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20 years

Iraqis—who only a year ago were cheering American troops—lined the streets in Fallujah in the Sunni Triangle as the charred bodies of four American contract "soldiers" from Blackwater Security Consulting were dragged past them in a scene so horribly reminiscent of Mogadishu, Somalia in October, 1993 where the body of a downed Blackhawk helicopter pilot was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, causing the Clinton Administration to hastily withdraw all American troops from that country, virtually surrendering the plight of the starving Somalians to al Qaeda strongman Ali Mahdi Mohammed..

Somalia became engulfed in Civil War when Muslim strongman Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by rival warlords in 1991. The factious warlords could not agree on the composition of a central government since each of them believed he should be named President. Unable to form a government, they carved up the nation into fiefdoms, taking what they could hold by force of arms. It was government by anarchy and lawlessness and chaos reigned supreme.

If the United States suddenly pulled out of Iraq, it's a safe bet that within six months Iraq would become the second nation in the world without any central government and no cohesiveness to hold it together. Chaos would rule as the secular Ba'athists, the theological Sunni, the Shi'ites, the Kurds and multi-national al Qaeda rebels attempted to overthrow whatever provisional government was installed by the United States and/or the United Nations. From that initial cancer, factional warfare would quickly ignite the neighboring Muslim nations that are still doing business with the United States and the western industrial nations—and, of course, with Israel. The Jihadic bonfire of Osama bin Laden would then consume the entire Mideast with the same type of hellfire that Saladin's jihad ignited in the Middle East in the 12th century after Christian marauders attacked a caravan in which Saladin's sister was traveling. That jihad led to the Crusades. The Crusades lasted 144 years and ended with the fall of Acre in 1291*.

Even less provocation caused the skirmish in Mogadishu in October, 1993 that resulted in the deaths of 18 American soldiers Between 1982 and 1992, 300,000 people starved to death in Somalia. In August, 1992, the UN Security Council initiated a food relief program called Operation Somalia-2 [UNOSOM-2] to feed the starving nation.

On Dec. 12, 1992, about five weeks before the expiration of his term as President of the United States, George H.W. Bush launched Operation Restore Hope and committed the Clinton Administration and 26.000 American troops to a humanitarian effort in Somalia. Twenty other nations committed 13,000 troops to provide both food supplies and security to war-torn Somalia. Gen. Mohammed Farah Aideed, whose rebels controlled most of the beleaguered nation, welcomed the relief effort, believing he would be able to successfully exploit the Americans into helping him defeat his arch rival, the al Qaeda-backed warlord Ali Mahdi Mohammed who controlled the city of Mogadishu. When he took office, Clinton's Defense Secretary, former Wisconsin Congressman Les Aspin, cut the UNOSOM-2 force to 4,000 regular Army troops and 400 Army Rangers.

If you saw the movie, Blackhawk Down, you have a general idea what happened in Mogadishu—except that the massacre of the crews of the three downed Blackhawks not only did not have to happen, it should not have happened—and I venture to conclude— would not have happened under any President other than Bill Clinton or perhaps Jimmy Carter .

Aspin and Clinton decided that since this was a humanitarian mission in a hostile, highly volatile land, American peacekeepers should not look like gung-ho warriors to the heavily armed locals. It was, they decided, a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Instead of arming American peacekeepers with the weaponry they would require to win if they got into a firefight with superior numbers of local rebels, the soldiers were armed with sidearms and standard issue Army rifles. As a result, the American troops were simply "outgunned" by the locals when Ali Mahdi Mohammed's rebels downed the Blackhawks.. And, because the Democratically-controlled Congress had previously stripped the American intelligence community of most of its intelligence-gathering capabilities under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Clinton—who actually completed the destruction of the intelligence community between 1993 and 2000—did not know that Osama bin Laden had several al Qaeda training camps in Somalia. Nor did he know that bin Laden was financing the rebel forces fighting Aideed. Nor, for that matter, did it appear that the Clinton people knew that bin Laden has issued a fatwah denouncing the UN humanitarian mission and calling for acts of terrorism against the soldiers on the ground in Somalia—and against those nations who had "invaded" Somalia.

In September, 1993 Gen. Colin PowellBush-41's carryover Chairman of the Joint Chiefs—asked Aspin to let him beef up the weakened American forces in Somalia with tanks and armored vehicles. Aspin declined Powell's request. The Massacre at Mogadishu happened a few weeks later. Bowing to public pressure when pictures of the dead helicopter pilot being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu hit the screens of America's TV sets, Bill Clinton pulled all American troops out of Somalia—and Saddam Hussein purchased hundreds of copies of the movie, Blackhawk Down. He had discovered America's Achilles Heel and he would learn how to exploit it.

