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Harry Got His Wish — Why Now?
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Harry Got His Wish

Update: Thanks to the media Harry withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The BBC reports that Prince Harry in Taleban fighting

Prince Harry has been fighting the Taleban on the front line in Afghanistan, the MoD has confirmed.

Harry, 23, who is third in line to the throne, has spent the last 10 weeks serving in Helmand Province.

The prince joked about his nickname “the bullet magnet”, but said: “I finally get the chance to do the soldiering that I want to do.”

The deployment was subject to a news blackout deal, which broke down after being leaked by foreign media.

Cornet Wales is serving with a Ghurka unit as a forward air/artillery controller. He’s obviously serious about his career in the military and pushed hard for a combat assignment. It’s too bad the media couldn’t let him serve out his tour unmolested.


1 Frederick { 02.28.08 at 9:27 pm }

Where is our President’s kids serving again?

2 Bryan { 02.28.08 at 9:36 pm }

Georgetown, possibly, I think they’re banned in Austin, Boston, and New York.

William is currently in the RAF pilot training program with the Navy and Marines to go. He’s expected to earn a rating in all of the Services, like his father did because he’s the heir.

3 Kryten42 { 02.28.08 at 10:14 pm }

Considering we were just discussing this topic, this is timely news. 🙂

And FYI: William is surrounded by Gurkha’s and is probably the safest person on the planet! LOL (Well… short of a Nuke or bunker buster anyway). 😉

My Grandfather, who started my training, served with a Gurkha unit in WW2. He was a sniper with the Welsh Fusiliers. He told me many stories! It was the Gurkha’s that essentially stopped the Japanese ninjas reign of terror in the Pacific that were decimating the US and allied troops. 🙂

And you know about the Falklands!

Amazing how the British expect their Head of State to actually *KNOW* their job and everything related to it? What a strange concept! LOL

I wish William all the best! 🙂 As for the Bush brats… “Bad seeds…” etc, etc… 😉

4 Kryten42 { 02.28.08 at 10:16 pm }

Drats! I meant that Harry is with Gurkha’s (Though I am sure William has a couple also!) 😉

And best wishes for them both! 🙂

5 Steve Bates { 02.28.08 at 11:51 pm }

Am I correct that “foreign media” in this case means Matt F*cking Drudge?

While I cannot personally identify with a 23-year-old man who actually wants to see combat on the front lines, I have to say that Prince Harry’s doing so is likely to temper his judgment about the alleged virtues of war in the future, and that is no bad thing. He is made of sterner stuff than I (which wouldn’t take much), and shows better mettle than our current American “royalty” (which also wouldn’t take much).

6 Bryan { 02.29.08 at 12:28 am }

Actually, I was thinking that Kryten, as was the General Staff, no doubt, when they assigned him. The Ghurkas are in a familiar environment coming from the other end of the Himalayas and professionals from the boots up.

Drudge didn’t originate the leak, he picked it up from the wires. Word is it came from the South, as in so far south it’s summer there. There are a lot of stringers around, and Helmund province has been active.

If you are going to be in the military, and face it, he doesn’t have a wide choice of employment with all of the restrictions on him, combat duty is the surest path to rank and responsibility. After 20 years Prince Andrew only made Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, so Royals aren’t getting automatic promotions.

7 jams o donnell { 02.29.08 at 2:15 am }

It’s a shame the news blackout broke down. As the spare he has no real role except to be alive in the event of the heir croaking so involving himself in a military career gives him a sense of purpose. I can onlyn imagine his frustration at not going to Iraq but given the media fest it was understandable.

8 Kryten42 { 02.29.08 at 2:41 am }

Well… it looks like we (Aus) and the Germans are to blame! Unsurprising about the German rag ‘Bild’… But… oops! Drudge was the first US ummm… ‘media outlet’ (for want of a more accurate term) to break it (which is why nobody in the USA knew). LOL

Info here at the Guardian:
How the Prince Harry in Afghanistan story was kept secret

Seems our New Idea womens rag broke the story back in Jan 7 (which proves nobody reads that crap either). LOL

And you are correct Bryan. The UK Military are VERY careful NOT to show favoritism to the Royals. They have to earn their rights as much as any other. I just watched an Interview will Prince Harry on the news here. He’s upset that he will probably have to leave Afghanistan. He said that it’s nor for his safety (that he’s concerned about), but the safety of those around him. And he’s correct, of course. May as well paint a bright target on all of them now.

