'After waiting for so long, the sniper team decided to try something new to flush out their targets. Rue — a smallish, slight military brat with a clean-shaven head and world-weary brown eyes — whispered into his radio to his headquarters, about a mile away.
Bring some helicopters overhead, he said, and make a low pass. The guys over the compound wall might start shooting at the helos. And then we’ll have proof of their hostile intent. The helicopters — already circling over another group of Marines engaged in a firefight — began to swoop in towards the snipers’ position. They made their pass.
But the men on the other side of the wall didn’t take the bait. If they had guns, they didn’t bother shooting them at the Cobra gunship and the Huey attack chopper.
Staff Sgt. Doug Webb was getting sick of waiting. The tattooed, twitchy Long Island, New York, native wanted to figure out if these guys were Taliban or not. Right now.'
Some superb down-in-the-dirt reporting from Afghanistan. Britain has tens of thousands of young men and women in Afghanistan, experiencing similar sorts of action on a day-by-day basis. So I thought I would try to find similar reporting to this on the BBC website. I have spent the last hour trying to find even one.
There are lots of stories about how corrupt and useless the recent Afghan elections were. There are lots very short stories, saying one or two or three of our soldiers have been killed, and giving their names, ranks and serial numbers. There are a few stories about Gordon Browns visit to Afghanistan, and his promise to send more troops. There are lots of stories about know-nothing idiots in Britain complaining that the troops in Afghanistan don't have the right equipment- how they can tell from 8,000 miles away is a real poser. There are a few 'what I did on my very brief trip to Afghanistan' correspondent yawnathons.
But I could not find a single example of the Up-on-the-front-line reporting I quoted above. Not a single one. There are no stories about our troops smashing the taliban, getting stuck in and fighting- i.e. what they are in Afghanistan to do. None.
That is disgusting. Remember, three point two billion pounds each and every year. To sit around on their metrosexual thigh bones. Does the BBC care at all about our soldiers, marines, airmen? I mean, one little bit?
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
"I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
Tommy, by Rudyard Kipling