Monday, December 06, 2004

Was this Story Really Necessary?


Army Spun Tale Around Ill-Fated Mission

Just days after Pat Tillman died from friendly fire on a desolate ridge in southeastern Afghanistan (news - web sites), the U.S. Army Special Operations Command released a brief account of his last moments.

[ . . . ]

It was a stirring tale and fitting eulogy for the Army's most famous volunteer in the war on terrorism, a charismatic former pro football star whose reticence, courage and handsome beret-draped face captured for many Americans the best aspects of the country's post-Sept. 11 character.

It was also a distorted and incomplete narrative, according to dozens of internal Army documents obtained by The Washington Post that describe Tillman's death by fratricide after a chain of botched communications, a misguided order to divide his platoon over the objection of its leader and undisciplined firing by fellow Rangers.
[More . . . ]

No, I don't think they need to do a total whitewash, either. But I really have to question the point of this article. Is it the intention of the authors to show that Pat Tillman died unnecessarily? Is it their point to show that the Military is incompetent at times? Is it their point to show that the Army Lied and People Died?

I don't get this.

In 1945, there were similar calls for mass resignations and heads to roll following the fiasco that was Iwo Jima. We now consider it a great victory (Something like 1/2 of all Purple Hearts awarded in the entire history of the U.S.M.C. were awarded for action on that island)

I guess I just wonder what their standard for a perfect war is.
  • Total victory without firing a shot (The Sun Tzu Approach)?
  • Zero Casualties (The Quisling Approach)?
  • Only non-combat casualties (The Carter Approach)?
  • Only acceptable, clearly defined and anticipated casualties (The ISO 9000 approach)?
  • Only car accidents (The Ted Kennedy Approach)?

Methinks their standards are set differently then mine. Or anyone else who lives outside of I-495

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