No Easy Day – A lot of hype over very little…………

I wrote a post some time back on the controversy created after it was revealed that one of the members in the US Navy SEAL team that took part in the May, 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden had decided to write a book disclosing hitherto unknown details of the operation. (https://stspectator.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/no-more-easy-days-for-spies-lies-cover-ups/)

That was before I read the book which is titled “No Easy Day”. But after having read it, I am now wondering what the fuss was all about. While all the hype surrounding the book has surely helped send its sales roaring,(That’s why I bought the book)  it does not, in my opinion, disclose anything that could even be vaguely perceived as “compromising national security”, a term many regimes use to clamp down on the right of the people to freely express themselves.

What Mark Owen (the pen name of the Navy SEAL who has since been identified in the US media as Matt Bissonnette)  has actually written is a lot about  what shaped his childhood  ambition to join the elite US military  force and about the rigorous and brutal  training they undergo before being enlisted as a SEAL. A lot of what he discloses about the actual raid on the house in Abbottabad in Pakistan sounds familiar to me   given the intense media interest the raid generated and the numerous media reports that have since been published, telecast and broadcast on it. Many journalists being good sleuths themselves   managed to piece together the jigsaw to give a comprehensive picture of the operation and accurately re-create much of what Owen has told us in his book.

The main difference of course is that here the reader has  it straight from  the horse’s mouth, so to speak. It’s a firsthand account of    the preparations for the operations that took place months before the raid and reveals how some of the men involved in it got close to  getting killed during the raid.  The meticulous planning, the  fight to keep the information from leaking prior to the day of the operation, making it to the location without  being detected and then actuality carrying out an assault on the compound which resulted in OBL’s death  are well detailed in the book.

We can debate for as long as we like the decision made by the Barack Obama administration to sneak in his troops into another country and carry out such an operation .We know that it is only the USA that can take on the role of global policeman and get away with this kind of actions while another country would be castigated and in no time become an international pariah if they dared to act without the sanction of the so-called International Community.

Leaving that aside, the book  for me  is about the personal bravery of  the men who   carried out orders as they are trained to do,  for going into a situation they knew could be their last mission but still giving it their best and  luckily for them, succeeding.

Mark Owen has only enhanced the image of the Navy SEALS and not done anything to bring the organization into disrepute or compromise nation security.  In fact he’s exercised the right that he’s being guaranteed like all citizens of that country under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY …………….TO FATHER

Today is father’s birthday. He would have been 73 years old today.  It’s the fourteenth year since he passed away. We are no longer able to hug him on his birthday and wish him like we used to do. But his presence is still strong in our lives.

We are fortunate to have had a father who led us by example. He set the highest standards of integrity and honesty for us to follow, he was generous and giving, almost to a fault, he was well read and knowledgeable on almost any subject and he encouraged us in whatever we chose to do.

He had four daughters and a son to deal with. We were all allowed and encouraged to follow our dreams, thanks to which we are all standing tall today, in our chosen fields. I know whatever I have archived in my life is because of his guidance and encouragement and my siblings will no doubt agree.

Happy Birthday, Thattha. We miss you and count our blessings for being fortunate to have been your children.

My take on a 100-yr-old Marathoner’s words of wisdom………..

“The secret to a long and healthy life is to be stress-free. Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.”–Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner    

I was reading this article about the 100-year-old marathoner and realized that his words of advice are spot on. Most of the time we make ourselves unhappy by our own actions. I know the times I have been unhappy it was because I chose to be unhappy by attaching too much importance to things that are unimportant, because I dwelled too much on other people’s actions and what impact it would have on me not realizing  that eventually “I am my own master “and only I am responsible for my actions and consequences that follow.

Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner says “Be grateful for everything you have”.

This is so important because most times I realize people are unhappy because they are always trying to get something others have not realizing they have more than others.  It may not be always in a material sense but in the kindness of people who are in our lives, the little successes and joy that come our way and everyday wonders that life offers us.  I often look at the palatial houses people build and wonder if those who live in them are happier than those who live in a smaller place. For me more material   acquisitions mean more burdens to carry. The more doors and windows you have to lock up in a house, the more troublesome it is.  If I had it my way, (Not possible right now cos there are other family members to consider), I’ll be living in s single room place   with the bare necessities. It’s so much easier to just turn one key and take off without wondering if I had forgotten to lock that door or this window.

Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner says “Stay away from people who are negative”.

That is such an important thing. I have realized that the more I  am in the company of people  who are serial complainers complaining about  work, colleagues, family and life in general  –  it really gets me down. I complain too like everyone does from time to time but I do my best to keep it minimal but there are plenty of serial complainers   who rarely realize when to stop. I try to limit my time spent with them to a minimum. It’s a fine balance though because I am still learning to be blunt with people and telling them to get lost when I don’t want them around.

Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner says, “Keep smiling.”

That’s one great tip ‘cos its one thing that really lifts people’s spirits and makes them forget all their troubles.  I try to do it as often as I can and I even smile at times when I don’t really feel like. So smile, smile, smile………..

Fauja Singh, 100-yr-old Marathoner says, “Keep running.”

I’ ve  yet to start on this one. I do walk but must try to advance it to running.