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Delta Force, Seals, Rangers, Green Berets, SAS, Special Forces- Who They Are, What They Do
ABC News ^ | 9/29/01

Posted on 09/29/2001 4:33:40 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar


Special operation forces are spread throughout the military, an elite group of 29,000 troops among 1.4 million Americans in full-time uniform. Here's a closer look:

Army Special Forces:

Commonly called the "Green Berets," Army Special Forces skilled in explosives and guerrilla warfare can train foreign troops and resistance fighters to overthrow hostile regimes.

In 1967, 16 Green Berets and CIA operatives spent a summer training and equipping Bolivian soldiers to capture communist leader Che Guevara and his small band of soldiers. In October of that year, the Bolivian soldiers caught Guevara and executed him.

More recently, Green Berets have trained Colombian troops to combat drug lords. Most Army Special Forces activity in the Gulf War is still classified, but missions included locating Scud missile sites and marking them with beacons or through radio contact for subsequent airstrikes.

Army Rangers:

True to their motto "Rangers Lead the Way," these groups of highly trained troops are often the first Americans to meet combat, as was the case in World War II and most major conflicts since. They've also seen combat in smaller, specialized missions in Panama, Iran and Somalia.

The name "Ranger" dates back to colonial Indian fighters, who would scout out frontier areas and mark the number of miles they "ranged" at day's end. In modern missions, Rangers are often called on to secure hostile airfields in enemy territory, either by landing in aircraft or, if resistance forces are present, parachuting onto the scene ready to fight. They often reinforce the smaller, more elite Delta Force.

If called upon to fight in Afghanistan, the Rangers would possibly enter the country in Blackhawk and Cobra helicopters, launching quick raids against hide-outs in the mountainous terrain.

Delta Force:

Anti-terrorism forces initially modeled after Britain's Special Air Service, Delta Force is considered one of the world's most effective units in close-quarters battle. Recruited mainly from the 82nd Airborne, the Green Berets and the Rangers, Delta Force members are specially trained at an elaborate facility at Fort Bragg, N.C., to fight terrorists, rescue hostages and perform reconnaissance in extremely dangerous places.

They led an attempt to rescue American hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1980. They suffered losses in Somalia, along with the Rangers, in a failed attempt to capture a Mogadishu warlord in 1993.

Unlike most other traditional military units, Delta commandos are encouraged to be free-thinkers, some at times growing longer hair and beards in order to fit in with locals. Delta commandos customize their weapons and gear to suit particular missions and their own tastes.

Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land.):

Famous for their aquatic and underwater explosives skills, SEALs can deploy from parachutes, travel up rivers underwater or in small rubber boats, and return from missions to submarines waiting many miles out at sea. Their history dates to World War II, when Naval Combat Demolition Units used explosives to clear obstacles for D-Day troops landing on Utah and Omaha beaches in Normandy.

Though their aquatic skills may be marginalized in a land-locked target such as Afghanistan, SEALs also train in the desert, jungles, in cold weather and in urban surroundings.

Psychological Operations Groups:

In Panama in 1989, psychological warfare experts accompanied Army Rangers on parachute drops to broadcast U.S. propaganda from bullhorns and blast rock music at the Vatican Embassy where Manuel Noriega was taking refuge, hoping to unnerve him. They also disseminated messages to adversarial forces as part of operations in Somalia and during the Gulf War.

Psychological warfare experts armed with knowledge of local folklore in the late 1940s scared Philippine communist insurgents into thinking they were being chased by a ghost. Psych-ops experts participating in a mission in Afghanistan may study local superstitions and Islamic teachings.

Britain's Special Air Service:

These commandos are widely respected around the world as perhaps the most effective special ops forces ever fielded. The SAS originally was created during World War II to attack Axis communication lines, airfields and military equipment deep within enemy turf.

