Skip to comments.VANITY: "Lone Survivor", the story of "Murphy's Ridge" and the Lost SEAL Team
Posted on 10/15/2007 8:21:06 PM PDT by rlmorel
I just finished listening to the Audiobook of "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell. It is one of the most amazing stories about survival I have ever read, but in my opinion, what is even more compelling about the book are the trials of honor and morality.
This is a story that America should be aware of, and very few people are, even though the leader of this team LT Murphy was recently awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, and the other three members of the team were awarded the Navy Cross, two posthumously.
This is an awful moral conflict these men found themselves in...nearly biblical in nature. From a misson perspective, they had every right to kill two Afghan goatherders who stumbled across them while they were surveilling a village containing a high value target. But they found they could not kill the two in cold blood (one a 14 year old boy) not only for moral reasons, but for tactical reasons.
1.) If they killed them, they could not hide the bodies, because there was no way to bury them (they did not have entrenching tools, and the terrain was too rocky anyway)
2.) When the two goatherders did not show back up in the village, the people would definitely have gone out looking for them and found them.
3.) They could do nothing about the large herd of goats. So even if they had killed the pair, it would not likely have gained them much since they couldnt dispose of the herd of goats which would have led the Taliban right to the guys who were in an extremely exposed and indefensible area.
Personally, the surviving SEAL who wrote the book is berating himself visciously and vigorously for not killing the two in cold blood, but...I think he is too hard on himself. It was simply a bad situation, a no-win situation. And killing two unarmed people, one a child in cold blood to save your own skin would have had a price of its own as he seems well enough aware of.. It is, however very disturbing and sad to hear this poor guy just tear his decision to pieces and berate himself for making it. It literally broke my heart to hear the pain in his angry words he directs at himself.
There is also the story of the Afghan village that took him in and stood up the the Taliban, saving his life. THIS just fills you with respect for the Afghans who are standing up to the Taliban and other Islamofascists.
Apparently, under Afghan custom there is a process called "lokay" (phonetic) where if someone takes another under protection, that person cannot be harmed. And the Taliban needed the cooperation of these Pashtun villages, so they could not afford to alienate the other villages and Pashtuns by storming in and killing the semi-incapacitated SEAL. They came in and slapped him around and such, but could not take him out and kill him, as they most surely wanted to do.
The whole village was looking out for him. The kids loved him, and one day after the kids had gone out looking for parachuted items, the Taliban fighters had beat up all the kids, so their faces were marked and bruised. When they came back, they didn't want to let on to him what had happened, but he figured it out. The kids stood up to them as well in defense of this guy and had been beaten.
One more interesting thing: The honor and respect this author (and by his account, nearly every person in Special Forces he served with) has for George W. Bush. I know he has plenty of shortcomings in various areas, but as a Commander in Chief, this book is an illustration of the positive attitudes these elite military men have for President Bush. Another thing you just do not see reported.
It is my opinion that someday this will will be immortalized on film for all of us to appreciate, in the fashion of "Band of Brothers". I predict it will be done, and will do justice to the memory of those men, and to the Afghan villagers who risked their lives to save the life of just one of these men, Marcus Luttrell.
Note: I do not think this movie will end up made by one of those shallow Hollywood liberal pieces of crap...it will be a labor of love by someone, and will be one of the best movies ever made. Liberals won't touch it, especially with the utter contempt these men apparently had for the Liberals, and the apparent aforementioned respect and admiration they have for George W. Bush.
What is your opinion on regular books and audio books? Is it a long book? I read kinda slow so I figure listening to that would make me go at a quicker pace.
The audiobook is VERY well done...and it is a pretty short book, just over five hours. I listen to them going to and from work, about an hour each way.
Took me just two days...VERY well done.
BTW...if you have not done audiobooks, this one is short. I have a few that are 15 hours or more...:)
I'll never drink from a plastic Pepsi bottle.
No kidding. As messed up as he was, the smell of that bottle really did offend him mightily!
Sounds cool, I’ll try to find the audio book of it then.
