Tuesday, November 17, 2009



By : Colonel Harold F. Ehrenkranz, United States Army, 443rd Infantry Regiment, Kabul, Afghanistan

We are winning the war. We easily defeated Saddam Hussein in 2003 and we drove Osama bin Laden like a rat from his cave. No matter what the critics back home say, the United States military has kicked terrorist ass no matter where it has dared to bare itself.

And why shouldn't we? After all, the United States military has advanced equipment. We know where the insurgents are before we attack them. We have unmanned reconnaissance drones. We have helicopter gunships with laser tracking devices. We even have C-130 assault planes that circle above terrorist camps and blast them with a 75mm airborne artillery cannon. Come on, people, how can we really lose once these buggers come out and fight? Yeah, we've lost a few GIs because the terrorists fight like cowards. But when push comes to shove, we napalm their brown butts before they can say: "Allah, Akbar."

But our battlefield superiority has sparked critics to complain: "It's not a fair fight." They say that it's dishonorable for the United States to use laser-guided bombs, choppers, night-vision scopes and 50-caliber machine guns against goatherds armed with pikes and shovels. Although we acknowledge that our enemies do not enjoy the same technological advantages that we do, we must point out that military operations are not supposed to be fair. Fairness means you give the other fellow an ample opportunity to win. Fairness means he has roughly the same training and equipment as you. Well, that doesn't make sense in war. It's better to fight unfairly and win than to fight fairly and lose. Hey, it's not our problem that Iraq doesn't have an air force.

Still, as soldiers we do not like the implication that we are cheaters. Honor is very important to a soldier. Although we want to win our battles, we feel somehow cheap when we obliterate our opponents with overwhelming modern firepower. I mean, there's not much honor in calling down a chopper strike on a house filled with 5 camel-herders armed with bolt-action rifles. Sure, it's an easy win, but what did we prove as soldiers? We did not prove our superior training. We simply proved that we have greater technology and we can kill without risk to ourselves.

As an honorable United States Army officer, I am prepared to meet any challenge to my honor. I am prepared to say that American soldiers are tougher, better trained and deadlier than any insurgent on earth. We don't need fancy night-vision goggles, airpower or laser-scopes to beat turban-wearing shepherds. We can take them blindfolded with one hand tied behind our backs. We are better men than these cowardly terrorists. That's why I am proud to announce that my regiment will drop all its modern weapons next month and fight the terrorists at an intentional disadvantage.

Next month will be "Redcoat Month" in the 443rd Infantry Regiment. In order to show that American troops are better men than these lousy insurgents, we commit to fighting in the open. We commit to refusing all air support. We even commit to dropping our khaki camouflage uniforms and donning 18th Century British red uniforms. We will not even use modern weapons. We are so confident that we are better soldiers than these pitiful rebels that we will use only flintlock muskets with bayonets.

We'll see who's more honorable next month. We won't even follow modern battlefield protocol or tactics. We will march in line formation in daylight through enemy-controlled sectors flying flags and singing American songs. When the insurgents attack, we will hold the line and present disciplined musket fire against them. If they fight from cover, we will call them dishonorable cowards. And we will win because we are tougher soldiers who prefer honorable death to dishonorable victory.

Just let these scrappers try to ambush us. We don't need cover. We can shoot better than any Afghan farmer, even with smoothbore muskets that take 30 seconds to reload. But just in case the battle goes poorly, we reserve the right to call in our dragoons and muzzle-loading 8-pound cannons. We'll see who's tougher when the Afghan militia comes face to face with honorable American horse-drawn field guns! Just look at them. Be afraid, Mullah Omar, be VERY afraid:

We will win the war because we are Americans. We are better than the Afghanis and Iraqis not because we have superior military equipment, air power and advanced recon drones with satellite-driven global positioning capability. We are better because we are true soldiers. We can win this war without newfangled technological contraptions. Give just one American a musket and a bayonet and he can beat any disorganized Arab mob.

President Obama, you don't need to send reinforcements. We have the situation well in hand. We swear to bring honor to you and the United States by defeating these rebel scum on fair terms in open combat. Forget about the air force. We refuse to sully our honor by letting pilots do our work. No, Mr. President, we will bring you the Afghan warlords' heads in a sack after we defeat their forces with muskets and pistols. Never fear; every American boy will make it home. These devious terrorists can't hurt us. Even if we march in parade step in bright red uniforms against their AK-47s and RPGs, we will prevail because we are Americans.

This is Redcoat Month. The United States will win a great and honorable victory in Afghanistan. And we will do it with a handicap. Let's see what the critics say about us then.

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