Articles, Opinions & Views: Contd.....after the Americans withdrew......


 
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Nuffnang
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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

Photobucket
He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Contd.....after the Americans withdrew......
Friday, August 05, 2005
The World Food Program food runs were the responsibility of the WFP itself. The problem was, could the food convoys reach safely and intact to the places most needed ? The UN had a dilemma. UN contingents were tasked to escort the convoys through hostile and a very challenging terrain. The first time the Italians took over from the Americans, the convoy returned failing to deliver the food to Baidoa which was 230 kms from Mogadishu. Baidoa when the Americans first arrived for "Operation Restore Hope" was known as "Death City", where 1000 Somalis a day died. The Bangladeshis took over, some were killed, some were wounded, their weapons and vehicles captured. The convoy failed to deliver.

Baidoa proper was secured and held by Indian troops, the Indian 3rd Mechanized Infantry(formerly known as the 8th Gurkhas), who were equipped with BMP's and T72 tanks. The Indians due to political concerns back home did not operate in the city of Mogadishu. As the Pakistanis operated there. Due to this the Indians only operated in the rural areas. Giving security to the localities they occupied. Bringing peace and security to the villages around them. Both the Indian and Pakistani contingents were the largest of all the UN contingents.

After the Americans withdrew, the task of Quick Reaction Force fell to the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis were equipped with M48, M60 tanks, M113's, trucks, Cheverolet military pickups and Cobra attack helicopters, some handed over by the Americans. At that moment in time the Americans considered the Pakistanis as staunch allies. The Pakistanis were equipped to play that role in Mogadishu. I always used to wonder whether the Pakistanis would ever react if the Indians were to call for help. There was an incident where 7 Nepalese soldierrs were killed, who actually were screaming for help, the Pakistanis moved in to help about 5 hours later, only to recover their bodies !!! That's another story.

So we Malaysians were tasked to patrol the streets of Mogadishu to secure the main supply routes and maintain a very small quick reaction force to reinforce K4 a strategic location near the seaport, overlooking a roundabout commanded by Major Len Olivero (former Malaysian World Cup hockey player). His job was to keep the peace in a very challenging area, where all the many clan's militia fought for control over the area. Firefights were a daily affair. Rounds used to fly into places where the Rangers were, one night a rocket propelled grenade even burst through the wall. Miraculously it failed to explode.

Well, the task to escort the World Food program convoy fell to Bravo Company of 7th Mech. Major Christopher Joseph, my OC was seething as I was tasked to command the escort. He could not as the main force of Bravo company had to remain in Mogadishu.....contd.....
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:51 PM  
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