Predator And Pray

Complaints are coming in from the field that response times are too slow. A few weeks ago a high level Taliban commander was determined to be in a certain house drinking tea. Special Ops guys and Afghan commandos were ready to go, helicopters revved up, the capture of the Taliban commander a certainty. But the force never left. The American unit commander spent hours on the phone trying to get permission from eleven different officers, some of them not available, some of them not American but Nato. At dawn he shut down the helicopters and told everybody to get some sleep. He never did get permission to capture the Taliban commander, who finished his tea and vanished. Such are the rules of engagement in Afghanistan, where the thought of injuring a civilian while killing the Taliban gives shivers of horror to higher headquarters, who know full well the New York Times would full page front page a picture of an Afghan or Pakistani child injured by the heartless and brutal Americans, notwithstanding the Taliban hide behind little girls. It was thus from the first. We all remember how Mullah Omar raced down the road, escaping, unaware a Predator had him in its sights. But the order to fire was not forthcoming. There were civilian cars on the road, and someone might get hurt.     

 

 

Mullah Omar on the road

To Pak from Kandahar

A Predator with a full load

Caught sight of Omar’s car

Permission asked to fire, then

A longish strangled pause

As conference calls went out to men

To see if there was cause

To worry if collateral

Infliction might occur

And if there might the matter’ll

Be deemed to be no sir

So Mullah Omar got away

Not knowing just how near

He came to death that very day

From that Hellfire spear

And when he heard how he was spared

He closed his eyes and wept

So thankful that the Yankees cared

That civil norms be kept

He wept and bathed and went to bed

Alive and without sin

And thanked his God he wasn’t dead

And knew that he would win

 

 

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