Michael's Dispatches

A Matter of Trust



11 February 2012

Going unarmed into combat is a bad idea.  Going unarmed while wearing a Red Cross to alert the enemy that you are defenseless is dumb.  A commander who forces his troops to do this without good cause is at best incompetent.

US Army commanders do this every day in Afghanistan.  No other US branch or service, nor the British, wear the Red Cross on helicopters in combat.  Even our own US Army special operations forces do not use the Red Crosses on their medical birds.

Meanwhile, the US Army, specifically including Lieutenant General John Campbell, has been busy misleading Members of Congress and millions of Americans by communicating that our Dustoff MEDEVAC helicopters are required to wear Red Crosses in combat.  Many people are saying that LTG Campbell lied on FOX news.  I cannot defend him.  It is true.  Campbell misled CBS, FOX, and millions of Americans.

During interviews on CBS (previous) and FOX (this week) about MEDEVAC failures, Campbell has so shredded his credibility that only the bloody shirt remains.

Campbell’s loss of standing deriving from the Dustoff MEDEVAC issue likely will transcend this time and follow him for the remainder of his career.  Mr. Campbell has only the power of rank.  Moral clout is gone.  Mr. Campbell cannot be trusted to deliver the facts about Afghanistan, or elsewhere.  This is not the truth we wanted, but the reality we sadly discovered.

It is deeply saddening to know that we cannot depend on one of the most important generals in the Army.  We want generals that we can believe.

Hershel Smith sums up the current state of the MEDEVAC fight:


Michael Yon Gets What’s Coming To Him

No, this isn’t another ridiculous pile-on-Michael-Yon post from some unstable Milblogger who is bored with the fact that he has nothing left to cover now that we have withdrawn from Iraq (and plan to withdraw from Afghanistan).  Some people just have to find others to hate in order to be important.
No, Michael Yon has gotten the attention to the MEDEVAC issue that he deserves.  You can follow his coverage here, here and here, here and here (just for starters).  I won’t recapitulate the reports since you can go and read them from Michael.  Here is a decent summary video.

But I will observe that my bullshit-o-meter pegged high when the Army began making claims that the Geneva Conventions required them to mark MEDEVAC helicopters and then also to require them not to be armed for self defense (thus requiring an armed escort and delaying the transit in some instances).

First of all, if the Geneva Conventions actually do require that we send medical evacuation into the field with no self defense, then we should not have ever been a signatory to such a document, and such signature should be forthwith rescinded.  But it doesn’t.  Take careful note.  The U.S. Marine Corps doesn’t do business this way.

There.  Enough said.  Case Closed.  The U.S. Marine Corps isn’t violating the Geneva Conventions.  That the big-Army is wasting intellectual capital and moral authority on this is stupefying.


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    a&n · 9 years ago
    Never give a monkey a hand grenade or the reins of a country over to fools and traitors. Your dispatch is sad but true. Thanks Mike.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley · 9 years ago
    Statistically, we have a 92% survival rate for medevac missions. Is there nobody in the Army that wants to make it 9 % or higher? Couple of approaches there. We could spend billions to buy more helos, crews, and ground support....or....we could arm the helos and remove the crosses to improve response time. Seems some have forgotten that a percentage point increase is more than a number... it translates to LIVES saved.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 9 years ago
    The Army's stance on this issue is ludicrous.

    Arm the birds.

    Remove the Red Crosses.

    Launch the birds the moment that a casualty notification is received. Permit the helicopter crews to proceed and receive the 9-line report while enroute to the pick up zone.

    Authorize MEDEVAC pilots and ground commanders to determine whether pick up should be attempted. Keep higher commanders out of the weeds. If they are micromanaging these details it indicates that we have too many layers of command. Eliminate them. Flatten the Army.

