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Remember the Cole
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Today is the fifth anniversary of the U.S.S. Cole bombing. Please take a moment to note the event on your blogs today if you have a chance. Stars and Stripes pays tribute to the 17 sailors killed in the terrorist attack, the dozens wounded, the survivors, and the families affected. Command Master Chief James Parlier will never forget the decision he was forced to make in leaving a mortally wounded sailor to die:

“That’s the first time in my Navy career that I had to let someone die, so I did,” Parlier said. “I made the call. I said last rites. I said a prayer and then we put him on the side somewhere so he wouldn’t be in a position where he was dying in front of the crew and demoralizing the crew.”

What did demoralize the crew was Yemenis celebrating the attack in view of Cole crewmembers for a couple of nights following the attack, Parlier said. They felt the Cole was their trophy, he said.

“Boy, that sticks [with me], seeing all these guys in white outfits jumping up and down, partying music blaring,” he said.

For the Cole’s sailors, it was tough not to retaliate, he said.

The Cole incident was one of a series of terrorist attacks in the 1990s that were not adequately answered by the United States, said Marc Genest, an associate professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College.

“Measured responses against terrorist organizations are seen as a sign of weakness, not strength,” he said.

Genest said the overall lesson from the Cole is that not responding to terrorists’ attacks only emboldens them.

“The time to attack terrorists is at the very beginning of their strategy,” he said.

Here’s my October 2001 column on Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, who died in the Cole bombing, and his surviving wife and sons. The Costelow family memorial page is here.

My column today notes the Cole anniversary and the MSM’s failure to live and work like there’s a war going on. An excerpt:

Oct. 12 marks the fifth anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole. Seventeen American sailors were murdered in the attack. They were casualties of a war with radical Islamic terror that America hadn’t yet declared and which the mainstream media still refuses to acknowledge today.

Too many of us were blind in 2000 — unable or unwilling or simply too uninterested to connect such blood-stained dots as al Qaeda’s 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack, the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings, the 1998 African embassy bombings, and the attack on the Cole. After Sept. 11, 2001, all of our eyes should have been pried wide open to the evils of Muslim extremism that exist among us in both organized and freelance form.

The watchdogs in the national press, however, insist on clouding our vision.

Since 9/11, I’ve reported on the media’s reluctance to highlight the convicted Washington, D.C.-area snipers’ Islamist proclivities and journalists’ refusal to call Egyptian gunman Hesham Hadayet’s acts of murder at the Israeli airline counter at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002, “terrorism.”

Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes noted how quickly the media sought to whitewash the bloody bus-hijacking by Croatian illegal alien Damir Igric a month after 9/11. Although the incident “echoed similar attacks by Palestinians on Israeli buses,” Pipes observed, the “media attributed the violence to post-traumatic stress syndrome.”

National Guardsman Ryan Anderson (a.k.a. Amir Talhah), a Muslim convert who allegedly attempted to pass sensitive military information to al Qaeda over the Internet, rated barely a blip on the media radar screen.

Similarly, press accounts have downplayed the disruption of terrorist cells on American soil: The Lackawanna Six were just nice Muslim boys led astray. The Virginia Jihad Network was just a group of weekend paintball enthusiasts. Those indicted imams in Lodi, Calif., are just misunderstood “moderates.” Terror suspects deported on immigration charges are just victims of discrimination.

Now, many of my readers wonder why the MSM won’t touch the strange and troubling story of the University of Oklahoma bomber, Joel Henry Hinrichs III…

Mark Davis also writes about MSM neglect today in the Dallas Morning News.

Jack Kelly of Irish Pennants has an excellent column on the subject as well:

The media is remarkably incurious about terrorism coincidences.

(See also Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on what we know and don’t know about the OU bomber.)

The right side of the blogosphere has been divided over the Miers nomination. But I hope and believe we still stand together as stalwart supporters of the war on Islamic terror at home and abroad. The MSM and the Left have failed miserably to learn the lesson of the Cole. Do what you can to make sure those American sailors murdered by al Qaeda did not die in vain.


Others blogging…

This related post by Bob Parks, “War without end,” is excellent.

Milblogger Juliette Ochieng remembers and links to Alan Gray’s tribute.

Smash: “We didn’t start this war, but by God, we’re going to finish it.”

Sisyphus remembers.

Andrew Cochran at the ever-vigilant Counterterrorism Blog: “Maybe, just maybe, if we had pursued the perpetrators of the USS Cole bombing vigorously and without hindrance (don’t get me started on that one), we might have been able to stop Mohammed Atta and his gang.”

More milblogger memorials: Blackfive, Laughing Wolf



The DoD’s USS Cole Commission report

CRS report on the Cole attack

The BBC remembers

Related news:

Yemen said linked to guns in Saudi attack

President Bush’s war on radical Islam speech at the National Endowment for Democracy.

Daniel Pipes analyzes the new era in the war on terror and what’s next.




Rick Moran, as always, has a thoughtful essay on living between panic and ennui. What Rick says in defense of NYC officials also goes for law enforcement officials at Georgia Tech, who treated the discovery of bomb devices on campus seriously. A very dumb freshman has now been arrested in the case. The hindsight hounds will criticize the cops for overreacting. No. They were doing their job.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Terrorist attacks