Friday, September 9, 2016

The American Military and the Specter of an Untrustworthy Commander-In-Chief - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

A track record of failure and fabrication puts military voters on edge.

In August 1993, Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill dispatched a force of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos to war-torn Somalia in an effort to seize the Somali warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aidid. Military commanders had assessed the need for armor and air cover to carry out the dangerous mission. They requested M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, as well as AC-130 gunships but the Clinton administration obscenely denied the request placing U.S. forces in a very vulnerable situation.

On October 3, a taskforce of lightly armed U.S. forces seized a good portion of Aidid’s political and military echelon in Mogadishu as they assembled for a meeting in the capital but the operation stirred a hornet’s nest and the troops began engaging Somali militiamen in urban combat. Two Black Hawk helicopters were subsequently shot down with rocket propelled grenades. The nature and dynamic of the mission rapidly changed from a lightening operation involving quick seizure and extraction to one of protracted urban combat pitting outnumbered and outgunned U.S. forces against thousands of Somali militiamen armed to the teeth with machine guns, RPGs, mortars and recoilless rifles.

Though the Rangers and Delta Force commandos ultimately prevailed, 18 soldiers were killed (some of the bodies were mutilated), 73 were wounded and a helicopter pilot was captured. Had the request for armor and air cover been granted, there is no question that the outcome of the Battle of Mogadishu would have been vastly different and U.S. casualties would have been minimal. Adding insult to injury, Aidid’s aides, captured at great cost and sacrifice, were quickly released on orders from the political echelon.

Bill Clinton should have resigned but instead passed the buck to his loyal secretary of defense, Les Aspin, who resigned in disgrace a few months later. Bill Clinton never served in the military, never went to military school and had no concept of what it means to be a soldier and send men to battle to fight and die. Clinton was and still is a power hungry, political opportunist and nothing more. His inexcusable actions, in denying our service members the best equipment, cost lives.

Fast forward 23 years. With her husband’s backing, Hillary Clinton now seeks the same office previously occupied by her husband. Like her husband, Hillary is a political opportunist with an insatiable lust for power. Her only foreign policy “achievement” was to transform Libya into an ISIS/al-Qaida haven through short-sighted and irresponsible interventionist policies. 

Hillary also shares a more ominous resemblance to her husband. Her complacency and sheer incompetence on the days leading up to September 11, 2012, needlessly cost the lives of four American heroes, including J. Christopher Stevens, the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979.

The Islamist assault on the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was meticulously planned and well-coordinated. Requests for beefing up security at the site were either ignored or denied by Hillary’s State Department. An additional contingent of U.S. military personnel or private military contractors could have meant the difference between life and death.

Despite Clinton’s best efforts to stage-manage the Benghazi hearings (as emails from the Clinton camp suggest), the Select Committee on Benghazi released a damning report that reflected poorly on the former secretary of state’s actions before, during and after the September 11, attack. Poor intelligence and needless bureaucratic bungling prevented rapid deployment of forces to the theater.

But it was Clinton’s web of lies, spun after the Benghazi assault, that truly highlight the wretchedness of this person. As countless emails reveal, Clinton was well aware that the consulate attack was premeditated and the work of trained Muslim terrorists. But that did not reconcile well with the narrative her boss was attempting to peddle to the American people – chiefly that al-Qaida was on the run and America was winning the war on terror. So instead, she along with Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice concocted a story about how an obscure YouTube video about Mohammed was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of four Americans. Clinton though, went one step further than the other Obama stooges. She told this lie not only to the American people but also directly to the family members of the victims of the attack.

Clinton is a serial fabricator who maintains a sociopathic-like lack of empathy for anyone or anything that stands in her way. That includes the families of the victims of Benghazi.  Like her husband, Hillary Clinton’s fateful decisions cost American lives and like her husband, she shirked responsibility and failed to own up to her faults.

A recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll suggests that Trump leads Clinton by a whopping 19 points among current and former members of the U.S. military. That group understands what it means to be Commander-in-Chief. It requires character, honesty and a proven track record of getting the job done. These traits and characteristics are sorely lacking in Hillary Clinton.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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