Answering the Jihad: Did Someone Say ‘Crusade’?

crusader

What’s the difference between the Crusades, the Barbary Wars and the Global War on Terror?

As far as jihadist Islamists are concerned absolutely nothing.

These conflicts were and are simply an excuse to murder anyone who is not like them. Like an obsessed teenager high on caffeine and sugar playing marathon rounds of Mortal Kombat, Islamists murder for sheer pleasure, the terror effect is just a pleasant byproduct for them.

Islamists have used the Crusades (four major armed Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land from 1095-1289) as a recruiting tool with low-information Muslims, who are easily radicalized, especially if they are of meager means and background. Improving one’s standard of living or social status through joining radical terrorist movements is tough to counter if we are not in a position to do so, and are in fact running away from the fight.

Even Pope Francis seems to be calling for a Fifth Crusade, saying in response to the crisis in Iraq, over which he said he was “dismayed” and in “disbelief,” that there was a need for “a professional, well-equipped army” because “the situation is going from bad to worse.”

But the United States can’t seem to get out of it’s own way with regard to foreign policy chaos. It’s as if we’re drunken gamblers betting our shirts after losing all our money, watch, shoes, boat and home!

Politically, all the death and destruction is bad for business in the Obama camp, especially after seemingly endless foreign policy mistakes, from red lines in the sand to putting five big time Taliban bad guys back in the fight in trade for a suspected U.S. Army deserter. Trying to figure out the thinking behind these and other incredible missteps drives one to distraction!

After the bloodshed in Orlando, with over one hundred injured including at least 50 dead, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Their crusade continues.

If an enemy is bold enough to shoot high quality video of the beheading of an American journalist (Daniel Pearl by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, February 2002; and James Foley, August 2014) in the Middle East then they are able to do so in the streets of America, and have now done so.

Radical Muslims from around the world have answered the clarion call to join the Islamic State in their caliphate, including those from the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Asia and parts of Africa.

What will be our answer now?

For too long we have resisted the fact that Islamists are at war with us. We have responded with force and resolve during certain times and then responded with our heads in the sand at other times. The result? Nightclub bloodbaths in American cities.

And now? Nearly 100 dead innocents on the streets of Nice, France. 130 dead in Paris. Europe is on fire with “migrating” jihadist’s. “Home grown” or refugee, student visa or immigrant. Islamists who believe in Sharia Law are incompatible with the Judeo/Christian ethic or even socialist. Muslim theocracy is the antithesis of democracy.

Nice.1

American patriot Thomas Paine once said:

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must . . . undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

That “fatigue” has weighed heavily on us, especially on the victims of terror and on our military community, who have borne the brunt of the burden.

President Barack Obama’s and his cabinet’s lack of military background are handicapping their decision-making regarding military action to protect and defend the interests of the United States. Barack Obama has even been recently exposed for not meeting even once with his Defense Intelligence Chief, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

The modus operandi of this naïve group is to grossly politicize every single crisis after putting their proverbial licked finger in the air to determine the direction of the politically correct wind before making a statement or tenuous commitment.

The result is a weakened and vulnerable United States at the mercy of barbarians. But how we got here is not nearly as important as where we’re going and how?

It is imperative that we begin and then sustain a planned and committed offensive against the tyranny of Islamists. There should be no safe haven, no quarter given, and no mercy for the members of the murderous caliphate. But if we call it a “Crusade” what could possibly be the down side? It might even inspire a new generation of committed anti-Islamists.

In the early days of the 19th century this country battled and then defeated a former Islamist caliphate in the Barbary Wars. Barbary pirates of Northern Africa demanded tribute for captured merchant and military ships and the merchants, sailors and Marines on them. President Thomas Jefferson refused to comply, as did President James Madison. Instead, the United States sent warships and Marines to rescue our ships and personnel, and to destroy the pirates, and their will and means to terrorize us on the high seas.

Decatur_Boarding_the_Tripolitan_Gunboat

In the end, our resolve and resources won the day, and after our example was set, European countries followed suit, building and then deploying some of the world’s fastest and most powerful ships at the time in a combined effort to suppress the pirates.

