Interview with Michael Yon from Afghanistan

posted at 2:17 pm on July 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this morning, I had an opportunity to interview Michael Yon live from northern Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where he has embedded with a British infantry unit in the new aggressive push to fight the Taliban in their stronghold. Michael just returned from a mission when he called, and had plenty to say about the new effort, the fine British unit to which he’s attached himself, and the state of media coverage of the Af-Pak theater.

Michael Yon delivers independent reports from the battlefields of the war on terror, which are entirely reader-supported. Please be sure to visit his site to contribute to that effort in order to keep us abreast of the realities on the ground. At the moment, Michael has a series of photo essays that are just outstanding, so don’t miss them.

Update: Link fixed.  Now go to Michael’s site!

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Nice work Ed – I have been a Michael Yon fan for at least 3 years now. He is a national hero as a journalist of the highest order. Ernie Pyle (sp?) would be a fan of this man.

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Where’s the post on Waxman threatening to bypass his committee and let Pelosi being the ObamaCare bill to a floor vote?

Kind of a big development.

BadgerHawk on July 24, 2009 at 2:24 PM

President Obama has put securing Afghanistan near the top of his foreign policy agenda, but “victory” in the war-torn country isn’t necessarily the United States’ goal, he said Thursday in a TV interview.

“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News.

But of course, his earlier view was that Afghanistan was the war we had to win.

ICBM on July 24, 2009 at 2:24 PM

“We’re in it to spin it”- Ogabe

Fletch54 on July 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Limbaugh took a call from someone who was irate over the fact that Obama doesn’t expect the goal for men and women serving in Afghanistan to be victory …

… which led Rush to give Obama the name Barack Fonda.

(He used a similar analogy when he referred to Obama’s “Cambridge police acted stupidly” remark by calling him Barack Nifong.)

Love it!

VibrioCocci on July 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM

a series of photo essays that are just outstanding


Abby Adams on July 24, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Hey, maybe Obama can start chanting……

“No Justice Victory, No Peace!”

Seven Percent Solution on July 24, 2009 at 2:34 PM

“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News

Once again our highly educated and articulate President has no grasp of history.

Hirohito never signed the documents of surrender. Never.

As for Michael Yon…in so many ways the Ernie Pyle of our times. He gets it. And over the years has been trying mightily to get the word out from places our MSM fears to tread…or actively chooses to ignore.

Ed, invite him to “guest blog” here at HotAir once in a while, with trackback to his own blog, of course. Give him a larger audience. It’d be nice. It’d be the right thing to do.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2009 at 2:37 PM

or this

or any of these

VibrioCocci on July 24, 2009 at 2:42 PM


VibrioCocci on July 24, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Af-ghahn-ee-stahn is Ogabe’s compass landmark for apology strategy. Unfortunately, U.S. troops are thrown in the mix fighting and dieing for victory when it will never be supported by their CINC.

Fletch54 on July 24, 2009 at 2:48 PM


chancellor in chief

blatantblue on July 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Ed, your link to Michael Yon’s site has www comma and has a broken link.

jeridhill on July 24, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Thank you Mr. Yon.

His book should be required reading on the IRaq War.

Yakko77 on July 24, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Yon is awesome; he’s on my “must read” list. If you want to know what’s happening months before the MSM catches on, you should be paying attention to Michael Yon.

Hollowpoint on July 24, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Ladies, is it just me, or is Michael Yon a world-class stud-muffin? In addition to being really smart and articulate and awesome, of course.

califcon on July 24, 2009 at 3:58 PM

califcon on July 24, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Nope, you are not alone.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Yon is The Man. No b.s., just facts.

100 years to resolve a conflict is a looong time. We’ve got to accelerate that somehow.

shades_of_gasden on July 24, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Its good to hear the straight scoop,on and from the front lines!

canopfor on July 24, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I clicked on this story just to have a closer look…as Paris Hilton says, “He’s hot”.

luvstotango on July 24, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I wasn’t aware Emperor Hirohito was aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Harbor that day. O’bama must have been tutored in history by Jeanne-Claude Kerri.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2009 at 5:19 PM

What does Mr. Yon think the best way for Americans to get education up and running in the nether reaches of A-stan would be? Can we send all of the thousands of Americorps members? I guess missionaries are out of the questions with the whole ‘off with their heads’ Islam thing. Has the United Nations opened or provided any schooling material for NATO troops to pass out? Is there an active NGO in the area you recommend?

Winter is coming. Any progress on the Gabor Gas? Stay safe.

P.S. Please tell those Marines livin’ the dream, to call me, and I have a sister.

