Just one question for Warren Christopher
Do you Remember Master Sergeant Tim "Griz" Martin -- or your two attempts to kill him?
By Jeff Emanuel Posted in Featured Stories | War — Comments (2) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
As all here remember, Warren Christopher was Secretary of State during Bill Clinton's first term, served as Deputy Secretary of State under Carter (from Feb. 1977 to Reagan Inaugration Day (1/20/1981) -- for which he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1981 -- and, of course, was the spokesman for Algore's failed post-election bid for the Presidency (opposite James Baker, who worked for the President-elect at the time, in the same function). Christopher has received "the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service for the Greatest Public Service Performed by an Elected or Appointed Official," and, according to a Wiki-source, his picture currently "hangs in the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City."
Tomorrow, Mr. Christopher will be giving an address on "The Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal: Implications for International Dispute Resolution and Diplomacy." Christopher, it seems, is extremely qualified to speak on this, since, according to his official State Department biography, "As Deputy Secretary, he is credited with skillfully negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran." [Editor's note: As BlackFive (see below the fold for more on him) responds: "444 days later, 8 of our finest dead, American power around the world self-emasculated, is skillfully? MY ***!"]
While there are some great responses on that site (especially this and this), the one that tops them all was posted at BlackFive, an outstanding Milblog member-site which is operated by a Special Forces veteran. His question is simply this: "Do you know who MSG Tim Martin is?"
If the name rings a bell to you, think Iran Hostage Crisis and "Operation Eagle Claw" (at Desert One), where, as BlackFive says, when "things went to hell in the desert and when a helo hit a C-130, Tim "Griz" Martin got a wicked burn on his face, hence the nickname, and 8 others were killed." Regarding Operation Eagle Claw, as BlackFive tells it:
The military had plenty of other options, but resistance from Mr. Christopher's State Dept. took all the more direct and forceful plans off the table. Their faith in diplomacy led to the crisis stretching 6 months while America looked helpless to the world, our territory invaded, our people held hostage. Then when they decide to take action the State Dept's need to make sure we don't anger anyone overcame the military reality. This called for Rangers on the airfield and a bunch of helos hitting the Embassy with exfil via the airport. Instead the best Spec Ops troops we had at the time took the only military option Carter and his diplomats would allow and gave it a helluva go.
[UPDATE] From the comments at the BlackFive thread is another pearl of wisdom:
Read Charlie Beckwith's book Delta Force for a description of Christopher's contributions to Operation Eagle Claw. As Beckwith is briefing the NSC, Christopher expresses his horror that Delta plans on actually killing the hostage takers, and he asks Beckwith why don't they shoot them in the shoulder instead.
Back to the original post:
Sadly this was not Tim's last chance to be poorly served by Mr. Christopher's diplomatic failings.
For those whose memory begins more recently, think "Blackhawk Down." Tim "Griz" Martin was a ridiculously experienced Operator who was among those killed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 -- during Christopher's term as Secretary of State. Actually, according to Mark Bowden's pretty-darn-well-written account of that operation, Martin died in Germany, where he was evacuated to after his body was pretty much destroyed from the waist down. BlackFive again:
This time "Griz" didn't make it, neither did 18 others. The commanders on the ground had been asking for armor because their canvas-covered trucks and humvees were extremely vulnerable to ambush in the narrow streets of Mogadishu. This very scenario played out as MSG Martin was killed by an RPG while attempting to reinforce the Rangers in a convoy of thin-skinned vehicles with no fire support.
So given the chance, I think you should ask Mr. Christopher if he still believes that making diplomacy so pre-eminent and forcing our military to fight with one hand tied behind it's back is a good idea. Since he wants to talk Iran, you could follow up with his thoughts on the current Iran crisis. Does he think we should keep sipping tea and conducting formalized lying in formal wear, while the Iranians continue to laugh at our weakness and their nuke program steams ahead? Should we keep negotiating with people who have not lived up to any agreement they have ever made about their nuke program? Should we extend this dance until it's too late and then send in a half-assed, hamstrung, military response? Should we continually kow tow to the whims of the so-called Arab street which, near as I can tell, has hated us pretty consistently for my four decades on this planet?
Ya' know screw all that, I know what he would say and his answers would be a waste of oxygen.
Just ask him if he knows who MSG Tim Martin is.
Wow. Great -- and damning -- words, from a guy who has done -- and is still doing -- a whole heckuva lot for this country. He's got a whole lot more great content and analysis at his blog. Go check it out -- seriously.