For Islamists to be defeated, once and for all, a combined effort is necessary. But this combined effort needs a leader.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

At home we  need better vetting and/or a moratorium on immigrant and other Muslims entering the country. It sounds xenophobic, but enough is enough. We’re not being killed by little old lady Catholics, Protestants or Jews. We’re being targeted and killed by Muslim men (mostly). Enough already!

Deploying the 82nd Airborne Division and United State Marines to the Middle East may seem a drastic and painful choice, but we must stabilize the area of Islamist infiltration with a physical presence and then invoke a Middle East Marshall Plan when the dust settles and all Islamists are either dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill us.

Helping to rebuild the infrastructure and self-esteem of people exploited and terrorized by Islamists will win hearts and minds, as it did against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

We still have troops in countries we defeated in World War II over 70 years after the end of that war. These countries are now among the most peaceful and prosperous in the world, not in spite of our presence, but because of it.

Peace and prosperity should be enticing rewards for those who currently choose violence and destruction. The alternative we are living now is unacceptable, the price already paid by our military members and their families and loved ones too great.

So, if our enemies call it a Crusade, why not at this point fulfill their dreams of 72 virgins and play along? Nothing else is working.

While the President Honors the Enemy, Americans Honor Americans

Memorial Day.1

President Barack Obama has visited the Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has no intention of reciprocating with a visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The U.S. president said he visited Hiroshima to “honor all WWII dead.” All, Mr. President? Kamikaze’s? Nazi’s? Pearl Harbor bombers? Bataan Death March Imperial Japanese? Murderous SS troops who massacred defenseless American POW’s? All Mr. President?

On the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, President Ronald Reagan said: “We must never forget what nuclear weapons wrought upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet we must also remain mindful that our maintenance of a strong nuclear deterrent has for four decades ensured the security of the United States and the freedom of our allies in Asia and Europe.”

Nearly 22 years ago, Emperor Akihito visited a war dead cemetery just a few miles from Pearl Harbor on a stopover on his way to North America. His original itinerary included a visit to the memorial at the site of the capsized U.S.S. Arizona, still entombing 1,100 sailors, but protests from right wing Japanese altered his plans. The right wingers claimed Japan was provoked by a United States’ embargo at the time.

Memorial Day.3

No sitting American president should ever visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki, until or unless a sitting Japanese Prime Minister or Emperor visits Pearl Harbor. Apologies aside, showing up is an act of support and sympathy.

Embargo or not, a true act of war such as the killing of 2,400 people at dawn on a Sunday should rate a full and sincere apology. If not, stay far away from even the slightest perception of sympathy for those who caused over 100,000 U.S. casualties in the Pacific after the sneak attack on December 7, 1941.

Absent the nuclear attacks by the U.S. on Imperial Japan in the summer of 1945 it is estimated that over one million Americans would have lost their lives fighting conventionally to subdue the Japanese. The Imperial Japanese had already mobilized women and children in its defense.

Memorial Day.4

In war, right and wrong can be overcome by what is necessary. Survival is necessary.

Apologies without sincere repentance are mere political gestures. Obama may have gotten away with both. After laying a wreath at the Peace Park and “honoring all war dead,” he lamented nuclear weapons, the very things that have secured relative peace and prosperity in Europe and Japan for over 70 years.

The President’s biggest mistakes have been withdrawing from victories and stability, only to find himself in a quagmire not seen since the Vietnam War. Iraq and Afghanistan were pacified and peaceful before draw downs and withdrawals were ordered by the President.

Now we find ourselves still losing heroes in pointless and ineffective military missions that dishonor theirs and the lives and ground lost previously.

All WWII dead, Mr. President? On this Memorial Day weekend? Not on your life.

 

One Nation, Under God, Except in Florida

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

Atheists and liberal anti-Christians are at it again, this time successfully supporting legislation in the Sunshine State to make it unlawful to force a student in the public schools there to stand at attention or say the Pledge of Allegiance.

A previous law required only that students stand at attention during the pledge if they didn’t want to recite it. Now they may sit.

It’s a shame that every school in Florida can’t have a wounded veteran appear in a wheel chair in front of the students and then tell them about how he or she CANNOT stand to honor the flag that represents the reason they sacrificed their ABILITY to stand for it.

It’s a shame that legislators in Florida no longer hold dear the values that created this nation and made it free in the first place.

