Change font size
It is currently Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:24 am


Forum lockedPost a reply Page 1 of 4   [ 59 posts ]
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Michael Yon / Pharmacy Road thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:26 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:11 am
Posts: 24869
Location: Bradford
The official version

Possibly stung by Michael Yon's trenchant report on the Battle for Pharmacy Road, the MoD has rushed out its own version of the operation, currently on its website.

View full article here

Blessed be the peacemaker

Re-reading Michael Yon's latest despatch for the umpteenth time, my own thinking hardens into a single question: why are we messing about? The heaviest piece of kit used in the entire operation to clear Pharmacy Road is an armoured JCB (pictured left) – with all the substance and presence of a Tonka toy. It is not even an HMEE.

View full article here

The battle for Pharmacy Road
We have written a great deal of the situation in Sangin, deploring the growing toll of casualties in that town, the brunt of which are being taken by the 2 Rifles Battlegroup under the command of Lt-Col Rob Thomson. Their headquarters are at Forward Observation Base (FOB) Jackson near the banks of the Helmand River just outside Sangin town, in the so-called "green zone", the lush area of vegetation fed by the river waters.

_________________
We are a satellite state of the Greater European Empire, ruled by a supreme government in Brussels. We owe this government neither loyalty nor obedience. It is not our government. It is theirs. It is our enemy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:28 am 
"And they would sooner have no message at all than allow someone else to tell the story in their own way."
Now where do they get this modus operandi from?


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:14 am 
RAENORTH wrote:
Their headquarters are at Forward Observation Base (FOB) Jackson near the banks of the Helmand River just outside Sangin town, in the so-called "green zone", the lush area of vegetation fed by the river waters.

View full article here

Just so you know for next time, iIt's a Forward Operating Base, not a a Forward Observation Base.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:17 am 
What fascinating reports Michael Yon puts together. Readable, well illustrated and presumably realistic about the situation and events.

His apparent feeling for and understanding of the local population adds colour to the narrative.

It's difficult to see how much of Afghanistan can be brought into the 21st century as we live it. The place seems to have little going for it in terms of desirable assets. Other than the economy of aid and poppy farming most of it seems to have little to offer the rest of the world and presumably that is why it has largely retained its underpinning ways of life and customs for so long. Generations of change after change likely mean that no one expects the next change, good or bad, to be permanent. To survive requires people to adapt to what is current and that's what they do, no matter what 'current' may hold. We all do that but the extremes in Afghanistan probably mean that no one tries to hang on to a dream of civilised stability - whatever that means to them.

100 years sounds about right for a re-assessment check point.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:50 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:11 am
Posts: 24869
Location: Bradford
Luke5 wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
Their headquarters are at Forward Observation Base (FOB) Jackson near the banks of the Helmand River just outside Sangin town, in the so-called "green zone", the lush area of vegetation fed by the river waters.

View full article here

Just so you know for next time, iIt's a Forward Operating Base, not a a Forward Observation Base.


Thanks ... I'll do a silent edit. It's important to get these things right.

_________________
We are a satellite state of the Greater European Empire, ruled by a supreme government in Brussels. We owe this government neither loyalty nor obedience. It is not our government. It is theirs. It is our enemy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:21 am 
In my view, far too few people are expressing support for the UK military direct to the top. You can communicate with your MP, on holiday or not, through the Parliament website http://www.parliament.uk or direct. For most of them the format of their address is lastnameinitial@parliament.uk. If you're not sure who your MP is you can put your postcode into the Parliament website and it will confirm.

The Secretary of Defence's Parliamentary email address is ainsworthr@parliament.uk
His Special Adviser is alaina.macdonald205@mod.uk
His Parliamentary Private Secretary is ericjoycemp@parlaiment.uk


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:22 am 
Other useful email addresses for making your views known

The Secretary of State for Defence's principal civil servant is on defencesecretary@mod.uk
The Minister for the Armed Forces (No2 in the MoD) is minaf-privateoffice@mod.uk


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:38 pm 
It's not often I agree with what you write, but the last couple of posts I wholeheartedly do agree with. All members of RC(S) should be looked after as equals, no matter what country they come from. I also think that the MoD decision to end Michael Yon's embed is misguided and unwise. Whether it was scheduled to end now, or if it has been ended early is unclear, but none the less it is a great shame.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:06 pm 
"Just so you know for next time, iIt's a Forward Operating Base, not a a Forward Observation Base."

I'm sure we are all grateful to Mr Luke5, one of the accuracy jihadists, for his correction. Shame he didn't parse his own work in his rush. What is even more of a shame is that there was apparently nothing, nothing at all, in Michael Yon's dispatch that Mr Luke5 thought worthy of mention, or at least more worthy than his own brainless, anally-retentive nit-picking.

The sight of our soldiers living like animals, in fact worse, at least animals get straw to bed down on rather than bare concrete, with the added spice of playing daily Taliban Hopscotch with the latest crop of IED's, does not apparently stir Mr Luke5's ire as much as the difference between "operating" and "observation". No doubt he thinks this is what the silly bastards signed on for, this is what they get paid the big bucks to do. And, hey, after all, who really gives a shit?

I wonder how representative Mr Luke5's sense of responsibility towards our troops actually is? Is he Mister Average? Does the phrase "Military Covenant" have any meaning for him? Perhaps he feels that Mr Yon being silenced by the professional sophists at MOD is not a bad thing, even though "misguided and unwise"; after all, out of sight is out of mind, eh?


