Obama v. King David: Honoring Fallen Warriors
The dissimilarity between the warrior King David and President Obama, the warrior politician, comes to mind this Memorial Day.
America’s warriors who gave the last full measure of devotion to secure the now fallen Anbar Province in Iraq will be paramount in the thoughts of a grateful nation this Memorial Day.
Between April 2004 and September 2007, 1,335 Americans died in the battle for Fallujah and Ramadi. Two received the Medal of Honor posthumously “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
- Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham fell on a live grenade to save fellow Marines.
- Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor fell on a grenade to save nearby sailors during the battle for Ramadi in 2006.
- Marc Alan Lee became the first Navy SEAL killed in the Iraq War. Lee’s mother is making it her mission to remind Obama and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of her son’s sacrifice at Ramadi.
- Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote about Lee in his book American Sniper. Kyle was known to our enemy as the “Devil of Ramadi” because of his deadly accuracy. They put an $80,000 bounty on his head. Kyle received multiple medals, including two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. He died near his Texas home at the hands of a former Marine that Kyle was trying to help.
Whether their sacrifices matter in President Obama’s dithering war strategy is a mystery.
It speaks volumes about Obama that his press secretary, Josh Earnest, thinks it’s appropriate to dismiss the fall of Ramadi with a snarky comment:
- Are we going to light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against ISIL?”
I’d prefer that his boss gets a fire in his belly and turns our military loose to defeat these savages as quickly as possible. It’s what America used to do when we were at war.
It’s the way King David, Israel’s warrior King, and his men fought when their lives and the life of their country were at risk.
David’s last words are recorded in the Bible in 2 Samuel, chapter 23. David spent five, brief verses on his humble beginnings to become
“the man raised on high, the one anointed by the God of Jacob. … The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God.”
David used the remaining 34 verses to honor the mighty warriors by name who fought by his side. They are the men God chose and equipped to make David their king. God made doubly sure that His warriors were honored by including their exploits in the 11th chapter of the Book of First Chronicles.
The Bible honors David’s mighty warriors as brave, mighty, choice, valiant, honored, fighting, leading, victorious men who stood their ground and risked their lives. David doesn’t include himself in his account of a particular battle with the Philistines, an ancient version of today’s Jihadis, but the writer of I Chronicles does:
“There was a portion of a field full of barley, where the troops had fled from the Philistines. But Eleazar and David took their stand in the middle of the field and defended it. They killed the Philistines, and the Lord gave them a great victory.”
David’s heart for his warriors is expressed in a touching account of another encounter with the Philistines:
“Three of the 30 chief men went down to David, to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while the Philistine army was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and a Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David was extremely thirsty and said, “If only someone would bring me water to drink from the well at the city gate of Bethlehem!” So the Three broke through the Philistine camp and drew water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem. They brought it back to David, but he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out to the Lord. David said, “I would never do such a thing in the presence of God! How can I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives?” For they brought it at the risk of their lives. So he would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three warriors.”
The water was as precious to David as the blood of his men. Only the Lord was worthy of it.
Their exploits read like the battlefield citations of America’s warriors, 3,493 of whom have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, most of them posthumously. Nineteen received the Medal twice. Reading some of their citations is a fit way for Americans to honor them on Memorial Day.
Obama will superficially honor them by making another speech while pretending that his feckless war strategy is working.
He should bring together our best generals, including those retired, to formulate a winning war strategy and prosecute it as if our lives and the life of our country depend on it.
Obama placed his hand on a Bible and took an oath to God when he became President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States.
The “fear of God” is the fire in the hair that Obama and company should ponder.
Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.