“It doesn’t matter what your ideology is, you should feel good about this. There’s no conspiracy here, this is actual news. But the reaction of some of the Republicans, I’ve been told, is to downplay and insult the brave men and women of our special forces and the FBI. They’re trying to say, oh, it’s no big deal. I wonder if the men and women who captured the terrorist agree. But the Republicans said it’s no big deal. Even in these days of polarization, created by the obstruction, the delay, and diversion of the Republicans, even in these days of polarization, their reaction is shocking and disgusting. They’re so obsessed with criticism, criticizing anything President Obama does. They’ll go so far as to sit here and insult the men and women in uniform and in law enforcement. They should stop and think, just for a little bit, about what it’s like to put your life on the line and to do something for our country — that’s what they did. They’re insulting these good men and women who did some courageous things, heroic things, in order to criticize President Obama. I think they’ve lost touch with reality; it’s really pathetic, there’s no other word for it.” [TPM]
The Senate Majority Leader’s remarks contain the essence of the Republican response — belittle, allege conspiracy, insulting, and carping — because some credit might accrue to the Administration for coordinating the capture of the terrorist who launched the attack on our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
Indeed the capture of Khattala did garner much chattering in the wasteland that comprises Fox News. [TPM] “It” was a conspiracy — a capture designed to help Sec. Hillary Clinton with her book tour? “It” was ill timed — gee, Khattala’s been walking free for two years, what was the Administration doing all that time? The Administration could have issued the “go order” at any time! Pathetic really is a well chosen word for this palaver.
Consider the result for a moment, and think of the intricacy of entire operation. A terrorist 6,259 miles from the United States, in a country of 6.2 million people, is captured without being injured, and in an operation which did NOT result in any civilian casualties. Further, the terrorist is not only captured, but arrested, to be charged with capital crimes against American citizens. The case against him has to be built, carefully and with all the precision required by our system of justice.
Obviously, our Special Forces held up their end — the intelligence gathering, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation in addition to the assignment and training of personnel; and then the rehearsal, the plan modifications, the logistical coordination of men, transportation, supplies, and equipment — everything and everyone to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
What thanks do they get from the carping right wing noise machine? They could have captured Khattala at any time? Criticism of this ilk really has lost touch with reality — as if the critic is sitting in the living room with the game controller playing through a Shoot’em Up Script. Criticism of this nature is an insult to those who plan, coordinate, assess, revise, and implement complicated military operations.
Those who “support the troops” should be appreciative of their efforts.
So, my right wing acquaintances — you can keep that yellow Support the Troops magnet on your bumper when:
1. You can give credit where credit is due. When you can applaud the killing of Osama Bin Ladin without sniffling. When you can applaud the take down of the Somali pirates without carping. When you can take pleasure in the surgical extraction of a known terrorist over 6,000 miles away and return the felon to face the charges he richly deserves.
2. You can call as loudly for the funding of veterans services and benefits as you do for launching military operations which create more veterans. If I never hear another Republican like Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) say that veterans’ benefits are an entitlement we can’t afford [Electablog] it will be too soon.
3. You can understand that while we want our troops to have the best and most effective weapon systems we also need to pay the personnel who are to use them. It doesn’t do to bellow about cuts to military BAH (Basic Allowance Housing) or subsidies for military families, while at the same time calling for balancing the budget and paying for weapons systems the Pentagon doesn’t even want. The term we’re looking for here is “fiscal responsibility.” Fiscal responsibility in the very real world.
4. You call for using diplomacy before you shout for more young men and women to take on dangerous tasks in dangerous places. Professional members of our arms forces know that war is the failure of diplomacy — perhaps at some point you’ll understand this as well.
When you can comprehend these four things then I’ll no longer be justified in seeing your bumper magnet as merely a proclamation of your militarism and your disdain for the Commander in Chief.