Communists and socialists and atheists will tell you it’s bad to swear oaths and make pledges, but in an instant would turn around and have you promise your individuality and creativity away with state sponsored dogma limiting your ambitions and directing your energies to the “common” good.

No individuality or capitalism in their small mental world of what’s good and what’s bad. That translates to “no incentive” to excel or invent a better way.

I remember a friend in elementary school, Danny, who would not say the pledge. His religion forbade him from celebrating or pledging allegiance to anything. We respected and liked Danny, who would just stay home rather than be exposed to holiday parties in class. No Christmas or Halloween or Easter. We felt sorry for him, too.

What’s more than just passing legislation that says students no longer have to stand for the pledge, atheist groups are threatening lawsuits against any person who violates the law. Every student has now become an informant for the overseers: another Communist ploy that conjures memories of the child murderers of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who would round up teachers and kill them.

I had a teacher colleague of mine from my New York City teaching days get a one year suspension for refusing to take down a poster with the Ten Commandments on it. It was in his classroom along with posters with the religious edicts from other religions on them.

Ten Commandments

Back then we had many known and even proud Communist Party U.S.A. members among the faculty. C.P.U.S.A. headquarters was just a few blocks away on 23rd Street, Manhattan, disguised as a bookshop. They ratted out my friend and forced the principal to write him up and then get him suspended.

My friend argued that since he had come to the portion of his ESL (English as a Second Language) history class where they discussed world religions that it would be OK to post the Ten Commandments. Not so fast, the atheists said! And they got their way.

Of course the charges had nothing to do with the myth of “separation of church and state,” but everything to do with insubordination, one of the few deadly sins in the tenured teacher world. My friend was eventually fired.

The myth of “separation of church and state” is perpetuated by Pagan, utilitarian, humanist atheists and liberal progressives. Too many descriptors? Too few probably, but operatively, Pagans do whatever feels good; utilitarian’s believe that if it’s useful to them it is good; and humanists feel that they should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt another politically correct minion (it’s OK to hurt those who believe in the Judeo/Christian ethic).

Contrast that with Judeo/Christians and most other law abiding, respectful Americans, practicing religions or not, who believe in the Golden Rule, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Here you have the classic dichotomy that represents our current Great Cultural Struggle.

Social engineering abounds in these troubled times with gays openly serving in the military, transgenders pooping and showering wherever they please, legalized gay marriage, and the nation’s first openly gay Secretary of the Army. It’s an end to “live and let live;” it’s open season on the Judeo/Christian values that founded and perpetuated our society.

The Constitution provides the answer to the question of whether or not there is such a thing as the separation of church and state. You have the Establishment Clause:  Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion – which means no state sponsored religion forced on the People. The Puritans and other original colonists from Old World Europe left to establish religious freedom, not to make a theocracy.

And then you have the Free Expression Clause: Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free expression [of religion]. Nowhere does the Constitution say anything about separation of church and state.

ingodwetrust

In fact, above every Federal Court bench “In God We Trust” can be found in gold shiny letters. On our currency you’ll find the same, on coin and paper. A taxpayer-funded chaplain recites an invocation in Congress before each session. “One nation, under God,” is in our Pledge.

We are a nation of believers. The Pledge and the “Star Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, are tools of our patriotism. They help to bring us together in a country where the founders wanted government out of our religion, but NEVER intended for religion to be out of our government.

According to our founding document there are many references to a deity. Many founders were religious if not Christian. And those who weren’t respected those who were. They wanted a free nation, not one in which the non-religious set upon the religious with pen, paper and intimidation.

I say, shame on the Florida legislature, shame on the atheists bullying educators and children, and shame on the United States of America for allowing it to happen. What’s next, banning the crucifixes on Christian churches?

It would be wonderful if Florida legislator’s would reverse their decision, but like the Boy Scouts of America, who changed their philosophy of not allowing openly gay boys or leaders to join because they could no longer bear the financial burden of fighting LGBT zealots in court, I fear the legislators in Florida have succumbed to the same foul sources of anti-establishment fanaticism.

I hope and pray that the youth of Florida rise up and stand for and then say the Pledge. And while they do, looking at the Stars and Stripes, remember those who fought and/or died for the rights of others not to say or stand for it.

Osama bin Laden, 5 Years Gone

21866905.54830b9968ccb

It was five years ago that we learned Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy SEALs in an overnight raid to his compound in Pakistan.