P.S.S. A hawt guy like you must be a most sought after wedding crasher. If you are able to record sound, could you please post a song from the land of The Man Who Would Be King.

FeFe on July 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Ed, thank you for showcasing Michael Yon. He is the best journalist of his generation, right up there with Alan Moorehead and Ernie Pyle.

This is a shout out for Hawkdriver. Hang in there. We support you and your comrades in arms. We’re doing what we can to keep America free, for all of us, and so you can focus on your task at hand. It appears that the headlong belly-flop into socialism is abating. For now.

[Cindy Munford: Is there a way I can help with that care package to Hawkdriver? He deserves our best.

This is a partial repost of my comment: NaCly dog on July 22, 2009 at 10:54 AM in thread: ]

NaCly dog on July 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

NaCly dog on July 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

You picked the correct thread. I will alert upinak that you are here and she can give you the info. I hope that this is the thread we are going to use for shout outs to Hawk and Company.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Dear Ed: Thank you for continuing to highlight and support Michael Yon at Hot Air. Yon is one of the great treasures of American journalism today. Actually, Michael Yon is one of the great treasures of America. Full stop.

Loxodonta on July 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Ed, invite him to “guest blog” here at HotAir once in a while, with trackback to his own blog, of course. Give him a larger audience. It’d be nice. It’d be the right thing to do.

Michael Yon has been blogging at Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood”. He makes a great blog even better.

MikeZero on July 24, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Hey, HotAir folks!!

As most of you know Hawkdriver, a regular commenter here at HA, is currently serving in Afghanistan. Lately he has been so busy that he hasn’t been commenting but he did the evening of July 22 and he is very dispirited. What we would like to do is encourage everyone to send encouraging comments to Hawk and his company. We will screen print them and mail them so that they can share them when they have a few moments. If this is something you would like to do please use this thread. We are encouraging the usual suspects to fee free to be rude, crude and socially unattractive, just remember NO PORK.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2009 at 9:05 PM

We think about those guys every day. Wish you had the free hand to do what must be done to win… but the best in the world will STILL come out on top!

You make us extremely proud to be Americans!

mankai on July 24, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Great idea, Cindy, and thanks for putting it out there!

Hawkdriver, I think about you and your company every day. Always so glad to see you posting here, because that means you’re okay. You have my eternal gratitude, admiration, and prayers! Kick ass and come back home safe, all of you!!

califcon on July 24, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Hawkdriver, I know the flight conditions of high heat and low air density have to be rough. We know about the recent spate of accidents, including that Mi-8. And from Google Earth, looks like scenic flying, right?

The new ROE has got a lot of attention in mil-blogs. One video in particular, was almost excruciating to watch for the slow weapons free call. Former FACs commenting at said they were yelling into the screen to get the bad guys. The restrictions in ROE seems to be a tad over-zealous. 
Lots of eyeballs on the ROE issue.
That being said, I get the sense that the average American supports a relaxed ROE. The new ROE is all a “policy decision.” No lessons learned from Vietnam, that’s for sure.

Stay safe, and fly right. No dust-offs. And may buxom nurses check your pulse rate weekly.

Things are better on the home front. I’m seeing more resistance to stupid political decisions. Seems like a never-ending task. But the good guys will prevail.

NaCly dog on July 24, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Hawkdriver and company:

As a privledged H/A commenter and a proud supporter of
the US Armed Forces,and as a Canadian,your job,and America’s
committment to World Secruity and Freedom is essential to
America,Canada,and the Western World!

Hawkdriver,I am honoured and privledged to know you,and at times you must wonder,staring around the mountains of Afgha
nistan and up into the blue skies,if people care,please be-
lieve me from my heart,that you,your team,and your mission
matters,I sincerely care!!

You have friends that understand the mission and the stakes
and unlike what the Left perceives,this cancer on this plan
et must go!

Cheer-up Hawk,as well as your Team,and I know easier said th
an done,waiting for your re-turn State-side,God-Bless you
and your Team,see you soon HawkDriver.

Sincerely, Canopfor:)

canopfor on July 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Hawkdriver and company, thank you for your outstanding service. Know that the American people appreciate your service. Know that I pray for the safety of you and your fellow soldiers every day. I pray that our leaders will give you the tools that will allow you to declare victory and come home safe. You are all heros, regardless what you say. Thank you for keeping us safe from foreign invaders and I pray that you all come home soon to hails of victory!
Stay safe and kick a$$!

HornetSting on July 24, 2009 at 9:45 PM


Thinking about you often; you are always in our hearts here at Hot Air. Not a day goes by that you aren’t mentioned.

