I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receieving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country
William Barret Travis February 24th 1836 the Alamo
To the German commander
The American Commander
General Anthony McAuliffe Dec 22nd 1944 Bastonge Belgium
During my recent road trip I had little time to consider news unrelated to where I was and what I was doing, so when Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) answered the first question at the Clay Town Hall event during her Town Hall Candidate Forum on Benghazi, she told me something I had not heard before:
In fact the two men who were subsequently killed went in against orders because they were told to stand down and they felt that the ambassador was in/at risk and they needed to go in and help him.
I was immediately brought to tears and thought of the Texans at the Alamo.
Like the Alamo these two men were fighting for time against a foe that outnumber them on the order of 50 to one. They understood that by going into that building their odds were very slim to come out alive but their honor and duty demanded that they act, that they do SOMETHING for their fellow Americans in danger and perhaps, just perhaps they would hold out long enough for help to arrive to rout their enemies.
It also brings to mind Flight 93. Flight 93 was the point where Sept 11th 2001 turned from an act of terror to the first battle in the war against Radical Islam. Like the men in Benghazi the people on that plane understood American lives we in danger and acted, perhaps they rationalized they would be able to somehow control the plane and survive but they knew the score and fought anyway. It was then when Americans stopped being victims and fought back and it was then when tears first came to my eyes that day too.
But there is one HUGE difference. These men likely understood the protocols, there was an actual chance they might get relief, there was a real possibility, however slight, that reinforcements would make it.
So like the Alamo they fought and like the Alamo they died and also like the Alamo they took a lot of their enemies with them:
Not knowing exactly what was taking place, the two SEALs set up a defensive perimeter. Unfortunately Ambassador Stevens was already gravely injured, and Foreign Service officer, Sean Smith, was dead. However, due to their quick action and suppressive fire, twenty administrative personnel in the embassy were able to escape to safety. Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves. But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force. Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction. emphasis mine
Remember at the Alamo they beat back the first wave before sheer number overwhelmed the Texans who defended it.
Picture that night for a moment, In the end attackers lost 30-60% of their force but for the sake of argument let’s say only 25% of that was in the first wave. You’re attacking the compound, you’ve been attacking for hours and seen people fall all around you. You’ve been beaten back once and don’t actually know how many men are inside, what do you think would have happened if they heard the sound of a single helicopter gunship? A single plane? a single drone dropping a bomb on the force already bloodied at a rate that would cause most Western countries to declare the mission a disaster?
They would have run.
Instead there was no Helicopter gunship, there was no relieving force, there wasn’t even a single remote control bomb in those seven hours after all there is a fundraiser in Vegas to worry about.
All of us die in the end, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty died fighting, they died like men, like warriors and in the American Tradition that we once embraced and celebrated.
As for the Administration it tries to spin away its disgrace for electoral reasons. Why? It is my opinion their feelings mirrors the answer Congresswoman Buerkle’s opponent gave to that same question at that same forum:
…it’s also an opportunity to rethink US foreign policy and think about can we represent and build an empire and have a policy that really threatens people in other countries
I submit and suggest that the reason why these men were ordered to left the Ambassador die, and the reason why this administration did not come to the aid of these men was because they saw them the way the left has always saw our forces, at best dupes of an imperialist power or at worst part of an evil empire.
But this has always been the way of the left, it is the same left that opposed Reagan in the cold war, the same left that fought tooth and nail against our own military at every turn, the same left that cheered the Occupods as they clashed with police, the same left that portrays the US soldier as a suicidal brain injured time bomb just waiting to explode and has done so in culture for decades. That’s also why the left will never remember the words of Travis, to them the men at the Alamo were just a bunch of imperialist stooges who got what they deserved.
This is the left, this is what they believe, this is what they have always believed and these are the people who we foolishly put in charge of our military.
That is why an American president can fly to Vegas after our embassy is attacked and our ambassador is killed. It’s why the surviving attackers in Benghazi are still alive and boasting of their “victory” (although I suspect they have enlarged the numbers of their slain foes) and It’s why a dupe of a filmmaker sits in jail till after the election.
Why on earth would we expect them to do anything else?
BTW here is the question and answer from that event:
One last addition. When the murdered US contractors’ bodies were returned to the US, VP Joe Biden madean incredibly insensitive and crude remark to the father of one slain SEAL.
Joe Biden to Father of Former Navy SEAL Killed in Benghazi: ‘Did Your Son Always Have Balls the Size of Cue Balls?’
Aside from its crude and offensive nature, this comment suggests that Biden knows more about the firefight than the administration is admitting. They all watched these men die while they blocked aid from going to their assistance. It must have been inconvenient to have these men fight for seven hours before they were finally killed. No doubt Obama wanted a quick end to the battle and the story.
The Alamo and Benghazi. Those who would stay were asked to step across the line. “And across the line stepped 179.” This time was only two but they took 60 enemies with them.
Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves. But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force. Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction. emphasis mine
The names of these men should live in our history. If Romney is elected, they may. Emphasis mine
I think the modern parallel is the scene from Clear and Present Danger when they leave the strike force in Columbia to die “Variable this is Knife where the hell are you?”
The Diplomad 2.0 reminds us we are to blame in one sense:
Does anybody believe that we would have had a “F&F” or a Benghazi scandal under a McCain administration? Does anybody believe that had something occurred under a McCain administration of that magnitude, or even something considerably more mundane, that we would not have all the media outlets, 24/7, relentlessly probing, investigating and demanding answers? That calls for impeachment would not have gone out? That it would be without doubt a one-term proposition? That the President would be losing in the polls by 20 points?
Elections have consequences.
And of course Bastonge should have said 1944
Update 2: There have been question in comments on the 60 figure above. The source is this post at Instapundit which linked to the post I referred to. As some have raised questions in comments to the figure I’ll do a bit more digging as time permits.