    No need to make things more complex than this.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MacvTm18 · 9 years ago
    What the hell do expect from a Commander In Chief that knows diddle about the miltary and could care less. This is about the only time he has listen to the Army brass who kowtow to him. Guess they worry more about their own hide than that of the men in combat !!!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry · 9 years ago
    It isn't what he did say, it's what he didn't say, another kick the can down the road scenario. As always, thanks Mike and be safe out there.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    EOD DAD · 9 years ago
    And there are an awful lot of Monkeys out there.
    Michael I can't tell how disapointing it is to see the finest young men America has to offer being let down by "bad management" in the ranks. These kids are willing to give their heart and souls to the mission only to be let down and used as fodder for some mid level officers to pad their records. I have heard numerous reports of pencil pushers and pinheads being put in leardship roles out in the field, where they have no business, no clue as to how to lead and a complete lack of credibility with the troops. There are commanders who order needless air asaults, when a mounted patrol would be sufficient because it looks good on their record etc etc.
    I believe the military is having a very hard time retaining good people as they are leaving in droves for the corporate world where you don't get promoted for just showing up. My 1st of six sons is almost done his first tour and I will have a hard time supporting his siblings should they decide to follow him in the current state of affairs. I love this country and feel that our young men and women serving it deserve better than what the "leadreship" currently has to offer
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dub-l D · 9 years ago
    To the person who wants so badly to make it the fault of the POTUS are you including the former POTUS as well because by my math the current one has been in office for less than 4 years while this conflict, war or whatever you want to call this has been going on for longer than that. Rather invalidates your claim as you try to point your finger at one person.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Serge · 9 years ago
    "Mr. Campbell has only the power of rank. Moral clout is gone." The fact that US generals have lost their moral clout is pretty well reflected by the fact that the US military forces have lost their moral clout in the eyes of the international community. The US Armed Forces have become Nazi American Army that intimidates and murders innocent people, mostly civilians, children, and the elderly in many various countries across the world including Afghanistan. Immoral, criminal Army can only be controlled by immoral, criminal minded commanders, and American generals have long proved that their morality is on par with the morality of the notorious Nazi Fascists during the WWII. To cry foul about rank-n-file baby killer being mistreated by their thuggish officers is an outlandish hypocrisy. May be the Red Cross ought to be removed from those helicopters indeed, because murderers like American troops in Afghanistan do not deserve to wear that Cross. That Cross is the symbol of Christianity, the symbol of the Cross upon which our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, has died and those uniformed murderers from the US Armed Forces are not Christians by definition. They belong in the same place with the Hitler's Nazi soldiers. Do not pretend to know nothing and go on as if nothing has happened. The whole world is watching in stunned disbelief and astonishment at the US Army abroad behaving like Nazi murderers. It is disgusting! You should be ashamed of your 18-25 year old children and brothers doing that!
    Arrogant, Godless, Satan serving americans, you have spit the world in the face! See that you drown not, when the world spits at you.

    Be proud of yourself , America! Hitler would certainly be.
    http://news.yahoo.com/us-marines-posed-nazi-symbol-afghanistan-18510157 .html
    • This commment is unpublished.
      mr.medic · 9 years ago
      like i said i would like to kick your ass and show you what happens when you talk bad about an American, your probably some 4 foot 50lbs loser who has not had pussy since you came out of it, please grace me with a picture of you so if in my life i ever see you i know you deserve to get fucked up. All American!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Willford · 9 years ago
      You are a MORON!!
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Serge · 9 years ago
        There are two things:
        1. You have mistaken me for someone else.
        2. Usually that word spells MARINE.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      John-Capt in ANG · 9 years ago
      I know it's fun and all your friends think you're cool, but think before you type. Nazi facism led to millions being put into forced labor camps, and gassed en masse. Abu Grab is the worst you can point to and A) Leadership was fired B) Soldiers were prosecuted. No such thing happened to SS or German soldiers (during the war). I'm in Kabul. There are no burn chambers running 24/7 to burn the millions killed by gas. Civilian casualties here are 75% likely to be directly from AQ IEDs emplaced. Why do you think they're at the peace table, talking?

      The Red Cross is not a Christian symbol. Nuff said there.