Stay safe and kick some Talibutt for us all. We’ll keep the libs in check over here ’til you get back.

Tell all your buddies there that America cherishes her protectors of freedom.

God bless, Hawk. Hope to hear from you soon.

IrishEi on July 24, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Hawkdriver, you have my respect and my wholehearted support. I know you have a difficult job to do, but hang in there. I know a lot of conservatives who are very appreciative of your efforts on our country’s behalf. The gratitude runs deep.

backwoods conservative on July 24, 2009 at 9:47 PM

100 years!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know about that commitment. If these folks are “pre history” as Yon stated there may never be a resolution. The last success there was Alexander perhaps because he was pre history.

patrick neid on July 24, 2009 at 9:47 PM


You and others are in our thoughts everyday. Both of my best friend’s boys are Navy. One seal and one pilot. There are so many great people that have your back. You given ’em hell there and count on us to give ’em hell here.

Please know that we appreciate all of your sacrifices and pray for your safe return.

Be careful out there.

PS-tks Cindy

califdreamnred on July 24, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Hawkdriver may Hot Air be the wind under your rotors:)

canopfor on July 24, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Hawkdriver may Hot Air be the wind under your rotors:)

canopfor on July 24, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Great tag line! I agree with all my heart.

NaCly dog on July 24, 2009 at 9:54 PM

God bless, Hawk.

Stay safe.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Hawkdriver. Thank you for your service. Know that you and your fellow patriots are greatly appreciated and respected. My prayers are for your safety and safe return stateside. God bless.

ICBM on July 24, 2009 at 10:04 PM

Great tag line!

NaCly dog on July 24,2009 at 9:54PM.

NaCly dog: Thats what makes Hot/Air so great,you can be
creative,and brings out the best in all of us!:)

canopfor on July 24, 2009 at 10:08 PM


“When going through hell, keep going.”- Winston Churchill

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”- Winston Churchill

Gratitude and prayers for you and yours. Buckeye Babe

Buckeye Babe on July 24, 2009 at 10:10 PM

It’s always great when Hawkdriver drops in. What a great American!

Christien on July 24, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Hawkdriver –

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, buddy. If our President had 1/10th the devotion to our country that you and the rest of our Armed Forces have, we would be in good shape. God bless you and the rest of our fighting men and women!

kingsjester on July 24, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Dear Hawkdriver and Company:

Thank you very much for your service and dedication to our country, and for the sacrifices and risks you take every day for our safety and freedom. You are in my prayers. Bless you all.

And to your families and friends, those whom you love and who love you, thank you as well for the sacrifices you make to support our troops and our country. You are in my prayers. Bless you all.

And to all of us, where do we find such extraordinary people, so different in appearances, so different in faiths, so different in politics, yet united by certain fundamental principles? In every corner of our country. God bless America.

Loxodonta on July 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM

I hijacked the QOTD thread………me bad, didn’t know you guys were over here………


I just wanted to let you know we’re thinking about you and love that you’ve give your time and service to this great country.

I was actually thinking about ya when I did my river cruise in Europe and remember you saying that you really wanted to do it youself one day. It was a great time and if I had the chance, I’d take you there myself sometime soon, just as a way of saying thank you for all you’ve done.

Take care, keep safe, and thank you for serving my country.

Knucklehead on July 24, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Hawk and company……..

Fly low, take chances, and kick talibutt!

Fighton03 on July 24, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Hawkdriver & Company,

All the best to you, and your family and friends back home! Keep your chin up and know that you are missed, loved, and in our prayers.

TN Mom on July 24, 2009 at 11:04 PM

CWO 5 hawkdriver and mates,
We are forever indebted to men and women such as yourselves and grateful beyond words. Please take of yourselves and each other so that you may come home to the families that love you and the country that does also. These are trying times for you so take extra care that we may greet you with a heroes welcom home that you so richly deserve. Me and mine will be praying for you and all of our countries fighting men and women until you are safe once again.

thomasaur on July 24, 2009 at 11:10 PM

Hawkdriver and Company,

Thanks for your hard work and service. We really appreciate all you do and we’re grateful that we have such terrific folks in our military. You are the backbone of our country.

We’re thinking about you and praying for you! God bless and keep you!

INC on July 24, 2009 at 11:11 PM

so many errors but you get message

thomasaur on July 24, 2009 at 11:12 PM


Even though you are now burdened with the weight of having Barack Obama as your CiC (and our Chancellor in Chief back at home), I know you guys are doing the best you can while Mr. Knowitall slowly ties each hand behind your backs.

