Fifth Anniversary of the USS Cole Bombing

Michelle Malkin has a post on the the fifth anniversary of the Cole bombing.

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.â€
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 Cole̢۪s 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 terrorists̢۪ attacks only emboldens them.

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

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. spencer says:

    The measured attack sound like a good strategy.

    But how does invading Iraq when it had nothing to do with 9/11 count as a “measured response”?

  2. Jack Ehrlich says:

    Spenser, just how is it you know Iraq, or Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Are you aware of where Mohammed Atta was prior to 9/11. Did you know about the Czech connection to Iraqi intel? Or are you just going to dismiss it out of hand because it does not fit with what you have been told is what happened. Remember, the 9/11 comission had some real flaws in it. Some of the people on the comission should have been held to testify before the comission. If there findings are the basis of your arguement, I suggest that is a flawed position.

  3. LJD says:

    Spencer- yeah whatever.

    Regardless of it’s role in 9/11, it is clear Iraq is now a vital component in the GWOT. Regardless of your perpective on history, your thoughts on this war, or feelings about this administration. To ignore that is to ignore reality.

    What is more disconcerting is how easily one can turn an attack on a U.S. Navy ship, and the rejoicing at the death of U.S. service members, into an unsolicited commentary about our role in Iraq. “You guys” are a bunch of broken records, with no insight into your worn-out, America hating B.S.

  4. spencer says:

    Sorry, wouldn’t want to confuse you with the facts.

  5. LJD says:

    Continue to remain vague, dodge the issue, don’t elaborate. Perhaps your great strategy would have been a better course of action.