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(The Daily Beast)   The Battle of Mogadishu is better known in the American consciousness as Black Hawk Down. Twenty years later, the men who fought that battle look back on what it was to be there   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 85
    More: Hero, Black Hawk Downs, Battle of Mogadishu, Blackhawks, Mogadishu, Americans, Delta Force, Clinton White House, Fort Benning  
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4990 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Oct 2013 at 12:03 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



85 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-10 10:30:43 AM  
Tragic story. Great book. Below-average movie.

Thanks guys.
 
2013-10-10 12:04:23 PM  
They probably had a pretty good view hung upside down like that.
 
2013-10-10 12:08:55 PM  
Jesus Christ, it's been twenty years already? Damn, I'm getting old in a hurry.
 
2013-10-10 12:09:30 PM  
My port engineering company was preparing for deployment when this happened, and Clinton pulled the plug. I would have gone, as was my duty, but the men who died in that attack kept me out of harm's way. I'm grateful I did not have to experience that hell hole, and I think about those events quite often with modesty and humility, and a great sense of responsibility to enjoy the life I have.

HERO tag, indeed.
 
2013-10-10 12:09:40 PM  
How many hundreds or thousands of natives did we kill during that failed abduction mission? Why didn't they just lay down and let True American Exceptionalism run its course? It's almost like people react badly to foreign invaders conducting assaults on their sovereign soil. I for one am positive that if China launched commando units into NYC we would be understanding and wouldn't put up such a fuss, right?
 
2013-10-10 12:11:38 PM  

croesius: How many hundreds or thousands of natives did we kill during that failed abduction mission? Why didn't they just lay down and let True American Exceptionalism run its course? It's almost like people react badly to foreign invaders conducting assaults on their sovereign soil. I for one am positive that if China launched commando units into NYC we would be understanding and wouldn't put up such a fuss, right?


Surely you can appreciate the unique perspective of the troops on the ground in Mogadishu, though.
 
2013-10-10 12:14:06 PM  

croesius: How many hundreds or thousands of natives did we kill during that failed abduction mission? Why didn't they just lay down and let True American Exceptionalism run its course? It's almost like people react badly to foreign invaders conducting assaults on their sovereign soil. I for one am positive that if China launched commando units into NYC we would be understanding and wouldn't put up such a fuss, right?


Weak troll bait.  Why do you hate the U.N.?
 
2013-10-10 12:16:25 PM  

Fubini: Tragic story. Great book. Below-average movie.

Thanks guys.


Below average?  What is this? Prometheus?
 
2013-10-10 12:18:39 PM  
...look back on what it was to be there

S big waste of time, money, gas, and human life?
 
2013-10-10 12:19:16 PM  
cdn.thedailybeast.com

By Gawd, Dick Cheney was RIGHT! We were, in fact, greeted as liberators!

/this photo actually depicts the crowd happily cheering while they drag the dead body of US soldier through the streets of Mogadishu.
 
2013-10-10 12:19:33 PM  
No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.
 
2013-10-10 12:20:04 PM  

Fubini: Tragic story. Great book. Below-average movie.



I rather enjoyed the movie when it came out in theaters.  It's been a while.  I think I'll head over to Netflix and toss it in the queue.
 
2013-10-10 12:25:32 PM  

croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.


US:1,000
Them:18

USA! USA! USA!
 
2013-10-10 12:26:05 PM  

croesius: How many hundreds or thousands of natives did we kill during that failed abduction mission? Why didn't they just lay down and let True American Exceptionalism run its course? It's almost like people react badly to foreign invaders conducting assaults on their sovereign soil. I for one am positive that if China launched commando units into NYC we would be understanding and wouldn't put up such a fuss, right?


static.comicvine.com
trollollololol
 
2013-10-10 12:26:15 PM  

grunthos: croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.

US:1,000
Them:18

USA! USA! USA!


They hate us for our freedoms.
 
2013-10-10 12:28:17 PM  

croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.


the US was not invading the place a la Iraq. We were there under international law with a UN mandate.

while your point about american exceptionalism and losing 18 guys when 1000-2000 civis were killed is a decent one, its not just "our govt doesnt approve of" unilateral type intervention. dont forget, this happened back when the US still abided by international law.
 
2013-10-10 12:30:31 PM  

croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.


What if assult team invaded Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe?  It wasn't just Americans there, pally. 

Your view of this is narrow, naive and uninformed.  Perhaps this will help explain the background and execution better.  Careful, there are words with multiple syllables.  http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unosom1backgr2.html
 
2013-10-10 12:32:32 PM  

Father_Jack: croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.

the US was not invading the place a la Iraq. We were there under international law with a UN mandate.

while your point about american exceptionalism and losing 18 guys when 1000-2000 civis were killed is a decent one, its not just "our govt doesnt approve of" unilateral type intervention. dont forget, this happened back when the US still abided by international law.


