The story is a punch in the gut:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In the deadliest day for U.S. forces in the nearly 10-year war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter Saturday, killing 30 Americans — including Navy SEAL commandos from the broader unit that killed Osama bin Laden — and seven Afghan commandos, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
The helicopter, on a night-raid mission in the Tangi Valley of Wardak province, west of Kabul, was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, one coalition official said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and they could hardly have found a more valuable target: U.S. officials said 22 of the dead were Navy SEAL commandos from two different special teams, including SEAL Team 6.
The number of SEALs killed has since been released as 23. It’s the worst day in the entire history of the Teams, which date back to the early days of the Vietnam War.
And of course the previous worst day in SEALs history occurred in Afghanistan, also:
In June 2005, on a barren mountain high in the Taliban-infested Hindu Kush, Luttrell and three fellow Navy SEALs came together to talk. Their mission — to locate and possibly take out an important Taliban leader hiding in the Afghan village below — had just been compromised. Three goatherds, one a boy of about 14, had blundered onto their position. Sitting against a log under the watchful eyes of their captors, the Afghans clearly weren’t happy to see the Americans. On the other hand, they were unarmed, technically civilians.
As about 100 goats milled about, Petty Officers Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz and Luttrell, and their commander, Lt. Michael Murphy, discussed what to do. Having tried and failed earlier to make radio contact with their home base, they were on their own.
As they saw it, they had two options: kill the Afghans, or let them go and hope for the best. They let them go.
It’s a decision Luttrell bitterly regrets.
Within hours, more than 100 Taliban fighters descended on the SEAL team. In the terrible gun battle that followed, Murphy, Axelson and Dietz died. A few miles away, a Taliban grenade brought down a rescue helicopter on its way to help the trapped men, killing all 16 aboard. It was the worst day in the 40-year history of the Navy SEALs
Our special operations warriors are most vulnerable when a) they’re risking their lives by treating their enemies like decent human beings and b) relying on helicopter transportation for their insertions and extractions.
Both “weaknesses” relate to my belief that Afghanistan is a terrible place for the U.S. to be fighting as our “central front.” Bush was right to make Iraq that front; Obama was wrong to make it Afghanistan. I point out that:
Iraq was a place where we could win, and Afghanistan was a place where we could fall into an abyss. Iraq – with its flat terrain and its conventional military dynamic, was a place where American technological might could completely dominate.
In making Iraq the central front, Bush chose a war that he knew America could win.
In demanding that Afghanistan be the central front, Democrats – and in particular Barack Obama – may well have chosen a war that we can’t win.
And Democrats now have a well-known history of losing wars since 1950.
Our jet fighters are virtually useless in this incredibly mountainous terrain, as our our armored forces. And helicopters – especially Chinooks – are incredibly vulnerable to rocket fire when they are inserting troops. Afghanistan has been called “the graveyard of empires” with damned good reason.
The SEALs were shot down while being transported aboard a Chinook helicopter, along with the eight crew members of the Chinook and another seven Afghan Special Forces soldiers. A U.S. military dog assigned to the SEALs was also killed.
For what it’s worth, if Barack Obama deserves “credit” for the SEALs nailing Osama bin Laden, he deserves just as much “credit” for the Chinook crash and the 22 dead SEALs now. You can’t have it both ways. Obama wanted to take the credit before; let him take the blame now. Especially since the latest reports are that the Taliban LURED the SEALs to the site in retaliation for the Osama bin Laden killing. Obama took all the credit for the operation that got Obama; why doesn’t he take credit for the operation that resulted in the deaths of one-tenth of the entire SEAL Team 6 unit that got bin Laden? Other than the fact that Obama is the kind of guy who takes credit for every sunrise and then demonizes the Republicans for every sunset???
And it is important to realize that making Afghanistan the central front (i.e. “the good war”) was entirely political:
Bob Shrum, who was a high political operative who worked on the Kerry campaign in ’04, wrote a very interesting article in December of last year in which he talked about that campaign, and he said, at the time, the Democrats raised the issue of Afghanistan — and they made it into “the right war” and “the good war” as a way to attack Bush on Iraq. In retrospect, he writes, that it was, perhaps, he said, misleading. Certainly it was not very wise.
