Running title: No Easy Day – The firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden
It is no secret that I am fascinated with the world of special operations, especially the world of the Navy SEALs. So after the world largest scumbag was dirtnapped and it was revealed that his appointment with Allah was made possible by SEAL Team 6, I must say that I was not surprised. I don’t say this to come off as some arrogant, know-it-all, wanker or such. I say it in the vein that I truly felt that if there was any military unit out there that could pull this off … let’s just say that the SEALs had my vote by a high measure. Anything else would have been a combination of SEALs and British SAS. Enough with the kissy-kissy.
With Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty (back in January) beckoning to me like a randy, saucy Siren to a marooned, undersexed sailor, I couldn’t wait to get my mits on this book (mostly to compare notes with the movie … and needless to say, it came pretty damn close). The book starts out with Mark Owen and his team enroute to the infamous compound that housed the world’s biggest asshole, along with the biggest stash of retro, dog-eared, printed porn. But very early enough, the book takes the scenic route as Mr. Owen invites us on his journey of becoming a SEAL to joining SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) … and eventually the historic mission. And it is quite a fascinating journey that most readers would feel quite honoured to be on.
Like most SEAL books that I’ve read, Mr. Owen talks about simply enjoying the simple things such as walk and feeling the grass beneath his feet, or taking a bite into a taco from Taco Bell after returning from a mission (a taste of home, civilization). Irrelevant to most, but it really captures the somber and serious tone of his job where every deployment could be your last and it was always wise to take time out to smell the roses (literally) … whenever he could. It is a sincere sentiment and Mr. Owen is no lesser for revealing this bit of vulnerability. In my honest opinion, it only confirms his noble and valiant nature. Now only if politicians could be this open, honest and honourable. As the book eventually makes its way to the historic mission, the reading becomes like a roller-coaster where you find yourself gripping the pages with pure anxiety, despite knowing the outcome, and every turn of the page becomes a bowel-clenching moment … in a good way (of course this doesn’t pan out too well when you’re stuck in mass transit with a loaded Hoover Dam type bladder).
In the end No Easy Day is what it set out to be: a no-nonsense account of what ACTUALLY happened on the mission (sans the usual hype, bollocks and other sensational blah-blah-blahs provided by external media types). On the other hand it is just another (well-earned) tribute to the lives of those valiant souls that do the extraordinary in view of most of us whilst in their eyes it just all part of the job. Just another day, where yesterday was an easy day. Though some may disagree with his politics (and this may subtly rear its head) it is still not hard to say “Thanks Mr. Owen and the rest of your mates in the SEALs that, to us, do the extraordinary”. Thanks and cheers, mate.