The UN had to go in. Over 200,000 Somalians had starved to death. The UN was supplying food but the warlords were stealing the majority of it. So the UN went in and secured the supply routes and distribution. Yeah, there was some mission creep when we started to try and go after the warlords but on the whole an altruistic mission.
 
2013-10-10 12:36:07 PM  
Father_Jack, it might not have been a full scale invasion as you said, but I'm just playing devil's advocate and trying to view it from their side. The civilians there might not even be wordly enough to know of "international mandate" or even what the U.N. was. To the best of their knowledge, as far as I can tell having not spoken to any Somalis, they most likely saw armed men on their native soil, capturing and/or shooting their friends and families. If the situation were reversed, you can bet your sweet ass most of us would fight back.
 
2013-10-10 12:36:30 PM  

croesius: Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.


I understand your perspective, but in the same way you can't take a single frame and say you've seen the whole movie, we were there not out of American exceptionalism but at the request of the U.N., intervening in a civil war where food aid was being stolen and famine used as a weapon killing or threatening hundreds of thousands.  The clan in charge had just murdered a dozen or so Pakistani troops that were delivering food and medical supplies.  The people fighting the Americans weren't being "Patriotic Somalis", they just wanted to retain the upper hand against rival clans, starving them out of existence if possible.  Few people there affiliate with "Somalia" as a whole, they identify with their clan.  You can choose to look at it as Patriotic Somalis v. foreign invaders, but that is pretty simplistic.
 
2013-10-10 12:36:41 PM  
They sent men into the Valley of Death without armor.

As to Somalia, what's left to be done is four giant fuel air bombs. That's right. Four giant fuel air bombs. To honor those who died trying to carry out some of the most stupid, ill-conceived SNAFU'd Orders ever put forth.
 
2013-10-10 12:39:39 PM  
60 Minutes recently did a segment on this,with footage showing the helicopter crashing. When they said it was 20 years ago, I couldn't believe it had been that long already. Yikes!
 
2013-10-10 12:40:07 PM  
Sorry I didn't explain it better KidneyStone. If it would help you, change my statement to "what if a multinational coalition sent assault teams into America". No need to lower yourself to insults about monosyllabic words.
 
2013-10-10 12:42:07 PM  
Fair enough ko_kyi, that's a more rounded viewpoint I can get behind.
 
2013-10-10 12:42:14 PM  
TFA: "Just this past weekend, Navy Seals staged a daring raid on the seaside villa of a senior Islamist leader in Somalia....the fact that  American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties, officials say - suggests there is still trepidation about the possibility of another Black Hawk Down."


If the official word is true, THIS is what's wrong with our military policy. (There's a scene in the film that addresses this as well.) The Islamist leader that these Commandos either failed or declined to capture will go on to kill many more people -- a lot more than would have died in a targeted military strike. If 100 civilians die because you refused to carry out a mission that might kill 10, you haven't saved 10 people - you have killed 90.
 
2013-10-10 12:45:36 PM  

croesius: Father_Jack, it might not have been a full scale invasion as you said, but I'm just playing devil's advocate and trying to view it from their side. The civilians there might not even be wordly enough to know of "international mandate" or even what the U.N. was. To the best of their knowledge, as far as I can tell having not spoken to any Somalis, they most likely saw armed men on their native soil, capturing and/or shooting their friends and families. If the situation were reversed, you can bet your sweet ass most of us would fight back.


Unless of course they were the ones who were starving to death and now finally were getting some food to eat thanks to those very same armed men.



Operation Restore Hope (Somalia, 1993-1994)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 794, adopted on Dec. 3, 1992, authorized the United States to lead a multi-national force into Somalia "to use all necessary means to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia as soon as possible." U.S. Marines landed on the beaches of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, on Dec. 9.

At its peak, Operation Restore Hope involved some 30,000 American soldiers and 10,000 soldiers from 24 other nations. By March 1993, mass starvation in Somalia was significantly reduced. Operation Restore Hope ended on May 4, 1993, when the United Nations assumed control of the humanitarian mission from American command.

American involvement did not end then. It was replaced with Operation Continue Hope, designed to give protection to United Nations efforts in Somalia. But having been conceived almost exclusively as a humanitarian operation, Operation Continue Hope did not take enough into account the political situation on the ground in Mogadishu, which progressively deteriorated and enmeshed American forces in guerrilla attacks led by General Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the Somali leader and warlord. Clashes culminated in the downing of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters on Oct. 3-4, 1993. Eighteen American soldiers were killed and 73 wounded, as well as hundreds of Somali fighters (an exact figure was never confirmed). Most American forces had withdrawn by March 1994, but the last remaining U.S. personnel weren't withdrawn until a year


cdn.c.photoshelter.com
 
2013-10-10 12:46:43 PM  

Father_Jack: dont forget, this happened back when the US still abided by international law.


wklondon.typepad.com

This is not the 1993 Tomahawk strikes into Iraq you are looking for....
 
2013-10-10 12:51:31 PM  
American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.
 
