We will never forget… 1993

September 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm (Politics thoughts, Pop thoughts)

Today, September 11th, 2007 marks the 6th anniversary of the worst attack of terrorism to ever strike the Untied States. Throughout the day you may read, hear or see a number or tributes, memorials and specials dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives that day. The phrase you will hear accompanying each media special is inevitably, “we will never forget.”

Will we really never forget?

Have we actually learned anything from those events that would qualify as worth a lifetime of remembrance?

Haven’t we already forgotten about 1993?

February 26, 1993

(The two-year anniversary of Iraqi troops withdrawal from Kuwait. Indicating the coalition forces had gained “victory” in the first Gulf War.)

“On February 26, 1993, a bomb set by terrorists exploded below this site. This horrible act of violence killed innocent people, injured thousands, and made victims of us all.”

That was the inscription on a large granite memorial fountain located directly above the site of the explosion the first time Islamic fundamentalist tried to destroy the World Trade Center.

In case you forgot, the names of those 6 people were,

Bob Kirkpatrick

Steven Knapp

Bill Macko

Monica Rodriguez Smith

Wilfred Mercado

John DiGiovanni

That memorial was destroyed 6 years ago. A small piece with the name “John” is all the remains. For more read here.

You may have also forgotten that it was a marginalized group of Muslims from Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Palestine who planned, financed and executed this attack. And of those convicted of perpetrating this crime, not one received the death penalty.

October 3-4, 1993

The Battle of Mogadishu.

This battle is probably best recalled by reading the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War or watching the film Black Hawk Down.

If you aren’t familiar with the battle, it was a failed operation to capture the Muslim warlord, Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The primary intent of his capture was to help stabilize the region and bring peace to a nation in utter chaos. The chaos impacted United States soldiers as the operation failed and 18 soldiers lost their lives.

In case you forgot, these were those soldiers…

Name Action Medal
Delta Force
SFC Randy Shughart Killed defending the crew of Super Six-Four (Michael Durant) Medal of Honor (posthumously) 1
MSG Gary Gordon Killed defending the crew of Super Six-Four (Michael Durant) Medal of Honor (posthumously) 1
MSG Tim “Griz” Martin Killed on the Lost Convoy  
SFC Earl Fillmore Killed moving to the first crash site Silver Star
SSG Daniel Busch Crashed on Super Six-One and was killed defending the downed crew Silver Star
SFC Matt Rierson Killed on October 6 by a mortar which landed just outside the hangar Silver Star
160th SOAR (Nightstalkers)
CWO Raymond Frank Copilot of Super Six-Four Silver Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device
SSG William Cleveland Crew chief on Super Six-Four Silver Star,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device
SSG Thomas Field Crew chief on Super Six-Four Silver Star,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device
CWO Clifton “Elvis” Wolcott Pilot of Super Six-One and died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device
CWO Donovan Briley Copilot of Super Six-One and died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device
75th Ranger Regiment
SGT Casey Joyce Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device
SPC James Cavaco Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device
CPL Jamie Smith Bled to death with the pinned-down force around crash site one Bronze Star with Valor Device
SGT Dominick Pilla Killed on Struecker’s convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device
PFC Richard Kowalewski Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device
SGT Lorenzo Ruiz Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device
10th Mountain Division
SGT Cornell Houston Killed on the rescue convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device,
De Fleury medal
PFC James Martin Killed on the rescue convoy Purple Heart

Certainly they didn’t die in vain, certainly we as a country, rallied to support what they were fighting for. Certainly we cared about the approximately 500,000 Somalis who had died in the 2 years of chaotic Muslim factions and fighting.

