Retired U.S. Army Blackhawk Pilot Michael Durant sharply criticized Barack Obama for his refusal to visit wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, after he learned that his press entourage wouldn’t be tagging along:
“Over the last week, Barack Obama made time in his busy schedule to hold a rally with 200,000 Germans in Berlin, hold a press conference with French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris, and hold a solo press conference in front of 10 Downing Street in London. The Obama campaign had also scheduled a visit with wounded U.S. troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, but this stop was canceled after it became clear that campaign staff, and the traveling press corps, would not be allowed to accompany Senator Obama.
I’ve spent time at Ramstein recovering from wounds received in the service of my country, and I’m sure that Senator Obama could have made no better use of his time than to meet with our men and women in uniform there. That Barack Obama believes otherwise casts serious doubt on his judgment and calls into question his priorities.”
Former Army Warrant Officer Michael Durant was shot down over Somalia and captured by Somali rebels during one of Bubba Klintoon’s wag-the-dog tactics. I will never forget watching the film footage of Staff Sergeant Thomas J. Field’s body being dragged through the streets by Somali excrement. Clinton denied the ground commander the assets he requested which included armor, AC-130 “Specter” Gunships, and LAV’s. The blood of those Soldiers is on his hands.
I provided access security for one of Durant’s classified briefings at Ft. Campbell following his retirement. The stress of his experience definitely took it’s toll. His hair had grown considerably gray by that time. Durant had quite the story to tell.
In spite of Bubba’s clusterfuck, the real story about the courage of American Soldiers was finally told in Mark Bowden’s book, “Blackhawk Down”.
James H. Smith, the father of Cpl. Jamie Smith, 21, who bled to death in the arms of a field medic while awaiting rescue in Mogadishu, recounted his anger at the liberal media circus surrounding the battle:
……The Battle of Mogadishu hadn’t played well in the media. Eighteen Americans dead and 73 wounded. What began as a simple gambit spun out of control, with one catastrophe after another. Two helicopters were downed and American soldiers were pinned for 15 hours by a vicious civilian mob armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK47s. Army Special Operations leaders had expected the mission to take an hour.
The American forces captured the warlord’s henchmen and killed hundreds and hundreds of Somalis as they battled to survive. But the media portrayed the operation as a debacle. A campaign that began as a humanitarian mission to help starving Somalis dominated by a ruthless warlord evolved into a bloody embarrassment. It led to Senate hearings, to the resignation of Defense Secretary Les Aspin and to a greater U.S. reluctance to intervene on foreign soil. Some blame Somalia for the Clinton administration’s slow response in Bosnia and Rwanda. The Battle of Mogadishu seemed destined to go down in history as a full-fledged military disaster.
But inside the military, many Soldiers didn’t see it that way–especially young Army Rangers and top-secret Delta Force operatives who had been stationed in Mogadishu in the fall of 1993. Bad policy doesn’t always translate into shoddy military conduct. Rather than a fiasco, the Soldiers viewed the battle as a hundred acts of courage.
American forces “won that battle,” says Smith. “We lost it politically, like Vietnam, but they won it militarily.”