2013-10-10 12:55:03 PM  

croesius: Father_Jack, it might not have been a full scale invasion as you said, but I'm just playing devil's advocate and trying to view it from their side. The civilians there might not even be wordly enough to know of "international mandate" or even what the U.N. was. To the best of their knowledge, as far as I can tell having not spoken to any Somalis, they most likely saw armed men on their native soil, capturing and/or shooting their friends and families. If the situation were reversed, you can bet your sweet ass most of us would fight back.


the 1000-2000 people killed were not civilians.  They were an armed mob at least, a not so well regulated militia at best.  They had RPG's, fully automatic assault weapons and .50 Cal machines guns mounted in the beds of pick up trucks.

Calling them civilians is trolling at best, intellectual dishonesty at best.

/also I think you forgot Poland.
 
2013-10-10 12:57:05 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.


there aren't that many people in the fishing village
 
2013-10-10 12:57:45 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.


1 - No.  According to the article, they killed around 1,000 Somalis.  Unless you believe they just wandered through the streets unopposed, shooting anything that moved, then presumably you'd have to accept that at least some portion of those were armed combatants actively trying to kill them.

2 - That phrase isn't even talking about the same freaking event.
 
2013-10-10 12:58:01 PM  

croesius: Sorry I didn't explain it better KidneyStone. If it would help you, change my statement to "what if a multinational coalition sent assault teams into America".


If they were sent because most of the population was starving to death after the cities were destroyed in a civil war. And then warlords blocked the delivery of food aid to the starving millions. . .

They would be welcomed with open arms, as they should be. As such people always have been. As they were welcomed in Somalia. Before a petty thug was able to turn world opinion (of idiots) against the effort.


On one side we have Warlord thugs murdering people and fostering starvation. On the other side UN food convoys.

Which side exactly are you choosing? Choose only one answer. And one answer comes with about a billion scumbag points.
 
2013-10-10 12:58:29 PM  
Not going to comment one way or the other on the politics of the thing, but Gordon and Shughart were hard men. Balls the size of canteloupes. I think they deserved their Medals of Honor.
 
2013-10-10 12:59:08 PM  

Obama's Left Nut: They were an armed mob at least, a not so well regulated militia at best. They had RPG's, fully automatic assault weapons and .50 Cal machines guns mounted in the beds of pick up trucks.


I find that pretty hard to believe, but who am i to argue with a movie.
 
2013-10-10 12:59:25 PM  

hasty ambush: croesius: Father_Jack, it might not have been a full scale invasion as you said, but I'm just playing devil's advocate and trying to view it from their side. The civilians there might not even be wordly enough to know of "international mandate" or even what the U.N. was. To the best of their knowledge, as far as I can tell having not spoken to any Somalis, they most likely saw armed men on their native soil, capturing and/or shooting their friends and families. If the situation were reversed, you can bet your sweet ass most of us would fight back.

Unless of course they were the ones who were starving to death and now finally were getting some food to eat thanks to those very same armed men.

Operation Restore Hope (Somalia, 1993-1994)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 794, adopted on Dec. 3, 1992, authorized the United States to lead a multi-national force into Somalia "to use all necessary means to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia as soon as possible." U.S. Marines landed on the beaches of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, on Dec. 9.

At its peak, Operation Restore Hope involved some 30,000 American soldiers and 10,000 soldiers from 24 other nations. By March 1993, mass starvation in Somalia was significantly reduced. Operation Restore Hope ended on May 4, 1993, when the United Nations assumed control of the humanitarian mission from American command.

American involvement did not end then. It was replaced with Operation Continue Hope, designed to give protection to United Nations efforts in Somalia. But having been conceived almost exclusively as a humanitarian operation, Operation Continue Hope did not take enough into account the political situation on the ground in Mogadishu, which progressively deteriorated and enmeshed American forces in guerrilla attacks led by General Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the Somali leader and warlord. Clashes culminated in the downing of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters on Oct. 3-4, 1993. ...


But America performing a military intervention can never be correct. Not even when we try to suppress warlords who are stealing aid shipments to use the food as a weapon against the local population. Not even when the aid was sent to stop mass starvation but the local warlords were happily letting it continue.
 
2013-10-10 01:01:44 PM  

Obama's Left Nut: croesius: Father_Jack, it might not have been a full scale invasion as you said, but I'm just playing devil's advocate and trying to view it from their side. The civilians there might not even be wordly enough to know of "international mandate" or even what the U.N. was. To the best of their knowledge, as far as I can tell having not spoken to any Somalis, they most likely saw armed men on their native soil, capturing and/or shooting their friends and families. If the situation were reversed, you can bet your sweet ass most of us would fight back.

the 1000-2000 people killed were not civilians.  They were an armed mob at least, a not so well regulated militia at best.  They had RPG's, fully automatic assault weapons and .50 Cal machines guns mounted in the beds of pick up trucks.

Calling them civilians is trolling at best, intellectual dishonesty at best.