Before the year was out President Barack Obama withdrew all U.S. military forces from Iraq without a Status of Forces agreement that would have secured the peace in that tortured country.

A few years later, in 2013, Obama unilaterally declared “The Global War on Terror is over,” after announcing an end to U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

Now, just weeks after the death of a United States Marine in a fire base in Afghanistan, Obama has announced 250 more troops to Iraq and Syria. The fire base by the way was not part of the official count of troops in Iraq. The administration hadn’t said anything about the fire base or the Marine artillery units set up there to support a mainly Iraqi assault on nearby Islamic State held territory.

Days later, during the assault, and before engaging the enemy, Iraqi forces withdrew in a panic, leaving U.S. advisors with no one to advise there.

Meanwhile, things in Syria are getting worse. What to do?

Send in 250 more troops. What kind? No one is saying beyond that some of them are Special Forces.

Those of us with military backgrounds know that for every combat troop it takes from 5-7 support troops to keep that soldier at the tip of the spear fed, clothed, paid, accounted for, lead and supplied with ammo, INTEL, COMMO, security and transportation. In other words, there are not 250 more Boy Scouts camping in the desert.

What is our objective in Iraq and Syria? What end state is desired?

I’m not big on numbers or time, so I’m not asking how many troops or when we’ll be out. I’m results driven. I want to know the end game.

Military folks like to plan from the end. Where do you want me to be and when do you want me to be there? The rest is nuts and bolts, but commanders are supposed to communicate their intent to their subordinates, who carry out the mission.

Soldiers don’t like it when you don’t tell them details about the mission. The American Army has frustrated opponents since the Revolutionary War. We don’t play by conventional rules. We are creative on the battlefield. We fight, we win.

However, when your boss says it’s day when it’s night, it’s hard to trust whatever else follows.

 

The announced death of Osama bin Laden was an emotional thing for me to hear. Staying up late, unable to sleep when after 10 p.m. on May 1, 2011, I saw on social media announcements that the President had scheduled a hasty news conference.

I listened and watched, rapt and in shock.

Strange feelings of sadness and relief crept over me. It’s as if I didn’t know how to react.

After a few minutes the news began to sink in, bin Laden was dead.

I became euphoric after a while, remembering all the things in my life that had changed since 9/11/2001. I lost my job, I was deployed for about 2 ½ years over five years, and my relationship with family members, friends and colleagues had all changed as well, and none for the better.

I was angry at bin Laden for all of this, and for putting me in harm’s way at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for six months, and then in Iraq for nearly a year. It was all his fault, and I was very happy that he was dead.

Or was he?

Why didn’t they show us official pictures of the dead body they say belonged to the evil terrorist?

Thrown overboard? In the sea? Why?

Were they hiding him? Did he actually survive?

Did they tranquilize him and then spirit him away to an undisclosed location to see how much information they could get from him? Why martyr him?

I still carry some of those thoughts.

udayqusay2

After Saddam Hussein’s sons were killed we saw gruesome photos of them. We saw photos of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Saddam Hussein after they were captured. Why nothing on bin Laden.

KSM

 

It bothers me there is no closure, visually, to this person who caused so much death, destruction and heartache.

Saddam Captured

Five years gone, but still alive in a soldier’s memory. All of it. From the bloody devastation of 9/11, to the deployments, to the raid, to today. Nothing has changed for the better. In fact things are worse now and not getting better.

 

The Passion of Donald Trump

donald-trump-church

With Republican zealots plotting against him, can the will of the People save Donald Trump from political crucifixion?

Not to compare The Donald to Jesus Christ as a person, but to compare his current political circumstances to the persecution and historical political circumstances of Jesus’ in order to illuminate what the American political establishment is doing and why.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – who is already a very established leader in the business world – is trying to assert himself as the political leader of the United States. But he hasn’t paid his dues nor suffered countless election defeats and other indignities of a tried and true politician. He hasn’t played the game from the other side of the fence. Although a very successful businessman, Trump is anything but a traditional political leader, yet. Hence his popularity.

