It should not surprise people that in the middle of the July 21 White House ceremony where President Barack Obama presented Army Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts the Medal of Honor, the president took another cheap shot at
In the last two years of his administration, President George W. Bush frustrated his supporters as he withdrew from politics and stopped responding to critics. It is a practice that Bush has maintained in retirement as the man who succeeded him every day proves him the stronger, more engaged and visionary leader.
Pitts earned his Medal of Honor July 13, 2008 in Afghanistan at the Battle of Wanat, when “Sky Soldiers” paratroopers of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Infantry Regiment were attacked by insurgents. The battle was just one is a series of attacks and ambushes that characterized an absolutely horrific deployment for the “Rock Battalion.”
The battalion was virtually abandoned to fend for themselves in the Hindu Kush mountains. At the time, the brigade commander, retired Col. James H. Johnson III, was carrying on an affair with an Iraqi woman, an affair that led to lapses in reason and leadership that ended with his being relieved of command and fined $300,000.
Problems with the 173rd are a matter of record. But, this is what Obama said at the Pitts ceremony:
“When this nation sends our troops into harm’s way, they deserve a sound strategy and a well-defined mission. They deserve the forces and support to get the job done. That is what we owe soldiers like Ryan and all the comrades that were lost. That is how we can truly honor all those who gave their lives that day. That is how, as a nation, we can remain worthy of their sacrifice. I know that’s a view that’s shared by our Secretary of Defense, our Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all the leadership here. They’re hard lessons, but they’re ones that are deeply engrained in our hearts.”
Sound strategy? Well-defined mission? Lessons learned by the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs—and all the leadership here? Are we still talking about Iraq?
When I heard the president’s words, it was like I was transported back to 2008. Back then, Obama was the smartest guy in the room. Back then, we were told that Obama was the only one in America, who was right about Iraq–except for retired Army Gen. Eric K. “Rick” Shinseki, but I lost track of whatever happened to him.
Because of the paucity of his public service, Obama’s prescience about Iraq was his only trump card. He pulled it on former first lady Hillary R. Clinton and then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., during the Democratic presidential primaries. In the general, Obama pulled the Iraq card on Sen. John S. McCain III (R.-Ariz.).
Obama ridiculed McCain’s assertion that if necessary American troops should stay engaged with the Iraqis for more than 100 years. In fact, when he became president, Obama could not leave Iraq fast enough. He changed the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn and when the Iraqis wanted to talk about keeping American troops behind, Obama insisted the new security agreement pass the Iraqi Parliament: #hehe #fatchance
Now Iraq is in flames and the peace we won there a fading memory.
Last week, the Islamic State of Iraq’s army overran Camp Speicher, named for Capt. Michael S. Speicher, the downed Navy pilot, who was the first combat casualty in the First Gulf War. When the insurgents captured the camp, they rounded up 700 Iraqi air force cadets, paraded them through the streets of nearby Tikrit and then executed them.
This is after the president told Americans that he was helping the Iraqis preserve security.
Ah, the lessons of Iraq. Remember the first time Obama trumpeted that he learned the “lessons of Iraq?” It was his brilliant foray into Libya. #ooops