An American Special Forces warrior was killed Thursday morning in a military operation that rescued about 70 Kurdish hostages in northern Iraq, according to reports.The special-ops soldier was the first American killed in ground combat with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Well…not so fast there. He couldn’t possibly be in “ground combat” because President Obama promised there would be no “boots on the ground,” remember?As the Daily Beast reports, “Even after the raid, Pentagon officials, who once insisted there were no American boots on the ground, continued to call the U.S. effort a “train, advise and assist” mission, not a combat one. It marked the latest game of military semantics in a war defined as much by its messaging as by its tactical results.”
There are currently 3,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, which U.S. military officials have stressed were there to train and advise, not engage in combat. In the early days of the U.S. intervention, U.S. military officials said there were no boots on the ground. But as the numbers swelled, their language changed a bit; they stressed that there were no “combat boots” on the ground.
And on Thursday, even as it conceded the service member had died in combat, refused to call the U.S. effort a combat mission.“Last night, Iraqi forces, supported by a U.S. Special Operations team in their advise and assist capacity, conducted a complex and highly-successful operation that resulted in the freeing of approximately 70 hostages held by ISIL in an prison near Hawijah, Iraq,” General Lloyd Austin III, the head of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.”
As Col. West has written here, if you’re armed, and you’re being shot at — and you’re wearing boots – you’re in combat.
We deeply mourn the loss of one of our warriors. But at least be honest about how he lost his life. He wasn’t just advising and assisting Kurdish forces; he was fighting to rescue hostages. He was fighting against the scourge of ISIS.It is absolutely unconscionable that not only are we unable to say ISIS is Islamic, we cannot even admit what our own warriors are doing on the ground against the enemy. This is Orwellian “thought speak” at its worst. It makes Bill Clinton’s “definition of IS” seem primitive.
[Note: This article was written with sad disgust by Michele Hickford]