About this time nearly 2,000 years ago, Christ attempted to assert his claim to the three heads of influence: the position of High Priest in the strict Jewish Essene sect to which he belonged; the title of King of the Jews, which was his bloodline, but to which his own brother James claimed righteously because he asserted that Jesus was not the legitimate heir; and the leader of the political group called The Twelve Disciples, which laid influence on the governance of the Jewish people through religion.

The passion of the christ caiphas high priests temple judas passion010

To say the very least, Jesus was misunderstood. He had risen in the religious ranks through determination and deeds. His following was popular and growing, which worried the establishment priests.

Jesus wanted all to be able to worship God in the temple; the sick, the lame, the Gentiles and women, not just those deemed acceptable by the crony religious leadership of the day.

Jesus had stepped out of his role as simply future King of the Jews of the David line, and wanted to unite the forces of society as a single point of power.

Donald Trump, successor to his family fortune, protestant Christian, and now political wannabe, is attempting the same thing and is getting the same results from the political establishment and religious left that Jesus received from the ruling Essene priests, Herod (King of the Jews who espoused peace and cooperation with the establishment government from Rome), and Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea.

How dare he presume rights to ultimate power!

What chutzpah!

tumblr_inline_nvlmlhqfO31ss6hjj_500

But indeed, the opponents of Trump are getting more and more perturbed as he appears to step closer and closer to the ultimate position of power in the world, the of Presidency of the United States.

The most recent claim, by The Economist, that a Trump presidency would be a “top ten global threat,” is absurd. But such statements gain media attention like flies on dung.

Every new story about how Trump couldn’t possibly be president or shouldn’t be president takes on curiouser and curiouser rationale.

The Economist piece claims his presidency would encourage terrorist recruitment, and send global markets to the basement. These claims are erroneous at best and evil propaganda at worst.

But why the panic? Why are prominent Republican and conservative leaders huddling in Washington, D.C. to come up with an alternate plan, even if Trump wins enough delegates to claim the Republican nomination?

Why has Mitt Romney turned into the Republican establishment pit bull, espousing the type of vitriol and hyperbole against Trump that we never saw when he ran against President Obama?

carav_verraad_judas_grt

They have their collective panties in a bunch because they see with Trump an end to their political influence and standing.

A Trump victory would make them all irrelevant, and then beholden to Trump for positions in the new administration and beyond. Trump would become the face of the Republican Party and its defacto leader.

A President Trump would act fast and decisively to melt away the fat of unnecessary government. Depending on whom he chooses to join him in his administration – and they are already lining up – he would find it more or less difficult getting things through a majority Republican Congress.

His biggest is with the conservatives, just as Jesus’ biggest hurdle was members of his own sect who were zealots (Simon Magus and Judas Iscariot). Jesus the pacifist does not appear to share that trait with Trump, but that has yet to be revealed, as Trump’s political record has not yet been written.

Remember, even though Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” and told Gorbachev to “tear down [the Berlin] wall,” he actually only invaded one country, Grenada. Hardly the hawkish neocolonialist his detractors wanted to make him out to be.

Call it bluster, call it bullying, what Trump says has a purpose. He is setting the stage for negotiations with influential powers around the globe and domestically.

The question is which power will prevail, the power of contempt and rhetoric of the Republican establishment, or the power of the People to elect the candidate of their choice? More and more it looks like it will be The Coiffed One.

Will the persecution of Donald Trump lead to his political crucifixion at a brokered convention? Or will the passion of Donald Trump reveal a new beginning for America? It may just come down to the will of the masses.

In Mark 15:15, wanting to please the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas, a convicted murderer, instead of sparing Jesus from the cross. If the pleasure of the crowd is with Trump, will the establishment powers let the People have their day?

Ecce_homo_by_Antonio_Ciseri_(1)

Obama vs. Bwazir the Gitmo Detainee Who Wouldn’t Leave

So, Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir, 35- or 36- year old detainee at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a “committed” and a “trained al Qaeda fighter,” with a  four page Department of Defense docket, wants to stay in President Barack Obama’s gulag. Really?

Bwazir

I can see the Saturday Night Live skit now. Obama travels to Gitmo to try and convince Bwazir to leave. He tells Bwazir that if he stays he will cause terrorist organizations all over the world to increase their recruiting. “It’s not who we are,” Obama would plead. “It’s an embarrassment,” he’ll kvetch.

