At times, my boss tells me that Twitter can be just a prolonged resignation letter. Bad tweets, unsavory tweets, etc. have been weaponized. From politicians to top NFL draft prospects, like Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, have been victims. Some of them are pretty bad, no doubt. But most are just hijinks and stupidity that’s often captured and exhibited by teenagers. Now, Twitter could be one’s epitaph in public life, though Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) enjoys the fact that her district is deep blue…and totally insane for electing her. Her anti-Semitic hijinks have been exposed and it’s not just one isolated incident. It dates back to 2012, where she said Israel has hypnotic powers. She accused supporters of Israel of having dual loyalties—a common anti-Semitic trope, and criticized AIPAC with her “all about the Benjamins” tweet. Oh, you know, money, Jewish people, and influence—nothing bigoted about that remark or insinuation. She apologized for the latter, not the former. It has caused much heartburn on her side of the aisle. We saw that when they tried to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which was then watered down to a ‘bad things are bad’ resolution, exposing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi really can’t corral the nutjobs in her party. As for radical Islamic terrorism, she can’t condemn it.
In March, at a CAIR event, which has been accused of having terror ties, Omar described the 9/11 attacks as an event where “some people did something.” In 2017, she appears to be siding with those who ambushed and killed 18 Americans in Somalia during our intervention in the country’s brutal civil war in the early 1990s.
This American intervention is best known for the raid that led to the Black Hawk Down incident. American forces captured some of the top lieutenants of then-warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. Two helicopters were shot down during the raid, which led to a vicious firefight in the streets of Mogadishu.
Well, her resurfaced tweet is not going over well with the veterans who served and fought in Somalia. Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant (retired), who was one of the pilots of the black hawk helicopter “Super 6-4,” was shot down during the raid and held captive by Aidid’s forces before being released. Actor Ron Eldard portrayed him in the 2002 film. He quickly set the record straight. John Rossomando of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, who unearthed the tweets, has more:
Only 133 Somali militiamen died in the fighting with U.S. Rangers and Delta Force soldiers, Capt. Haad, a representative of the Somali National Alliance (SNA) said in a 2001 interview with Author Mark Bowden. He estimated 500 Somali deaths in his book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, considered the definitive account of the Battle of Mogadishu. Others put the Somali death toll closer to 1,000. A 2000 Rand Corporation report estimated 300 noncombatants were killed.
Higher estimates may be related to the swarm-like tactics used by thousands of Aidid’s clan members to overwhelm American forces. Women and children also attacked the U.S. troops, carrying everything from machine guns to knives and machetes.
“Losses taken on the Somali side came as a result of their attempts to ambush our ground convoy and flight of aircraft. Our forces, being vastly outnumbered, fought to save their own lives. All the Somali militia had to do was walk away, but they persisted,” Durant said.
Durant’s Black Hawk helicopter, code-named “Super 6-4,” was shot down after a rocket-propelled grenade hit its tail rotor. Durant was injured and ran out of ammunition fighting back as a human wave of militia approached. Delta Force snipers Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon were killed when they joined him trying to keep the Somali militia at bay. Each was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Somali mob dragged their bodies through the streets of Mogadishu. Durant ultimately was captured and held by Aidid’s militia for 11 days before being released in a prisoner exchange.
I take special exception to Omar’s disgusting comments because I served in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was later portrayed in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” If you aren’t familiar with the real story behind “Black Hawk Down,” let me set the scene for you.
In late 1992, President George H. W. Bush launched Operation Restore Hope in support of United Nations initiatives to restore some semblance of law and order to Somalia, which was wracked by devastating famine and violent warlords eager to use the chaos and hopelessness to establish corrupt fiefdoms.
Task Force Ranger was the 1993 military effort ordered by President Bill Clinton to capture Aidid and his lieutenants so the U.N. could deliver food and medical aid without fear of being attacked or killed by Aidid’s forces. The American soldiers Omar attacked in her tweet — the men of Task Force Ranger –weren’t sent to Somalia for fame or fortune. They weren’t there because of a deep desire to visit the God-forsaken nation of Somalia. They were deployed to support peacekeepers who were desperate to rescue the country from starvation and the ravages of civil war. To do that, they had to capture the men responsible for it.
I am thankful Omar and her family and countless others were able to escape to neighboring Kenya while we fought to protect those left behind, but I simply cannot comprehend her attitude towards those of us who fought to protect her country and countrymen from warlords who plunged Somalia only further into violence and starvation. I am glad that Omar can now enjoy the very freedoms we fought to protect, like the freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion affirmed in the U.S. Constitution, but I don’t understand why she uses those freedoms to slur the men and women of the U.S. military who made her security and liberty a reality.
The simple truth is that Omar enjoys the fruits of American combat deaths, yet she can’t even bring herself to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that was made on her behalf, either as a Somali or an American. Her clan didn’t stand a chance against Aidid and Habar Gidirs, so I don’t blame her for leaving. But I do blame her for attacking those of us who had zero personal interest or investment in her nation for doing our jobs on behalf of our country. And I blame her for smearing American servicemen because we answered the call of our nation to address the violent barbarism of hers.
Unlike Omar, I’m not a politician. I don’t have power or influence. I don’t have a vote in Congress or the ability to direct America’s foreign policy. I’m just one of the men who strapped it on as a member of Task Force Ranger and went into harm’s way to help bring peace and security to her and her people. And let me tell you, she missed a helluva fight.