Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Benghazi

I have been in a "funk" as of late, lots of stuff going on, and its all kicking my backside.  Life happens like that sometimes.  Amongst all the news, the stabbing of at least 8 students in a high school, the landslide in Washington (something I want to discuss shortly), the passing of James Hellwig (aka The Ultimate Warrior, The Warrior his legal name), the news that free speech is tied to money and you can give as much money as you want to a political campaign (yeah something else I will visit shortly), but the one thing that seems to send libertarians and conservatives into a tizzy (outside of a missing Boeing 777) is Benghazi.

Yeah, I am sick of hearing about a missing plane, I mean in 2014 how the heck do we loose a Boeing 777?  I mean those things are huge, they don't just go missing, but yeah, it went missing.  But I am not going to touch that, its just mind boggling that in this era, when even the tag on my truck can be read from a satellite a plane goes missing...  Insanity..  But I digress...

So you want to watch a conservative, libertarian, or senile Faux Noise view flip their wig?  Say "Benghazi".  That single word can send them into a blind rage.  They pull all kinds of crack pot stories, and theories out of their head, and display them with pride.  Its frightening just how messy it can get.  Often the blame is placed on Obama for not sending in support, rescuing those people, all he did was watched what was going on and did nothing.  Kind of like Bush when informed of the 9-11 attacks.

Lets get one thing straight before we start pointing fingers.  Embassies are soft targets.  Sure they are protected by military personal, but lets be honest, its not like they have several hundred heavily armed special forces troops just hanging around, they are mostly staff with some armed personal for security, usually a courtesy of the country it is in.  They are a representation of the US, its glory, its infamy, and its place in the world.  Makes sense if you cannot attack a country directly, go for a representation of it.  But that aside, attacks on embassies, US embassies are common.  Bush II had over 30 over his eight years.  Bush I and Reagan had over 30 a year in one year of their presidency, but they had more than 15 a year for the most part.  Carter also had at least one year with 15 attacks on an embassies. Since 2008 till today 13.  That puts 10 on Mr. Obama's watch, far less than any president in the modern era.

So what exactly happened?  Lots of things happened, where they the cause?  Maybe, maybe not.  It might be an excuse after the fact.  You know how that works, you did something bad, so you pull up something that happened to justify what you did.  But there are some facts that the GOP doesn't want to come clean on.  And those facts, while they are on their fact finding witch hunt, place much of the blame on them.  Sure it could have been handled better on Obama's fault, then again, nobody likes a Monday morning quarterback, and when we look back, we can always figure out a better way to proceed.  Of course, no "stand down order" has appeared, so yeah that one is off the table.  So while the military might not have been told to go in guns blazing, they weren't told to do nothing, if you want to blame someone, blame Ham and others who could made the choice and went in.

First, lets jump in our way back machine, it is no Ship of Imagination, but it works for our purposes.  We are going back just two years this time.  A short hop in time.  Back to Paul Ryan and his budget ideas.  It would have cut spending by 19%, when taken into account, it would have shed around five hundred million dollars.  That is a lot of security and upgrades for defense people.  But to be fair to Ryan, they did not go with his budget plan, the cuts in the defense of embassies world-wide were cut thanks to the plan that was eventually brought forth.  With the House Speaker setting the agenda, we pretty much know how that worked out. 

It went onto the Senate, and ultimately to Obama, it was signed.  Cuts began to filter in, and before you know it, one dead ambassador, two dead contractors working for the CIA and a staffer.  See you can cut spending to achieve the desired level of government, but when you do, don't complain when bad things start happening.  Really, you see why this is a pointless waste of time and effort?  We cut the defense spending, and the bad guys found a way to attack, and now four people are dead.  Meanwhile in the US one group who helped create the mess don't want to take any of the blame for it.  They would rather point the finger at everyone else in a ploy to keep power.  Sadly many are too stupid to see through it.  Yeah, I put the blame equally on everyone.  The GOP for their shoddy budget which helped put these people at more risk, to the Democratic Party for not manning up and saying no, and Obama for not kicking it back down to the Senate.  The only innocent ones in DC are the ones who voted no on that budget, took their lumps and decided to move forward with the task at hand.

That is something so very hard for the conservative and libertarian mind to do.