Having our Soldiers’ Back

October 29, 2012 6:46 pm 0 comments

Gilad Shalit salutes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after prisoner exchange deal in Oct. 2011. Photo: wiki commons.

The government of Israel traded 1,700 Palestinian terrorists for Sgt. Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier kidnapped and held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Israelis have been known to trade live terrorists for the bodies of its soldiers held by its enemies. That’s what it means to have your soldiers’ collective back. And their families’ back.

Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods knew the risks they took having volunteered for service in the American armed forces. They were in a war zone; they knew what the enemy could do, but it’s hard to imagine they ever considered that their government didn’t have their back. That the U.S. government would deny them rescue, deny them reinforcements, deny them cover. What must they have felt in those hours, knowing it was only a matter of time until they died — not because their government didn’t know, not because their comrades couldn’t reach them, but because their comrades weren’t sent.

Riding Amtrak Sunday, I read an article in the magazine about Jill Biden’s new book, When Daddy Goes to War. Dr. Biden, stepmother of an Army National Guardsman who served a tour in Iraq, has — along with Michelle Obama — been a public face in support of our troops. Her book is about “the sacrifice of one military family — the endless worry, the prayers, the love, the lonesomeness…” Mrs. Biden talks about “gestures of kindness” her family received while Beau was in Iraq. “I can’t tell you how many times people would come up to me — I mean strangers, complete strangers — and say, ‘I’m praying for your son.’ As a mom, you can imagine what that means.”

I can. My stepdaughter served two scary tours in Iraq and her husband served there as well. My closest friend’s sons are Marines with three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan between them. I felt what Jill Biden felt; can she feel my outrage?

The administration has dissembled utterly on the Benghazi attack – the level of security requested before the attack that was denied by Washington; the fact that it was terrorism unrelated to the video; who knew what and when; and who made which decisions, including the infamous decision not to send help and rescue in the middle of the battle. Leon Panetta’s comment was revolting:

(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.

There were already troops on the ground — already “forces at risk” — there was “real time information” and if Mr. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey didn’t know “what’s going on,” Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods did and they knew what they needed. Panetta was unwilling to risk more troops to help/reinforce/rescue troops already there. Did he feel “very strongly” that Ambassador Stevens and the SEALS were expendable?

“Bumps,” perhaps, or “less than optimal.”

To Dr. Biden (and Mrs. Obama): Support for our troops means more than yellow ribbons, prayers, and “gestures of kindness” to the families. Those are not to be discounted, but that is the warm and fuzzy side, the goopy, sentimental side of “support.” Soldiers and their families want to know that our soldiers have every possible form of political — and more important — military support to stay alive in war zones and return to us. That means listening to people on the ground when they ask for more, bigger, better in advance of the battle. It means when the battle is joined and the troops call for reinforcement, the government sends it. It has their collective back.

If Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey denied the SEALS request, they should resign in shame. If the decision was made higher up, the President and Vice President should resign — the President because he is Commander in Chief, the Vice President because he is the father of a soldier.

This article by Shoshana Bryen was originally published by the American Thinker.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.