Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Scene From The Jihad, VIII

A handful of Green Berets from the 5th Special Forces Group had just spent their summer training an airborne unit of the Kazakhstani Army, and they were almost halfway into their final month as advisors in the former Soviet republic. ...

A pizza parlor in the center of [the capital,] Almaty had been the nightly haunt for the Green Berets, who would socialize over slices of pie after long days... One of the special operators, Sergeant First Class Mike McElhiney, answered the cell phone that began vibrating on his hip. ... As he listened, his steel-square jaw lost its smile, and he dropped his slice of pepperoni back onto his plate. After a few moments, McElhiney closed the flip phone and called out to the restaurant's owner: "Holy shit! Turn the television to the BBC!"

The gruff ex-Soviet pizza maker quickly flipped through the stations. ...

As the Green Berets watched the screen in disbelief, they saw the second plane hit the Twin Towers. After several reruns of the destruction of the world's foremost cityscape, they began to discuss who could be responsible for such an atrocity. All of the Green Berets had the same opinion: Osama bin Laden.

McElhiney's phone rang again, and this time it was Green Beret headquarters at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

"Right, right, roger that!" McElhiney hung up the phone.

"Fucking A, guys, we're going to war."

-- Robin Moore, _The Hunt for Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger_, 2003

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