Sunday, October 10, 2010

Council Speak

This week, Staff Sgt. Rob J. Miller was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. 
From the official narrative at Staff Sergeant Miller’s Medal of Honor page.
Realizing that his team was pinned down and unable to actively engage the enemy, Staff Sgt. Miller, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, continued to charge forward through the open area engaging multiple elevated insurgent positions and purposely drawing fire away
from his trapped ODA members.
Staff Sgt. Millerʼs cover fire was so accurate that it not only provided the necessary cover to save his team, it also suppressed the enemy to the right flank of the patrol, to the point where they could not reposition from that direction against the ODA for the duration of the engagement.

His actions single-handedly provided the needed cover fire that allowed his fellow ODA members to maneuver to covered positions as the ANA broke formation and ran away from the kill zone.

During his final charge forward, Staff Sgt. Miller threw two hand grenades into fighting positions, destroying the positions and killing or wounding an additional four insurgents. Only when Staff Sgt. Miller realized his fellow team members were out of immediate danger, and in positions to support him, did he attempt to move for cover.

As he directed his fire to engage enemy positions above him, an insurgent shot him through the right side of his upper torso under his right arm; the area not protected by his body armor. Staff Sgt. Miller immediately turned toward the enemy and shot and killed the insurgent who had wounded him. During this time, Staff Sgt. Millerʼs detachment commander also sustained gunshot wounds to his upper chest and shoulder.
The perilous situation forced the detachment commander to order the ODA to fall back to cover. Staff Sgt. Miller realized his commander was seriously wounded and that, as the point man with ODAʼs only SAW, he had the highest potential to inflict the most casualties on the enemy. Again, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Staff Sgt. Miller remained alone at the front of the patrol, so his team could bound back.
Ignoring the severity of his critical wound and still completely exposed to intense, direct enemy fire, Staff Sgt. Miller continued to low crawl through the snow, incessantly fighting uphill into the valley to engage insurgent positions to the East and South in order to draw fire away from his wounded commander and identify insurgent positions to his fellow ODA members. Without his heroic efforts, his wounded commander would not have been moved safely out of the kill zone to the casualty collection point.
The President, in his speech, succinctly captured the critical element of Staff Sgt. Miller’s heroism. It’s not as clear from the official narrative:
Rob made a decision.  He called for his team to fall back.  And then he did something extraordinary.  Rob moved in the other direction — toward the enemy, drawing their guns away from his team and bringing the fire of all those insurgents down upon himself.
That’s the essence of heroism; putting the needs of others ahead one’s own needs.
This week Staff Sgt. Miller’s namesake won the Watcher’s council votes both for his own submission as well as for his non-council submission. Fortunately our Rob Miller is very much alive. In the council part of the vote Joshuapundit‘s  Freedom, Jihad And Racism sums up the tension in our society between being open and protecting our values:
All people may be equally worthy of respect, but all cultures aren’t, frankly. And the native populations of the West have the right and the duty to protect and pass on their cultures to their posterity without `patriotism’ or `nativism’ becoming dirty words.
They also have the right to insist that immigrants to their countries, attracted by the freedom and prosperity western civilization affords respect the majority culture and assimilate to a degree.
Similarly in  Geert Wilders’ Speech In Berlin, appearing at the Partij Voor De Frijheid (Fredom Party) Blog, Wilders outlines this tension too.
Dear friends, tomorrow is the Day of German Unity. Tomorrow exactly twenty years ago, your great nation was reunified after the collapse of the totalitarian Communist ideology. The Day of German Unity is an important day for the whole of Europe. Germany is the largest democracy in Europe. Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse. The wellbeing and prosperity of Germany is a benefit to all of us, because the wellbeing and prosperity of Germany is a prerequisite for the wellbeing and prosperity of Europe.

Today I am here, however, to warn you for looming disunity. Germany’s national identity, its democracy and economic prosperity, is being threatened by the political ideology of Islam. In 1848, Karl Marx began his Communist Manifesto with the famous words: “A specter is haunting Europe – the specter of communism.” Today, another specter is haunting Europe. It is the specter of Islam. This danger, too, is political. Islam is not merely a religion, as many people seem to think: Islam is mainly a political ideology.

Council Winners

Non Council Winners