In the deadliest day for American forces in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter on Saturday, killing 31 Americans and 7 Afghan commandos on board, American and Afghan officials said. American officials said later Saturday that 22 of the dead were members of a Navy SEAL unit, along with other American servicemembers and the Afghan unit. The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province to the west of Kabul, one coalition official said, though others said the exact weapon remained in question.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which punctuated a surge of violence across the country, even as American and NATO forces begin a modest drawdown of troops. It occurred after a night raid, a tool that has been praised by American commanders as one of the most effective in the recent military offensive, though the raids have been heavily criticized by Afghan officials and civilians.
Enough. Not one more flag-draped coffin should have to come back from that Goddess-forsaken place. Afghanistan has bankrupted us just as it bankrupted the Soviet Union. Wingnuts are still afraid of the Soviet Union? Well, jackasses, you're living in it. You know, the one just before it fell under its own weight.
UPDATE: This just makes it worse:
The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among the 31 U.S. soldiers lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That's according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones. One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.
I can't help it, but my tinfoil is starting to tingle again.