December 8, 2006

We Were One

Thanks to the usual politics, an assault on Fallujah, Iraq by Coalition forces was set back six months, during which time the various mujahideen (heretofore muj) forces, from all over the Middle East and as far away as Chechnya were provided ample time to transform the city of 39,000 buildings into a veritable fortress, “converting buildings into bunkers”, using “nearly half of the city’s mosques, along with most of the hospitals and schools, as supply dumps or strong points”.

To quote a senior Marine,

“In one mosque, every room contained different munitions, rockets in this room, mortars in that room, machinegun rounds in that room. Mosques were used as fighting positions or to store weapons. Yet G-d forbid I should attack the building, or it’s on the news that the Marines desecrated a mosque.”

Shortly thereafter,

According to America’s usual rules of engagement, buildings like mosques and hospitals are supposed to lose their immunity when they are put to military use; yet the political leadership above the Marines refused to allow these targets to be attacked.

In We Were One, author Patrick K. O’Donnell, a war historian with exponentially more guts than the vast majority of the so-called “embedded” journalists of the mainstream media (I say so-called because most of them un-embedded themselves and headed for the tall timber as soon as a shot was fired, and filed stories based wholly on second and third hand information – sometimes troops needed badly in combat situations had to be pulled out to escort these “journalists” to the rear echelons) went to Iraq and was embedded, after a time, with 1st Platoon; Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (heretofore the 3/1), just in time to accompany them on their bloodiest incursion into Fallujah. Mr. O’Donnell was right there in the thick of things, not sitting at the bar in a Baghdad hotel.

Fallujah was pure, house-to-house urban warfare, the most dangerous kind. The 3/1’s job was clearing buildings, room by room, of muj guerillas. This meant going through doors not knowing whether the rooms beyond were empty, booby trapped with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or contained enemy fighters with weapons leveled at the doors, fingers on triggers. Holes had been punched through building walls so that entire blocks could be traversed by the muj and weapons caches were placed strategically along those blocks. To make matters worse, the enemy went into battle intending to die. Three or four would give their lives to kill one Marine without a second thought.

Mr. O’Donnell paints a vivid picture of the hell these brave Marines found themselves in the midst of as they did their duty; what was in their heads, what they said, how they did the particularly terrifying and deadly job – reading the book was as close to being there as one can get without…. Well, being there.

The author profiled each of the Marines, discussed their relationships with one another, their closeness as brother Marines and as comrades in combat, each willing to give his own life to save the life of a fellow Marine. He brought out the grief felt by each at the loss of a comrade, and the bravery of each as they backed one another up in terse situations, which were very nearly a constant in Fallujah.

Sniper, mortar and rocket attacks, insane mass charges by drugged muj (the enemy fighters were using cocaine, adrenaline and other stimulants to bolster their effectiveness), attacks by suicide bombers and ambushes were a daily occurrence. The Marines froze at night and fought in blazing heat by day, yet took it all as it came and prevailed. Every last man in the 3/1 was a true hero.

Other interesting, though by no means a revelation, information was imparted in We Were One, such as the endangerment of American servicemen’s (and others’) lives as a result of U.S. anti-war politics. The political hay the left and the mainstream media made out of Abu Graibh resulted in a large number of terrorists being released to continue fighting Coalition troops and terrorizing elsewhere in the Middle East, one a year later the bomber of a Jordanian wedding at which nearly sixty innocents died.

Though faulty intelligence was partly to blame (the politicians believed that there remained a large number of noncombatants in Fallujah and were therefore afraid to allow an attack on the city), the gist of the reason that our troops were restrained from entering Fallujah before it became the death trap that eventually claimed so many more American lives than necessary is summed up in one paragraph in Chapter 5:

…Politicians at home were tying the Marines’ hands because of risk aversion and political correctness. Fear of generating bad press was jeopardizing American lives every day in Iraq. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that every war the U.S. military fights is a two-front war. The military has to contend with both the enemy in the field and the media, who at times distort the news and impede the war effort, while turning a blind eye to the enemy who gets away with breaking the most basic rules of war.

The 3/1 lost most of its members in combat at Fallujah, while killing about 1,000 enemy fighters. In the course of clearing buildings, the 3/1’s 1st Platoon also found al-Qaeda’s Fallujah headquarters (you know, those folks the MSM says are not in Iraq), a generous find for Intelligence (one item therein was a restraint device for torture, and lots of dried blood, some of it in hand prints, on the wall beside it – nice people, those al-Qaeda who aren’t in Iraq).

