Barack Obama showed this week that John Kerry, who came home from an abbreviated tour in Vietnam to sabotage the war effort and falsely brand American troops as psychotic mercenaries and murderers, is more than a figurehead supporter in the Obama campaign.
Obama, in a naive attempt to show that he is capable of handling the role of Commander in Chief, made a statement that is reminiscent of Kerry's lies about Vietnam. Obama said he said he heard from an Army Captain whose platoon was sent to Afghanistan with 24 troops instead of 39 men because 15 of his soldiers had been diverted to Iraq.
Obama said that, "As a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander in Chief."
That ladies and gentlemen is the kind of commentary that comes from someone who is clueless about the military, or shares Kerry's anti-American agenda. First, captains lead companies, not platoons, which are headed by lieutenants, and if Obama had even a scintilla of military knowledge he should have known that.
But even if the comment about diverting troops from one mission to another was accurate, which is highly doubtful, there is a Grand Canyon-wide disconnect between numbers of troops on a particular mission and how they are equipped. There simply is no correlation between one statement and the other.
I am not the only veteran who feels this way. Vets for Freedom, an organization of Iraq and Afghanistan vets, www.vetsforfreedom.org has issued a blistering response to Obama's comments.
Vets for Freedom State Captain and Afghanistan veteran Daniel Bell said in a press release this week that, "Yet again Senator Obama has demonstrated the loose grip he holds on the reality of these conflicts."
"Senator Obama's comments are insulting not only to those who have served and are still serving in Afghanistan but to all who serve in the armed forces. I can attest from my first-hand experience that these comments are incredulous and that we were supplied all the tools necessary to complete our missions."
Bell continued "His (Obama's) statements ... assert that he lacks the necessary knowledge to make serious judgments on military matters, that he is prone to dangerous exaggeration, and that he is grossly unaware of the facts on the ground."
From its website, Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying first-hand knowledge to issues of American military strategy.
The part about first-hand knowledge brings me to the second part of this column, Hillary Clinton's inability to capitalize on a major gaffe by the Obama campaign.
Obama's comments are sickeningly reminiscent of Kerry's phony "testimony" before Congress a generation ago when he fabricated allegations about the conduct of the military in Vietnam. Although Kerry's conduct in the 70s helped bring about the fall of Southeast Asia and the slaughter of millions at the hands of communist death squads, a small group of people who claim to be Iraq War veterans see Kerry as a mentor and are planning a replay next month of his infamous Winter Soldier charade of that era.
Many veterans' organizations including Vets for Freedom are working to expose the hypocrisy of this effort, and ensure that this generation of veterans isn't smeared as Vietnam vets were. I have one request for Obama - give us the name of this alleged Army captain who made these claims. Let us interview him and get the evidence we need to determine the veracity of your statements.
With an issue like this creating an uproar among America's veterans, Hillary Clinton should be able to go on the attack and make some serious inroads against the Obama campaign.
But the leadership of the Democratic Party has dug itself such a deep anti-military hole, and is in such overt denial about the military and political successes in Iraq, that she is powerless to use the one issue that could help her the most when she needs it the most.
National level Democrats have been claiming for more than a year that the military effort in Iraq is a failure, and as I wrote months ago, switched to saying the political effort has failed after it became clear that the military has the terrorists on the ropes.
Now the little news that occasionally seeps out of Iraq says the political objectives are being met too, but still, national Democrats say we have lost and should turn tail and come home immediately.
The only separation between the positions staked out by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is in how fast they would order our troops to run in retreat if either is elected Commander in Chief.
Neither of them is willing to discuss how fast the terrorists would be chasing our guys, or how many of our citizens would be slaughtered by emboldened Islamo-fascists if they were in charge, but you can bet that scenario isn't far from the minds of most thinking Americans.
So Hillary goes into the Texas and Ohio primaries badly needing a win, with a made-to-order issue handed to her on a silver platter, yet she is left watching Obama pull further and further ahead because her hands are tied by her own political philosophy.
Kind of ironic isn't it? Or is it a better example of poetic justice?
Saturday, February 23, 2008