America’s Response

(The following is an Excerpt from Wikipedia)

In a national security policy review session held in the White House on October 6, 1993, U.S. President Bill ClintonDavid E. Jeremiah, to stop all actions by U.S. forces against Aidid except those required in self-defense. He also reappointed Ambassador Robert B. Oakley as special envoy to Somalia in an attempt to broker a peace settlement and then announced that all U.S. Forces would withdraw from Somalia no later than March 31, 1994. On December 15, 1993, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stepped down, taking much of the blame for what was deemed a failed policy. A few hundred Marines remained offshore to assist with any noncombatant evacuation mission that might occur regarding the 1,000-plus U.S. civilians and military advisers remaining as part of the U.S. liaison mission. All U.S. personnel were finally withdrawn by March 1995. directed the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral

In case you forgot about that battle and America’s response, I’d like to remind you that Osama Bin Laden never forgot about it. In fact, this is what he had to say about it

Bin Laden’s Response

(taken from a ABC interview with John Miller in May 1998.)

When the Marines landed in the last days of 1992, bin Laden sent in his own soldiers, armed with AK-47’s and rocket launchers. Soon, using the techniques they had perfected against the Russians, they were shooting down American helicopters. The gruesome pictures of the body of a young army ranger being dragged naked through the streets by cheering crowds flashed around the world. The yearlong American rescue mission for starving Somalians went from humanitarian effort to quagmire in just three weeks. Another superpower humiliated. Another bin Laden victory.

“After leaving Afghanistan, the Muslim fighters headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians,” bin Laden said. “The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda … about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat.

I asked bin Laden why he would kill American soldiers whose work was to restore order and allow for the distribution of food.

“Why should we believe that was the true reason America was there?” he replied. “Everywhere else they went where Muslims lived, all they did was kill children and occupy Muslim land.”

During the two days I had waited at the camp for bin Laden, some of his fighters sat on the floor of our hut and told war stories. One soldier, with a big grin, told of slitting the throats of three American soldiers in Somalia.

When I asked bin Laden about this, he said, “When this took place, I was in the Sudan, but this great defeat pleased me very much, the way it pleases all Muslims.”

The Somalia operation, in some ways, made bin Laden. During the Afghan war, the CIA had been very aware of him (although the agency now insists it never “controlled” him), but in Somalia, bin Laden had taken a swing at the biggest kid in the school yard and given him a black eye.

So here we stand once again on the anniversary of September 11th repeating the mantra, “We will never forget”. Meanwhile as our soldiers fight to stabilize a war-torn nation our Rock Stars, Actors and Athletes; our websites, newspapers, and TV news; our Congressmen, Senators, and Presidential Candidates, all take turns lining up to encourage us to tuck our tail beneath our legs and run away.

Yeah, we will never forget 9/11/2001; We’ve got to have something to help us forget about 1993.

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3 Comments

  1. danielbalc said,

    I hope my readers understand this is in no way meant to diminish the tragedy of 9/11.

    Remembering the lives of lost loved ones is one thing, remembering who killed them and why is another.

    Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

  2. danielbalc said,

    Watched the MSNBC special last night called “9/11 As it happened” which was simply a replay of the morning of 9/11 with the same commentary etc and I noticed a couple of things…

    1) The beginning of the program said it would be shown with “limited interruptions”. What a crock. They had more commercials than the Padres game, which was airing at the same time. It’s disgusting that they were profiting from this.

    2) News anchors are more concerned with how and what they are saying than actually reporting the news. They love the sound of their own voice. NONE more so than Tom Brokaw. He just loved to wax eloquent on how devastating these burning towers were. As the towers literally collapsed live he was still rambling on and on with what sounded like a scripted diatribe. It was as if he couldn’t even look at the monitor and notice that the world trade center had just collapsed! he makes me sick. Not only that but he came across as sort of praising the attack, as if he were impressed by it.

    3) Within an hour some lady had called out Bin Laden. I had never head of BIn Laden, at least he wasn’t a household name, but the “experts” on terrorism all knew he had to be the guy. This is so frustrating because for years (at least 8 ) we had so many opportunities to declare war on international terrorism, particularly of the radical Muslim variety and we didn’t do it.

    4) The pentagon being hit was the most frightening part. Office buildings with thousands of innocents is one thing, but the very heart of our national defense is another. The world trade center burning was saddening, the pentagon being hit was terrifying.

    5) Patriotism became universal.

    I miss that.

  3. Jessica said,

    good blog PD…please blog about bono sometime…please

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