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Military Dad Confronts Sen. Tom Cotton On US-Middle East Wars (Video)

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas was confronted by a military dad who has three adult children serving overseas and has lost one in Afghanistan.

The military dad, Fred Boenig, was called on by Cotton during a CSPAN broadcast today from Johns Hopkins' campus in Washington D.C., noted Politico (video below).

"Can you tell me how long its been since the last U.S. military combat zone death? Because that's really what it's all about, that's about keeping us safe. Can you tell me how long it's been?" Boenig asked, noted

Cotton said that Americans had died in Afghanistan this year, but couldn't give details.

Boenig answered, "58 days," and, moments later, asked Cotton, "When do we get to hang up the Mission Accomplished banner? And when do I get to get my kids to come home safe again? That's the only thing that matters to me, can you please answer that question?"

"There's no definite answer because our enemies get a vote in this process," Cotton replied. 

Cotton added that he was sorry for Boenig's loss, said he honored the service of Boenig's children, and added, "But in the end, I think the best way to honor our veterans is to win the wars in which they fought."

Boenig reminded Cotton, "We've been fighting in Iraq for 24 years, really," in an apparent reference to President H.W. Bush's war against the country in 1991.

Cotton claimed the Iraq war was "largely won in 2011," but Boenig told him that more people had been killed Iraq in 2010 than in 2001.

"If that's what you consider winning, I don't know. I'd ask the people in Iraq," Boenig told Cotton.

Cotton claimed that the U.S. squandered its gains in Iraq with the rise of ISIS.

Boenig reminded Cotton that ISIS was "7,000 miles away in pick up trucks" and was "without an air force or a ship."

Boenig added that the U.S. has 90 guns for every 100 people, while Iraq has 6 guns for every 100 people.

Boenig also brought up when Cotton signed a letter to Iran in March claiming that the U.S. Congress could nullify an "executive agreement" made by President Obama and Iranian leaders regarding Iran's nuclear program, noted The Washington Post at the time.

"On the day after you signed that letter, you went and spoke at a defense contractors meeting," Boenig stated.

The anti-war dad told Cotton, who is an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, how different it is sending your child to war than going to war yourself.

Cotton countered:

But the threat environment that we face here at home and throughout the West is graver, more grave today than at anytime in any of our lifetimes. That's not just my assessment, that's not the assessment of hawks like Lindsey Graham, that's the assessment of President Obama's own national security and intelligence officials.

However, Cotton didn't say when the Obama administration made the supposed "our lifetimes" claim.

Sources:, Politico, The Washington Post
Image Credit: CSPAN Screenshot


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