It’s a definate MUST read.
That’s it. I’m getting it. I have a credit at audible.com and I’m getting this one.
Thanks for the little push!
Sad that this is not a well known story, either.
Sure it popped up, but immediate disappeared under another Britney Spears story (or whatever)
Well worth it.
Generally, I have to admit Audible.com is a bit of a liberal thing, you can tell by the books they include right off the bat. They have Al Franken’s, Bill Clinton’s book and Hillary’s book immediately, but don’t get Ann Coulter’s or Robert Patterson’s books out there until months later.
But they do have a lot of books for conservatives, if you know what you are looking for.
I’ve only read the first chapter so far. Look forward to reading the rest of it.
Ping for knowlege!
I saw Ann Coulter's audiobook yesterday at Barnes & Noble when I bought the Clarence Thomas book.
Our heroes in Afghanistan have become near invisible thanks to the mass media’s purposeful focus on Iraq (where “America’s mistake” beckons their traitorous interests) rather than the country the terrorists use as a base. I hope this book gets the proper publicizing it deserves.
I am going to talk this book up to everyone I know. It is such a compelling book.
Bought the Hardbound Version.
Read it, Loved it.
This book is making the rounds of my Family and Friends.
wow I will go pick this up!!
Thanks for the post about it.
Absolutely...talk this up, it is a story that must be told! (Of course, if you agree after reading it...)
High five back to you. Great to see folks like yourself supporting the troops beyond slapping a generic magnet on their vehicle.
A friend dropped this book off a week ago.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. When you get to the insertion, a simple short read of a few pages will floor you each sitting. I read through tears of respect about this whole SEAL teams courage. I won’t give it away except to say the book covers many angles; puts YOU in the thick of it, and it will be made clear to you why this author survived, and he’ll tell you why he became: the “Lone Survivor”. I’d calculate the odds of this man surviving ‘that day’ at over 24Mil to 1.
A salute to SEAL TEAM 10! Mikey, Marcus, Axe, and Danny heroes all.
Interview worth watching: 13 minutes
Thanks for the recommendation of this book. The tribulations and sacrifices that our warriors go through are often beyond comprehension. As a peacetime service-person in the ‘80s I had the privilege of meeting several spec-ops folks and KNEW, in my gut, they were the best of America. One of them knew he probably wouldn’t make it back from a mission. He didn’t get back but the intel he transmitted helped give Reagan more leverage to kick butt in the Iceland meeting - setting up the Soviet Union’s eventual demise.
We had a mighty party for him. That Pathfinder’s fate is still classified but we know his family was properly taken care of. I don’t know how these things are handled these days.
If he was one of a few kept secret in a far less strict time how many more are gone - with their families never knowing and bereft of deserving benefits or the truth of their loved one’s demise? I’ll just say Arlington is short at least a few hundred monuments because of the nature of undeclared warfare and the cowardice of our representatives to declare formal hostilities when they see obtaining goals secretively at the expense of a “mere handful of nobodies” no one will bother to investigate.
How about that Bill Clinton trying to get that lying-about-service contributor buried there just to have the creep dug back up after the truth was found? Bet it was easy to locate from the spinning sounds around it.
and now they have to worry if pelosi and gangs seditious actions may shut down their supply route through Turkey - for water, food and the new anti-IED equipment that can come ONLY through Turkey.
I'm an old lady..never thought I'd see the day when such blatant treason would be perpetrated from the halls of Congress - let alone be tolerated. They should have been shouted down by now - they should be under indictment for treason...
Bump for later.
Bump for later.
Sounds like a good book... I’ll try my hardest to see if I can find it here.. but it’s awfully hard to find anything NOT liberal in the bookstores that sell English books here :/ The lib books are always on facecaps >.<
I agree about the odds of his survival. That was a miracle, but God helps those who help themselves, and he just would not give up, no way, no how.
I wasn’t too squeamish about giving anything away, because I don’t think any kind of suspense is a factor in what is amazing about this story, but I suppose I should apologize to anyone who feels differently on it...
