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post #41 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>No, but you've repeatedly blamed Clinton...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Right. He was president and those Rangers were carrying out orders given by his administration. He put them in the line of fire for a poorly concieved policy. He put our soldiers in a place where bad people would have an opportunity to kill them. As I said in my last post theres a difference between holding our leaders accountable and taking the other guys side. Chomsky and his ilk have repeatedly championed the other side.

[quote]<strong>... and not once blamed the actual people who killed the Americans. How about this, you show me any one of your posts where you blamed the people who actually fired the weapons at the rangers, and I'll show you all the posts where you blamed someone else.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Somalia wasn't caused by American policy. Somalia was already a "basket case" before we got there - something I've already pointed out. That said, how about someone explaining to me how it was in our interest to put our people in harms way for... ummm... well... what the hell was it we were trying to do over there anyway? I really dont think thats too much to ask.

[quote]<strong>OK, but that wasn't what led to the deaths of those rangers. They weren't sent in to carry out some fancy nation-building mission, they were sent in to get Aidid because he had killed a couple dozen UN troops including 4 Americans. Maybe we should have just cut our losses after that first incident, but that's a separate criticism. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually they were sent in to get a couple of Aidids luetenants and they were successful. The mission was a hard fought, brutal, costly victory which we then walked away from because our leadership wasnt truly dedicated to whatever it was they were trying to do. They turned victory into defeat. Why? Because changing the regime in Somalia was not in our national interest.
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post #42 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by Toebwon:
<strong>He was president and those Rangers were carrying out orders given by his administration. He put them in the line of fire for a poorly concieved policy. He put our soldiers in a place where bad people would have an opportunity to kill them.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Look how long and hard you have to try to twist that around. I can say it very simply - some bad guys killed our guys. Explain to me why it was such a poorly conceived policy to go after someone who killed four of our soldiers and a couple dozen UN soldiers? That's what led to those rangers being there.

[quote]As I said in my last post theres a difference between holding our leaders accountable and taking the other guys side. Chomsky and his ilk have repeatedly championed the other side.<hr></blockquote>
I've heard Chomsky numerous times say, when pressed, that he hates the other side, just as you guys have said in this thread. But he then goes on to explain why it was really the American policy that was the ultimate cause, again just as you guys have done. Sounds exactly the same to me.

Look, I'll be happy to bat this back and forth with you, but when you jumped in I was simply trying to tell roger my gut reaction to this - that to criticize a policy is one thing. But when Americans are killed by terrorists, only the terrorists are to blame, not the American policy.
post #43 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
Look how long and hard you have to try to twist that around...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yeah, three whole sentences.

[quote]<strong>I can say it very simply - some bad guys killed our guys.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yep, sure is simple and neatly avoids that throny question: Why were our guys still there in the first place?

[quote]<strong>Explain to me why it was such a poorly conceived policy to go after someone who killed four of our soldiers and a couple dozen UN soldiers? That's what led to those rangers being there.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It was a good idea before the raid but it was a bad idea after it? We still pulled out. We didn't get Aidid. Those rangers, despite the success of their mission, died for nothing. That's the most obscene part of the whole thing.

[quote]<strong>... when Americans are killed by terrorists, only the terrorists are to blame, not the American policy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

What happened in Somalia happened in their country. That doesn't make what they did any less savage but it does mean they had certain tactical advantages that made the job dramatically more complicated. It's a good idea to weigh the means necessary to achieve an objective against the value of the objective. One could make the argument that eliminating Aidid was worth the potential casualties that might ensue. Or one could say that getting rid of him was not worth putting our soldiers lives on the line. It seems that President Clinton believed the former argument right up until things got nasty and then he bailed. His choice was the worst of both worlds.
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post #44 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>OK, but that wasn't what led to the deaths of those rangers. They weren't sent in to carry out some fancy nation-building mission, they were sent in to get Aidid because he had killed a couple dozen UN troops including 4 Americans. Maybe we should have just cut our losses after that first incident, but that's a separate criticism.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, it was part of the U.N.-led nation building effort which Madeleine Albright (she was our U.N. ambassador at the time) described it as "an unprecedented enterprise aimed at nothing less than the restoration of an entire country."

