after reading ridiculous, made up story of british SAS, hiding under alias “Andy McNab”, trying to tell his version of Rambo&Commando-style fictious account of Iraq operation i couldn’t find story that was so exaggerated and made-up. in reality, his total ineffectual commanding style and bravado led to death one of his own team members, and injuries as well as captivity for rest of them. that was independently verified by Michael Asher and Peter Ratcliffe.
american special forces don’t have good press recently. and just to be clear - i’m full of awe for professionalism and sacrifice all soldiers make for their country. it may be questionable if US engages for right reasons around the world, trying to be sheriff - there are multiple accounts available right now that uncovered in details how lunatic lobby of militarist, like Donald Rumsfeld, both Bushes and others invented WMD to invade Iraq. however, i consider military personnel as professionals doing their job - and they indeed sometimes pull wonders for people in invaded countries.
epic story of Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart - heros that run to save helo crew of downed UH-60 Blackhawk (call-sign Super-Six Four) is exemplary. those guys gave their own life just to do what they’re supposed to be doing - protecting their own service members. they knew the odds and despite that choose to take a chance of saving helo crew. Mike Durant, pilot of downed helo spent some time in captivity and the story is portrayed in (again, unfortunately highly exaggerated and falsified) movie Black Hawk Down. they were awarded posthumously Medal of Honor.
but, it seems more such stories simply don’t survive reality check.
i had an opportunity to read two books about Takur Ghar skirmish, opening part of Anaconda campaign which itself was part of operation Red Wings. Navy Seal PO Neil Roberts died valiantly there on top of the mountain.
according to those two book accounts, Roberts fell out of helo as it received fire from the ground. his team and helo crew noticed he’s gone only after they were already going down the mountain, looking for place to land stricken bird. Roberts then proceeded to fight for 6 to 8 hours (depending on the version) alone, in the snow, against groups of Talibs & Chechen mercenaries assaulting his position. he first uses his primary weapon (SAW machine gun), then his personal weapon (Beretta 9) and then weapons of killed enemies. unfortunately, they finally overrun him and then execute point-blank. with recently available video feed from PQ-1 Predator, it seems that the whole fight lasted “only” couple of minutes. he died as true warrior and story told right from the start in true to the facts way wouldn’t diminish in any way his bravery and the courage with which he took fight to his enemies while alone. he was true to creed of his unit and why falsify the records about it? whole Takur Ghar was full of heroes showing their best.
there’s second story about the same operation - four Navy SEALs were dropped with capture or kill mission behind enemy lines. according to the only team member that lived through that - Marcus Lutrell - they first had to make a hard moral decision (they were uncovered by small local boy). this itself doesn’t hold too much ground (democratic discussion in the team, instead of group leader decision) and said decision is to let him go free (again, unrealistic given top secrecy of mission). team is shortly compromised, and Marcus describes in his book how they fought outnumbered against hundreds of Talib warriors, killing tens if not hundreds of them (initially he claimed over one hundred). the story is exactly as it should sound - heroic and showing skill of american warriors against unskilled 3rd world amateurs. i started to dig for more accounts available about this encounter. and immediately some of the things started to get really stinky. Lutrell himself on official debrief said that his team was attacked only by a group that was “maybe 10 or 15 people strong”. his team once compromised, started to return fire and try to flee (which makes sense). nowhere however there’s account of hundreds of fighters storming their position and them killing them by tens using single well-aimed shots. we still don’t know a lot about the fight, despite the fact that Talibs actually shared recordings of the fight taken from killed SEALs - and they sound indeed very professional until the very end. unfortunately, Marcus totally falsified public account of his own achievements, and while he lived in friendly Afghan village until the moment he was rescued, i haven’t seen him going on to record to correct his false claims from the book. there’s another hollywood movie about the story and it’s even much worse and pathetic than the book.
and today i’ve read this article. another story so carefully crafted and told thousand of times seems to be off in details. and again, there’s movie about it where Navy SEALs snipers are portrayed as true professionals, where in reality, they simply shoot until nothing was moving… oh why…
again, why so? people that went through legendary BUDS training don’t need to falsify their stories. people give their lifes protecting ideals they truly believe. why dimish their heroic feats by lying in public just to look a bit better?
there’s great quote by George Orwell - “We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us”. if anything - that should describe best people to which qualities and truthfulness we shall never doubt.
i’d like to thank all people that did, are and will be protecting us against any threats. we really admire you. please don’t do anything that would change that.