In the 1970s, the commandos turned their attention to terrorists and started training for hijackings and hostage situations. When Iraqi-backed terrorists seized the Iranian Embassy in London, the SAS took the building successfully. They were put to work in the Gulf War and, like the U.S. Army's Green Berets, they've been known to train Colombian anti-narcotics police. They've also worked with non-communist Cambodian guerrilla, hunted ivory poachers in Kenya, and taught foreign troops at NATO Special Forces schools.

SOURCES: Material came from various sources including Jane's, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Ranger.org, George Washington University, Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden.

Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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1 posted on 09/29/2001 4:33:40 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Can't you just hear loud speakers, directed at Afgan caves, blasting pig squealing sounds?
2 posted on 09/29/2001 4:42:43 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
... or a Britney Spears CD?
3 posted on 09/29/2001 4:44:18 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
You left out the oldest special forces. U.S.M.C. Which will be 226 years old November 10. Force Recon & Snipers! Semper Fi, Mike
4 posted on 09/29/2001 4:44:31 PM PDT by HEFFERNAN2
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To: CHATTAB
In a real war, this article would be yanked.

True, it is "all over the TV."

But it may not be the TV which a certain bad guy with inspiriation - tuned - up ... is looking at. Rather, he may be here; and reviewing this information just gave him a bright idea.

In wartime, every little tiny, teeny piece counts.

The door you and I close, may be THE door, one day, which thwarts some bad guys and prevents them from harming our fellow troopers.

5 posted on 09/29/2001 4:44:59 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: First_Salute
There is nothing in this article other than publicly available background information. Chill out.
6 posted on 09/29/2001 4:49:00 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
ROFLMAO!!!!!
7 posted on 09/29/2001 4:55:43 PM PDT by Aztech
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To: 11th Earl of Mar, billhilly
Can't you just hear loud speakers, directed at Afgan caves, blasting pig squealing sounds?

... or a Britney Spears CD?

What's the difference?

8 posted on 09/29/2001 5:05:48 PM PDT by uglybiker
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: East Bay Patriot
"That oughta scare the living Allah out of them..."

Brilliant, East Bay, brilliant! LOL

10 posted on 09/29/2001 5:26:14 PM PDT by brat
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To: All
I dunno, hunkered down in my cave and hearing Kathy Lee singing would have me pretty twitchy after a couple of hours. I don't think even cotton can stop that catterwallin'.
11 posted on 09/29/2001 5:26:38 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
There is another British force who's name I cannot recall. They originated as a loyal India group while Britain controlled India. These little buggers scare the hell out of the military world. They are still in existance in good numbers and based out of Britain. Does anyone know the name of this group?
12 posted on 09/29/2001 5:30:01 PM PDT by blackdog
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To: blackdog
Gurkhas (sp?)
13 posted on 09/29/2001 5:31:39 PM PDT by facedown
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To: spectr17
Catterwalling = caterwauling. Momentary lapse in spelling.
14 posted on 09/29/2001 5:32:23 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: blackdog
Soccer fans?
15 posted on 09/29/2001 5:33:36 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: blackdog
Are you referring to the Ghurkas?
16 posted on 09/29/2001 5:35:25 PM PDT by Fury
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To: First_Salute
The problem the bad guys have isn't obtaining material, it is sorting through the material. Volumes and volumes, and ream upon ream of freely obtainable material about our military and defense capabilties.

If the bad guys are too stupid to get a Jane's book, then they are too stupid to read this thread for info.

No, their problem is going to be sorting through the stuff for important info.

17 posted on 09/29/2001 5:39:23 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Well....yadda...yadda...yadda...I will tell you what these great heros will do. They will squeal to their families when they are captured. Their families will go on CNN. They will tear our hearts out about how horribly they are being treated and ..please...please...can't we do something for them. Have all the faith you want in them. I don't.
18 posted on 09/29/2001 5:42:01 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
... or a Britney Spears CD?

Don't forget Barry Manilow which we hammered Noriega with.

19 posted on 09/29/2001 5:44:58 PM PDT by BunnySlippers
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To: LarryLied
Obviously Larry you've never been around the SF community. Whine is not a word in their vocabulary.
20 posted on 09/29/2001 5:45:38 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: uglybiker
I don't care for her singing but Britney is definitely no pig!

