Thursday, January 16, 2014

Benghazi & Newtown: The Politics of Now

I just don't get it.  Republicans are still furious over the deaths of four grown-ups in Benghazi while evincing no concern for 26 children and teachers mowed down by an automatic weapon wielding young man.

Those grown-ups assumed the risks associated with their jobs. The kids did the same. The grown-ups wore bullet-proof vests and carried weaponry. The youngsters wore logo emblazoned t-shirts and carried back packs.

The only similarity between the two situations is the universal agreement that there was bad intelligence.  No one knew what was going on, no one shared what little was known, concerns were ignored. Decisions were made by generals and assistant secretaries and parents who were operating within their own little silos of information, hurtling down the road to disaster, thinking they were smarter than the facts would reveal... like a mother who taught her son-who-was-battling-mental-illness to shoot... and provided the armaments, too.

Fingers are pointing in all directions.  It really doesn't matter.  Men and women and children are dead and everyone wants someone to blame.  I understand that part of it, personally and profoundly.  TBG and I are eternally grateful that our shooter was captured and adjudicated and incarcerated; it's as close to closure as we'll get on that piece of it.  But Christina-Taylor is still dead.  Knowing how it happened and that punishment has been meted out doesn't change that... and that's the most important part.

There are steps which could be taken to lessen a recurrence of tragedies such as these.  The geo-political problems are much more difficult to tackle than those closer to home.

We are a nation of laws.  Though this Congress demonstrates otherwise, it is usually the job of our legislators to craft the rules which allow us to live in harmony, to create a more perfect union.  As times change, so must those laws.

We have had marginal success in nation building building outside our own boundaries, but, as the United States of America we have done pretty well.  It's time to make some improvements in the places which are most amenable to change, which are within our grasp, which will make an immediate difference here, at home.

Whether the Ambassador listened to the warnings, whether the warnings were sufficiently information-driven, despite who knew what when, Benghazi is a bonfire impersonating Yarnell.  Not to minimize the loss of life, but those people signed up to do a dangerous job. Risk was inherent in the situation.

Twenty-six others woke up one morning, ate a healthy breakfast, hugged their parents and siblings and husbands and children and went to school.  They weren't assuming that they were at risk at all.  They were going to school.

To my mind, the moral outrage displayed by Republicans is grossly misplaced.


  1. Makes me absolutely ill. They have spent more money on investigating Benghazi than they have on laws to protect our society from gun violence. If Benghazi had happened under a GOP president, there would have been no investigation. The four people would have been a casualty of war. I wonder if they look at those 26 people in Newtown as the same. It's absolutely disgusting that our Congress has done nothing to stop the next Newtown. And it will happen again. It's not a matter of if, but when. :(

    Megan xxx


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