Thanks for the link...will check it out tonite...
The bar for treason has definitely been raised by the liberals.
If the US didn’t try Fonda for treason, didn’t try Kerry and didn’t try Conyers, and didn’t try the NYT, then heck, we ain’t ever going to try anyone no matter what they do.
I read this when it came out. Excellent read that will educate you far beyond what the MSM knows. The real lesson I took away was how tribal Afghanistan is. My nephew is headed there this month and I hope he has all the training he needs to deal with his environment.
I won’t spoil it, but it will also tell you how the decisions of the MSM kill great men.
Is the audiobook abridged? I prefer them to be complete. I have been considering getting it for my 16 yo grandson for Christmas.
I am listening to Ann’s book now. I just wish it were not abridged. I love her ascerbic wit. My grandson is reading the book. He is enjoying it - partly because he rarely gets to read her columns. I was hoping for another ‘Slander’ or ;Treason’, not a ‘How to talk to Liberals’.
I know what you mean, but I mostly search for specific books.
I know that this is an old thread, but I have a question about Marcus Luttrell. OK, I just read the book and really liked it. The story reads like a novel, with spiraling action that almost seems unbelievable. For example, Lutrell says that he was blown out of a hiding place with a rocket.
Anyway, I was really inspired by the book. Then this Sunday at church I met a Army Ranger back from Afghanistan and I was talking to him about the war and stuff and mentioned Lone Survivor. He immediately said, Oh, that guy made up most of that story. He said that the SEALS are not respected by the Rangers because the SEALS are wreckless and arrogant. He said that he was in the area during the Lone Survivor events and while he wasnt on the mission, he knows that the story doesn’t add up.
He said that one funny detail is that Marcus complained that the army helicopter dropped their ropes after the insertion which compromised their security since the ropes could have been found. But, that apparently dropping ropes is standard procedure.
So, I thought. The Ranger’s reaction must be just rivalry between forces. But, then I starting thinking about all of the extreme details in the book and how it sounded like a script for a movie. For example, right before he is picked up and rescued, he stares through the sights of his rifle into the eyes of the terrorist commander he was sent to kill, but because it is a stand off he doesn’t fire. That would make a great scene.
Also, he reveals that he lies to his captors twice about having diabetes and that he was a doctor. But, he doesnt explain why these lies were necessary since his captors were friendly. Does he have a character problem with the truth?
On the other hand, the military must have believed him because his buddy Mikey received the Medal of Honor and I assume that they have to provide some kind of fact finding investigation.
I want to believe this guy is an honest hero, but I wonder.
Question: do any of you know if Luttrell could have made up details of the story?
Good questions..I have no personal experience in these matters, but here is what my impression is from all I have read over the years (anyone with experience trumps me and can just tell me I don’t know...)
There IS a rivalry between Special Forces and regular Army units. As collaborating evidence, see “Blackhawk Down”...the Rangers chafe when the SF guys think they are something special and go to the front of the line for meals and walk around with their safeties off on their weapons. True story (and good movie) so I think there is friction. Also, the SEALS being Navy might provoke even more animosity.
Dropping ropes might be standard procedure for Rangers, but may not be SOP for SF guys like SEALS being inserted in the middle of enemy occupied areas.
IIRC, he wasn’t blown out of a hiding place by a rocket, he was blown over a cliff after being trapped under a fallen log right on the edge of the cliff and unable to move...an RPG hit the log and freed him but threw him off the cliff.
As for the lying, I thought he told a lie when he didn’t know if they were friendly or not, then couldn’t figure out how to tell them later that he had been deceiving them all along without offending them.
That all said, he could have made up details...nobody can verify it.
Great interview! That Army Puke who was putting down Lutrell probably could have never made it through Seal training. Being agressive is the Seal’s stock in trade.
And this is coming from a former Marine with no love lost for the Navy (Except for Medical Corpmen and Seabees).
Besides, Lutrell hails from Huntsville, East Texas, a town with a Martial Tradition dating back to the WBTS.