What he really meant to say — or at least I would interpret it — it was utterly cynical. In other words, he’s confessing, in a way, that the Democrats never really supported the Afghan war. It was simply a club with which to bash the [Bush] administration on the Iraq war and pretend that Democrats aren’t anti-war in general, just against the wrong war.
Well, now they are in power, and they are trapped in a box as a result of that, pretending [when] in opposition that Afghanistan is the good war, the war you have to win, the central war in the war on terror. And obviously [they are] now not terribly interested in it, but stuck.
One graph is all you need to see that George Bush basically fought a war of containment in Afghanistan. It was Obama who turned it into the central front:
And, to continue, let me also say that Obama’s demonization of George Bush has clearly since been proven to have been completely false as well as depraved.
Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.”
Match that demagoguery up with Obama’s reality:
UN: Afghan civilian death toll hits record high
Jul 14, 2011, 12:24 GMT
Kabul – The first half of 2011 has been the deadliest six months for Afghan civilians since the decade-long war began, the United Nations mission said Thursday.
‘Afghanistan experienced a 15 per cent increase in conflict-related civilian deaths in the first six months of 2011,’ the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in it’s midyear report.
And just who the hell is “air raiding villages and killing civilians” now, Obama?
Karzai scolds US military over Afghan civilian deaths
May 29, 2011
President Hamid Karzai on Sunday scolded the US military for “arbitrary and unnecessary” missions that kill Afghan civilians, saying it was his last warning on the issue after 14 died in an air strike.
Citing initial reports that 10 children, two women and two men were killed in a strike in the southern province of Helmand on Saturday, Karzai said such operations amounted to the “murdering of Afghanistan’s children and women.”
And of course there is the story of the premeditated murders of civilians by a 5th Stryker Brigade “kill team” of hoodlums. If Bush was president, there would have been a demand over the course of months for an investigation into exactly what Bush knew and when he knew it.
Obama – who just plain demonized George Bush while deceitfully exalting himself – created the now documented incredibly false dichotomy between the world hating America because of Bush and the world loving America because of Obama. He falsely promised that the Muslim world would respect America with himself as president. In one word, BULLCRAP:
Bush trumps Barack in the Arab world: President Obama is proving an embarrassing flop in the Middle East
By Nile Gardiner Last updated: July 13th, 2011
Today’s eye-opening IBOPE Zogby International poll for the Arab American Institute Foundation should be a wake-up call to the White House on its failing foreign policy. After two and a half years of bashing Israel, appeasing rogue regimes such as Iran and Syria, and promising a new era of relations with the Muslim world, Washington is now less popular in major Arab countries than it was when George W. Bush was in the White House.
The poll surveys Arab opinion in six countries: Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and reveals that “Arabs see the Obama Administration’s handling of most Middle East policy issues as having made no contribution to improving US-Arab relations. Only on the issue of the “no-fly zone over Libya” do a majority of Saudis and plurality of Lebanese see a positive contribution.”
According to the report’s author, the Democrat adviser James Zogby:
After improving with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, U.S. favorable ratings across the Arab world have plummeted. In most countries they are lower than at the end of the Bush Administration, and lower than Iran’s favorable ratings (except in Saudi Arabia).
… While many Arabs were hopeful that the election of Barack Obama would improve U.S.-Arab relations, that hope has evaporated. Today, President Obama’s favorable ratings across the Arab World are 10% or less. Obama’s performance ratings are lowest on the two issues to which he has devoted the most energy: Palestine and engagement with the Muslim world.
The Zogby poll overwhelmingly demonstrates that weakness and a markedly softer approach to the projection of American global power do not make the US president more popular abroad. In fact they simply strengthen the position of America’s enemies, undermine her effectiveness as a global power, and draw contempt and derision from both friend and foe alike.
