CAVATINI

I described this song to my friend Tiny, as a trigger for me.

THE DEERHUNTER will probably remain the most affecting film about Vietnam, at least to me. It depicted the cost of war to the relationships between families and friends.

A poignant theme that evokes LOSS…of life and of love.

I hope it will be a part of my own farewell…

KELLY

Engaged in a discussion tonite on FB with a veteran friend. I appreciate his intellect, his legal background, his service as a CAP Marine in Vietnam. His followers largely differ with my own politics but no matter; we find some common ground.

Tonite he posted about Kelly’s comments following the Rump phone call…and shortly afterwards, deleted the post, acknowledging that he was not up to speed on the FACTS.

I called him out, back channel, urging him to repost. I know that ALL of his followers regard him as an “honest broker”. I wanted HIS authorship on this discussion with his followers. He reposted. Some have engaged with fair analysis; some have been content to dismiss this congresswoman out of hand, fuck the facts. For her personal style, for her rigorous advocacy for her constituency and most basely for her gender and race.

Homey don’t play that shit. I will call you and any-fucking-one else out if you dismiss legitimate public concerns out of your inherent racism.

General Kelly stepped on his dick. We’re gonna see how a Marine generals regard of honor informs his next public announcement. Semper Fi? Your fidelity is to truth and to the American people. Do not allow this flawed president to tarnish your own legacy. Own it and drive on!

NIGER

I went to bed last nite grinding over the information we’ve been given, regarding the ambush and fatalities in Niger. Much remains to be revealed or acknowledged…but there are some things that are clear to me, assuming what we have thus far been given is not false or misleading.

Sgt La David Johnson was a jump qualified Infantry NCO. He was not SF trained, he was assigned/attached to the SF team. The four soldiers had been incountry a number of weeks. Prior patrols had involved the entire forces they advised.

NONE had a CIB. That is a specific Infantry decoration, denoting service under fire. In WW II it required one year in a combat zone. By Vietnam, it required 30 days. My point is that none of these men had earned it, which presumes no tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m sure they were well trained…but they were green.

The mission is described as a recon. That’s generally a small unit, tasked to analyze and report back, NOT to engage. The mission evolved into a combat patrol, seeking a specific target. That’s a very different animal, yet they are reported to have taken it on. So we have roughly 10-15 men max, now hunting for a specific target.

They were ambushed by a force estimated at 50 enemy. That they were outmanned and outgunned would have been instantly clear to the team. It is reported that 30 OR 60 minutes passed before they requested air support. That I just don’t believe. It may have taken them 30 minutes to make contact with the French…but I suspect they started calling within minutes.

It took 30 more minutes for the French jets to scramble and yet 30 more to arrive on station. That is just insane. And when they did arrive, they could not engage, supposedly because their weapons array did not permit safe close support.

There are SO many things wrong with this op, its hard to know where to begin…and these are basic things. Air support is useless if its not pre-planned, especially in this clusterfuck of a chain of command. Our soldiers were patrolling with their counterparts; this was described as “a training mission.” Anyone can be ambushed! But the lack of pre-planned air support, the change to a mission for which they were ill-equipped, the fragile and unwieldy assemblage of extraction and medical reinforcement and THE CERTAINTY THAT THESE MEN KNEW HOW COMPLICATED THEIR CHAIN OF SUPPORT WAS…

This is a command failure. Period. These men either went rogue or were allowed to change their mission, once underway. SOMEONE authorized that change. I want to know his name and outcome.

Finally I have read (unsubstantiated) back channel reports from a survivor that Sgt Johnson acquitted himself honorably, heroically during this contact. I hope this is true and if so, that he will be publicly acknowledged in time to come.