I must say that after seeing his interview, my respect for him grew. His commanders have a lot of respect for his abilities, and the men around him obviously care for him a great deal. Apparently, the bunker he was in directing air strike missions was attacked by the Taliban, and he manned a .50cal machine gun and fired on them successfully. 🙂 He’s learning the Monarch’s trade craft very well. 🙂 He’ll make a fine King one day I predict. 🙂

One thing he said which struck me the most was “This is as normal as I am ever likely to get.” And he looked sad. A shame.

9 andante { 02.29.08 at 5:06 am }

Good for him; I’m glad he wasn’t thwarted this time.

And let’s hope the experience is as beneficial to him and his life perspective as it was to his Uncle York.

10 Frederick { 02.29.08 at 6:05 am }

I’d heard it was Drudge

11 fallenmonk { 02.29.08 at 8:04 am }

It doesn’t matter if Drudge was the first or 30th to break the news it is still treasonous. Just because a secret is compromises doesn’t automatically declassify it. Granted this wasn’t an “official” secret but releasing the information increases the risk to Prince Harry and all his mates.

12 Bryan { 02.29.08 at 11:21 am }

As noted it was originally published in an Australian mag and then the German tabloid Bild. Drudge spent 6 weeks trying to learn Australian 😈 before he released it.

It’s a sad truth that his months in Afghanistan probably will be the most normal time in Harry Wales life. He’s got money and he’s in his early 20’s so he should be out doing something fun and stupid, but when he does, it shows up on the front pages.

They guy is at least doing his best to be useful. If he wasn’t there, it would be someone else’s son or daughter taking the risks.

13 Kryten42 { 02.29.08 at 7:25 pm }

I just saw a news report & interview with the Snr Editor of the New Idea mag, and she said they truly did not know there was a media blackout when they released the story on Jan 7. Maybe they didn’t get the memo… Who knows. People here are very annoyed with New Idea in any case. Harry and William are very popular here too.

We have morons here saying it was all a stunt to show that the heirs to the throne are just trying to show they are not cowards and work hard just like everyone else, and that the story was deliberately leaked to get them pulled out so they can say “we had nothing to do with it” etc.

Whilst it would not surprise me if the minders high up would have contrived such a thing, I doubt Harry (or William) would have been a part of it. As far as they are concerned, they are doing what they want to do. Harry seemed genuinely sad and annoyed, and I suspect if one of his minders did do this on purpose, there will be hell to pay.

I suspect that if the next monarch were up to a popular vote out of Charles, Harry, William… Harry would win by a handy margin (and Charles would run a poor third). 😉

14 Scorpio { 02.29.08 at 7:57 pm }

Ah yes, Drudge the molester. Good tag.

15 Bryan { 02.29.08 at 9:17 pm }

The reality is that this isn’t about a prince, it’s really about the ground-pounders around him who would become targets for every nutcase in an area of the world with an abundance of crazies. It’s amazing that the children of American politicians can be off-limits, but the royals have to put up with this crap from the American media.

I hope Drudge really, really wanted to go to Britain, because it’s one country he can cross off his list. Were I Gordon Brown, I would start a no-fly list just for Drudge, because Brown has had to deal with this problem while his plate is already overflowing.

16 Badtux { 03.01.08 at 12:59 am }

One thing I’d like to point out is that “forward air/artillery controller” ain’t exactly the world’s safest job. The whole point is to be out there where the shooting is so you can direct the bombs and artillery down on the folks doin’ the shooting. Just as Da Fixer over at Alternate Brain just how safe *that* job is (that is apparently what his job was in the Special Forces)… at the very least, you gotta hope that your arty doesn’t drop a shell right on your *own* head :-).

The British royals have no authority other than moral authority, and seem to be inclined to make sure they have it.

— Badtux the Military Penguin

17 Bryan { 03.01.08 at 9:03 am }

If I was in opposition, I would certainly be interested in eliminating the artillery spotter, who certainly had to be in a position to see all of the fighting to target the enemy. I seriously doubt he was checked out on a .50 cal for set decoration.