I don't even recall what they are called but an aquaintance, who is a Ranger once told me the Air Force Special ops people at Hurlburt Field are as good as any.

21 posted on 09/29/2001 5:45:57 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: spectr17
I lived in Rio Vista. I know these people. They would slit the throats of anyone who ...well...never mind.

Santa Cruz was even worse. I moved out of state.

22 posted on 09/29/2001 5:48:15 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
Are you referring to the US spec ops personnel?

Please clarify. If you are going to call these guys cowards, have the decency to do it clearly and plainly. They won't care, they won't give a dam about what you say. Some others may react differently.

23 posted on 09/29/2001 5:49:59 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: facedown
Thanks! I will do a search on em.
24 posted on 09/29/2001 5:50:18 PM PDT by blackdog
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To: Larry
Lil help here with Larry and his problem.


25 posted on 09/29/2001 5:50:35 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
you really want to know what they do??

THEY KILL PEOPLE

Thank you, have a nice day...
Semper fi American Warriors!

26 posted on 09/29/2001 5:51:09 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1
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To: LarryLied
When I was in college the Captain of one of our athletic teams was an Army Ranger Captain.

I have never met a more humble, pleasant fellow. I also saw enough of him in action to suspect that he was just as tough as they are supposed to be.

27 posted on 09/29/2001 5:51:28 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Larry
Humor me for a minute Larry. What SF is near Santa Cruz?
28 posted on 09/29/2001 5:53:10 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: LarryLied
Of course you are entitled to your own opinion, however your comment is a little over the top. You obviously have no knowledge of our military's elite special forces.
29 posted on 09/29/2001 5:58:42 PM PDT by AriFan
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To: Larry
Larry, I understand the duress you're under right now precludes you from answering. How about hand signals. 1 finger for yes, 2 fingers = a no?
30 posted on 09/29/2001 6:00:52 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Bump for covert ops...
31 posted on 09/29/2001 6:05:32 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP
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To: HEFFERNAN2
Semper Fi!
32 posted on 09/29/2001 6:06:05 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP
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To: Eagle Eye
If you are going to call these guys cowards, have the decency to do it clearly and plainly.

We will see, won't we? I suspect any POW will be crying and whining. And we'll see their parents on CNN. Over and over. That clear enough for you?

Btw... I have a relative flying somewhere in the world right now. Nobody knows where.

33 posted on 09/29/2001 6:06:38 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
It must really SUCK to be you.
34 posted on 09/29/2001 6:07:52 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1
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What's the difference?

That is a question that I cannot answer since I can't recall ever hearing Brittany Spears. I do, however, know the sound of pigs squealing, and I also know that Muslims cannot stand the thought of pork.

35 posted on 09/29/2001 6:08:00 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
I wonder how Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" sounds when sung in Farsi (or whatever language it is those terrorists speak)? Or some good AC/DC tunes: "Hell's Bells," "Highway to Hell."
36 posted on 09/29/2001 6:12:15 PM PDT by Robert Lomax
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To: blackdog
Ghurkas.

Ghurkas and the Afghans think banging heads is all in good fun. What scares the hell out of the world about Ghurkas is that they fight like Afghanis.

37 posted on 09/29/2001 6:14:05 PM PDT by Abn1508
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To: Loser Larry
Larry, many SF die each year, the memorial walls are testimony to that.

What is your problem with SF? You a reject? You one of them clowns who pretended to be SF and had his teeth rearranged?

38 posted on 09/29/2001 6:15:18 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: AriFan
You obviously have no knowledge of our military's elite special forces.

I should hope not. But I do know the political situation. I saw the protests in DC today. I see the trial lawyers lined up to sue airports and the like because some poor person's feelings were hurt when they could not get on a plane.

Doesn't take a weatherman to see which way the wind in blowing.

39 posted on 09/29/2001 6:16:08 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: Loser Larry,
Larry, there is still a question pending. What SF is near Santa Cruz or Rio Vista?
40 posted on 09/29/2001 6:17:05 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: LarryLied
Calling SF cowards because you saw some protests and lawyers circling like sharks?