      Also, keep in mind there are 42+ countries in Afghanistan, fighting in most cases alongside the US. The Turks are not Christian (at least not a majority), so again, think before you type. This isn't US/Christianity against Muslims. This is the world against a former government (Taliban) who harbored mass murderers, and those who wish to put them back in power.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Serge · 9 years ago
        Nice PR piece! This is 21st century, so you're right, the methods and forms are different. Thank you, by the way, for not gassing the Afghans "en masse".
        It's not fun.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Larry · 9 years ago
      You are entitled to your opinion, that's fine. There is no force in the history of the world that has done more good for the people of the world. We don't claim that we're infallible and haven't made mistakes, but please, do NOT categorize as us Satan serving Americans. If you're European, we've probably bailed your sorry ass out more than once, so FU!
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Serge · 9 years ago
        The US Government had played major role in militarization of the German economy back in the 19 0s, in financial and ideological support of NSDAP’s election and Hitler’s rise to power, in orchestrating and manipulating Fascist Germany foreign policy to be directed against Russian people at all costs, even at the cost of the lives of millions of innocent civilians all across Europe. Even when Hitler began to openly exterminate people based upon his sick prejudices against certain nations and races, the US Government supported Hitler and promoted financial, economic and business ties, building German tanks, aircraft, and oil refineries. That is how much America has done to people in Europe.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Serge · 9 years ago
        These days, American and British financiers use NATO and American Military Machine in the same way they used Nazi Germany back in the 19 0s and early 1940s, to fight their criminal wars against all other nations. If you think they sincerely disapprove of employing Nazi policies and tactics on the ground by the US troops, or any other NATO member-states’ troops, during their combat operations anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan, you are greatly mistaken. Even the US soldiers themselves are petrified at what they are forced to do there. They have come forward on their own initiative trying to deliver, in a creative way, the message to the world, that the US troops in Afghanistan behave like German Nazi did on the occupied territories in Europe and Africa during the WWII. The rank-n-file 18-25 year old soldiers are warning the international community that the US Army is turning into a fascist Nazi-style military machine it has become in all but name in Afghanistan due to the demoralizing Nazi-style policies and tactics employed by the US military command in the “battlespace” area. The US Armed Forces’ presence there is just as irrelevant and disgusting as the presence of the Nazi Germany’s ones in Africa back in the early 1940s. And just as dangerous to the rest of the world. Stop war in Afghanistan!! That was the message that the US Marine Corps sniper team from Charlie Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, had delivered by a photograph of them posing in front of a flag with a logo resembling that of the notorious Nazi SS. The photograph was taken in 2010, in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Serge · 9 years ago
        There is no country in the history of the world that has done more evil to the people of the world than the “United States of America”, concocted by a bunch of greedy bankers just about 200 years ago. Ever since, the humanity has seen more wars and military conflicts than over the two thousand years before. Founded, organized, and steered by a cabal of secretive multinational financiers and bankers, the United States had masterminded, financed, controlled, and supported French Revolution, Japanese war against Russia in 1905, WWI, Russian Revolution of 1917, militarization of Germany, making her start war against USSR, construction and use of the first Atomic Bomb, the wars and the use of WMD against Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, terrorist attacks against political and military leaders in Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia and most of other military conflicts and terrorist attacks the world over for the remainder of the 20th century! All the most disgusting atrocities and crimes against humanity that took place in the world during the last century were financed by American and British financiers and controlled and supported by the US government in the pocket of the American Big Oil.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          mr.medic · 9 years ago
          your fucking scum i would love to give you an american ass kicking and shove your anti- American beliefs up ur ass with a grenade your a pussy and i would like nothing more than to strangle you with old glory
  • This commment is unpublished.
    BravoBilly · 9 years ago
    Put through a change order to have the Dust-offs Red-crosses changed to a Red Moon and star and armed. Guaranteed to be done then...Will not be shot at then.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Alan Caldwell · 9 years ago
    It is rare that I ever see someone say "Thank You" to you Michael. So here is a BIG ""THANK-YOU"". We all really appreciate your bravery in covering the good reports as well as the bad. You are consistent and to the point and I like that. Greatest of Luck to you always Michael. One of your many followers: Bill Alan Caldwell :-)

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