/also I think you forgot Poland.



Never mind Poland, he forgot Pakistan.
 
2013-10-10 01:03:13 PM  
Somalia is still a shiathole, what has been accomplished? Somalis just go to other countries and try their best to turn it into lil' Mogadishu.
 
2013-10-10 01:03:35 PM  

spmkk: If the official word is true, THIS is what's wrong with our military policy. (There's a scene in the film that addresses this as well.) The Islamist leader that these Commandos either failed or declined to capture will go on to kill many more people -- a lot more than would have died in a targeted military strike. If 100 civilians die because you refused to carry out a mission that might kill 10, you haven't saved 10 people - you have killed 90.


False dilemma. It's almost never, ever two choices like that.

Red Shirt Blues: The UN had to go in. Over 200,000 Somalians had starved to death. The UN was supplying food but the warlords were stealing the majority of it. So the UN went in and secured the supply routes and distribution. Yeah, there was some mission creep when we started to try and go after the warlords but on the whole an altruistic mission.


The UN did the right thing. If Clinton wasn't such a pushover, we should have double-downed and amped up a multinational presence, while Russia and China were still amenable. That would have set the right precedent for the post-Cold War era, instead of letting dictators and warlords think that the world will just turn tail and run once they inflict a few casualties.

Clinton was protecting his ass. He was too short-sighted and told his staff that it was Iran-Hostages all over again and he would lose the next election over Somalia. The opening years of the '90s were the one shot we had at transforming the international system, and we failed to realize the opportunities. Sometimes I think if Bush Sr (the man who coined "New World Order") had won re-election, the world would be a much safer place now.

On another note, it's too bad they couldn't find any veterans from the Somalian side to interview. Sure, hard to find, but the situation in Mogadishu has improved and I would think you might be able to track some people down. I guess the hard part would be verifying their claim to being on the scene.
 
2013-10-10 01:08:17 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: They probably had a pretty good view hung upside down like that.


Dude.
 
2013-10-10 01:09:19 PM  
Used to keep pics of the american vics on the wall of my connex in bosnia to keep me frosty
had pals in the mix, can't watch the movie yet
there were some cowardly high-ranking officers under clinton control who refused to send assistance into the situation
I hope they live forever
 
2013-10-10 01:09:31 PM  

croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.


I would welcome Canadian special forces as our liberator if they fast-roped down to US House and grabbed the Tea Party Reps.
 
2013-10-10 01:10:10 PM  

duffblue: Somalia is still a shiathole, what has been accomplished? Somalis just go to other countries and try their best to turn it into lil' Mogadishu.


Nothing. Clinton pulled out support to get anything done shortly afterwards. So it continues to be a cesspool to this day.

The local factions started getting serious unwanted attention again when they started the whole "let's go be pirates!" attacks they did for a few years. Now it looks like they're exporting their methods to neighboring countries, which is getting even more attention. Not enough to make a change, but enough to get US troops on the beaches for a few minutes at a time.
 
2013-10-10 01:12:33 PM  

Kentucky Fried Panda: AverageAmericanGuy: They probably had a pretty good view hung upside down like that.

Dude.


Whatever you do, don't read my other post, then.
 
2013-10-10 01:15:55 PM  

Lyonid: No. According to the article, they killed around 1,000 Somalis. Unless you believe they just wandered through the streets unopposed, shooting anything that moved, then presumably you'd have to accept that at least some portion of those were armed combatants actively trying to kill them.


Realistically, a small group of soldiers would have died in that situation if just an equal number of people were actively trying to kill them. Forget the hollywood fantasies where the hero can mow down wave after wave of enemies. The only way such high casualties could have been reached is if the majority were unarmed.
 
2013-10-10 01:19:36 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Lyonid: No. According to the article, they killed around 1,000 Somalis. Unless you believe they just wandered through the streets unopposed, shooting anything that moved, then presumably you'd have to accept that at least some portion of those were armed combatants actively trying to kill them.

Realistically, a small group of soldiers would have died in that situation if just an equal number of people were actively trying to kill them. Forget the hollywood fantasies where the hero can mow down wave after wave of enemies. The only way such high casualties could have been reached is if the majority were unarmed.


I thought it had to do with air cover. The Somali's don't have a whole lot of AA ability.
 
2013-10-10 01:21:30 PM  
More like White Man Down, amirite?
 
2013-10-10 01:23:05 PM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: The UN did the right thing.


The UN's refusal to recognize or support Adid as the only viable leader led Somalia directly into the clusterfark we see today.
 
2013-10-10 01:25:28 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: but who am i to argue with a movie.


sounds like this is where you got your military expertise:

blog.hyland.com
 
2013-10-10 01:26:11 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Lyonid: No. According to the article, they killed around 1,000 Somalis. Unless you believe they just wandered through the streets unopposed, shooting anything that moved, then presumably you'd have to accept that at least some portion of those were armed combatants actively trying to kill them.

