“An Army helicopter crashed Friday into a riverbank near Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, killing at least four U.S. soldiers, the military said. Another American was killed and nine were wounded in attacks in the northern city of Mosul, raising concerns that the insurgency was spreading north. . . .”
“‘Death was in the cause of freedom. They were serving our country and answering our nation’s call to fight terrorists,’ said the unit’s commanding officer, Col. David A. Teeples. ‘We honor them for their sacrifice. We honor them as Americans, as soldier[s] and as family.'”
“Army officials said the helicopter’s crew apparently had a last-second warning of an approaching missile and managed to launch flares designed to draw the heat-seeking missile away. The defensive measure did not work and the missile slammed into the right side of the helicopter’s rear engine, destroying it and triggering a fire.”
When a Black Hawk helicopter went down in Somalia in 1993 and 18 Americans were killed in fighting in Mogadishu, President Clinton withdrew our forces. However ill-advised the whole Somali adventure may have been in the first place, this withdrawal is what convinced Osama bin Laden that America was soft and ready to be defeated. Although our long-term presence in Iraq is undesirable and unfeasible, if Clinton’s actions are repeated now in Iraq, many other terrorists will draw the same conclusion.