4 more U.S. soldiers die…and Trump is nowhere to be found

Where’s the outrage now? Two events that involved the deaths of U.S. service members could not have been handled differently. And one may have helped give us our current president, a man who believes that taking responsibility for anything negative is something that others do, not him.

Here’s what it’s all about:

Way back in 2012, you’ll remember, members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia attacked two United States facilities in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs.

This attack became a focal point of the 2016 election, with Donald Trump holding his opponent Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the attack occurred, fully responsible, whether she was or not.

The outcry was deafening, and was one of the reasons Trump supporters shouted, and continue to shout, at his rallies, “Lock her up.”

Numerous Congressional and other investigations, many led by Republicans, into the attack did not find any wrongdoing by Clinton or any other high-ranking Obama official.

Despite that, Clinton honorably took responsibility for the security lapses that allowed the attack to occur.

Now, fast forward to October, 2017. An ambush in the West Africa nation of Niger left four U.S. service members dead and two wounded.

Those killed were Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson. (I’m listing their names and the names of the others because anyone who dies in the service of our country deserves to be recognized.)

The following is from USAToday: “The four U.S. soldiers killed in a militant ambush in Niger last year were victims of command mistakes, insufficient training and ultimately a surprise attack by a well-trained and better-armed force, the Pentagon said  …. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, took responsibility.

“I take ownership of all the events connected to the ambush of 4 October,” he said. “The responsibility is mine.”

So we have two attacks and two claims of responsibility. But what’s strange is that the person who should take at least some responsibility for the Niger attack has not: The commander in chief, President Donald Trump. As commander in chief, the president is responsible for all that happens in the military. Unless I missed it, I have not read or heard one word from our president concerning responsibility.
Instead, he said something typically Trump.

Again, this from a news report by CNN: “(Sgt. La David) Johnson’s body (was) returned home to Florida, where his widow, Myeshia Johnson, waited tearfully. She embraced the flag-draped casket and wept as one of her children stood next to her.

“Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson told CNN affiliate WPLG that Trump told Johnson’s widow that the soldier “knew what he signed up for … but I guess it still hurt.” She said the call came shortly before Johnson’s casket arrived. Wilson was in the car, listening on speakerphone along with Johnson’s mother.

“The contents of the call touched off a controversy and sparked a feud between Trump and Wilson, a Florida Democrat.”

Knew what he signed up for? What kind of uncaring, nonsensical remark is that to make about a brave soldier who volunteered to serve his country? Where is the compassion for someone who died what must have been a horrible death? Why would the so-called leader of the free world (HA!) be so cold-hearted and cruel?

Trump, of course, denied he said what others heard him say.

Well, Mr. Trump, when you are impeached, I guess we’ll all just say, “Hey, you knew what you signed up for.”

So back to the main question: Where is the outrage? Trump should be held responsible for those who died in Niger. But he won’t because it doesn’t benefit him in any way to do so.

Why aren’t those in Congress and Americans in general outraged at his lack of forthrightness and courage to admit an error? Many of these people were ready to send Clinton to the gallows for mistakes they thought she made.

But I guess it’s OK for Trump to insult a dead soldier while others take the blame that should be on him.

Published by Mike Sturman

I am a retired journalist with nearly 30 years in the field, during which time I was a reporter and held numerous editor positions at local newspapers and a number of magazines. After I retired, I was a sub in my local school district, then did PR for that district. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, and as for my politics, that's simple: I'm a liberal Democrat. I'm married, and my wife recently retired after 25 years as a teacher. We have one daughter, who has earned her PhD and works at a UC. Through this blog, I hope to pass on some interesting thoughts and ideas, entertain with some lighthearted posts and generally quell my pandemic-induced boredom.

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