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On this day in 1993 (18 years ago), U.S. Forces descended into Mogadishu in Somalia to capture and extract high ranking officials in the government that overthrew President Mohammed Siad Barre and led to mass starvation and violence. The operation was supposed to last 30 minutes, but the crash landing of two BlackHawk helicopters and the subsequent effort to retrieve the remains and equipment lasted over 14 hours and left U.S. Forces engaged in intense firefights throughout the night. The event — and specifically the heroism displayed by a handful of individuals on that day — was immortalized in the novel and film “Black Hawk Down,” which is still one of my favorite movies. So as you go about your day just take a second to remember those who gave their lives in defense of their nation and others. For me, I know what I’ll be watching tonight at the firehouse.

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  1. It’s a great film. But it’s also heartbreaking to watch. Even worse, if you believe anything Bin Laden said, it was Clinton’s reaction (pulling troops out of Somalia after Blackhawk Down) that emboldened him to attack America, deeming us a “paper tiger.”

    Had Clinton doubled-down and wiped out the warlords, that alone might well have meant that 9/11 would have never happened. It’s also silent testament to those who believe (wrongly) that if only we’d simply stop mucking about in other countries, and keep to our own knitting, that the Muslim world would leave us alone. Don’t forget – our mission in Somalia was humanitarian in nature. We went in to try and keep the warlords from slaughtering any more of their own people.

  2. If only America would send troops to rescue the Boers from savages.

    If only America sent troops to aid Ian Smith and Rhodesia.

  3. Correction-it was not a novel. It is interesting how few of the guys that were there are credited by name. Not that Junger wouldn’t have credited them, just that a lot of those guys stayed in.

  4. RIP to those who were killed there. Regardless of the latest official claimed reason why America once again has to fight and sacrifice, I would prefer to see America not get itself involved in playing world policeman in the endless conflicts of the past 65+ years. Personally, I have better things to do with my life than fight and die for countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, and Kuwait and I could care less about helping the military-industrial complex and Wall Street earn blood profits.

    • Personally, I have better things to do with my life than fight and die for countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, and Kuwait

      Let the world’s cesspools clean themselves up. Korea, Nam, Somalia, Bosnia — Christians defending Moslems against other Christians? What the hell was that about? I don’t really give a flying f^ck about any of those countries. I felt a little different about Kuwait, though, but only because they have something that we need. Otherwise, Kuwait can slide into the Arabian Sea as far as I’m concerned.

      • It really is incredible how America’s Founders laid out such a good plan and pathway for future generations to follow. It’s sad and disgusting how quickly and far America has strayed from their wisdom and the laws they wrote. If we had put a fraction of the effort that America puts into the military and big government into developing and applying alternate energy and more efficient systems we probably wouldn’t be needing Kuwait’s oil today.

        I’m not romantic about defending (or offending) what was America’s standard of high-living through empire-like behavior. I can comfortably live in a wood cabin, rely upon a bicycle and public transportation, raise my own vegetables, and eat simple basic food. I cannot comfortably live having had my legs, arms, sight, mind, or life taken away from me in combat that occurred in some cursed backwater swamp foreign land. I can feel sorry for foreign people suffering under some foreign tyrant yet I never want to be forced by America’s morally corrupt and opportunistic politicians, and a country of shallow sheeple, to go fight that tyrant’s army.

        It is only a matter of time before the price of gas/oil goes far higher. Eventually, America will one day no longer be the world’s reserve currency which helps keep prices lower. Many nations already have and more are on the way to stop using the USD/FRN to sell their oil. Then there is growing world demand of what is probably a finite product. If the price of gas jumps so will the price of food and the cost of goods. The economy will go down even faster. It is going to be a vicious cycle when that happens. Then, we will suddenly hear about new alternate energy sources that are ‘now practical’ to replace oil and they will start getting applied.

        • What systems to replace oil? As far as transportation goes, there really aren’t any. Hydrocarbons in general and oil in particular are too powerful and energy source to be easily replaced.

          Air travel – Absolutely not replacement for oil-based propulsion is even conceivable.

          Heavy trucks – No seriously feasible alternative to oil. However, using trains for long haul and then trucks only for short haul delivery would be massively more effecient from an energy consumption standpoint.

          Passenger cars/trucks – The only serious alternative are hybrids and they still run on oil. They just use less of it. Plug-in hybrids push that further, but the question then becomes where that electricity comes from. It comes from coal. Coal releases massive amounts of CO2, along with a lot of nasty particulates, into the atmosphere and exaggerates an already serious warming trend.

          Corn-based ethanol is a complete joke and a bad one at that. I don’t know who is the genius that thought using food crops to power SUVs was a good idea. Cellulosic ethanol is going to be “20 years away” for quite awhile. Solar and wind are ancillary sources. They’re intermitant and generally localized. They’re a great idea, but they’re not a solution to the problem.

          “Clean” coal is too expensive and will never be done in a profit driven market unless government controls and put in place to make it cheaper to spend the massive amount of money to sequester the CO2 produced by burning coal. I’m thinking that won’t happen in this country.

          The only way for plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars to work and work well is via nuclear power. Unfortunately the same scientifically illiterate public that belives the Earth is 10,000 years old and that climate change is just some thing scientists made up for funding really aren’t going to accept nuclear fission.

          Look at the shit storm the Japanese reactor incident caused. An earthquake and tsunami kill 15,000 people. That same earthquake is ten times more powerful than said reactors were designed to withstand and then after the quake it gets hit by a tsunami. Not a single person dies. Not a single person gets any injury worse than a first degree burn from beta radiation. The press gets a hold of it and convinces the ignorant masses that fission reactors and magical death machines and it’s man’s folly to believe he can use such powers to create electricity.

  5. Black Hawk Down is a pretty horrid picture. They took an excellent book by Mark Bowden and watered it down until it was palatble for the simpletons with shallow patriotism and the US government. I’m surprised, and disappointed, that Ridley Scott was involved with it. Blade Runner is one of my all time favorites. Of course, he’s also probably the only reason it didn’t get turned into the usualy Bruckheimer tripe.

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