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13 December 2010


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John Minnerath

I finally got a copy of that film.
I'm not sure what I expected, but I was certainly surprised at some of the things I saw.
Dismayed too I guess.
Today's Army isn't the Army I knew almost 50 years ago, but I don't think I'm that far from knowing how military operations and discipline should be conducted.


dang, that video has been removed already.

Patrick Lang


OK. give me a link to the Taliban flic. pl

John Minnerath

I think this is one of the better links:



The video can be found there, but it is restricted to Australians. To masquerade as an Australian (biting my tongue here), use a proxy from this list:


I used the first one in Firefox and was able to pull down the 21 minute video without any trouble.

To configure a proxy in Firefox: Preferences/Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings, activate "Manual proxy configuration," then fill in the IP and port of one of the listed proxies. Your web traffic in Firefox will route through that australian IP until you disable it (return it to Auto-detect) again.

More instructions here:

It's about 115MB. If someone would like to host it to help the others avoid the proxy config dance, I can upload it to them.


Col, I looked on YouTube where it was originally, now on YouTube it says:

"This video has been removed by the user"

Roy G

Here is a link to a very good interview between Glen Greenwald and the journalist Nir Rosen, who articulates the reality of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what the likely outcomes will be. He even talks counterinsurgency.

All in all, his message sounds very much like Col. Lang's, in re to looking at the locals like so much cattle to be herded and culled.



I saw both these programs over the weekend, great stories and Col. Lang is straight on point in all your analysis.

I especially enjoyed the similarities of Taliban enlisted and our enlisted doing similar stupid sh*t out of boredom.



Is this it?



What happens when the inept, after years of sensitivity training and chasing insurgents, run into a North Korean Infantry Division?

louis romanos

Here is a working link:

The beaver

Due to an exclusive US broadcast agreement this film is not available for viewing in the US at present (CNN bought the rights AFAIK)

One way to get a copy :


The beaver

or else check the 5 segments :


video: "Behind the Masks"

Patrick Lang


Having had more than a passing acquaintance with NVA troops, I would expect a bad ending. An outpost like Restrepo would have been easy meat for full time VC much less "Charles" himself. paraphrasing the immortal "Colonel Thursday," once you have met the the first team everyone else looks like "digger Indians." pl


Col. Lang:

I would add shameful to the list. Incapable? Not so much. Just a huge dollop of old-fashioned hubris. Casey should know better. Maybe he really is just a horse-holder for Petraeus.

Charles I

Please, Colonel, "Charles" himself is the actual North Vietnamese Army?

And Colonel Thursday please, tho I'm googling now?

Charles I

Okay, I actually have a big John Ford collection which I obviously need to watch.

One of the most memorable things I have ever seen on film is a tight shot of Henry Fonda's stone cold killer's eyes right before shoots a child in the forehead in Once upon A Time In The West.

Charles I

Now there's another documentary that films the Taliban, including, apparently, the murder of the title character - The Fixer.

Touted as "the best documentary I've seen on Afghanistan -- so good it's hard to imagine a better one."

See Anne Jones http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-jones/everything-that-happens-i_b_235536.html

Stumbled upon it via one of the links above, not sure which.

Charles I

pardon me, its simply called "Fixer'. Was on HBO last year, looking for it now

Patrick Lang

charles I

Yes. The VC were often referred to as "victor charlie" from the NATO phonetic alphabet. we thought that "charlie" was beneath the dignity of the NVA. they were foemen worthy of our steel. pl

The Twisted Genius


"we thought that "charlie" was beneath the dignity of the NVA."

That's the second time I heard that sentiment. Over 35 years ago, a former CCN recon team leader told me that he always referred to the NVA as Mr. Charles out of respect. He also said that the U.S. Army became the "Modern Volunteer Army" rather than the "New Volunteer Army" because the latter would be disrespectful to the NVA.

