Monday, May 15, 2006

Longest combat shot in history finally acclaimed in Canadian media.

This is absolutely the last place on Earth I would have expected to read this story, but I've got to give them the credit for a good job well done.  Macleans magazine has the story of one Cpl. Robert Furlong who bullseyed a Taliban fighter in Afganistan at a range of 2430 meters back in 2002. For the metric challenged  among us that's 2658 yards, almost exactly a mile and a half.  Longest deliberate shot taken in battle that we know of.

They cover the doing of the deed and the guy who did it, his team mates and his officers.  Then they cover the behaviour of the Canadian Armed Forces which lead eventually to the ouster of Cpl. Furlong.
Today, more than four years later, three of the five decorated snipers who served in Afghanistan are no longer in the army, brushed aside by a military machine that seemed all too willing to watch them go. Persecuted instead of praised, they fell victim to what many still believe was a witch hunt driven by jealousy and political correctness. Arron Perry was pushed out the door. Furlong left on his own, so disillusioned that he could barely stomach the thought of putting on his uniform. Graham Ragsdale -- the leader of the unit -- suffered perhaps the worst fate. Stripped of his command and later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he has spent the ensuing years battling deep depression.
These guys made the mistake of being excellent in an organization that was tolerated as window dressing only by the Liberal Party.  They weren't supposed to do anything, just look good in the uniform and smile for the cameras.  Trouble is, nobody told them their job was to support political correctness and ignore the greatest tradition of the Canadian military, namely kicking enemy ass.  They had the gall to be really good fighters, and so they got stomped on.

Its going to take quite a while to root out all the apple polishers and seat warmers from the officer corps.  My neighbour the Major said the Canadian Forces could probably field an entire brigade made up soley of colonels.  Hopefully Harper's boys are making a list and checking it twice.

The Phantom

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