Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't You Know There's a War On?

Given that we have moved forces around the globe to respond to jihadi attacks on embassies, the fact that al Qaeda attacked our embassy in Kenya in 1998 (and the one in Tanzania), and the fact that we have a major special forces hub nearby in Djibouti, I don't doubt that we could have participated in the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall rescue operation.

An eye witness said that she was rescued by American forces in the Westgate mall:

An American woman who was trapped inside the Nairobi mall as terrorists ran amok claims she was eventually rescued by an 'American security team'.

That is according to Bendita Malakia, the Harvard-trained lawyer who was caught up in the siege and hid along with 15 others in a store inside the mall for five hours before the armed men arrived to lead them to safety.

Thirty-year-old Malakia, who is from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, recounted the frantic scene tonight in an interview with NBC News as her rescuers bluntly told her, 'If you guys want to get out, we understand it's dangerous, but this is probably your best shot. If you don't get out now you may not get out.'

Rushing to the exit, accompanied by the armed security men who she believed were from the United States, two grenades thrown from only 30-feet away detonated near to them, but thankfully for Malakia she escaped and returned home to her parents on Monday.

And we already admit to helping with planning and logistics, apparently:

Kenyan officials have acknowledged that Israeli and American security personnel have taken part in planning the operation to retake the complex and provided logistical support according to the UK's Independent newspaper.

Given that we are better prepared to react to jihadi attacks in the region, it is not a great leap to assume we participated in the battle, as a Defense Department official testified last month:

“Putting tailored response forces in closer proximity to the area of a most anticipated need [and] dedicating airlift to those assets,” he replied, adding that he believes significant progress had been made in getting the balance right.

“I want to underscore that we are more ready than ever to respond to a crisis or attack if one occurs without warning,” he added.

Remember that we have a pretty major special operations base relatively close by, in Djibouti.

Remember, too, that Secretary Kerry quickly said we'd help; as did President Obama, who also did not hesitate to call it a terrorist attack.

Perhaps we are remembering that we are still at war.