In what has become an all-too familiar story, this past Sunday morning Americans were gunned down by members of an Afghan National Army unit, supposedly our allies. Two Americans died, a staff sergeant and a contractor, and three more were wounded. Sadly, these attacks are so common-place that our fatuous media establishment often ignores them. In fact, we just passed a significant milestone in the Afghan engagement, but you’d never know it. 2,000 Americans have now lost their lives in Afghanistan, yet there has been little to no coverage from the major media outlets. It sure is a far cry from the days where the casualty toll was a daily feature of each morning’s newspaper, when President Bush was in office. Surely just a coincidence.. After all, there is so much good economic news to print these days, there just isn’t room!
What makes this attack all the more troubling is that it does not appear that this was a “lone wolf” operative. According to reputable military blogger John Lilyea, an inside source has reported that the attack was completely unprovoked and resulted in the engagement of the entire 17-man ANA unit.
A sergeant first class and a contractor approached an ANA check point and struck up a conversation with the officer in charge of the outpost. In mid-sentence, the ANA officer shot the contractor and the sergeant first class, who went down returning fire.
As the sergeant first class was shot, the entire 17-man Afghan unit opened fire on the US convoy which was passing through the checkpoint. Three other soldiers were injured, and one is critical.
Boy, if that doesn’t get the blood boiling, I’m not sure what will. Not one or two, but possibly 17(!) insurgents were operating in the same unit, working hand-in-hand with our troops until their betrayal. Lilyea has since been contacted by Congress and asked to reveal his source. He has refused. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have “reported” on the story. The NYT reports that “the Americans apparently attacked an Afghan National Army unit in error.” And the Washington Post used it as an opportunity to preach about the cultural insensitivities of US troops and how that might cause understandable hostility from the ANA troops.
We get it, guys. Americans are dead . . . and it was their own fault apparently.
Of course, this matter is of great concern to the White House. When there was a series of attacks by Afghan “insiders” in August (four attacks in a single week), White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We know they are trying to maximize media exposure of these events but our military believes that the operational impact has been negligible.” Oh really, Jay? I wonder what the operational impact has been on the families of those Americans killed. Your grasp on the basic, human sympathy required in this situation is negligible.
Not to be out-done, faced with the rape and slaughter of an American ambassador and his staff, President Obama referred to the murders in Libya as “bumps in the road”. When an Islamist nut-job took the lives of fourteen Americans at Ft. Hood, the administration called it a “man-caused disaster”. It is outrageous that an American President and his administration can so callously speak about the loss of American lives. We are bombarded with proclamations about the various “tragedies” in American life today, yet real tragedies are yawned away with trite phrases. It’s tragic that a woman’s employer won’t pay for her to kill the human life conceived in her womb the night before, but the betrayal and slaughter of American soldiers by their allies in the field is “negligible”.
Where is the outrage? Where are the fiery and impassioned demands that our Afghani “allies” fix this security breach immediately? Where are heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the reassurances that this type of tragedy will not continue? Maybe after the back nine, eh..?
It has been clear from the outset that this Administration has negligible respect for our men and women in uniform. President Obama is savvy enough to know that he has to pay lip service to our armed forces, but his responses in situations like these reveal how he truly feels.
There were a number of points where I disagree with President Bush, but I never once felt that he was taking lightly the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families. He had unfettered and unforced admiration and gratitude for those men and women whose lives were in his hands. Don’t believe me? Talk to some of the staff at military hospitals, as I have done. You’ll hear stories about low-profile visits by W, where hours were spent at the bedsides of wounded warriors, offering words of thanks and encouragement.
The situation in Afghanistan is rancid. Something has to give. Either we need to take the handcuffs off of our troops and let our generals win this war the way they know how or we need to bring our boys home. I pray that next month, America will give Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the opportunity to make that very decision. Until then, please keep our valiant men and women in your prayers. After all with “allies” like this, who needs enemies..?
Image: English: A US paratrooper scans the ridgelines across the Pech River as he pulls guard at Firebase California, in eastern Afghanistan; http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=46677; courtesy of Spc. Jon H. Arguello