As reported extensively by the media during and shortly after the collapse of organized military resistance in Iraq, Saddam used the video of Blackhawk Down as a training film for his field commanders and general staff. Saddam was convinced that if the Iraqis killed enough Americans and dragged their bodies through the streets of Baghdad, America would lose heart with the war and simply disengage from battle as public opinion in the United States turned against Bush-43. Even with the complete collapse of the Ba'athist regime, the Fedayeen and the al Qaeda terrorist cells operating in the Sunni Triangle still believed if they killed enough Americans— civilians as well as soldiers—that pressure from anti-war groups in the United States would force Bush-43 to pull his troops out of Iraq, thereby allowing the Ba'athists to quickly regain control of the country. It was for that very reason that the Iraqis released photos of atrocities committed against American prisoners killed during the early days of the war. They believed that public outrage in the United States, prompted by antiwar groups like Norm Chomsky's pro-Islamic, antiwar groups, Not In My Name.org and Not In Our Name.org that were supported heavily by Hollywood activists like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Whoopie Goldberg (who had her own antiwar message written into the script of her TV sitcom).The antiwar rhetoric of these actors and actresses, and the public remarks and advocacy of people like Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Lange, Harry Belafonte, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, Alec Baldwin (who promised us he would move to England and then disappointed most of us when broke his word), Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Ed Harris and Dustin Hoffman and scores of others, have contributed dramatically to the death toll since May 1, 2003 when President George W. Bush declared the war had ended. They did so by giving psychological aid to the enemy. The liberals in Tinseltown will argue "free speech" rights (even as they do everything to silence the 1st Amendment rights of the rest of us). But, they are right. (By the way—why is it that the rest of us waste our money going to movies in which these socialists participate? We also have rights. We have the right the boycott them. Why aren't we?)

The Constitution of the United States guarantees them the right to passionately advocate their issues. But that "right" has a price. It is very costly. Thus far, their "right" to denounce the American military presence in Iraq has cost 936 moms and dads the right to ever see their sons and daughters again—and it has cost thousands of children their father or, in some cases, their mother, because 468 loyal Americans paid—with their blood,—for the right of the Tinselton socialists to spew their hate in the name of patriotic compassion.

Winning the peace, thanks in good measure those same socialist radicals within the United States has proven to be much harder than winning the war. During the brief Iraqi War, America lost 140 of her own either through fatal accidents or during battle. Winning the peace has been much more costly.

The decision by the remaining Fedayeen Ba'athists,and al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and their jihadist friends from neighboring terrorist organizations to specifically target civilians, media personnel and Iraqi women and children was done for one reason and one reason only— to impact public opinion in the United States sufficiently to create an outcry that the Democrats could use to force Bush to either pull out of Iraq—or to help John Kerry defeat him in November. The Ba'athists know that as President, antiwar activist John Kerry will not have the stomach for tough military decisions. They are certain Kerry would quickly disengage American forces and turn control of the reconstruction of Iraq over to the UN—as he blames George W. Bush for the debacle when Iraq becomes another Iran—or worse, another Somalia.

Add to the Blackhawk Down mentality the divisiveness of the supposedly nonpartisan September 11 Commission hearings in Washington in which the liberals—who are desperately attempting to gain election day points by arguing that President George W. Bush was so preoccupied with trying to justify attacking Iraqi that he deliberately ignored the advise of his "advisors" concerning what should have been obvious threats to the American infrastructure from al Qaeda. The Ba'athists knew that anything they could do to inflame the American left would ultimately benefit them. There is little doubt in my mind that was the purpose of showing the grisly, horrific images. Burned bodies being dismembered by Iraqi's kicking the charred heads from the torsos. Scenes depicting Iraqis or dragging the bodies past cheering crowds. Cheering Iraqis hanging two of the bodies from the bridge over the Euphrates River at Fallujah. This was, you might say, the Ba'athists version of Blackhawk Down—staged for the liberals on the September 11 Commission—and staged for the American voters who must decide whether they want a leader or a protester in the White House on Jan. 20, 2005.

*The first Crusade actually began in 1096, 51 years before the rise of Saladin after the armies of Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless were annihilated by the Seljuks. The Norman barons flocked to the cross after Muslims killed the papal legation in Jerusalem, fielding three divisions which converged on Constantinople. The Normans, allied with Greek forces captured Nicea, the capital of Asia Minor and defeated the Muslm armies at Dorylaeum. Following a bloody battles at Antioch, the Christian army under Godfreyof Bouillon marched triumphantly into Jerusalem and the First Crusade ended in 1099.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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