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:28 pm 
@Petunia

I'm not sure if I've ever seen someone mis-judge the tone of a post so spectacularly. As far as I could tell he pointed out a minor error without a hint of smugness and Richard promptly edited for accuracy's sake. What was the problem with that?

Whilst I agree with your sentiments in general, the hysterical nature of your reply is embarrassing at best.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:22 pm 
Petunia, please just take a step back from your rather hysterical response and look at the situation. When soldiers sign on and go on operations, we do not expect 5* accommodation on ops. We are fighting a war in Helmand, and thus the soldiers operate as such. The pictures in Michael Yon's dispatch show troops out on the ground snatching a few minutes sleep whenever they can-infantrymen do not know when they will next be able to sleep, and sleep whenever and wherever they can. I have slept in far worse places than a concrete floor on exercises and operations. The patrol bases ARE the front line, and so conditions are spartan, but that is what is to be expected in a war like this.

As to accuracy, well accuracy matters. Give one number wrong in a coordinate and you end up in the wrong location, or a fire mission goes into the wrong location. Fail to be accurate in copying a postcode, your letter ends up in the wrong place. Enter a wrong number into an account, the account doesn't add up. Enter one number wrong on a pin code, your credit card doesn't work. I hope you can see why accuracy is important, and when on operations, lives can depend on it, and whilst lives do not depend on the the difference between a Forward Observation Base and a Forward Operations Base, small things do matter.

As for your comments regarding soldiers being 'silly bastards', well I think your view is very wrong, but you are entitled to your opinion, and I doubt you will change that whatever I say, so I will hold fire on that.

Luke5.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:36 pm 
"I'm not sure if I've ever seen someone mis-judge the tone of a post so spectacularly. As far as I could tell he pointed out a minor error without a hint of smugness and Richard promptly edited for accuracy's sake. What was the problem with that?"

The problem, Mr Fedup, lies in the sense of relative importance.

There was plenty in Mr Yon's dispatch to comment on, for those with sufficient interest to do so. The fact that Sangin Market is the Taliban weapons bazaar and ATM, with fertiliser provided by British taxpayers being freely available to the Taliban ANFO bombmakers to kill our own troops. The strategic error in ignoring the effect of the drugs trade. The news that an RPG was recently fired at a helicopter as it lifted out of PB Wishtan, how long before the Taliban claim their third helicopter? The fact that the most valued CAS is provided by the Americans and not by our own Harriers. Do the Harriers even have downlink capability? The effectiveness or otherwise of the ANF. The news that 2 Rifles are also protecting Kajaki Dam, are completely surrounded by Taliban, and are attacked every day. The squalid living conditions endured by our troops. The poor food. The fact that, in Sangin, the Taliban have sufficient freedom of movement that they wander around planting IED's by DAY.

But surely, Mr Fedup, the most important message conveyed by Mr Yon's dispatch is just how totally pointless our presence in Sangin really is. We have now been there for THREE YEARS!!! Three years of continuous military occupation and our two bases in Sangin and that at the Kajaki Dam remain isolated outposts, relying on helicopter resupply, surrounded by Taliban and under constant attack. What do we have to show for three years hard graft? What is it we are supposed to be achieving? Why have all those lives been wasted? And why are still more being placed at risk? This, perhaps, was the main message that Mr Yon intended to convey and that MOD found so unpalatable.

It is abundantly clear that we lack the manpower and the equipment to do more and that the only sensible course is either to vastly increase our presence and commitment or withdraw. Our government, and I use the term loosely, will do neither. The relevant Cabinet committee, meeting last Friday, again agreed to reject calls for more troops.

None of this is, of course, as important as pointing out the difference between operating and observation. Mr Luke5 should take himself off to Sangin, let him try his nit-picking with the lads getting blown to pieces, they'll love him nearly as much as I do.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:44 pm 
Petunia wrote:
" Mr Luke5 should take himself off to Sangin,

Been there, done that. When I go on ops, I don't expect the Hilton or gourmet food. By the way, Harriers left Afghanistan around a month ago and Tornado now provides the British contribution towards CAS, which is pooled across all coalition nations to provide troops in contact with the quickest possible access to CAS. With regards to the fertilizer, take it away, and at a stroke you take away the livelihoods of every farmer in the area, causing them to turn to the Taliban, and you have yourself an even greater problem.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Peacemaker / Michael Yon / The battle ...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:45 pm 
Forgot to say that the post above is from Luke5


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Michael Yon / The battle for Pharmacy Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:11 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:11 am
Posts: 24869
Location: Bradford
Guest wrote:
Petunia wrote:
" Mr Luke5 should take himself off to Sangin,

Been there, done that. When I go on ops, I don't expect the Hilton or gourmet food. By the way, Harriers left Afghanistan around a month ago and Tornado now provides the British contribution towards CAS, which is pooled across all coalition nations to provide troops in contact with the quickest possible access to CAS. With regards to the fertilizer, take it away, and at a stroke you take away the livelihoods of every farmer in the area, causing them to turn to the Taliban, and you have yourself an even greater problem.


Yes, but there are technical measures which can be used to prevent fertilizer being turned into explosives ...

http://agriportal.info/Menu/Urea%20Safety.aspx

_________________
We are a satellite state of the Greater European Empire, ruled by a supreme government in Brussels. We owe this government neither loyalty nor obedience. It is not our government. It is theirs. It is our enemy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum lockedPost a reply Page 1 of 4   [ 59 posts ]
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
610nm Style by Daniel St. Jules of Gamexe.net