Back in the hollow Army days, we in the 25th ID were well aware that our potential foes deserved respect. At the time we were much lighter than the later light divisions and would probably be outgunned on the battlefield. Our training stressed defensive strongpoints, reverse slope defense, withdrawal under pressure and breakout from encirclement. We were married to our organic mortar section. I did not see any of these lessons applied at Restrepo. IMHO, that's what lack of respect for your foe leads to... laziness and carelessness. Those "egocentric type A officers unable to deal with village elders" cetainly lacked respect for both their foe and those they were supposed to be protecting.

That short film of the"Taliban" puts a human face to the foe. They don't look like bloodthirsty terrorists poised to destroy our way of life. The message could be that if we stop screwing with them, they'll stop screwing with us. I could imagine a similar group of American freedom fighters operating in the Adirondacks against an invading army of les Quebequois.

Neil Richardson


"What happens when the inept, after years of sensitivity training and chasing insurgents, run into a North Korean Infantry Division?"

I can't speak for the follow-on forces (e.g., 25th Infantry Division, whatever the III Corps can muster as well as the Marines from Okinawa), but the Iron Brigade would do fine. The Dragon Force (1/72 AR task force) and 4-7 Cav maintain readiness without worrying about sensitivity training or COIN nonsense. And we're talking about a good old combined arms heavy brigade that trains year round with the entire 210th Fires BDE backing them up. I'm more worried about our ROKA counterparts who have to hold our flanks (especially hills along Hwy 1).

Patrick Lang


Ah!, North KOREANS! pl

DE Teodoru

It was interesting to deal with GreenBeret-types in Central Highlands of IICorps, South Vietnam, taking note of how they bonded with the Viet counterparts and then bonded them to local Montagniards. They were part of the jungle, not spotters for the AirForce. Also, the dealing with prisoners and their ways of turning them through bit by bit incrimination was most impressive. It was USGBs teaching ARVNGBs how to make VC captives see PAVN as invaders from abroad and US as protectors. Because most GBs did speak Vietnamese, they had to make ARVNGBs see the point so that they would deal with their VC countrymen in the positive way that turned them. From Ban Me Thuot to Pleiku I saw this over and over again over a decade. Since so many were Hungarians it should have made my Romanian heart sink but instead it made me proud of these my fellow Americans: A REAL LEARNING CURVE!

But then I think of what would happen if a team of GB lost 5 men. It would be like Napoleon losing a battalion. Both VC and Taliban send thousands of FNGs into action and let them be guided by Darwin: survival of the fittest, losses were not a probem as each killed committed ten family avengers. Sure, they lose a lot of men, but the select (not so few)are one hell of a lot of sharp weapons. Let's not forget that our losses-tolerance is very low, compensating with boom boom with war toys we can no longer afford, as in Vietnam. Our logistic lines in Central Asia are indeed very vulnerable...Most of our Vietnam losses were incoming cold beer and ammo interception. My point is that these "ridiculous" Taliban fighters managed to put us on the defensive for a decade after doing that to Soviets for a decade and, without a draft, we're losing the willing to go after utter nonsense. As I recall, that's what happened with the Soviets: the worst "reservists" were caught in traps and the best were whittled away trying to save them. From what Junger's film shows, a lot of what I saw in the Soviet War is being repeated so that we may well end up leaving just as the Soviets did; Except that this time the Shanghai Accord may well show its teeth, in desperation replacing us and that will be the end of our "democracy" Empire in Central/South Asia....Bit by bit, exsanguinated, we constrict towards our own shores. So why not pull out while we still got fighters and equipment left we could look threatening with in the future?


Your quote about the inept and incapable reminds me of one line in the Katha Upanishad where Yama, the god of Death, informs Nachiketa about the ultimate nature of Reality:
"Living in the abyss of ignorance, yet wise in their own conceit, the Deluded go round and round, like the blind let by the blind."
Been going on for a long time.

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