The single largest incident of US soldier deaths in the decade-long Afghan War came today when Taliban forces shot down a Chinook helicopter in Wardak Province, killing all 38 people abroad, including 30 US soldiers, an interpreter and seven Afghan soldiers.
NATO’s official statement on the matter, three sentences long, confirmed only that the helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan and that there was “enemy activity in the area.” The grim details, as so often is the case in NATO’s statements, are obscured.
But the Associated Press is reporting that not only were there 31 US soldiers slain in the attack, but that 22 of them were Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six, which shot into headlines earlier this year in the assassination of Osama bin Laden. This makes the downing of the helicopter not only the deadliest incident for US troops in the Afghan War, but the deadliest incident for the SEAL team in any war.
The Taliban were quick to claim responsibility for the downing, and reported shooting it down with an anti-aircraft rocket. US officials said that the attack was apparently immediately after takeoff, when the helicopter was most vulnerable. This could be a significant change on the ground for the war, as by and large the insurgency has been using large-caliber machine guns for anti-aircraft weaponry, and not particularly successfully.
It has also been revealed that the helicopter was taking the troops to reinforce a position where troops were pinned down by insurgents nearby. This may raise questions of whether or not the helicopter was the real target and if the Taliban knew that the SEALs would likely be on board in this situation.
Inevitably this will spark questions not only of whether or not the use of rocketry will grow in Afghanistan, but where exactly these anti-aircraft rockets are coming from (though some are speculating that it could’ve been a simple rocket-propelled grenade and not an anti-aircraft missile, given the timing of the strike). The US had been providing the insurgency with shoulder-launched missiles for this sort of thing during the Soviet occupation, but it was assumed that those had all long since been used. This could mean the insurgents have found a source in Pakistan or elsewhere for smuggling in new rockets, potentially adding to tensions about the porous border between the two nations.
39 thoughts on “US Helicopter Shot Down in Afghanistan, 38 Dead”
They were set up. No Bin Laden killing took place this year. This was to get rid of witnesses that knew the truth. Too much of a coincidence.
I should like to laugh at this as an absurdity. Got this pain in the stomach instead.
It's funny how they were freedom fighters when they were trying to stop the Soviets from taking over their country but now they're insurgents or terrorists when they try and stop the Americans from taking over their country.
Poetic justice, women and children killers get what is due.
Live by the sword, die by the sword.
funny i was just going to post that!…
Just what I was about to say. I'd love to see the look on all the one's that were partying it up like it was '99 when they shot OBL. End of the War on Terror? Hardly. This might have had a different turnout had they done what they said this whole sorry thing was meant for and brought him back alive to face trial. And so the circle of violence continues.
Osama was long dead and they simply did not want to show his bones. A likely story that he was buried in the Ocean because of religious observance as if US has ever cared about any opponent'sreligion or culture.
manpads (ie. stingers,blowpipes, strelas and similar) are needed to expell unjustified invasions from freemasonry all over.- Americans are dying for fightning wars that sink America into poverty and unjustice.- On one hand Media blows the horn for freedom and democracy, on the other hand supports misery spreading all over for the benefit of jewish bankers, are americans aware that they are fighting for the same people that are leaving them without jobs, houses, medicare and retirement and in total despair? You supposedly american supporting Israel are the main cause of
the irrational thinking that´s taking the american middle class to the bottom of the ocean with freemasons at the helm of the ship.-
They were soldiers. How many civilians did they kill before they died?
US Special Forces are all supreme killers and this loss is equivalent to the death of 310 regular troops. A ten to one factor in their ability to compete in hand-to-hand combat, for they are all college grade athletes, high achievers of the intelligent middle-class and in civilian life will go on to be middle managers, with some destined to be upper management executives in large corporations.
Thirty one upper-class men, college degreed or working toward it, brought low by one lowly field hand would you believe it, one most likely illiterate.
Oh, well, if they hadn't been invading and occupying a foreign country that would have never happened to them.
The families of the slain SEALs might comfort themselves with a line from a poem by Horace: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." But, being Americans, they wouldn't have the foggiest notion who Horace was or what this line means. Instead, they'll probably file a lawsuit against someone.
Another take on "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."
DULCE ET DECORUM EST(1)
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares(2) we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest(3) began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots(4)
Of tired, outstripped(5) Five-Nines(6) that dropped behind.
Gas!(7) Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets(8) just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime(9) . . .
Dim, through the misty panes(10) and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,(11) choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud(12)
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest(13)
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.(15)
8 October 1917 – March, 1918
Notes on Dulce et Decorum Est
1. DULCE ET DECORUM EST – the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean "It is sweet and right." The full saying ends the poem: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country.
2. Flares – rockets which were sent up to burn with a brilliant glare to light up men and other targets in the area between the front lines (See illustration, page 118 of Out in the Dark.)
3. Distant rest – a camp away from the front line where exhausted soldiers might rest for a few days, or longer
4. Hoots – the noise made by the shells rushing through the air
5. Outstripped – outpaced, the soldiers have struggled beyond the reach of these shells which are now falling behind them as they struggle away from the scene of battle
6. Five-Nines – 5.9 calibre explosive shells
7. Gas! – poison gas. From the symptoms it would appear to be chlorine or phosgene gas. The filling of the lungs with fluid had the same effects as when a person drowned
8. Helmets – the early name for gas masks
9. Lime – a white chalky substance which can burn live tissue
10. Panes – the glass in the eyepieces of the gas masks
11. Guttering – Owen probably meant flickering out like a candle or gurgling like water draining down a gutter, referring to the sounds in the throat of the choking man, or it might be a sound partly like stuttering and partly like gurgling
12. Cud – normally the regurgitated grass that cows chew usually green and bubbling. Here a similar looking material was issuing from the soldier's mouth
13. High zest – idealistic enthusiasm, keenly believing in the rightness of the idea
14. ardent – keen
15. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – see note 1 above.