You are being too bizarre even for you.

41 posted on 09/29/2001 6:18:36 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: Loser Larry
I lived in Rio Vista. I know these people. They would slit the throats of anyone who ...well...never mind. Santa Cruz was even worse. I moved out of state.

I should hope not. But I do know the political situation. I saw the protests in DC today. I see the trial lawyers lined up to sue airports and the like because some poor person's feelings were hurt when they could not get on a plane.

So, the 1st post is a lie than.

42 posted on 09/29/2001 6:20:49 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: spectr17
Why not address my concerns rather than nit pick? I know the answer. You have no answer. You too know what is about to happen. This will be all BS. You know it, I know it, our enemies know it.

One day Powell says this, then Bush says that, then somebody says we may use nukes or we may not. We're supposed to swallow the line this is all disinformation.

We will see, won't we?

43 posted on 09/29/2001 6:22:04 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: Loser Larry
Why not address my concerns rather than nit pick?

Why not tell the truth for a change. You lose all creditabilty when you lie. Why do I get the feeling you're slimier than a leech?

44 posted on 09/29/2001 6:24:37 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: spectr17
Larry is not necessarily a loser. Based on his bookmarks, he, or she, is a sex obsessed individual in need of professional help. A click on LarryLied will confirm my observation.
45 posted on 09/29/2001 6:26:41 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: billhilly
Yeesh Larry, I think I'll stop wasting my time here. Thanks Billhilly.
46 posted on 09/29/2001 6:28:50 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: blackdog, all
From the Times of London, a good article about the Gurkhas:

Fighting fit for foreign Queen and country

Helen Rumbelow

January 2, 1999

A YOUNG boy sprinted up the mountain with the watchful encouragement of a retired Gurkha officer, his father.

Captain Budhikumar Gurung, who reached the prestigious post of Queen's Gurkha's Orderly Officer, one of a pair serving the Royal Family, returned to Nepal three months ago. He has the difficult task of adjusting from life at Buckingham Palace to living in the seventh poorest country in the world.

Like most of the 26,000 retired Gurkhas, he did not stay in Britain, instead settling next to the Pokhara base that gave him his chance in life more than two decades ago. As with all other Gurkhas, he had a course to help him to adapt to a homeland that he visited only briefly in his adult life.

Taught farming, banking and business administration, he is typical in managing to save enough to own businesses and property, supplemented by an officer's pension of more than £100 a month. Most Gurkhas serve a standard 15 years before recieving a soldier's pension of up to £40 a month, depending on rank and service.

On the slopes of the Himalayas, Gurkha homes are easy to spot, built out of brick, not mud, and with flowered gardens reminiscent of the English countryside. While working, the captain earned more than a Nepalese government minister. Now his pension earns him double a teacher's wage, and immense respect.

A former Gurkha can leapfrog the caste system that bars most of his kinsmen from the plum jobs in Kathmandu, and gives a great advantage in finding a second career. His son, Nabin, said it was a combination of riches and respect that made him want to follow his father and grandfather into the Second Gurkha Rifles. "When my father walks down the street, they look up to him."

Nabin, 19, has excelled in his recruitment tests, a testimony to the private boarding school education his father was able to give his son for ten years while serving in Hong Kong. "I once thought of being a doctor. For a normal Nepalese it's a very good salary. But being a Gurkha is better."

He is one of 36,000 competing for just 230 of this year's places with the British Gurk-has, a wing of the army made up of Nepalese hillmen, who are feared and respected as elite warriors. Among others is a skinny, 20-year-old orphan, Lakh Bahadur Gurung, who won the most dreaded and gruelling of the challenges that the would-be recruits face. In 31 minutes he managed to race two miles up a steep mountainside with two thirds of his body weight in rocks strapped to his back.

