Summary: Recommendation: when you see someone ranting about Benghazi Benghazi BENGHAZI, ask why they are more concerned with the few dead in that incident than our troops pointlessly fighting now in Afghanistan. If he has no good answer, but continues to rant about Benghazi, spit on him. Or rather, tell them they deserve to be spit at (if this were a just world).
Our troops fought and suffered in Iraq — 32 thousand injured or crippled, 4,489 died.
Our troops fight today in Afghanistan, still paying in blood for our mad foreign policy.
Most of the people (not all) seeking to exploit the few deaths in Benghazi either did not care about the toll those men or women paid — or cheered the war despite the toll, despite its obvious stupidity, as seen in the total failure of either war to produce significant gains for America. And they care nothing for the ongoing waste of lives in Afghanistan.
Lives of men and women spent carelessly, like bullets fired into the air by cowboys drunk on the strength.
Nothing shows our ovine nature like the passivity with which we allowed our leaders to led us into those war, enterprises both decked with lies, executed from start to finish incompetently. No wonder the 1% regard us with contempt, and believe that they can govern America better than we do.
One tragedy of the Iraq War was that by 2007 the conclusion was obvious (see the posts below) but we fought on until kicked out by Iraq in December 2011.
Someday we will erect cold marble tributes to the lives spent in these wars. A far better recognition would be to learn something from them, which so far we show no signs of doing.
In fact we show no sign even today of seeing more clearly what’s happening there, as journalists continue to report each event as would an amnesic — ignorant of how today’s events fit into the history since we invaded in 2003.
Please bookmark this website, showing US military dead in the Afghanistan War (it does not show casualties). 118 YTD, wasted lives. Sacrifices to a mad foreign policy.
We cannot continue like this if we hope to prosper in the 21st century.
Slow and stupid are the two sins Nature’s God always punishes.
Key Posts about the Iraq War
I and hundreds of others warned about the madness of this war, all drowned out by the chorus of war mongers and cheerleaders consumed by bloodlust. Here are some of the more prescient posts on the FM website.
(a) For all post see the
(b) Most important post about Iraq, describing why it need not have ended list this:
(c) The reasons we fought in Iraq:
- Stratfor’s analysis of US reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, 4 March 2008
- Why we fight. Causes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan., 5 August 2009 — A look at one of Ralph Peters most brilliant and insightful essays.
(d) The folly of the Iraq War
- Stratfor asks “Jihadists in Iraq: Down For The Count?”, 1 May 2010 — Our special ops killers fought the hydra, and lost
- We paid the insurgents in Iraq; it looked good in dispatches (ignore the long-term effects), 19 May 2010
- Looking back at how our folly and ignorance fanned the flames in Iraq, 3 June 2012
(e) The results from the Iraq War:
- The Iraq insurgency has ended, which opens a path to peace, 13 March 2007 — My first prediction of the outcome
- Beyond Insurgency: An End to Our War in Iraq, 27 September 2007 — More detailed predictions
- Iraq, after the war, 20 May 2008
- Slowly the new Iraq becomes visible, 18 July 2008
- If we won in Iraq, what did we win? Was it worth the cost?, 15 July 2009
- We collect our winnings in Iraq, 12 December 2009
- One criterion of victory in Iraq: when will the oil flow?, 3 February 2010
- The end of our Expedition to Iraq: war-boosters cheer despite its long-predicted failure., 24 October 2011
(f) Lessons from Iraq:
- The trinity of US tactics – a constant in our small wars but invisible to us. First, use massive firepower., 8 December 2011
- How many generals would Lincoln have fired to win in Iraq & Afghanistan?, 3 December 2012
- Keep fighting! We must not learn from our wars., 5 December 2013
Our invasions unleashed chaos into the world. Unlike Pandora’s box, all that remains is knowledge. If we choose to take it.
15 thoughts on “The best response when hearing about Benghazi”
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Sgt Joe Nobody graduated from Bumfuk College gets blown up.
It’s not important, he didn’t go to Ivy League, my god he did not even know how to drink Chardonnay with his pinky sticking out, and make polite conversation when in the presence of his superiors!
Lots of Trooper Nobodys have come back from our wars, lives spent for no rational cause.
Visiting Vet Hospitals with the Blue Star Moms — or listening to the Gold Star Mothers talk — should induce rage in every American. Or at least in every American man. The Blue and Gold Star Moms retain a calm about this beyond my grasp, dealing with what is rather than what should be.
The world requires both types, I guess.
I have the FM website book marked and visit frequently. Because I lean TP & libertarian I do not always agree with the posts, but always value insights. Your site has been a catalyst for my rethinking of many issues. For that I am grateful.
However, the tone of this post, and several other recently, is disappointingly churlish.
This post’s suggestion that we spit on someone is unbecoming of what I consider a scholarly site with a distinguished list of contributors whose successful careers (largely military) would usually suggest a high degree of professionalism and decorum.
I read frequently on this site of a desire to “reform America” and your own banner declares the purpose of the site as “a discussion …about ways to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold.” I would suggest that articles such as this exacerbate our divisions rather than bridge them and is likely to make discourse here that much colder.
It is a slippery slope to the cesspools of invective that populate the internet. I would hate to see this fine website fall like so many others have.
Definition of Churlish: rude in a mean-spirited way.
Yes, I agree. But after 13 years, when should we get angry?
After 2,292 US deaths (thousands more seriously injured or crippled) — 118 YTD (long after the War was obviously pointless), when should we get angry?
How long into 2014 should we watch the body bags come home? How much time will we spend with injured and crippled soldiers in hospitals and rehab? How much time will we spend listening to Gold Star Mothers talk about their lost children and spouses? How long can we do these things and not get angry?
