I’ve just watch the first segment of today’s episode of Fox New’s The Five (5pm Monday EST, 10am Tuesday NZT). The segment was about the operation where US soldiers helped in the rescue of DAESH hostages, who, intelligence suggested, were about to be executed. During the operation, a US soldier was injured and later died of his wounds.

Here are some excerpts from the Mail Online‘s article about the situation:

Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, 39, was killed during a raid in northern Iraq this week to rescue 69 Iraqis who were about to be executed by ISIS. …

Although the US commandos were not initially planning to directly take part in the raid, when the Kurdish fighters got pinned down by ISIS they joined the fight at which point MSgt Wheeler was killed. …

‘They were pinned down and they were beginning to take casualties, so the Americans in the heat of battle made a decision’ an Army spokesman said.

Six ISIS fighters were arrested and more than 20 were reportedly killed in the operation. …

Hawija, Iraq

ISIS territory: The raid was launched just east of the ISIS stronghold of Hawija, in northern Iraq, in the largely Kurdish region of Kirkuk. (Source: DailyMail Online)

The raid in which [Sergeant Wheeler] was killed was the most significant against Islamic State since May, when American special operations forces killed one of its senior leaders, Abu Sayyaf from Tunisia, in a raid in Syria.

The hostages rescued in the raid were all Arabs, including local residents and Islamic State fighters held as suspected spies, a U.S. official said. …

The official told Reuters that around 20 of the hostages were members of Iraqi security forces.

‘Some of the remainder were Daesh (Islamic State) … fighters that Daesh thought were spies,” the official said. “The rest of them were citizens of the local town’.

U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, said the possibility that Americans were among the hostages was not a consideration in carrying out the operation.

Some of the rescued people said Islamic State militants had told them they would be executed after morning prayers, Warren said.

The U.S. forces were acting as advisors then were sucked into the battle when Kurdish fighters came under heavy fire, he explained.

“They were pinned down and they were beginning to take casualties, so the Americans in the heat of battle made a decision,” he said.

Air strikes were launched before and after the mission to block approaches to the prison and destroy it afterward, the U.S. defense official said.

Hawija is a stronghold of Islamic State militants who have captured several dozen Kurdish peshmerga fighters in battle.

I was going to e-mail The Five with my response to the way they covered the issue, but that’s a bit “crazy cat lady,” and I haven’t got a cat. Here’s what I would have said:

Dear The Five,

This is what’s wrong with America.

It’s truly pathetic that you are making such a point of calling this a combat operation, and going on about whether or it is a combat operation. It is completely clear to me that these brave soldiers are not part of a combat operation. That does not in any way diminish what they did. In many ways it enhances it.

Wheeler, Special Forces Master Sergeant Joshua

39-year-old Special Forces Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, a veteran of twenty years experience, who lost his life rescuing hostages from DAESH. He was believed to be a member of the elite Delta Force.

New Zealand soldiers are also in Iraq training soldiers for the Iraqis. We did it for the Afghans too. At one point the soldiers we were training in Afghanistan came under attack. Our soldiers didn’t feel able to just stand back and watch – they went in and helped and some of them died. That says something about their honour and courage, the same way it does about your soldier who died in this situation in Iraq.

This sh*t about “not being backed up by the Administration” is just political rhetoric. It’s about going out of your way to find a way to criticize the Democratic Party during an election season (which, because of your stupid system, is pretty much all the time). There are plenty of things to criticize Obama and the Democratic Party for without making them up. This constant overreach is what causes the inability of your politicians to cooperate in the most basic situations, and creates such a toxic atmosphere between the parties.

This should not be a political issue. You should be concentrating about what a great thing your military did in rescuing these hostages, and how great it was that they were prepared to put their lives on the line.

Further, constantly trying to blame video games for societal violence [this came up in the segment] is actually contrary to evidence too. It appears it actually gives an outlet to violent impulses for most young men. That is also about your efforts to make it the Democrats “fault” because you see the entertainment industry as supporting the Democratic Party, and your inability to see that clinging to the Second Amendment is doing damage to your country. Again, it’s pathetic.


I’d be interested in the reaction of others to the situation, and what you think of my admittedly knee-jerk reaction.

Which reminds me, this is one of the scariest pictures I’ve ever seen:

gun bible