensen was integral with the receiver (the part of the rifle that houses the operating parts), featuring an opening on the right hand side with a hinged cover. The cartridges were inserted through the side opening, and were pushed up, around, and into the action by a spring follower.

Today, the Krag-Jørgensen is a popular rifle among collectors, and is valued by shooters for its smooth action.
 
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