‘Lone Survivor’ politicizes tale of heroism
by Kevin_Foley
 Politics Progressive
March 26, 2014 12:30 PM | 2367 views | 7 7 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I haven’t seen the movie “Lone Survivor,” but I recently picked up the 2007 book on which the film is based. The story chronicles the tragic fate of four Navy SEALS, outgunned by more than one hundred Taliban fighters on a remote Afghan mountain in 2005.

The title of the book is the spoiler. Its author, Marcus Luttrell, is the lone survivor after fighting a desperate 24-hour running gun battle with Taliban fanatics.

But here’s the surprise: it wasn’t Afghan insurgents who killed his three comrades. No, American “liberals” were responsible for their deaths, says Luttrell.

My family has strong ties to the U.S. Navy, so I have enormous respect for the men of the Navy SEALS. They are the best of the best.

Luttrell tells of his training, a fearsomely brutal regimen designed to weed out not only the physically unfit but those lacking the mental and emotional toughness necessary to carry out highly classified missions behind enemy lines.

I'd never make it. Neither would you.

As Luttrell repeatedly reminds us in his book, no other American military unit can do what the SEALS do. They are rigorously trained to fight our enemies on the land or sea in small, cohesive teams that move fast and silently, as they did the night President Obama dispatched SEAL Team Six to call on Osama bin Laden.

Luttrell reveals his dislike for liberals early on. He wonders why (liberal) “politicians” have set up rules of engagement that forbid him from shooting first and asking questions later, apparently unaware he is fighting an pernicious enemy that hides among innocent civilians.

He also doesn’t seem to know that the Afghanistan ROE were handed down by the Pentagon under the direction of the Bush White House when his story takes place.

Luttrell says the secular Saddam was aiding the fanatically religious al Qaeda, a long-debunked Bush administration lie. The sun rises out of the Pacific Ocean, according to Luttrell, and later he tells the reader Afghanistan is in Southeast Asia.

Adm. Mike Mullen personally promotes Luttrell but the author misspells the admiral's name. Twice.

The ex-SEAL also states soldiers accused of crimes are tried in “civilian” courts when, in fact, all servicemen and women are subject the Uniform Military Code of Justice.

The SEALs worry about firing weapons because they will make too much noise. Later, Luttrell says his rifle has a silencer.

Did anyone proof read or fact check this book? It doesn't matter, the inconsistencies and errors set up the improbable events Luttrell claims took place on that lonely Afghan mountain top.

The four SEALS take up a position that hides them from their quarry, a Taliban honcho they’re out to kill or capture. Then three unarmed Afghanis stumble across them, presenting the Americans with a “conundrum,” as Luttrell describes it; kill the Afghanis or let them go?

Up to now, Luttrell has told us how smart, tough and resourceful the SEALs are; how self-sufficient, decisive and cold-blooded they can be in life or death situations. So what do these particular SEALs do?

According to Luttrell, their officer, Lt. Mike Murphy, held an election on the Afghanis’ fate.

I have read a lot of military literature but nowhere, ever can I recall a commander polling his subordinates about what to do in such a dire combat situation.

If they shot the three Afghans, Murphy incredulously warned the SEALs, “the liberal media will attack us without mercy…we will be charged with murder,” according to Luttrell who says the deciding vote fell to him.

“But my trouble is, I have another soul. A Christian soul,” writes the ex-SEAL. “I looked Mikey right in the eye, and said, ‘We gotta let ‘em go…I’d turned into a (expletive) liberal….’”

Thus, the Afghanis went free and liberals (or Jesus?) killed three brave Navy SEALs.

Luttrell’s implausible version of events serve only to reinforce the polarizing and utterly absurd notion that only conservatives love America and are capable of being patriots.

It’s very sad that Luttrell chose to politicize this otherwise inspiring story of selfless heroism.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kevin Foley
April 01, 2014
Pete - I'm not a paid MDJ piñata. I do this because it's important to push back hard on those whose brains are saturated by far right propaganda.

Do you know what a blog is? I didn't think so. It's a conversation, not a one way street.

Pete Borden
March 31, 2014
Kevin, do you not understand how totally childish and unprofessional you act when you feel you must defend yurself to everyone who disagrees with your views?

Mike H
March 30, 2014
I can appreciate the occasional factually challenged religious/political zealot who tries to write a book without an editor.

I don’t understand the regular group who share their hates and fears in the MDJ no matter the subject, so long as it opposes Kevin Foley.

Perhaps Mr. Foley should do an Obama move and support a Republican plan like immigration or health care and see what the usual critics say.

Kevin Foley
March 27, 2014
@ Twomey - First the fact check: name anything unpatriotic or treasonous done by the administration.

Luttrell did a pretty good job of impugning his own integrity when he said throughout the book "liberals" killed his comrades. He put that in so more right wing hysterics like you would by his book, no other reason. There was no "treachery involved."

Ben Twomey
March 27, 2014
Leave it to Kevin Foley who, by his own admission, "chose not to serve", to malign a true warrior.

Foley, whose idea of patriotism is to defend the most unpatriotic, and treasonous, administration in the history fo the United States.

Because "Lone Survivor" dares to suggest that there was treachery involved, all the way from the liberal White House, Foley's self appointed task is to try to destroy the author's credibility.

Sorry, Foley, it matters not how much you have read about the military, until you have stood with nothing between you and death but your training and your comrades, do not even dare attempt to impugn the integrity of a fighting man.
Kevin Foley
March 26, 2014
@Tom Davies - I didn't say I was ungrateful for Luttrell's service. I said he suggested people like me killed his buddies. That's an outrageously absurd assertion, SEAL or no SEAL.

I wouldn't impugn his patriotism. Why is he impugning mine?

I don't believe for a second any conversation about "liberal media" ever took place on that mountain top. I think that was concocted by Luttrell or his publisher so that he would sell more books to far right whacko birds, which he probably did.

Very, very sad.

Tom Davies
March 26, 2014
You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it. However, your petty comments don't help with remarks about spelling, polling, etc. That lessensed your argument significantly. I'm glad there are people is this world like Marcuss that fight for your freedom to say what you say but I'm glad he is the one on the hill standing watch than you.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides