No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me round
--Highway to Hell, AC/DC
Here's to remembering the events of 9-11-01, the beginning of the United State's Stalingrad.
To mark the 11-year anniversary, Daniel Politi at Slate ran the following: "Report: Bush Ignored Many Al-Qaida Warnings". Say it ain't so, Daniel.
And below is a selection from "The Special Forces Guide to Escape and Evasion" (subtitled: "The SF Guy's Guidebook to Love".) That's a little levity on a day for which there is not much reason to be light. It is from a section entitled, "Bravo Two Zero", about an SAS road watch patrol code named "B20" and their insertion in Iraq in 1991.
Ranger likes this bit because it shows how it is supposed to be done:
"When the NCO commanding Road Watch South landed, he did not release the helicopter before he had assessed the terrain. This was open and flat and in the words of one trooper, the patrol would have been 'as obvious as a turd on a billiard table.' The NCO and patrol decided that without vehicles it was a futile operation and were wisely withdrawn back to Saudi Arabia, for subsequent redeployment (60)."
Not only did the NCO do an aerial visual reconnaissance, he did not release the aircraft until he was satisfied he was in the right place and could continue his mission. After a ground reconnaissance he deemed it a "futile mission" and so aborted it.
Unfortunately, Road Watch North -- in a similar exposed location -- did not abort. They went in low on equipment, expecting to be self-sufficient for 14 days, a formula for disaster, which is exactly what they met with. Only one man, Corporal Ryan, survived.
Sometimes, quitting the mission is the correct move. Today, it does not seem they will ever not continue the mission, come hell or high water.