I was highly impressed with We Were One. I found the book to be packed with information, humorous situations and graphically presented action that moved as smoothly and readably as in a fast-paced novel. You actually feel like you are right there as everything takes place, hearing a bullet crack past your head, feeling the heat and overpressure as a building explodes, hearing the screams of a dying muj or the loud call for a medic as a Marine is hit, and the incessant rattle of smallarms fire, the boom of grenades and mortar rounds in the background.

I would recommend this book highly to anyone who is interested in learning truths about our involvement in Iraq that the anti-war, anti-Bush mainstream media prefers to ignore or gloss over for purely political reasons. Take the benevolent interactions of our troops within the Iraqi civilian community, for example. While the MSM and our liberal politicians like to tell us that the Iraqis hate us and want us to leave, the people are happy our troops are there and demonstrate this daily. Mr. O’Donnell describes the positive things done for Iraqis, for families and for children, by several Marines. The MSM avoids this, as it puts a human face on our troops.

While the MSM reports every IED that goes off and takes the life of an American serviceman yet dumbs down the killing of the enemy by our troops, We Were One illustrates the other side of the coin: The killing of the enemy in far greater numbers by the American military. Even out-manned and out-gunned at times, our troops continue to surprise superiors every day, continuously surpassing their expectations.

When the Iraqi government and the MSM announced that the fighting in Fallujah was over, it was news to the Marines of the 3/1, as they were still embroiled in combat in that city, which wasn’t even close to being over, in fact the worst was yet to come.

While I have always had a deep respect for the United States Marines, for their integrity, their patriotism, their sense of honor and their out-&-out abilities as true warriors, We Were One quadrupled that respect – as the Black Jack Pershing quote heading up Chapter 4 so aptly says, The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.

We Were One, published by Da Capo Press, also contains sixteen pages of photos.

by @ 2:40 am. Filed under Recommended
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33 Responses to “We Were One”

  1. Always On Watch Says:

    I deeply resent that our valiant men and women in uniform have to fight this so-called “just war.” The enemy, of course, abides by no such rules.

    Thanks for this excellent book review, Seth.

  2. Seth Says:

    AOW –


    I really enjoyed the book. It’s an excellent read.

    You know, reading a book like this, then thinking about what the left has to say about us “losing” in Iraq makes one realize how ludicrous this all is.

    The Democrats claim to “support” the troops, while in reality they do all they can to get as many of our soldiers and Marines killed as they can, just to make losing a reality. If they’d simply bugged out and let the military do their job unobstructed, we might be about done there by now, but as usual, they have to play their stupid partisan politics in all things.

  3. Ken Taylor Says:

    Fighting a politically correct war ties the hands of the military and causes politics to determine strategy instead of the situation on the ground. Using Iraq as a political football the Democrats have done a better job in fighting our troops than the insurgents or the terrorists. You cannot support the troops while berating their mission and the job they are doing which only emboldens the enemy. One has to wonder how many of our troops have actually been killed or wounded as a result of the politics of appeasement and negativism toward the war and the complete disregard to the accomplishments that have taken place. This enemy would have been destroyed long ago had the military received political support here at home and the truth of what they are doing been told. Instead they have been hampered by the politics which endangers their lives and helps the enemy!

  4. Seth Says:

    Ken –

    The worst part of it is that even when confronted with these facts, the only response a liberal is likely to muster is that smug, pseudo-superior, self righteous sneer that would look so much more attractive with a noose just underneath it….

  5. wordsmith Says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the book report. I picked up “Imperial Grunts”, but haven’t really started into it yet. I guess I’ll have to pick up We Were One, as well, now.

    I’ll also link this to a recent post of mine. I think it fits in.

  6. Seth Says:

    Wordsmith –

    Your linked post is outstanding, and thanks for linking to this post, as well. The book definitely offers an insight into goings on in Iraq that the MSM pointedly ignores.

    It’s really too bad that so many journalists are so willing to sell their souls as they do.

    We Were One is definitely a great read and a worthwhile library addition.

  7. KEvronius Says:

    “The Democrats claim to “support” the troops, while in reality they do all they can to get as many of our soldiers and Marines killed as they can, just to make losing a reality.”

    and there’s nothing you can do to stop us.



  8. Seth Says:

    You know what, KEvron?

    Although I have taken to deleting your scatter-brained, moronic, pre-adolescent, disjointed, attemptedly provocative wingnut comments, as you’ve no doubt observed, I am going to leave this one up as it so perfectly demonstrates what being a Democrat means these days.

    You are a fine spokesman for the Democratic Party, and I thank you for your testimonial.

  9. Ogre Says:

    Hey, everyone — look! An honest Democrat! This person actually admits they are a Democrat and they want US Military people to die. About time one of them admitted the truth. Seems like good enough reason to me to add them to the list of current enemies.

