On February 26, 1911, in a winter so cold across northern Nevada that temperatures dropped to -40°, four men rode quietly into the frozen maw of Little High Rock Canyon to investigate the carcasses of cattle recently killed and left in the snow. Little High Rock Canyon, in 1911, was as it remains today: a long way from anywhere. Closest to Eagleville, California, LHR is situated in the sagebrush, alkali, and basalt country of northwest Nevada. It is home to bighorn sheep, many species of raptors, deer, pronghorn, rattlesnakes, chukar, quail, coyotes, horned toads, and wild horses. Summers are blazing hot, and winters are unremitting.
The new American penchant for tribalism isn’t doing us any favors. That was on full display at the most recent Democrat presidential debates, where candidates pandered vigorously to their various tribes by promising virtually anything they could think of – from health care to college educations – for free. The idea that Bernie Sanders, who is still combing his hair with a balloon, and whose pandering is delivered in language taken directly from the All Soviet Congress of 1917, is even on the dais as a candidate should probably cause every thinking American to cringe.
The campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS was one of total war. The enemy had no intention of either surrendering or retreating, nor of leaving a single building standing or civilian unharmed as ISIS literally fought to the death. This was the environment, the “battle space” in military terms, that Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7, under the command of Lieutenant Jacob “Jake” Portier found itself. The platoon was fighting alongside the Iraqi Emergency Response Division, a unique security force primarily trained by U.S. Special Forces and commanded by Major General Abbas.
“You aren’t going to quit.” It was not the reaction I wanted from my father. As we drove to little league baseball practice, he looked straight ahead without emotion as I sat tearfully next to him. The practice would bring more torture for me. The year before I was a strong contributor to a solid, developing team, now I wanted out and to be free from the hostile environment.
Maj. Natividad de Jesús Cáceres Cabrera, second in command of the Atlacatl Immediate Reaction Battalion, was frustrated. He’d just ordered the men under his command to begin killing the children of El Mozote. They’d shown little hesitation in the killing of adult and elderly men in the village, and no hesitation at all in leading away the young girls, most between 12–to–15, whom they gang‐raped, then butchered.