About a week ago I heard a news report that said two NATO troops were killed fighting in Afghanistan.
The blurb caught my attention because the American media barely reports on the deaths of Americans fighting in Afghanistan, never mind troops from other countries who are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
As it turned out, the two deaths were American soldiers, but the media, in this case FOX News, called the brave heroes "NATO" troops. Why?
I find this disturbing on many levels. First, I have watched item after item come into my email inbox over the last decade or so, pointing out that there is an ongoing effort in the United Nations to create and enforce worldwide treaties that would gravely restrict the American military and even the rights of American citizens – in our own country and our own homes.
Foremost among these are efforts to pass international gun control treaties that would effectively nullify our 2nd Amendment rights. The Obama Administration's murderous debacle known as Fast and Furious in which our own government undertook an illegal scheme to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels – and planned on "discovering" them at crime scenes in hopes of further restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens in this country – merely reinforces these fears.
Then we have the International Criminal Court treaty that could govern how American troops engaged in combat against our enemies in foreign countries are treated under international law – and in which they could be judged by representatives from the very enemies we are fighting!
The Clinton Administration approved of and signed the ICC treaty but did not submit it to the Senate for ratification. Such a treaty would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate which thus far has not occurred.
The Bush Administration withdrew support for the ICC completely, but the Obama Administration has resurrected it … go figure. In fact according to Wikipedia Obama has voiced his intent to cooperate with the International Court, but so far can't make good on his intentions because he doesn't have enough votes in the Senate to succeed at ratification.
So when I hear an American news outlet refer to American troops as "NATO" troops it concerns me. We already have American soldiers rotting in Army stockades because they have been charged with civilian crimes based on their actions in the heat of battle. That in itself is reprehensible and as far as I can tell is a policy that has no real intent other than to discourage enlistment in the military.
In fact, US Representative Allen West sent an official letter to Obama just this month decrying the release of international terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq, who was instrumental in planning and executing an ambush against American troops in Iraq in 2007.
Daqduq, a citizen of Lebanon, was released by Iraqi authorities even though he was directly implicated in the death of one American officer in the original attack and the further abduction, torture and execution of four more American troops.
Rep. West (R-FL) notes that Obama used the Separation of Forces Agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration as justification for Daqduq's release. However, West also notes that since Daqduq is a citizen of Lebanon he is not affected by the SOFA and easily could have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay or some other suitable American military facility.
Instead, Daqduq, a high-ranking member of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, has been freed by the Iraqis and can now go about the business of planning further attacks on American troops, American allies and even American soil.
In his letter to Obama, Rep. West states that "Your Administration, instead of standing for the Soldiers who perished at the hands of this terrorist handed a senior Hezbollah operative responsible for the gruesome murder of at least five American over to a "so-called" justice system that, with the facts so clearly showing him guilty, set him free.
"As a combat veteran," West added, "I find this incident of the release of Ali Musa Daqduq to be an utter betrayal not only to those who perished at the hands of this terrorist, but to all men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"If terrorists such as Daqduq walk free, then surely men who made mistakes in the fog of war … deserve leniency," West concluded.
And there lies the heart of my concern with the news calling our fighters NATO troops rather than Americans. Last I knew, US forces hammered the hell out of the terrorist network in Afghanistan in 2002 and early 2003. Then they pursued the remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban to Iraq where their leadership, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was establishing terrorist training camps to continue the war against the US.
In Afghanistan, NATO forces were left to mop-up operations.
Seven years later after American forces emerged victorious in Iraq our troops were forced to return to Afghanistan where the Taliban had re-emerged. Now US troops are again fighting and dying in Afghanistan, not for the Afghans, not for any NATO nations, and not for the International Security Assistance Force.
Yes there are numerous nations assisting us in one form or another and thousands of troops from NATO countries in Afghanistan. But while we are a part of NATO we sure as hell shouldn't be directed by, under the command of, or working under the dictates of NATO.
I am not bashing the Canadians, British, Irish, or any other NATO nations that have troops in Afghanistan essentially in the platoon to battalion strength - Germany, France, and Italy being the major exceptions - doing jobs ranging from direct combat to airport security.
Their support, assistance and bravery is greatly appreciated. But US troops are not there to save Ireland, or Belgium or Canada or Croatia or any other nation except as an incidental consequence of their mission. That mission is to save the US and defeat terrorists, a job that is hard enough on its face but is even harder what with the constraints placed on them by the Obama Administration.
Did you know that when US troops go on search and destroy missions to root out the terrorists they now have to apply for warrants to enter houses where enemy forces may have refuge? Yes they do.
The Obama Administration is fighting a shooting war as if our forces are doing house-to-house searches looking for white-collar criminals. Didn't see that on the news did you? Actually, we rarely hear anything about the fighting in Afghanistan these days.
Maybe our erstwhile correspondents think the new restrictions apply only to "NATO" troops.
Friday, May 25, 2012