Two Faces Of The War

Two stories from different perspectives, but both heart wrenching.

From the AFP via Yahoo News:

British troops stage daring helicopter rescue in Afghanistan

LONDON (AFP) – Four British soldiers inAfghanistan strapped themselves to the wings of fast-moving Apache attack helicopters in a daring attempt to rescue a comrade shot by the Taliban, the defence ministry said.
L/Cpl Mathew Ford was killed in action on Monday
“This is believed to be the first time UK forces have ever tried this type of rescue mission … It was an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery of our airmen, soldiers and marines who were all prepared to put themselves back into the line of fire to rescue a fallen comrade,” said UK Task Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rory Bruce.

Royal Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Ford, 30, was shot on Monday when more than 200 British troops attacked the Islamist militia’s Jugroom Fort in southern Helmand province.

When Ford was discovered to be missing, the Marines first planned a rescue attempt with armoured personnel carriers, but when the Apaches became available they decided the fast attack helicopters provided the best opportunity to rescue him.

But the helicopters can only carry a pilot and a gunner, although according to The Guardian newspaper there are attachments on the wings that soldiers can harness themselves to in emergencies.

Two troops each were strapped to the wings of two Apache helicopters, with a third Apache and several ground units providing covering fire.

After landing at the site of the earlier battle, the four soldiers found Ford dead, but were able to recover his body.

» Guardian article (Mentioned in the above report)

The other one via Boing Boing:

Letter from Guantanamo: Jumah al-Dossari

In the Los Angeles Times, this personal account from Jumah al-Dossari, a 33-year-old man from Bahrain who has been held at the Guantánamo Bay detainment camp for the past four years. He claims to have been tortured while in American custody, including beatings, death threats, prolonged isolation, exposure to extreme cold and sexual assaults. While detained, he has attempted to kill himself more than 12 times: slitting his own throat once, hanging himself in the toilet another.

The LAT’s editors precede his written account with, “This article was excerpted from letters he wrote to his attorneys. Its contents have been deemed unclassified by the Department of Defense.”

” In January 2002, I was picked up in Pakistan, blindfolded, shackled, drugged and loaded onto a plane flown to Cuba. When we got off the plane in Guantanamo, we did not know where we were. They took us to Camp X-Ray and locked us in cages with two buckets — one empty and one filled with water. We were to urinate in one and wash in the other.
Jumah al-Dossari
At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious….

» LA Times Article
» Mr Dossari’s case at Amnesty International

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