In this missive, I discussed 18 year old Anthony Myers, a TA soldier who continued firing despite having a bullet lodged in his shoulder. The Guardian reports a similar case from the day on which eight British soldiers were killed in action during Operation Panther’s Claw.
Trooper Anthony Matthews, 20, of the Light Dragoons, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during Operation Panther’s Claw in Helmand province last week. He described how he managed to apply a tourniquet to his leg wound and to that of an injured comrade as he returned gunfire.
On that day, 7 July, Matthews’s close friend Christopher Whiteside, 22, was killed by an improvised bomb in a separate operation in Gereshk.
“When the bullets are whizzing past it’s terrifying,” said Matthews. “They sound like bees flying past your ears, and then you hear them land and it sounds like someone clapping their hands.”
After being hit, he said, “it was just adrenaline. I didn’t feel anything. I stabbed myself with morphine and held on until the helicopters came. They got us back to Camp Bastion in four minutes.”
Matthews described the combat as “like something out of Saving Private Ryan”, and I will take it word for it. I have not watched that film, but I have watched Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line which contained some of the most distressing battle-scenes I have seen on screen: Amos Gitai’s Kippur, also, contains a shocking rocket-attack on a military helicopter.
Matthews also recounted that it had taken his platoon all the daylight hours to advance just 800 metres. These are not squirmishes, this is a war.
But there is more. Four days previously Matthews had been on foot-patrol when a nearby Scimitar tank was hit by a roadside bomb, hitting his arms with debris. Unsuprisingly, he has been nick-named “Bulletproof” by his comrades.
The title story occured on 7 July. On 9 July, the Lord Ahmed of Rotherham – a convicted dangerous driver – hosted a conference in the House of Lords at which one guest was Anas al-Tikriti. In addition to being the chief executive of the Cordoba Foundation, al-Tikriti has deplored the tactics of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Not because they are depraved murderers who detonate bombs in tents full of women and children or use children as decoys, but because they did not spend enough time killing American and British soldiers.
Two days after that, the Miss Jean Brodie of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, John Wight, said on the oxymornically-named Socialist Unity blog:
Fuck the troops.
Disgraceful human beings, both Wight and Ahmed.