Scott Tibbs
blog post
July 13th, 2005

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Clinton's failure casts a long shadow

The AP Wire carries a story about the growing strength of al Qaida in Somalia. Allow me to quote an opinion column I wrote last summer:
Unfortunately, Clinton didn't use the same philosophy us using overwhelming force in Mogadishu, Somalia, as he did in Waco. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal sums up Clinton's failures:

That force asked for heavy armor -- in the form of Abrams tanks and Bradley armored vehicles -- as well as the AC-130 gunship, but the Clinton Administration denied those requests. On October 3 on a mission to pick up Aidid, two Black Hawks were unexpectedly shot down; in the ensuing urban gun battle, 18 American soldiers were killed and another 73 injured.
American troops (who were there risking their lives to stop a man-made famine) were massacred by terrorists because of Clinton's failures. As the bodies of American heroes were disgracefully dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Ungrateful Somalis danced in the streets and celebrated the murder and mutilations of the people there to save their lives.

Not long after, we departed from Somalia. Clinton's weakness damaged America's credibility abroad, which is summed up in this quote by Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11th terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center:

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.
Clinton's weakness not only cost American lives, but it emboldened terrorists like bin Laden. Would there have been a September 11th had Clinton made it clear that America would respond to terrorism in a swift and devastating manner?
We never should have been in Somalia to begin with. Sending troops there was one of the great failings of President George H. W. Bush. However, once we were there, we had an obligation to make sure our troops (who were risking their lives to feed a bunch of people who would turn on and slaughter them) had the full support of our government.

After the Mogadishu Massacre, we should have gone in with overwhelming force and wiped out the terrorists that perpetrated the war crime memorialized in "Black Hawk Down". But because of Bill Clinton's failure, Somalia is now a haven for terrorists. We must now consider going back to Somalia to exterminate the terrorists Clinton should have taken care of in 1993.