Yes, this is typically the sort of problem you face when invading and occupying a foreign country. Haliburton thanks you for your service.
Shouldn't we now have a war against weapons exports? The US would find it inmeasurably easier to find enemies then! And if a good civil war emerged, perhaps the rest of the world could be spared for american insanity for a while?
The US and Americans in general are the world's largest exporter of weapons. They are not likely to willingly give up that kind of market earnings.
"This could mean the insurgents have found a source in Pakistan or elsewhere for smuggling in new rockets…"
I hope it's LIbya, but if it is, that intelligence will only be released to us by Wikileaks or some other non-administration, non-military, non-intelligence community source.
Revenge is sweet.
Well,it was state sanctioned murder by our honorable President. He had no qualms about continuing to shed blood for his reelection. To capture and put that particular man on trial was the right thing to do. However,the decision was to murder him and now fate deals a part of the consequences of that particular act to some of the direct participants.
What Horace probably meant was, it is sweet and honorable to die for your country when your country is right! i.e Just. Not criminal acts that are legally sanctioned by other criminals.
"22 of them were Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six" That's 22 fewer people left to talk about one of the most significant (non)events in recent times because of "the deadliest incident for US troops in the Afghan War." Who'd be quick to credit this to an 'enemy?' …I'd feel silly doing that if these anti-aircraft rockets didn't start showing themselves soon.
America, you are losing, why dont you wake up from your neightmares and go home to your momy.
Sounds fishy to me. 22 Seals died in the crash that killed Mr Laden I guess someone was trying to slince them for speaking the truth.
Those of us who were paying attention during Viet Nam remember that the Viet Cong devised a way to bend trees over and rig them so when helicopter downdraft passed by, the trip would cause the bent over tree to send bamboo poles straight up….hitting the rotor and downing the aircraft…..where the Cong were waiting…… More Vietnam echos… But there is no longer ANY true value to the dollar… Back then quarters dimes and halfs were 90% silver…… so back then during Vietnam, there was no way for the dollar to become virtually worthless like what happened to the Mexican Peso……. Today is different… The dollar has NO intrinsic value whatsoever… But they keep creating billions of "new" dollars to pay for these wars…….out of thin air….. tick…tick…Tick…Tick….TICK….. How long before their game is up…???
Feel sorry for the famillys but also feel sorry for the civilians that die in much larger numbers and the freedom fighters defending there country against an illegal war.Ammericas credit rating droped for the first time to AA+ in the history of the country.Obama will never be a 2 term president unless the election is stoolen like Bush did.Ron Paul if not elected it was most likely another abuse of a former democratic country were the constitution used to be the law above all others.Am,erica needs its freedoms and constitution restored not to be the strongest country in the world bankrupting the country due to illegal ballouts witch are really theft from the tax payers.And spending more than the rest of the world on there military.Remember 9/11 when the Pentigon was bombed and the part hit is were the files and computers were and it just happens 2 trillion dollars went missing.Bush and friends loved that.
evidently this group of SEALS had an untimely encounter with an ORCA;
from Hank Williams – in the BIBLE, God's own words do say, for every wrong someday you'll pay.
God just drafted more SEALS to help keep Muslims out of HEAVEN.
Americans keep on dying…..
Bloody Barack, fresh from his celebrity-laden birthday soiree, adds more deaths to his grim and grisly war tab. He will use the rocket attack to justify the use of more and more tax dollars to spend on vengeance, all the while trying to distract the American public with "debt-ceiling", "more-handouts" and "job-creation" talk.
Vietnam was the last time it occurred, so it would be interesting to see how long this war would last if the US military were to, once again, face an enemy armed with weapons to defend itself.
On their way to slaughter the tables were turned.
"" …the helicopter was taking the troops to reinforce a position where troops were pinned down by insurgents nearby… ""
Were these the only troops available to reinforce the besieged post? Earlier reports have noted the passenger list also included a dog handler WITH his dog- is that accurate, and if so is it SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to send dog handlers on missions like this?
Besides the question regarding the dog handler, were there not any regular troops available? If so, why send in extremely valuable special operations troops- SEALS, no less- when regular line infantry is available? I am in no way implying that line infantry is more expendable, only noting that from a manpower standpoint it make more sense to use them if you have them.
Lastly, a matter of semantics and propaganda: why refer to the Taliban (or whatever group was pinning down our troops) as 'insurgents'? You're not an insurgent if you're defending your homeland from invaders- you're a patriot.
I am saddened for the loss of these soldiers, both US and Afghan (those on both sides), but perhaps this tragic incident will serve as yet another wake-up call that we need to get OUT of Afghanistan before hundreds or thousands more of our (and their) sons and daughters are swallowed up in the fighting.
John, regarding your question of semantics…
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words." (Philip K.Dick)
That is why they are insurgents and not patriots. They don't want to confuse the citizens who provide the cannon fodder needed to prolong the transfer of wealth that is being undertaken under the guise of "fighting for our freedoms!!"
The US had signaled full retreat from Afghanistan by 2014. It had also just signaled to the world that it was broke. What do you expect?
The US will never win the war in Afghanistan.
End of the story.
They killed an unarmed suspect (Bin Laden) according to the stories coming out afterwards, and hid the body afterwards. So they deserve to be punished any last of them and their commanders and aiders. But since accountability has ceased to exist in the US at whim and by abuse of power, what is the way to make people accountable?
He who lives by the sword…….
Every death in war is a tragedy. Fox News says that the death of these Navy Seals was more tragic than the death of common US soldiers. Why do I hate Fox News so much?
Blaming Iranian weapons seems the way they will go with this
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