Realistically, a small group of soldiers would have died in that situation if just an equal number of people were actively trying to kill them. Forget the hollywood fantasies where the hero can mow down wave after wave of enemies. The only way such high casualties could have been reached is if the majority were unarmed.


Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. You're surrounded in one of the most dangerous cities in the world. A huge mob is coming, some of them are shooting at you. Your friends are getting shot next to you. What would you do in that situation?
 
2013-10-10 01:33:17 PM  
What, no one else has an issue with spending trillions of dollars, being over there for over 20 years, nothing accomplished and we are still over there?  They have been at war in one way or another for thousands of years.  Leave them alone and then just go lob a few city destroying bombs if they try to attack anything of ours.

As long as we are at war we will be in debt and it will continue to rise: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-long-story-of - us-debt-from-1790-to-2011-in-1-little-chart/265185/
 
2013-10-10 01:34:20 PM  

duffblue: Somalia is still a shiathole, what has been accomplished?



From reading Fark, I understand it has become a haven for ex-pat Libertarians.
 
2013-10-10 01:36:31 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Obama's Left Nut: They were an armed mob at least, a not so well regulated militia at best. They had RPG's, fully automatic assault weapons and .50 Cal machines guns mounted in the beds of pick up trucks.

I find that pretty hard to believe, but who am i to argue with a movie.


That was actually in the book which is an actual history book. Plus what do you think took the Blackhawk down ??? Small arms fire?
 
2013-10-10 01:38:18 PM  

Crunch61: Seth'n'Spectrum: The UN did the right thing.

The UN's refusal to recognize or support Adid as the only viable leader led Somalia directly into the clusterfark we see today.


The proxy war we played between Somalia and Ethiopia over a strip of desert for twenty-five years, even swapping sides half way through, had nothing to do with it either. Those sneaky Russians tricked us into selling all those weapons.
 
2013-10-10 01:41:26 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Lyonid: No. According to the article, they killed around 1,000 Somalis. Unless you believe they just wandered through the streets unopposed, shooting anything that moved, then presumably you'd have to accept that at least some portion of those were armed combatants actively trying to kill them.

Realistically, a small group of soldiers would have died in that situation if just an equal number of people were actively trying to kill them. Forget the hollywood fantasies where the hero can mow down wave after wave of enemies. The only way such high casualties could have been reached is if the majority were unarmed.


Ah, so ignoring #2 wherein it's pointed out that you don't read so good.  Got it.  Understandable.

Moving on then.

As to the civilian casualties, as long as we can agree that your entire point is based in fantasy, absent of any actual facts, I think we're done here.

/remember kids, no lopsided battles have ever happened.  ever.
 
2013-10-10 01:41:47 PM  
...something something #Benghazi... why didn't we just send in troops to rescue our guys?...

/herp derp
 
2013-10-10 01:44:37 PM  
Killing Pablo from the same author is an even better book for anyone interested.  About the hunt for Pablo Escobar.  If you read and liked the style of Black Hawk Down you'll love this.
 
2013-10-10 02:03:23 PM  
Only with America is a score of 1000 to 18 considered a loss.
 
2013-10-10 02:06:31 PM  

Visionmn2: What, no one else has an issue with spending trillions of dollars, being over there for over 20 years, nothing accomplished and we are still over there? They have been at war in one way or another for thousands of years. Leave them alone and then just go lob a few city destroying bombs if they try to attack anything of ours.

As long as we are at war we will be in debt and it will continue to rise: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-long-story-of - us-debt-from-1790-to-2011-in-1-little-chart/265185/


As long as we are in debt we will always be at War.  All Wars are banker wars.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfEBupAeo4

It's main reason the US fought a revolution.
 
2013-10-10 02:07:01 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.


Civilians only in the sense that they were not wearing uniforms.

They were bearing arms and attacking US troops, and that makes them the enemy.  This wasn't a typical American combined arms operation that used overwhelming firepower to destroy all WWII style.  Nobody was blowing away women and children with a drone strike while they sat at the dinner table.  Every single bit of this action took place in close quarters using small arms almost exclusively.

No artillery support.  Not even mortars.
No fixed wing air support.
Not true (as in Apache or Cobra) helicopter gunship support.  Just machine guns and rockets from a few AH-6s
No armor support until the very end of the battle.

Those 1,000 learned the hard way that American soldiers are quite good even without all their fancy toys.
 
2013-10-10 02:08:59 PM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: "spmkk: If the official word is true, THIS is what's wrong with our military policy. (There's a scene in the film that addresses this as well.) The Islamist leader that these Commandos either failed or declined to capture will go on to kill many more people -- a lot more than would have died in a targeted military strike. If 100 civilians die because you refused to carry out a mission that might kill 10, you haven't saved 10 people - you have killed 90.

False dilemma. It's almost never, ever two choices like that."



Do you have any substantiation for that statement? Or is it just true because you'd like it to be, because that way the world is a morally prettier place?