  10. Seth Says:

    Ogre –

    It is so refreshing to see a Democrat telling the truth, isn’t it?

  11. MarieTwoCents Says:

    I cant believe that little Moron wrote that!

    Never met the freak till lastnight.

    Heck of a way to meet.

    Nice blog you have here.

  12. Seth Says:

    Marie –

    Welcome, and thanks.

    Whenever one believes one has met the ultimate troll, along comes a KEvron, LOL.

  13. MarieTwoCents Says:

    Ultimate Troll is an understatement, that freak just tore up my blog like a Locust he must move from blog to blog with his Insane ramblings.

    He just put the same post on my blog as he did on your’s about the troops. So I will let that one set there for the world to see also. But that’s it TRASH CAN time for that Loon.

  14. MarieTwoCents Says:

    Oh by the way you are linked :-)

  15. Seth Says:

    Marie –

    He was continuously spamming me with the same thing for at least 45 minutes. I’d delete, he’d spam.

    I had a look at his blog, it figures he’s in San Francisco.

    What a piss-ant!

  16. Seth Says:

    Marie –

    Why, thank you, ma’am. U 2!

  17. ABF Says:

    This war would have been over long ago if it wasn’t for LIEberal interference.

  18. atheling2 Says:

    We may not be able to stop you, MO(KEv)ron, but you will be stopped.

    When dirty bombs go off in major American cities because your moronic party strangled the Patriot Act and passed legislation giving Muslims special
    “civil rights”, you will be stopped in your tracks.

    You and your ilk will be run over by the stampede of angry patriotic Americans who will rise up and and get this war off the ground full throttle.

    And people like you, you faggot liberal with your head up your ass, will find yourself in the irrelevant heap where you belong.

  19. Seth Says:

    ABF –

    It sure would have, except for liberals who are so duped that they truly believe that their obstructions will gain them mercy from the Islamofascists we are fighting.

    They will be the first to go, the friggin’ morons!

  20. Seth Says:

    Atheling2 –

    The dregs of morality like KEvron, who endorse all the things that the Islamofascists despise yet support them, will be the ones tortured and beheaded first.

    Yet they are so obtuse, they believe that obstructing our govt in the War On Terror and interfering with our homeland security efforts will gain them some sort of mercy.

    What a bunch of anal cavities! Their atheism, their homosexuality and so forth will only render them first in line for extermination.

    What a bunch of idiots!

    Useful idiots, no less!

  21. atheling2 Says:

    “there is nothing you can do to stop us.


    We don’t need to. There’s always AIDS.

  22. Seth Says:

    Atheling2 –

    Considering that the toad’s blog is called “Stinkylovin” (gross), that’s a distinct possibility.

  23. atheling2 Says:


    He’s a pedophile too. Ugh.

  24. atheling2 Says:

  25. Seth Says:

    Atheling2 –

    From reading some of the posts at its blog, I would say that the thing that calls itself KEvron would do society in general a serious service by checking itself into a major mental hospital at its earliest convenience.

    As a blogger, I have to say that KEvron should give other bloggers the respect of not messing with their comment sections as he does, but at the same time I understand it: Respect, tolerance and other issues that are of value to human beings are worthless to liberals, who simply have no respect for anything they don’t personally own.

  26. atheling2 Says:

    He has the emotional and mental maturity of a 4 year old.

    Pedophile creep.

  27. atheling2 Says:


    I deleted all of his comments. Will you email me his IP?

  28. Seth Says:

    Atheling2 –


    So the mutt is a child molester, and proud of it enough to announce it on a blog.

    And the Bureau knows this.

    If he continues to assault Hard Astarboard with his BS, he is going to bring problems on himself. He has no idea what business I’m in, how deeply I’m into it nor what kind of people I can have “discuss” things with him.

    If the punk keeps it up, I can guarantee him an experience he will not enjoy.

  29. atheling2 Says:

    Well the sick bastard pedophile is now spamming my blog. Seth, if you have the inclination to do something about it, be my guest!

    I’d love to hear how this creep is taken down.

  30. Seth Says:

    Atheling2 –

    I emailed you.

    If I do anything, I don’t want him forewarned by reading about it here first, I want it to be an unpleasant surprise. :-)

  31. Nelly Says:

    Hey Seth, what you up to? Hope you are doing fine. Just wanted to stop by and say: HALLO AUS DEUTSCHLAND!!! :)

  32. Seth Says:

    Nelly –

    Life is profoundly busy, but great nonetheless, danke. :-)

  33. Nelly Says:

    It’s always busy, isn’t it? But sometimes we just have to take a breath from it :)

    Take care and don’t over do it *Angel Hugs*