"Getting" Aidid was part of what that effort had become. Originally the idea was to simply marginalize him. He, of course, resisted. Things escalated from there. The UN troops were Pakistanis who attempted to shut down Aidid's radio station. They were literally disemboweled. I don't know anything about the 4 Americans. There were 4 reporters that were killed in another incident. Are these the 4 Americans you mentioned?
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post #45 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>I don't know anything about the 4 Americans. There were 4 reporters that were killed in another incident. Are these the 4 Americans you mentioned?</strong><hr></blockquote>
No, there were four American soldiers who were killed with a bomb set off by Aidid's people, probably trained by al Qaeda. Six more American soldiers were injured a week or two later in the same way.

A week or so after that, the Rangers were sent in to get Aidid. They wanted to get Aidid because he had killed the US soldiers, not to "nation build." The same thing could have happened if Aidid had attacked and killed the Americans before the UN expanded its mission.

I'm not saying it was a good idea to expand the UN mission - I'm neutral about that, I gather you're negative. I'm arguing that sending in the Rangers who were eventually killed in the Blackhawk Down fight was unrelated to the expanded UN mission.
post #46 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
A week or so after that, the Rangers were sent in to get Aidid. They wanted to get Aidid because he had killed the US soldiers, not to "nation build." The same thing could have happened if Aidid had attacked and killed the Americans before the UN expanded its mission.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Right but as bad as Aidid was he wasn't killing Americans back then.

[quote]<strong>... I'm arguing that sending in the Rangers who were eventually killed in the Blackhawk Down fight was unrelated to the expanded UN mission.</strong><hr></blockquote>

No it wasn't. We may have had plenty of reasons to want to get Aidid outside of what the U.N. was doing but after Oct. 3 we had even more of those same reasons. We left anyway. Remember, you wrote in a previous post that Aidid had killed 24 Pakistani peacekeepers. As Mickey Kaus has <a href="http://slate.msn.com/?id=2060941" target="_blank">observed</a> the U.N. had an interest in seeing to it that the evisceration of it's people not go unpunished. Aidid was originally seen as an obstacle to be marginalized by the U.N. mission. By Oct. 3 the consensus had shifted and it was decided instead that he needed to be taken out. The U.N.'s aims nicely coincided with ours.

You are right that I think expanding the mission was a bad idea. However after Oct. 3 (and because of Oct. 3) we should have at least finished off Aidid before we left.

[ 01-30-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #47 of 49
I'll agree that
1. Aidid felt pressured by the expanded UN mission, which led to
2. him getting aggressive and killing the Pakistani UN inspectors, which led to
3. us putting direct pressure on him, which led to
4. increased hostility from him including killing Americans, which led to
5. us sending forces directly after him, which led to
6. the deaths of those soldiers in the Blackhawk Down fight.

I just don't think that's a direct enough causal sequence to blame Clinton, or the mission, or anyone but Aidid and bin Laden.

If you think we can blame Clinton, you tell me where the Chomsky analogy breaks down:

Chomsky says the reason for terrorism is that the US is the world's bully, goes after people they don't like, ticks off the people in the countries who are their targets, and therefore elicits anti-US attitudes which escalate into terrorism.

How is this different from what you're saying happened in Somalia?
post #48 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

<strong>If you think we can blame Clinton...</strong><hr></blockquote>

I blame the U.N. as much as I do Clinton. I blame Clinton for readily buying into the U.N.'s schemes.

[quote]<strong>... you tell me where the Chomsky analogy breaks down:

Chomsky says the reason for terrorism is that the US is the world's bully, goes after people they don't like, ticks off the people in the countries who are their targets, and therefore elicits anti-US attitudes which escalate into terrorism.

How is this different from what you're saying happened in Somalia?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't know if the Somalis are on the road to becoming terrorists. Al Qaeda isn't home grown. They just saw an opportunity there. And Somalia was never our target (neither was Afghanistan) only the bad guys in their midst. This is a distinction Chomsky almost always fails to make.

Chomsky's analysis also doesn't do much to explain all the Saudi Arabians in Al Qaeda. How much have we bullied Saudi Arabia? We haven't. We've bent over backwards to accommodate them.
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post #49 of 49
<a href="http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20020216-41611204.htm" target="_blank">David Hackworth's take on the lessons of Blackhawk Down</a>.
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