“Are you kidding?” Bwazir would counter (to the theme of “Green Acres”). “Club Gitmo is the place to be. Island living is the life for me! Land and sea spreading out so far and wide, forget Yemen, give me this Caribbean paradise!”

Obama: “Bu, bu, but, Bwazir, my brother, you can go back to your squalid, dirty, disgusting life! You know, the one that led you to seek jihadi training at the Khaldan Training Facility, in Afghanistan?!”

Bwazir: “Barack, my brother, here, I get prayer beads, prayer rug, a free Koran, your military Muslim chaplains to help me pray (and smuggle uncensored messages to my peeps), and a green arrow painted on the floor of my cell pointing the way to Mecca. Plus, I get halal meals, and lamb and baklava on holy days.”

Gitmo Quran

Obama: “Forget about that! What about your mama’s home cooking? Sugar konafa, goat milk curds and honey-glazed beetles!”

Bwazir: “You don’t understand, Barack, my brother. This ocean air is good for my formerly sand infested lungs. I love to watch the black Cuban rock iguanas sunning on the beach rocks. The banana rats are hilarious when they fight for the food scraps we save to feed them with at night. Besides, they don’t have Harry Potter books in Yemen!”

black_iguana

Obama: “OK, OK, so the flora and fauna at Gitmo are more entertaining than in your home town. I get that. But I’ve really got to close this place. I promised to do it over seven years ago and people are beginning to think I can’t keep my promises. Can’t a brother get some love here?”

Bwazir: “I feel you, my brother, but do you realize I have had better treatment here in 14 years than I could ever hope for back home or in some third world country of your choosing? Free check-ups, dental and vision care, and Ensure when I’m not feeling like eating for myself. And have you seen the candy they give in the MRE’s?

1A

Obama: “Bwazir, I’m going to have to insist that you leave.”

Bwazir: “OK, I will leave on one condition. I get to come and stay at your house. I hear you have two lovely daughters!”

Obama: “Whoa, there padnah! Let’s not get carried away! I said I gotta close the place, but coming to the United States is out of the question.”

Bwazir: “But I thought you had to prove to people you were not a liar. If you don’t close this place you will lose your legacy of effective foreign policy.”

Obama: “No, no, no. You don’t understand. If I let you come to the United States and let you loose people will say I don’t care about the safety of the American people.”

Bwazir: “Fine, but I don’t want to go back to Yemen. I want to go live with my sister and brother-in-law Saudi Arabia, or with my uncle in the UAE.”

Obama: “Uh, I’d like to do that, but we don’t have enough money to bribe them with, and they won’t take credit.”

Bwazir: “Then I am staying here. That turf soccer pitch is my field of dreams. I could never leave it, or this great free Muslim resort you have here. Thank you, my brother, but no. It’s the White House or Gitmo.”

White House

Obama: “Final offer?”

Bwazir: “Final offer.”

Obama: “OK, you can come to Washington, D.C., but you’ll have to accept a job with CAIR. Nobody who’s a brother of mine is going to live on welfare.”

Curtain.

On Obama’s Bloody Hands: Six Air Force Dead

Almost unnoticed or only given a passing glance was the recent murder of six United States Air Force members, killed while on a security foot patrol around an air base in Afghanistan. The pain and frustration over these deaths will linger for a long time, especially with their families, loved ones, and among those with whom they served, but also with those of us who understand the significance of the circumstances under which they were killed.

Air Force.1

The dead include the female commander of the security patrol, Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen, 36.  Tech. Sgt. Joseph Lemm, 45, a veteran of two prior deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq , and a New York City police sergeant.  Sgt. Michael Cinco, 28, of Mercedes, Texas. Sgt. Peter Taub, 30, of Philadelphia. Sgt. Chester McBride, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia.  And SSgt. Louis Bonacasa, 31, of Coram, New York.

Coram is a few minutes from my home on Long Island. I was a school district administrator where SSgt. Bonacasa went to school. And although we did not know each other, any time a neighbor is killed it brings home the serious nature of the Global War on Terror.

Air Force.3

Bonacasa was a husband, and a father of a young daughter. I know the anguish he must have felt in leaving his family to do our nation’s most dangerous work, for I left a two day old son to serve at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, just months after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Later, I served on two more deployments, including one to Iraq in 2004-2005 which saw me away from home and family for 14 months. Whether or not I was ever coming home was in the back of my mind every day in-country.

