26 May 2009


On only one other occasion since starting this commentary has a story so compelling come my way that I felt it my duty to immediately pass it along. I ask readers to do likewise. Thank you, Tom, for sending it to me. America needs to hear these stories—if mainstream media won’t do it then let the power of the Internet be the messenger. Take a few minutes to read Peter Bronson’s account of Marines ambushed and under fire in Afghanistan. The Marines were not necessarily looking for a fight (well, okay, they probably were) but they damn well finished it. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph. Pass the word. Semper Fidelis, Andy

Outnumbered 8-1: 'A good day for the Corps'
By Peter Bronson

"Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs and machine gun fire. One of our humvees was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast."

That's not from an episode of The Unit or 24. It's not from an anti-war movie. It's not from any newspaper or TV news reports I could find. The quote comes from a "designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified." He was reporting what happened recently in the city of Shewan, Afghanistan. The story was told in a Marine Corps News report by Cpl. James M. Mercure. "The day started out with a 10-km patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat," the marksman said. Mercure reported, "Shewan had been a thorn in the side of TF 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regt, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground TF Afghanistan, throughout the Marines' deployment here in support of OEF, because it controls an important supply route into the Bala Baluk district. Opening the route was key to continuing combat ops in the area."

"The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense 8-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon Sgt personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions, while the plt fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site."'

"The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they're given the opportunity to fight,'" the sniper said. '"A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong."'

"During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a co.-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the 8-hour battle for Shewan, in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more, impressive was the fact that he didn't miss any shots, despite the enemies' rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position." '"I was in my own little world,"' the young corporal said. '"I wasn't even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target."' "After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies' spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more."

I didn't realize how many bad guys there were until we had broken through the enemies' lines and forced them to retreat. It was roughly 250 insurgents against 30 of us,"' the corporal said. '"It was a good day for the Marine Corps. We killed a lot of bad guys, and none of our guys were seriously injured."

Such an amazing story of heroism and victory would have been on Page One in every paper in the country during World War II. Just 30 Marines giving 8 hours of hell to 250 insurgents, is the kind of story that would make a good movie - if that kind of movie still could be made. But these days, it did not even make Page 10. I couldn't find a story about it anywhere. The only mentions were on conservative blogs and military Web sites. The soldiers who are fighting for their lives and our country might as well be in another dimension. News from the battlefronts in Iraq and Afghanistan is apparently not important. It reminds the jaded anti-war crowd that they were wrong. We're winning. It reminds a self-centered nation that some Americans are making sacrifices much bigger than a loss in their 401(k)s. So we don't hear about it. But we need to hear news like that, because a good day for the Marine Corps is a good day for freedom. And that's a good day for America.


Anonymous said...

It's not that these news stories are not important, they are being deliberately surpressed by the media from the NY Times down. It's like a sporting event where the radio announcer only tells you when the visiting team makes a touchdown or a tackle. The gains on the hometeam are not spoken. Would we put up with this at a sporting event? Certainly not, but no one seems to shout fowl at the media when they do it.It is our brave men and women who are being slighted. Liberalism seems to be a mental disorder where even half truths are acceptable.

Signed, In America since 1587. said...

Why don't we try rewriting this... 25 of King George's men have managed to hold off an onslaught of 250 American militia men, killing a at least 20 young men and boys who are doing nothing more than to try to protect their homes from the depredations of a foreign colonial empire. George's men accomplished this slaughter with the best high-tech arms that money can buy, while the militia men are largely armed with stolen weaponry and guns designed for shooting food. Meanwhile back home, people in England are losing their homes due to an economy that is failing largely because of the cost of this foreign war of aggression. Is it surprising that the reporters at the Times, being advocates of the liberal Enlightenment philosophy (of the American radical terrorists, such as Jefferson, Paine and Franklin), as opposed to supporting the conservative feudal Monarchy, would chose to ignore such an horrific and unfair slaughter? It is hardly surprising at all, since it would doubtlessly bring down howls of anti-patriotism upon their publisher's head? Some might even call them crazy, or claim that such individualistic, democratic thinking is a sign of mental disease. Terrorist, Freedom Fighter, Rebel, Loyalist, these are all loaded words that mean nothing except within the context of an archaic system of tribalism -- one that we should have long outgrown. Bring those boys home now. America can do better than to become the imperial tyrant from which she once freed herself.

Anonymous said...

IS this person serious?? To compare the struggle to bring freedom to the people of Afghanistan to the struggle to free our own people from the tyranical reign of the English? If you really feel this way then you need to find another place to live.

Anonymous said...

What is this anti US military dirtbag "signed in american since 1857" doing on a Marine Corps centric website? Grit I realize your's is a democratic forum but this losers comments should be jettisoned ASAP,or transferred to the NY Times or LA times for front page commentary

Octavio said...


Anonymous said...

To this "signed, In America since 1587, " ....

As a former Marine Corps Sergeant and member of the original 2001 Marine Corps push into Afghanistan that has since used the benefits that I earned as a Marine to gain a 4 year degree and get accepted into Medical School and continue to give back to the great country that I have served and that continues to serve me for my sacrifices........with a great amount of Enlisted Marine candor and motivation.......

F#*$ YOU!!!

I'm sure you can fill in the appropriate letter seeing as how your a rocket scientist and all.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Corporal was recognized for his bravery. Though the world at large may not recognize moments of greatness, we, his peers surely should!