The world isn't perfect. At the end of the day you try to end up with a net positive on the moral scale, but it doesn't mean there's no downside. The best you can do is choose the lesser downside, and it is damn near ALWAYS clear what the lesser downside is -- anyone who says otherwise (yourself included, seemingly) is trying to absolve themselves or their society of the responsibility to draw moral distinctions. As much as films like "A Few Good Men" try to preach otherwise, sometimes you have to do unpleasant things in order to bring about that lesser downside, and in those cases it is morally wrong not to do them.
 
2013-10-10 02:09:35 PM  
http://www.amazon.com/Somalia-Day-soldiers-Martin-Stanton/dp/08914182 2 9

Somalia on $5 a day - a soldiers story

recomended reading for the time period before blackhawk down
 
2013-10-10 02:10:08 PM  

spmkk: If 100 civilians die because you refused to carry out a mission that might kill 10, you haven't saved 10 people - you have killed 90.


No, the person who killed those 100 people killed those 100 people.  Of course retard logic like yours explains why we now live in a country that accept that our government engages in torture.
 
2013-10-10 02:20:28 PM  

Clemkadidlefark: They sent men into the Valley of Death without armor.

As to Somalia, what's left to be done is four giant fuel air bombs. That's right. Four giant fuel air bombs. To honor those who died trying to carry out some of the most stupid, ill-conceived SNAFU'd Orders ever put forth.


Because of life has taught us anything, it's that two wrongs make a right.
 
2013-10-10 02:43:12 PM  
croesius: "...  on their sovereign soil."

One of the issues you are overlooking was that Somalia was ( and still is ) a failed nation state. And when the UN/ OXFAM/ Médecins Sans Frontières, etc.  sends aid workers/ food/ resources into a place to help the local people; you expect the locals ( to include warlords, terrorists, and pirates ) to be lawful and behave civilized... so, the warlord chieftain Mohamed Farrah Aidid ran a brutal and lawless city/ region... and that was why the Rangers/Delta were there and why their deaths were in vain when Clinton pulled them out and cancelled the mission. Babies/ women, grandma's and grandpa's still died, were killed, starved to death and lived miserable lives ( to this day!).

Sorry to say, that Somalia and the terrorists are still an open and festuring sore to Kenya, marine traffic on the Indian Ocean/ Red Sea, and the civilized world.
 
2013-10-10 02:46:53 PM  
Read the book; saw the flick.  But Tom Hanks has a new "feel good" sort-of sequel out.  Caught his appearance on Colbert.

/I'm there, dude

//soon as it hits PPV
 
2013-10-10 03:04:49 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Obama's Left Nut: They were an armed mob at least, a not so well regulated militia at best. They had RPG's, fully automatic assault weapons and .50 Cal machines guns mounted in the beds of pick up trucks.

I find that pretty hard to believe, but who am i to argue with a movie.


I find it pretty hard to believe that unarmed men downed two black hawk helicopters and killed 18 US marines.
 
2013-10-10 03:09:21 PM  

flynn80: Visionmn2: What, no one else has an issue with spending trillions of dollars, being over there for over 20 years, nothing accomplished and we are still over there? They have been at war in one way or another for thousands of years. Leave them alone and then just go lob a few city destroying bombs if they try to attack anything of ours.

As long as we are at war we will be in debt and it will continue to rise: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-long-story-of - us-debt-from-1790-to-2011-in-1-little-chart/265185/

As long as we are in debt we will always be at War.  All Wars are banker wars.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfEBupAeo4

It's main reason the US fought a revolution.


Damn it feels good to be a banker, controlling the guy in the White House.
It doesn't matter to what it looks like to the people of the world cuz you know I'm the banker and the boss.
So then I tell them to have a war and to let a little drugs through so we can tax you know who.
To all you voters and Amer-ee-can's I sincerely want to thank ya and you know I got your balls in the palm of my hand, damn it feels good to be a banker.

chorus - .All I got to say to you wanna be, gunna be rich and middle class pranksters, When the shiat drops down, what you gunna do - Damn it feels good to be a banker.
 
2013-10-10 03:31:55 PM  

manimal2878: "spmkk: If 100 civilians die because you refused to carry out a mission that might kill 10, you haven't saved 10 people - you have killed 90.

No, the person who killed those 100 people killed those 100 people.  Of course retard logic like yours explains why we now live in a country that accept that our government engages in torture."



WTF? By that logic, if my restaurant has a rat infestation and I refuse to eradicate the rats because I feel it's inhumane, then it's not my fault there's rat shiat in your food, since it's technically the rats that did the shiatting and not me.
 
2013-10-10 04:06:19 PM  

JustGetItRight: J. Frank Parnell: American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.

Civilians only in the sense that they were not wearing uniforms.

They were bearing arms and attacking US troops, and that makes them the enemy.  This wasn't a typical American combined arms operation that used overwhelming firepower to destroy all WWII style.  Nobody was blowing away women and children with a drone strike while they sat at the dinner table.  Every single bit of this action took place in close quarters using small arms almost exclusively.