Finally, conservatives have been pointing out that Obama’s whimpering exit to his own giant escalation would amount to a retreat which, combined with his “timetable for withdrawal,” would embolden our enemies and endange our troops. And from all signs, we are now dealing with an emboldened enemy who know they have already won:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Three American senators visiting Kabul said Sunday they were worried that President Obama’s planned withdrawal of 33,000 American troops by September 2012 could undermine Afghan morale, embolden the insurgency and hamper efforts to defeat the Taliban.
It is LONG past time the American people finally start taking Obama and the media propaganda he depends on to task for all their lies.
These SEALs and the Chinook crewmen who made the ultimate sacrifice are far better men than me on multiple levels. One of those levels is that they did something I wouldn’t have done: they stayed in the military and continued fighting because – Obama’s total garbage rhetoric aside – they knew that our enemies would hate us as much with Obama as president as they did when Bush was president. And they made the conscious decision to put America’s security first.
This was what I once said:
I was a soldier, too. If a Barack Obama suddenly became my Commander-in-Chief, I would have realized the war is over, and America lost. I wouldn’t fight for the radical infanticide/abortion agenda, the radical gay rights agenda, or any other radical liberal agenda. I signed up to fight for the United States of America; not God Damn America. And I’d figure it’s about time that liberals sent their children off to die screaming in the mud for their new Peoples’ Socialist Republic under their new Messiah-in-Chief. Hell, instead of protesting military recruitment, these once-traitorous vermin (under the previous gone-but-not-forgotten United States of America) can quit protesting military recruiting stations and start actually signing up in them. That’s right, liberals; instead of bombing recruiting stations like Obama’s terrorist pal William Ayers you can go and start signing up to sacrifice your blood and guts for your new country.
Geez, I wonder if you’d stop bitching about how evil American soldiers were fighting terrorists all over the world if you actually had to do all the fighting yourselves? Heck, it’s possible it might even start to occur to you that a place like Guantanamo Bay is a better idea than releasing terrorists who will immediately start trying to kill you again the moment they get back to their old stomping grounds.
And of course, here we are now, with the whole radical homosexual agenda imposed on the military whether it was ready for it or not.
I would have left at my first opportunity because all the crap that’s going on in God damn America is vile. But these noble SEALs and crewmen realize that America needs to be protected and defended no matter which fool the American people elect as their president.
This country no longer deserves men like these, it no longer deserves the incredible personal sacrifices they have to make. But they keep showing up where they are most needed, wherever the fighting is the worst, and keep making the ultimate sacrifices, just the same.
And thank God for their incredible nobility and their incredible heroism.
I think back to the example of heroism that still leaves me wondering. It occurred during the Blackhawk Down incident in Somalia. A Blackhawk was shot down in Mogudishu, and two Delta Force snipers aboard a circling helicopter demanded to be set down near the wreckage to protect the crew of the downed Blackhawk. MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart were set down on what was very obviously a suicide mission of their own request. The rest of us can only guess what these noble and heroic warriors were thinking, but I believe they saw the honor of the United States on the line, and they determined to give their own lives to protect that honor.
They knew they were going to die. There is no question that when they asked to be set down, that they were going to die.
And they knew that this would be what would happen to their bodies.
And yet they made their decision.
I wouldn’t have done what they did. Because the level of honor, and nobility, and courage, and raw heroism and willingness to suffer and die for their country simply transcends anything I can even begin to understand.
And I’m hardly alone in that. There are approximately 313,232,044 Americans in the United States. And only a tiny, tiny few would be willing to give their lives the way these men were willing to give their lives for a man they didn’t even know.
But many of those SEALs who died yesterday would have. Because that’s just who those guys are.
As righteously pissed off as I am at the fiasco I am watching every single day as this nation is run into the ground, something like this national tragedy happens and it gives me pause.
In their spirit and in their honor, and in the honor of the men who knew them and fought with them, I say today, God bless America. And may God bless the families and the comrades of those slain. Thank you for giving us men like these, Lord God. And thank you for the lesson their nobility and courage can teach us.