To the families of Staff Sergeants Bryan Black, Dustin Wright, Jeremiah Johnson and Sergeant La David Johnson:
America honors the service and the sacrifice of your loved ones and will not forget them. We mourn their loss and we wish you healing and comfort.
Yesterday I published a piece entitled, “General John Kelly Sold his Soul to the Devil, Diminishing Himself and His Son’s Memory.” Today I’m keeping the promise I made in that piece to shed light on the events leading up to the deadly ambush in Niger on October 6.
On September 24, 2017 the Trump administration added the Republic of Chad to its travel ban because Chad ran out of paper. U.S. officials and the government of Chad were equally baffled by this move.
Within 48 hours Chad began withdrawing its soldiers from Niger, where they had been waging an anti-terror war alongside American, French and Nigerien soldiers.
Chadian soldiers are considered to be the fiercest, most battle-hardened and successful anti-terrorist army in Africa.
A week after Chad’s withdrawal from Niger, our troops walked into a brutal and well-planned ambush. Badly outnumbered and outgunned, our guys, alongside their Nigerien comrades were engaged in a desperate fire fight for almost two hours, until French Mirage fighter jets arrived on scene to offer air support.
A group calling itself Islamic State of Greater Sahara and claiming affiliation with ISIS took responsibility for the attack.
The Pentagon announced the attack and three of the deaths almost immediately. Sergeant Johnson’s body was found 48 hours later.
The White House remained silent about the ambush for 12 days, until Trump was asked about it at a press conference.
Stumbling for an answer, Trump went into default blame-Obama mode. He falsely said that he, unlike his predecessors makes condolence calls.
Spoiler alert: When Trump talks, he lies. When he talks about President Obama, he’s hiding something.
No president wants the death of even one soldier on his watch or on his conscience. Four deaths is not something any president would want to announce, but that’s part of the job. Unless he’s hiding something.
So here’s the question: Did ISCS (or Boko Haram or whoever) attack us because they were emboldened by the withdrawal of the Chadian soldiers or were our guys set up by a one-time ally pissed off by the way they were treated by our government?
Even if nobody could have predicted the attack in Niger, it is the unintended consequence of a feckless and reckless foreign policy.
The trouble with fecklessness and recklessness is that the unintended consequences can be catastrophic.
Andrew Sheperd said, “We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”
Our problem is not that Donald Trump is an insecure, pathetic liar who makes himself the center of every issue in America and around the world, our problem is that he is not a serious person.
In today’s world, unfettered narcissism and an inability to acknowledge reality is a serious liability for a country capable of ending mankind.
For now, let’s wish a speedy recovery to the two soldiers seriously wounded in that ambush and still fighting for their lives.
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