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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2010 / 7 Iyar 5770

New account reinforces a serviceman's valor

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nearly three years ago, I wrote about U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who published an enthralling nonfiction account of the events of June 28, 2005, the deadliest day in SEAL history.

In painstaking detail, Luttrell recounted in "Lone Survivor" how three of his colleagues on SEAL Team 10 were killed in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan as they tracked a high-ranking Taliban officer with ties to Osama bin Laden. An MH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying reinforcements was shot down by Taliban forces, resulting in the deaths of eight more SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers, an elite special-ops unit.

At the center of the story was SEAL Team 10's encounter with three goat herders who unwittingly interrupted a dangerous covert operation in the deadliest place in the world.

As Luttrell detailed in his book, he and his teammates — Lt. Michael Murphy and Petty Officers Matthew G. Axelson and Danny P. Dietz — were hiding in broad daylight in the mountains along the Afghan-Pakistan border when the unarmed goat herders stumbled upon them.

The SEALs were faced with an unenviable dilemma: Let the herders go — and risk that they would reveal the SEALs' location to the Taliban — or kill them.

Luttrell described the ensuing deliberation and vote. He wrote that Axelson wanted to kill the herders and Dietz was noncommittal. Murphy voted to let them go, a call with which Luttrell ultimately agreed — and later came to regret. He wrote that his decision was "the stupidest, most Southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life."

An hour later, the SEAL team was surrounded by 80 to 100 Taliban fighters. Pinned down, heavily outmanned, and running out of ammo as the vicious battle wore on, Murphy stepped out from behind his cover and into the line of fire to attempt a satellite call for reinforcements. When we spoke in late 2007, Luttrell recalled that Murphy, after being shot while making the call, nonetheless said "thank you" after calmly reporting the team's location and requesting immediate backup.

Letter from JWR publisher

Murphy, Axelson and Dietz all died on the mountain. Luttrell, who had to drag his wounded body several miles before finding refuge with an Afghan villager, was the only one to survive. He was awarded the Navy Cross by President George W. Bush. Dietz and Axelson received that award posthumously.

Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor for valor in combat. He was the first American to be so recognized for post-9/11 actions in Afghanistan and the first SEAL since Vietnam to receive the award.

Now, with the cooperation of Murphy's father, Daniel, a new book is about to be released shedding additional light on this remarkable story. "Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN" was written by Ohio-based author Gary Williams and will be published May 5.

On the decision of whether the goat herders should live or die, Williams debunks that a vote was taken.

"Despite their open discussion that day, each man understood that the team structure was not a democracy — there was to be no consensus, and there would be no voting," Williams writes. "After requesting and receiving appropriate and valuable input from the other members of his team, the final decision unquestionably would be made by the team leader, Lieutenant Michael Murphy."

Williams then identifies nine "important pieces of information" that were essential to making that decision, including the fact that "these three individuals were clearly civilian goat herders."

Daniel Murphy sees the account in the new book as consistent with what Luttrell wrote.

"I think both Marcus' version and the way it's portrayed in 'Seal of Honor' is actually correct, depending on your perspective," the elder Murphy, himself a Vietnam veteran, said in a recent interview. "Marcus is looking at the decision from basically an enlisted man's idea that, 'I made a decision and the goat herders left and the men were killed.'" That mind-set, Murphy told me, is actually revealing of his son's leadership style — apparent even in the most desperate of situations.

Michael Murphy's favorite historical figure, his father recalled, was Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Murphy remembers his son spoke admiringly of how President Lincoln would go about making decisions. Already knowing what he wanted to do, Lincoln would nevertheless direct the conversation so his Cabinet and aides would ultimately arrive at his desired conclusion — while at the same time emerging with the belief that they had, in fact, made the decision collectively.

The elder Murphy says he believes that in the same way, his son had brought his team "to understand that the only option is to let them go, that there was no other decision that could be made."

"And rather than Michael just making a flat-out order — they're going to be released, I don't care what you men think — Michael's idea of leadership was to bring his men around to believing the only proper option was to release them," he said.

There's no ill will between Luttrell and the Murphy family. As Daniel Murphy acknowledged, Luttrell's survival ensured that the world would learn of his son's selflessness.

In the same way, the divergent recollections of an unenviable deliberation allow us to steal a glimpse into the acumen of the quintessential post-9/11 American hero: Lt. Michael Murphy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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