No artillery support.  Not even mortars.
No fixed wing air support.
Not true (as in Apache or Cobra) helicopter gunship support.  Just machine guns and rockets from a few AH-6s
No armor support until the very end of the battle.

Those 1,000 learned the hard way that American soldiers are quite good even without all their fancy toys.


When I was being in-processed at Ft. Benning for boot camp (this was around 2002), we were waiting in line one day (in processing consists of waiting in lines about 80% of the time for those unaware) when a drill seargent from downrange was walking by, and for some reason decided that it was a good time for a story.  I think someone had made a joke while waiting, or didn't seem serious enough.

He proceeds to tell us that he was in Somalia on the ground during Black Hawk Down (dude was dead serious, looked the part of an elite soldier, and I have no reason to doubt him) and he had 33 confirmed kills during the operation.  30 with an M-16 and 3 with an E-Tool.  A farking E-Tool.  Doesn't get much more close quarters than that...
 
2013-10-10 04:08:54 PM  
But on the streets of "Mog," ...
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-10-10 04:21:11 PM  
You better take our food or we will shoot every one of you motherfarkers!
 
2013-10-10 04:29:41 PM  
Here we are 20 years later and the real heroes of the battle go completely ignored just like in the movie.  The Little Bird pilots using night vision and firing miniguns were the only reason any of the soldiers got out of there alive.  The movie shows one helicopter making one gun run but the truth was that they flew scores of missions killing thousands of enemy who would have overrun all the positions and the soldiers and slaughtered them like  they did  everyone else they caught.  Not one word in the article and not one interview with the people responsible for saving all those lives.

One of the memorable interviews with a ranger showed him saying "they flew their asses off and if they hadn't I wouldn't be here talking to you."
 
2013-10-10 04:32:55 PM  

OscarTamerz: Here we are 20 years later and the real heroes of the battle go completely ignored just like in the movie.  The Little Bird pilots using night vision and firing miniguns were the only reason any of the soldiers got out of there alive.  The movie shows one helicopter making one gun run but the truth was that they flew scores of missions killing thousands of enemy who would have overrun all the positions and the soldiers and slaughtered them like  they did  everyone else they caught.  Not one word in the article and not one interview with the people responsible for saving all those lives.

One of the memorable interviews with a ranger showed him saying "they flew their asses off and if they hadn't I wouldn't be here talking to you."


a woman who used to work for me is bf's with one of the guys who was there. we went drinking a few times... he said the same thing.
 
2013-10-10 04:40:14 PM  

OscarTamerz: Here we are 20 years later and the real heroes of the battle go completely ignored just like in the movie.  The Little Bird pilots using night vision and firing miniguns were the only reason any of the soldiers got out of there alive.  The movie shows one helicopter making one gun run but the truth was that they flew scores of missions killing thousands of enemy who would have overrun all the positions and the soldiers and slaughtered them like  they did  everyone else they caught.  Not one word in the article and not one interview with the people responsible for saving all those lives.

One of the memorable interviews with a ranger showed him saying "they flew their asses off and if they hadn't I wouldn't be here talking to you."


To say that they were the 'only reason' is over the top.  They certainly played a very significant role in holding the positions overnight but there were only 8 AH/MH-6s in theater and they've got a very limited payload.  Grunts with rifles did the majority of the killing.
 
2013-10-10 05:00:38 PM  
fc01.deviantart.net
 
2013-10-10 05:33:14 PM  

cryptozoophiliac: Clemkadidlefark: They sent men into the Valley of Death without armor.

As to Somalia, what's left to be done is four giant fuel air bombs. That's right. Four giant fuel air bombs. To honor those who died trying to carry out some of the most stupid, ill-conceived SNAFU'd Orders ever put forth.

Because of life has taught us anything, it's that two wrongs make a right.


It's not about two wrongs. It's about flattening the MF'ing place. Sorry if I wasn't clear ..
 
2013-10-10 05:35:16 PM  

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: JustGetItRight: J. Frank Parnell: American Commandos retreated under fire without capturing their target - to avoid civilian casualties.

According to the article they killed around 1000 civilians.

1000.

Civilians only in the sense that they were not wearing uniforms.

They were bearing arms and attacking US troops, and that makes them the enemy.  This wasn't a typical American combined arms operation that used overwhelming firepower to destroy all WWII style.  Nobody was blowing away women and children with a drone strike while they sat at the dinner table.  Every single bit of this action took place in close quarters using small arms almost exclusively.

No artillery support.  Not even mortars.
No fixed wing air support.
Not true (as in Apache or Cobra) helicopter gunship support.  Just machine guns and rockets from a few AH-6s
No armor support until the very end of the battle.

Those 1,000 learned the hard way that American soldiers are quite good even without all their fancy toys.

