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September 05, 2006

Sigh. Oh no, not again...

Just as in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," I find myself in this dilemma:

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.

I just had an "Oh no, not again" moment. This time regarding the USAF/Guys on the Ground Of Any Army and their liaison (or the whole system) for working with forces on the ground in Afghanistan, as evidenced in another friendly fire death - Canadians again.

Alan at GenX@40 sent a link to this article in the Globe and Mail:

Friendly fire claims former Olympic athlete ALEX DOBROTA AND OMAR EL AKKAD

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

World-class runner and former Olympian Mark Anthony Graham was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, mistakenly hit by fire from a U.S. warplane.

While no death is worth more or less than any others, some are more newsworthy. The war with the Taliban claimed Ranger Pat Tillman, ex-pro football player, and it was now claimed a former Olympian, Private Mark Graham of the Canadian Forces. And, eerily enough, both in friendly fire incidents.

Clearly, there's still work to be done in coordinating close air support. Absent any better news than I have now, I'm not suggesting who is at fault. It's a complex geometry controlling close air, I've done it myself, and there is plenty of room for error in the air and on the ground.

From the Canadian Ministry of Defence:

Canadian Soldier Killed, Others Wounded in Friendly Fire Incident CEFCOM NR–06.022 - September 4, 2006

OTTAWA – One Canadian soldier was killed today at approximately 5:30 a.m. Kandahar time as Canadian troops participating in Operation Medusa, 15 km west of Kandahar City, were mistakenly engaged by an aircraft supporting ISAF combat operations.

The name of the deceased soldier will not be released for another 24 hours at the request of the family.

A number of Canadian soldiers suffered non-life threatening wounds during today’s incident - all but six will return to duty. These casualties occurred on the third day of Operation Medusa, a significant combined effort between the Afghan National Security Forces, Canada and our other NATO partners in the International Security Assistance Force.

Operation MEDUSA is a large-scale ISAF stabilization operation aimed at removing armed militants from the Panjwayi and Zhari district region so that displaced villagers can return to their homes and re-establish their livelihoods without living in constant fear of the Taliban.

Regardless of the causes - it's been a tough week for the Canadians, and we'll let Private Graham stand in for all their recent casualties.

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Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.