Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Free Jack Idema Blogburst

In concentrating on the gross injustice of the illegal imprisonment of U.S. Special Forces soldier Jack Idema, his right-hand man Brent Bennett and journalist Ed Caraballo, it's possible to forget about Idema's contribution to the WoT. This would be a mistake, as understanding what Jack does and how he thinks is an important part of the story. So. In 2001, Jack Idema, then in his mid-forties, was enjoying retirement from the U.S. army. When 9/11 occurred, he contacted the military immediately and had himself placed back on the active service list and shipped out to Afghanistan. He arrived two weeks after the twin towers fell, with orders to organise air-drops supplying the Northern Alliance, who then controlled only the northern 10% of the country. This was at the beginning of the two-month period in which a coalition of U.S. Special Forces, British SAS and Northern Alliance troops swept across the whole of Afghanistan, routing Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Here's Idema's take on what it was like to participate in this action:

So Massoud’s forces, Buldock and some of the other guys like Captain Mark Mitch who was in Dostrum’s area up in the northwest of Afghanistan, they did a remarkable job, they really did. And quite frankly, it shocked the conventional forces and it shocked the Pentagon at how fast. This is the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan: 100,000 of Massoud’s mujahideen picked up weapons and stood next to us and fought. In Iraq not a single Iraqi picked up a weapon to fight the Iraq government. So there’s a huge difference here; this is a country that wanted liberation, I talk about Afghanistan, and they were willing to die for that liberation, and all they needed was our air support and our advice. And we gave it to them. The bombing started October 12th and on November 12th, Kabul fell. And after Kabul fell, we headed to Tora Bora and other places. I took one of the Northern Alliance groups into Tora Bora later on into Shahi Khot and Anaconda, and it was really a (cuts out) as far as an unconventional war.

It's tremendously important we remember that without Special Forces troops like Jack Idema, the push to liberate Afghanistan would have been delayed by the months it would have taken to get conventional forces in place. Instead, the Taliban were removed from power with remarkable efficiency, and, compared to the losses conventional forces would have suffered, at the cost of remarkably few coalition lives. This is why men like Jack Idema matter. See, no one would have blamed him if, after a long and distinguished career in the service of his country, he'd decided to leave the WoT to younger men. Instead, Idema fought hard to get back into the game, then harder still to capture and kill as many Islamist terrorists as he could. Moreover, when the first stage of the war was over, Jack elected to stay on in Afghanistan, working with the Northern Alliance in its efforts to ensure a stable and free society flourished there. As this excerpt from a UPI report on the rescue of Afghan officials from an Islamist mob shows, this was and is important and necessary work:

The mob moved so quickly that the 100-200 policemen deployed near the airport could not move quickly enough to control the situation, according to Shergai. "Jack," as the special advisor to the Afghan military is known, managed to rescue the President of Afghanistanís Ariana Airlines, Robullah Amain, who had escaped from the mob and was surrounded in a terminal office. Along with seven Afghan commandos, Jack rescued Amain, Haji Timor the airport manager and five others and escorted them to safety. An ISAF spokesmen claimed that a small team of British soldiers supposedly helped to save the national airline executive from certain death. Ariana President Robullah Amain confirmed that in reality, it was an American Green Beret and his Afghan soldiers. Karzai has made increasingly urgent calls during the past several days for an expansion of ISAF forces in Afghanistan. But the UN mandated European peace keeping mission is becoming increasingly discredited even in Kabul.
And yet. Idema remains stuck inside Pulacharke prison while the war he should be fighting, and, remarkably, still wants to fight rages on without him.

So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog, and who believes the WoT still needs fighting, can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. You can also write to a number of different people – addresses can be found here.


Post a Comment

<< Home