When I was being in-processed at Ft. Benning for boot camp (this was around 2002), we were waiting in line one day (in processing consists of waiting in lines about 80% of the time for those unaware) when a drill seargent from downrange was walking by, and for some reason decided that it was a good time for a story.  I think someone had made a joke while waiting, or didn't seem serious enough.

He proceeds to tell us that he was in Somalia on the ground during Black Hawk Down (dude was dead serious, looked the part of an elite soldier, and I have no reason to doubt him) and he had 33 confirmed kills during the operation.  30 with an M-16 and 3 with an E-Tool.  A farking E-Tool.  Doesn't get much more close quarters than that...


Knew this at Camp Lejeune in the early 80s.  Not mentioned in citation but he had two kills with an e-tool while in Vietnam

CORPORAL LEONARD KOONTZ
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following.
CITATION:

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Radio Operator with Company M, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on 27 May 1968. While Company M was on a patrol near the Khe Sanh Combat Base, Corporal (then Lance Corporal) Koontz's platoon became pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force occupying fortified positions on the crest of Hill 542.

Alertly locating the hostile defenses, Corporal Koontz gave his radio to another Marine and crawled across the fire-swept terrain toward the closest enemy fortification. Fearlessly moving on top of the North Vietnamese emplacement, he destroyed the bunker with a hand grenade, killing one enemy soldier. Immediately entering the remains of the position, Corporal Koontz killed a second North Vietnamese defender with his pistol. Pinpointing another hostile bunker from which enemy soldiers were throwing grenades at the Marines, he unhesitatingly assaulted the emplacement and, hurling hand grenades in the structure, killed its occupants.

Realizing that the intense hostile fire was disrupting casualty evacuation efforts, he delivered suppressive fire against the enemy positions, enabling the Marines to assist their wounded comrades to positions of relative safety. Although partially dazed by an impacting North Vietnamese mortar round, he resolutely moved to aid two injured Marines and assisted them to a covered area. Returning to his dangerously exposed firing position, Corporal Koontz steadfastly continued to deliver effective fire upon the enemy until the last of his wounded companions had been evacuated.

By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Koontz was instrumental in saving several marines from possible death or serious injury and by so doing he upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

For the President,
John H. Chafee
Secretary of the Navy

The e-tool.  It is not just for digging holes

www.usmilitariaforum.com
 
2013-10-10 07:31:40 PM  
2.bp.blogspot.com

Heroes
 
2013-10-10 08:01:28 PM  
18 American soldiers killed: "*blubber blubber* TRUE HEROES *cry*"
1000 Somali soldiers killed: "Meh"


Swampmaster
Sorry to say, that Somalia and the terrorists are still an open and festuring sore to Kenya, marine traffic on the Indian Ocean/ Red Sea, and the civilized world.

Take up the White Man's burden, Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
 
2013-10-10 09:59:57 PM  

RanDomino: 18 American soldiers killed: "*blubber blubber* TRUE HEROES *cry*"
1000 Somali soldiers killed: "Meh"


Swampmaster
Sorry to say, that Somalia and the terrorists are still an open and festuring sore to Kenya, marine traffic on the Indian Ocean/ Red Sea, and the civilized world.

Take up the White Man's burden, Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.


They've changed the first sentence a little...

Take up British Petroleum's burden...
 
2013-10-10 10:21:05 PM  

croesius: No troll ko_kyi, (sorry, can't quote on this phone), but I find it sickening to think that we make such a huge deal out of losing 18 invaders in the process of killing upwards of 1,000 people. What the fark do you think is going to happen when you send in strike teams to kill/capture people our government doesn't approve of? What would you honestly do if countries started sending in assault teams to America? Would you think them heroes for their duty to their country? Or would you think it is every American's duty to repel the foreign invaders? The hypocrisy is atrocious.

found in almost every human society that ever existed on this planet.

FTFY, sadly.
 
2013-10-10 10:28:19 PM  
When I left Mogadishu in 1993, I thought that Somalia would be Farked up for ten years due to Tribalism.

Little did I know.

1st Bn 7th Marines Heavy Guns
 
2013-10-11 01:28:44 AM  
oldgunny
When I left Mogadishu in 1993, I thought that Somalia would be Farked up for ten years due to Tribalism.

Tribalism worked fine for them for thousands of years before the European invasions that heavily damaged their existing systems and attempted, and still attempt, to impose wholly alien governmental systems that the people there never asked for.
 
2013-10-11 01:39:21 AM  
Dear Conservatives,

I know you are bitter that Clinton didn't ratchet up the military industrial complex so that Somalia could be saved. Your devotion to the wellbeing of black people is most commendable.

However, I'd like to point out that 'saving' Somalia would have meant you would have had difficulty 'saving' Afghanistan and Iraq, and given what unmitigated successes they have been, I am sure you agree things turned out the best in the end.
 
2013-10-11 09:42:37 AM  
I read the book and it was one of the most graphic things I've ever read.  Just pure hell on earth for everyone involved.

As for US involvement, it's the same as it's always been:  Damned if we do, damned if we don't.
 
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