How long should we listen to people exploit for political gain the few deaths in Benghazi while they ignore the far larger and continuing toll in Afghanistan? Quietly listen, like sheep.
I have written many scores of articles on this — as have many others (many far more knowledgable and skillful than I). Reasonable, fact rich, heavily documented, dispassionate articles. All in vain. The vehemence has all been on the other side, and so they’ve won. Year after year.
Perhaps it is time to change. As they say at Alcoholics Anonymous, insanity is repeating the same behavior but expecting a different result. Do you believe another hundred articles about our mad foreign policy will have a different result?
If not, what should we try instead?
The problem, Elliott, is that many of the remaining supporters of the wars are profiteers…they benefit directly and often monetarily from war mongering. I’m sorry, but contempt is the least of the emotions these parasites merit.
There is a French word for a big knife that would be possibly more appropriate for the Cheneys, the Krauthammers, the George Wills, heck, to be bipartisan, the Diane Feinsteins, of the American political class. Spitting seems to be a mild rebuke for those who continue to spew the koolaid.
“The problem, Elliott, is that many of the remaining supporters of the wars are profiteers…they benefit directly and often monetarily from war mongering.”
I agree about the observation, but that’s (to use a bad analogy) like complaining about bacteria in the river water. Warmongers are a fact of life, always present (albeit in different numbers over time).
IMO the *problem* is us. Our passivity. Our unconcern about the human cost of the wars, which the upper quintile pay less of.
“I’m sorry, but contempt is the least of the emotions these parasites merit.”
I totally agree. But looking in the mirror, perhaps we should share in some of that contempt. If we felt more responsibility for the deeds of the Republic — for the policies that have our troops in Afghanistan supporting the poppy-growing, stoning women government — then we might make a stronger effort to get our troops back home.
Perhaps if more Americans spent more time with Vets coming home — not just the injured and crippled — more would work to end this war.
Perhaps if more Americans spent time attending military funerals, consoling the families of dead vets, planting flags on graves of the lost — more would work to end this war.
Perhaps if Congress funded this war with a special tax — visible on every paycheck, every bond interest payment, every dividend — then more would work to end this war. Perhaps Americans love their money more than their troops, more than their nation. Perhaps this is the only way to reach America.
BrainM/F: Call me naive, but i dont think any of the actors you referenced are ABJECT EVIL, as you suggest. Nor do i beleive that President Obama is (as some others would suggest).
I tend not to attribute to malice what it is better explained by stupidity/alternative philosphies or in this case, Pride. They continue to cheerlead to save face since they have so much intellectually invested.
I do understand your point and see how you could draw that conclusion and will therefore dwell on the subject thoughtfully.
Even if you are correct, I dont think it matters. I am far more concerned with how we as citizens make independent and informed asssesments and decisions.
Having said that, I often wonder what would have been better(or worse) had we not gone into Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Call me naive, but i dont think any of the actors you referenced are ABJECT EVIL, as you suggest. Nor do i beleive that President Obama is (as some others would suggest). ”
I try to avoid labels (not always successfully, unfortunately, in comments — written in haste).
Nor do I believe there is any value in attempting to determine people’s motivations, let alone the moral state of their souls. That is most certainly over my pay grade.
Why bother? What difference does it make?
Elliott: Mea culpa it is easy (in the heat of a discussion comment) to over-emote. There are a few people that anger me so much, though. Dick Cheney, Bolton, etc. The real fascists who bay for more war, more bloodshed.
Fabius: Absolutely true. And confession time: as lazy as I am, I probably have zero grounds on which to complain. :(
The struggle against fascism takes place every generation.
“Benghazi,” which is a Republican talking point, is not the real problem with Libya.
Rather it is the weird, neoWilsonian nonsense that caused the United States to attack Quadaffi in the first place. And the result is a mess. Not just in Libya itself but throughout Africa’s Sahara and Sahel. As a result of which, a huge Sherwood Forest harboring all sorts of illicit activity now lurks right below a stricken Southern Europe.
Latin American cocaine has long been flowing into Europe via West Africa. For all his faults, Quadaffi did provide some stability in a fragile situation. This has been smashed. Now militias contest the remains of Libya while directly across the Mediterranean is the most afflicted European country, Greece. Above Greece flows the Balkan Route, a smuggling channel long used to import Afghan opiates into Europe but now used for other illicit commerce, including cocaine. Already, one episode of illicit commerce between Greece and Libya has been uncovered, an arms smuggling operation from Ukraine via Greece into Libya ( or maybe Syria.)
“Rather it is the weird, neoWilsonian nonsense that caused the United States to attack Quadaffi in the first place. ”
You touch upon one of the great mysteries: why have we waged war against these Middle Eastern nations? Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Idealism? That has not been a significant factor in post-WW2 policy, although it makes a great cover story for more venial policies.
As always, guilelessly well-meaning Americanos believe devoutly that Bad Things Happen Because Bad People Make Them Happen. All the problems in the world are attributable to guys sitting in hollow volcano lairs petting a white cat — Villains, with a capital V. Hollywood has been telling us so for 70 years, and who are we to doubt it?
FM suggests that the real problem is not evil mustachio-twirling Villains of the kind dredged by Elliott, but the “banality of evil” mentioned by Hannah Arendt: a population of sedate clueless consumers whose motto remains “I’ve got mine, f*** you,” who care a whole lot more about who wins the latest Dancing With the Stars episode than who wins the latest presidential election.
FM’s suggestion predictably bounces off the average Americano’s skull in the same way that the implications of the black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey bounce off the skulls of the protohuman ape creatures at the beginning of the film.
A large fraction of the posts on the FM website attempt to show the role of structural factors in the creation of the New America. Comments show, as you say, that the effort is mostly unsuccessful.