Instead of focusing on the president’s tone-deaf reaction to the horrific act of terror at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, let’s turn back the clock for a moment. During the Iraq War, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously said, to a gathering of soldiers: “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.” This ranks as a shining example of a Tone-Deaf Moment in History.

A reporter named Edward Lee Pitts had been embedded during the war, and realized he’d been assigned to a company that had an unarmored truck. Since there wasn’t enough armor to cover all of the soldiers’ vehicles, they’d been forced to rummage through scrap piles in the region to salvage metal so they could “up-armor” the truck.

The reporter wanted to ask Rumsfeld why the troops weren’t being given enough supplies or protection, but was told that press wouldn’t be allowed to ask questions. Pitts approached a soldier to see if he would ask Rumsfeld the question and persuaded the A-V technician to give that soldier the microphone.

This is a case of one reporter asking why his own life was in danger, and by extension, all of the troops that were sent to fight and die. If something is important enough, you find a way to stand up for what’s right. You may even have to go around “proper channels.” Lately, it seems propriety is a thing of the past.

Since the message hasn’t been conveyed officially, we’d like to extend heartfelt condolences to the congregants and families of the Tree of Life Synagogue and the Jewish community around the world. Let’s conspire together to ensure this moment isn’t remembered for the tone-deaf non-response of the government. Good people around the world hold you up in prayer. You are not alone.

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