Never Send a Briton to do a Ghurka's Job.

I see things like this, and it makes me feel like hoisting the raven banner, calling out the warband and pointing the longships towards London.

Apparently when you send a Ghurka to do a man's job, he does it, and never even flinches, unlike his seniors (I cannot honestly refer to them as his superiors).

Having been sent to kill an afghan warlord (and bring back the body to confirm the ID), the Ghurkas of the 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles went out and promptly killed him. When increasingly heavy enemy fire necessitated their hasty displacement from their position, and prevented the retrieval of the warlord's body, the Ghurka in question resorted to an age old tactic. He cut off the target's head and dropped it in his pack.

Turn now to Simoorie where, lapped in his ease,
The Captain is petting the Bride on his knees,
Where the whit of the bullet, the wounded man's scream
Are mixed as the mist of some devilish dream --
Forgotten, forgotten the sweat of the shambles
Where the hill-daisy blooms and the gray monkey gambols,
From the sword-belt set free and released from the steel,
The Peace of the Lord is with Captain O'Neil.

Up the hill to Simoorie--
most patient of drudges--
The bags on his shoulder, the mail-runner trudges.

"For Captain O'Neil, Sahib. One hundred and ten
Rupees to collect on delivery."

(Their breakfast was stopped while the screw-jack and hammer
Tore waxcloth, split teak-wood, and chipped out the dammer;)
Open-eyed, open-mouthed, on the napery's snow,

With a crash and a thud, rolled--the Head of the Boh!

-Rudyard Kipling
--The Ballad of Boh-da-Thone

But instead of a considered and heartfelt thanks, prehaps a commendation or a medal, or at least a hundred rupees, the poor fellow is sent back to Kent "pending investigation". "Ministry of Defence sources have been quick to emphasize that the British Army is appalled by what has happened. According to one: 'There is no sense of glory involved, more a sense of shame. He should not have done what he did."

What. The. Fuck. Over. By all the Gods and the choosers of the slain! What is wrong with the UK? Was it the 30 years of rationing following world war two? Was it having to give back India and Hong Kong? What is it that makes a once ruthless and accomplished empire shit themselves over "cultural insensitivity"? Especially if your enemy's SOP is to erase cultures other than his own and replace them with "The Word of Allah". Religion of peace my ass.

Freyr's Phallus! What kind of bloodless, gibbering, 75 Kilo stack of gutless white meat says that a Ghurka's following orders is shameful? Do you think this is a game? Do you think the dead and maimed will get up at the end of the match and shake hands with their opponents? Show some respect for your country. Show some respect for your soldiers. Show some respect for the dead and the sacrifice thay have made for you and your piss poor understanding of international relations.

As you might sense, I am slightly put out by the British government.

H/T to LawDog


Standing Stone: Aaron Malone

My brother-in-law died yesterday. His was the C-17 that crashed shortly after takeoff, Wednesday July 28th 2010. He leaves behind a wife and three sons. He is survived by two sisters, one brother, his parents and uncounted hordes of aunts, uncles, and cousins. And me.

Aaron was a Man. He was a soldier, an airman and a warrior. He was a father, husband, son and brother. He was an adult. He was a hunter and a fisherman and a skilled player of poker (even if it was that god-awful Texas Hold 'em). He was my friend. Mayhap even my brother.

When I first met Aaron, he met me at the driveway with a gun. To be fair I was bringing his sister home at 5 AM. But he went out of his way to make me feel like part of the family. If I needed help, I knew I could call on him, even if it was help with moving furniture, and he'd come. Not many would do that.

So here's to my brother, my friend, Aaron. I love you man, may we meet again in the Shining Fields.

Of Men and Menhirs

In ancient times, to commemorate a great event or a beloved person's death, people would sometimes erect a stone of remembrance. This was a tremendous stone, rising as much as 20 meters above the ground. Carved upon it were the name of the person, or a depiction of the event and sometimes a few words about them, or what occurred. The closest we have to stones of remembrance in modern society are headstones, though mobile memorials in the form of vinyl decals on the rear doors or windscreens of automobiles are becoming more and more common.

The only problem with a headstone is that only those who come to the gravesite will ever see it. A standing stone, while often raised on the final resting place of the deceased, were also raised in locations where they would be seen by those passing by. So that any man, wight or god could read of the love felt by kith and kin for the fallen.