Air Force.2

Bonacasa loved his daughter so intensely that he wrote a poem about her and then had it tattooed on his left rib cage:

 

Daddy’s little girl,

The most precious person in my life

I can’t wait until that first night

Holding you in my hands

Now it’s time to be a man

From your first breath to my last

I’ll be there for you any way I can

Your pretty smile will melt my heart

And your sad cries will always tear me apart

Daddy will be there to wipe away your tears

And there to protect you from all your fears

Your sweet little laugh will be music to my ears

A beautiful gift from God to watch you grow through the years

There will be times when daddy is not around

He will be somewhere with his boots on the ground

There so at home everyone is safe and sound

When daddy is gone baby please don’t cry

Because for your freedom my baby girl

Daddy will die

Air Force.4

This heartbreaking promise from a father to his child is evidence still that we are in a bloody War on Terror, not simply some struggle against “thugs and killers,” as President Barak Obama would have us believe. This enemy is multifaceted and insidious.

Why then does our President pretend we are engaged with “lone wolf terror” and “crazy people” with guns? Every attack is connected in obvious ways, by philosophy, culture and yes, religion.

If this is not true, then why do we operate the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, like a Muslim resort: prayer beads and rugs, Korans, halal and special Muslim holiday meals that include lamb and baklava, signs in Arabic on guard towers and green arrows painted on cell floors pointing the way to Mecca, white detainee garb for the well behaved, and counsel from U.S. military Muslim chaplains?

directionsign-toe

Obama’s denials that we are engaged in a war against Islamists fuels a misperception that has led to an inoperably thin effort that puts our troops in unnecessary peril. Too many missions, including the one that claimed these six lives, are under served with armor and overwatch – protections that should have been employed on such a dangerous mission.

I grew up as a soldier in the Army with the mechanized infantry as a combat medic, being told by my Vietnam veteran medical platoon sergeant and by the G.I.’s I served with that “you are an 11B (military occupational specialty nomenclature for infantryman) until somebody gets hurt.” They put the “combat” into “combat medic.”

Combat Medic

I learned every weapon system except for mortars, and trained to fire them. I understood the tactical and technical requirements of mechanized infantry missions. Later, as an officer, my first command was as a leg infantry medical platoon leader, responsible for support of line companies, scouts, evacuation and aid station operations. Inherent in all of this was the number one most essential element to any military mission: security.

The last nine years of my military career I spent as a medical service officer with enemy prisoner of war military police units, small liaison detachments responsible for operational oversight of detainee operations, both in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and later in Iraq. Again, the number one most important concern was security.

Four of the Air Force personnel killed, including Maj. Vorderbruggen, were members of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations; think the Air Force version of NCIS, the criminal investigation folks. This leads one to think there is something more going on here than a routine security patrol around an air base. It leads one to believe there was an intelligence gathering mission going on. Why were the Air Force police on foot patrol? Why so many non-commissioned officers? Were there armored weapons platforms on overwatch or in reserve? Was there sniper cover? Helicopters? Drones? If not, why not?

Air Force.5

Was this patrol, like the thin defenses for our personnel and ambassador in Benghazi, politically motivated? Was the major being allowed to punch her combat ticket (gender and sexual orientation aside) for promotion?  Was she trained and experienced in such patrols or intelligence gathering? Was she a linguistics expert?

In my experience, it is highly unusual for a military major to be leading a foot patrol. Majors are field grade officers, and generally assigned to staff positions in headquarters units, not front line commanders leading troops into battle or on security patrols. Usually, the highest rank for an operational combat unit is captain, one rank below major.

Why were so many killed with one motorcycle improvised explosive? Were they grouped together too tightly? Were they following protocols? Who sent them on the mission and why?

We must perform all military operations with overwhelming force and with vigilant force protection. This idea from civilians at the Pentagon and in the White House that we can perpetrate a war with a tiny footprint and only Special Forces, bombs and drones is naive at best and deadly at worst.

Air Force.6

If our political and military goals are not the same, we will fail, and there will be more blood spilled needlessly.

As a former combat medic I know how difficult blood stains can be to remove, and it may take Obama a lifetime to get this blood off of his hands.