Monday, November 5, 2012

The U.S. *Has* Pulled Off Successful Embassy Recues Before

Dr Timothy R. Furnish at the History News Network refutes the idea that the United States have never rescued an American embassy under attack.

Attempting to strategically justify inaction, last week Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, when asked at a Department of Defense briefing why the U.S. did not send in more forces, said this: “the basic principle here…is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place.” And now the incessant criticism of the Obama administration on this issue has started to spark a backlash -- most notably, and ironically, by one of Fox News Channel’s own, Geraldo Rivera, who waxed indignant against his employer just this morning while discussing Benghazi, on “Fox & Friends:” “we have never, in the history of this republic, mounted a raid on [sic] the circumstance described here.” Both Panetta and Rivera in their positions betray a colossal ignorance of history -- despite the fact that both are educated men (attorneys); and in particular Secretary of Defense Panetta, with prior experience as a congressman, White House chief of staff and CIA director, should know better. 

... The claim that the U.S. has never staged a military rescue mission of a consulate or embassy under attack by indigenous forces is demonstrably wrong, as well. There are two twentieth century examples of this being done successfully. The first was in 1927 -- the so-called “Nanking [Nanjing] Incident,” in which Communist troops of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army sacked the American, British and Japanese embassies and civilian-living sectors, killing the American vice-president of Nanking University in the process. American and British warships were dispatched and, after shelling the city, sent troops in to evacuate the embassy staffs and other civilian personnel. The other was in Vietnam in 1968 when, at the onset of the Tet offensive, Viet Cong forces besieged the U.S. embassy in Saigon. The ranking commander -- Lieutenant General Fred Weyand—ordered his forces simply “to secure the U.S. embassy,” and a rifle team from the 101st Airborne did so, even though the captain in charge “was not given any maps or aerial photos of the embassy, nor intelligence beyond the fact that the Viet Cong were there.”

You can read the rest of this intersting piece via the below link:

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