Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tora Bora & the VP Debate

Rick of Stones Cry Out, points out that I didn't cover Tora Bora in my debate rundown last night. He's right about that of course, and I don't think he's making more out of it. I think it is important because so many see this war as just a war against Osama bin Laden and not a Global War on Terror. That is exactly how the Kerry Campaign likes it. They want to convince people that bin Laden is a low priority for the Bush Administration. They're wrong. It's a high priority, just like fighting the Global War on Terror is a high priority. Can Edwards and Kerry say the same?
But last night I didn't have the appropriate facts to make a comment about it, other than to say "Hey, Edwards, you're wrong about that".

Rick on the other hand was more efficient and did write about it last night:
To hear Lt. Kerry last week talk about out-sourcing the job at Tora Bora, and to hear Senator Lightweight tonight talk about the 10th Mountain Division being on standby in Uzbekistan, makes me wonder just who these people think they are? Do they know Afghanistan and Uzbekistan better than everyone at CENTCOM? Why spend millions training a CINC (Franks) and staff for the middle east theater, if two Senators from Massachusetts and North Carolina know everything there is to know about the region, its terrain, the culture of its people, etc?

This is a good point and it relates to something I've said before about outsourcing the armies Afghanistan, while at the same time not recognizing the sacrifices of the Iraqi armies.

Additionally, the Kerry Spot has some good information about this because he seems to have visited like Cheney told us to last night :)
It is true that military leaders strongly suspected bin Laden was there, and it is also true that the Pentagon relied heavily on Afghan forces to take on much of the fighting at Tora Bora in an effort to reduce US casualties. But Kerry overstates the case by stating flatly that "we had him surrounded."

There it is. Kerry overstates the issue and so does Edwards. I'm inclined to think they must know they are overstating it in this way, but don't care. Which is exactly why the President and Vice President need to respond.

Also quoted at the Kerry Spot is Col. John Mulholland, Commander, 5th Special Forces Group:
Was it perfect? No, it wasn't perfect. ... In hindsight maybe would we have liked to have done more? Absolutely, we would like to walk out of the mountains with bin Laden and his cronies in hand, certainly, but it didn't happen. I think it's a mistake for people to cast too glaring an indictment of that operation not understanding fully the context of what was going on with the battlefield at the time, what was available, and the urgency of when people wanted to see things happen.

Humorous Kerry Spot side note:
Yeah, John Kerry, you tell the commander of the Special Forces Group that he did his job wrong. And that you - Mr. Magic Hat in Cambodia - would do it better. Throw a medal or a ribbon at him while you're at it, too.

This is exactly it. Both Kerry and Edwards have stressed the importance of supporting the troops and listening to the commanders on the ground. If they can't even listen to the commanders when those commanders talk about what did happen, how can we expect them to listen to the commanders talk about what should happen?