No matter how he ends up screwing you guys, there’s cold beer waiting for y’all when y’all get home.

Be safe and don’t go putting yourself in too much danger, if you can avoid it.

Kick ass.


blatantblue on July 24, 2009 at 11:42 PM

Hawkdriver and company

ditto all the atta-boys from the others

My wife and I will put you all on her international prayer chain. Prayers will go out for you daily.

Do not weary of doing well.

A big salute to you from: 1st Lt Earl Anderson (aka chemman) USAF retired. We love you man. Keep the faith


chemman on July 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM

We just got a text from a friend that her husband has just cleared the A-stan on his way home. Just made me think of Hawk and those still there. Stay healthy boys, and here’s hoping that the tali’s have access to Obamacare….it’ll make your jobs easier!

Fighton03 on July 25, 2009 at 1:29 AM

My best to hawk and co. Be safe and keep a sharp eye.

daesleeper on July 25, 2009 at 2:32 AM

Hawkdriver and company – Be safe and keep your heads down! We appreciate your service, so please pass that on to the others that you’re are serving with. Can’t wait for you’re next posting.

yoda on July 25, 2009 at 4:02 AM


I have always enjoyed your posts here at HA. Here’s a shout out to you, upinak and other HA posters who are still in uniform and working in faraway lands. I realize that our CINC has done you, and all of us by extension, no favors with his foreign policy clusterf*cks since he first stepped onto the national stage. I respect him only for the fact that he holds the office. I’m sure you do the same.

Please know that all of us here are gunning for you, all the more so because you willingly choose to fly something that does not fly, but rather, (in the words of a former colleague whom I knew when I worked at Ridley Park) “beats the air into submission”.

Keep a sharp eye, your weapons hot, and know that if I ever get to meet you or your friends from over there, I’d be the first to buy you any drink you wanted.


Wanderlust on July 25, 2009 at 4:41 AM

Hawkdriver —

Read your posts here at HA all the time. You are a great, great guy, and I pray for you and your guys all the time. Hang in there dude. We are cheering for you guys, and fully support you!!! Know that no matter what the liberal MSM says we know that you guys are are the real reasons people over here are safe, and we appreciate it!

God Bless you and keep you.

catlady on July 25, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Stay safe, Hawkdriver, keep up the good fight. We are all rooting for you all to kick butt and come home in one, undamaged peice.

JamesLee on July 25, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Hawkdriver –

Stay safe, stay strong. We know how much you sacrifice and risk, and we are very grateful. Come home and bring all your guys with you!

ladyingray on July 25, 2009 at 10:26 AM


Be safe, we are praying for you. I and my family are thankful for your service.

Godspeed my friend.

conservnut on July 25, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Hawdriver & Company:

You do America proud and keep her safe. Thank you!

DarkCurrent on July 25, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Hawkdriver & Company:

You do America proud and keep her safe. Thank you!

DarkCurrent on July 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM


Thank you for standing up and defending this great country.

Things are not yet fubar.

Godspeed and come home safe.

F15Mech on July 25, 2009 at 12:11 PM


My 7yr old son and I admire you and thank you for your service. May God, your skills, and your fellows keep you safe.


mikeyboss on July 25, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Hawkdriver and company:
Chin up and stay strong, guys and girls, you have a lot of fans here at HotAir. Let us know if there is anything at all we can send you to cheer you up. My deepest respect and gratitude for your service, and come home safe.

Fortunata on July 25, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Michael Yon has a new post today. A great journalist, yes. But what a great man this Yon is. He closes with this:

Broadly speaking, folks at home will not know how their loved ones are doing unless they can communicate directly. To learn more about the effort to send satellite communications gear to troops downrange, please see Operation AC.

Loxodonta on July 25, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Hawkdriver and company,
Thank you for all you do to protect my freedom and the freedom of all Americans. God bless you and all your comrades in arms, and stay safe.

Fallen Sparrow on July 25, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Hawkdriver and Company:

Stay well, Stay safe and Kick Ass!

Our thoughts are always with you guys and we never forget that it is YOU that keeps America strong and safe.

Aggie85 on July 25, 2009 at 2:19 PM


I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for what you’re doing there. We need people like you in this world.

We’re cheering you on and back you completely. What you’re doing is far more important than the things we discuss back over here.

Please, keep your chin up.

Esthier on July 25, 2009 at 3:11 PM


You are in my prayers every night dear friend. Thank you for your brave service and Godspeed.


hollygolightly on July 25, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Cindy Munford on July 28, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Thanks so much. Email sent.

NaCly dog on August 2, 2009 at 7:39 PM