Now he is assured of a job fighting for Britain - a country he believes is punctual, clean and wealthy. Later this month, he will be at a damp army base in Hampshire, learning how to swim, use a knife and fork, and flush a lavatory, as well as handling weapons other than his kukri, an all-purpose knife for chopping firewood and, should the need arise, enemy necks.

When he returns for his first visit home in three years' time, his £538-a-month job will have made him a local hero, earning 12 times the average wage and with girls competing just as hard to catch his eye.

After foreign aid, tourism and carpets, Britain's trade in its fit young men is Nepal's biggest money earner, although this year the competition is even stiffer as the army is demanding brains as well as brawn.

Gurkhas have been recruited from the central and eastern mountain surrounding the town of Gorkha for 180 years, ever since a smugly invading British army was shocked by the ruthless opposition of the proud warrior tribe whose first principle is better to die than be a coward.

So much British blood poured down the run-off notches on kukris that a peace treaty was hurriedly drawn up, including a clause to allow the British to recruit from this short and tenacious stock of natural soldiers they had so painfully discovered.

Gurkha numbers have dropped from the 112,000 men who were fighting in the Second World War to around 4,000 today, depleted in the 1990s by the closure of their main base in Hong Kong and by army restructuring.

Although numbers are on the rise again, the army now wants supremely fit athletes and boys who must be able to speak good English and be able to solve complicated algebraic equations. Two thirds of the young hopefuls will be rejected by Colonel Richard Coleman, the officer in command of the base.

One of his problems is that the Basic Fitness Test used for all British recruits is too easy for the Nepalese. Instead of the 11 minutes allotted to an infantry applicant to run a mile and a half, a Gurkha recruit must run it a minute and a half faster.

Although hill boys find running on the flat unnatural and bizarre, this still proves effortless for boys brought up on constant physical exercise, whose legs have the knotted muscles of professional sprinters. So the infamous Doko race was devised, where the traditional wicker rucksack or "doko" supported by a forehead strap must be filled with 70lb of rocks and speeded up a small Himalaya in under 40 minutes.

Most Westerners find even walking up the steep shingle a breathless effort, and army officers say that if the test were applied at home British recruitment would drop to one or two men a year.

History of gentlemen fighters

GURKHAS began their long friendship with Britain in a bloody, year-long war. The British East India Company went to battle against the warrior tribes living around Gorkha in 1814, with an army outnumbering the locals by 21,000 to 16,000.

They quickly established their reputation for both bravery in battle and nobility, slaughtering many British with their trademark "kukri" while "in the intervals of combat, showing us a courtesy worthy of a more enlightened people", said one impressed British soldier.

A peace treaty hastily drawn up by the heavily hit East India Company (or "John Company") gave the British the right to recruit from the area, as well as the origin of the nickname "Johnny Gurkha". The Gurkhas quickly established a reputation for loyalty to Britain during the siege of Dehli in 1857, protecting the British under three months of continuous fire and losing three quarters of their 490 men.

More than 100,000 Gurkhas served in the First World War. A similar number served in the Second World War, when Nepal volunteered 20 extra battalions after France fell and Britain was vulnerable. After Indian independence, four of ten regiments in the Gurkha Brigade transferred to the British Army, the rest to the Indian Army.

Since 1947 they have defended British interests in Malaya, Borneo and Cyprus. The Victoria Cross has been awarded to Gurkhas 26 times.

Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd.

47 posted on 09/29/2001 6:30:17 PM PDT by dighton
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To: LarryLied
stop. Concentrate. Try to form a sentence with some meaning.

Correct me if I'm wrong in what I understand you to say:

You are calling the SF cowards and ready to wimp out and squeal when they are captured. You expect their parents or families to cry and fuss on international TV.

Is that really what you expect of our troops?

48 posted on 09/29/2001 6:30:20 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: billhilly
Better yet...we should charge into battle playing the Black Sabath song "War Pigs". Anything to mess with their heads.
49 posted on 09/29/2001 6:30:27 PM PDT by Robert Lomax
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To: Eagle Eye
It will happen. We've seen it before.
50 posted on 09/29/2001 6:35:19 PM PDT by LarryLied
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