Friday, April 22, 2005

A bad day

A remarkable story — a tribute, really — from Villainous Company, about an attack on a Marine base in Iraq. An excerpt:

From atop his lookout post on the Iraqi-Syria border that day, Corporal Joshua Butler must have wondered briefly if he'd been transported to Hell.

A white dump truck came careening towards him, bursting through a raft of wired-together abandoned vehicles. But that was only the beginning of what most people would call a bad day:

Butler, 21 and an Altoona, Pa., native, fired through the windshield of the first suicide bomber as he rammed a white dump truck through a barrier of abandoned vehicles the Marines had improvised. Barreling toward the camp's wall, the truck veered off at the last moment under volleys of Butler's gunfire."I shot 20 or 30 rounds before he detonated," he says. Knocked down by that blast, with bricks and sandbags collapsing on top of him, Butler struggled to his feet only to hear a large diesel engine roar amid the clatter of gunfire. It was a red fire engine, carrying a second suicide bomber and passenger. Butler says both were wearing black turbans and robes, often worn by religious martyrs.

Amid the chaos of that first bomb blast, supported by gunfire from an estimated 30 dismounted insurgents, the fire engine passed largely undetected on a small road that leads from town directly past the camp wall, according a Marine report.

"I couldn't see him at first because of the smoke. It was extremely thick from the first explosion," Butler says. When the fire engine cleared the smoke, it was much closer than the dump truck had been.

As the driver accelerated past the "Welcome to Iraq" sign inside the camp's perimeter, Butler says he fired 100 rounds into the vehicle. The Marines later discovered the vehicle was equipped with 3-inch, blast-proof glass and the passengers were wearing Kevlar vests under their robes.

...and a tip 'o the hat for Michelle Malkin, for the pointer...

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