We should have made US troops in Iraq consular employees in Benghazi

So many of us spent so much time trying to get Republicans in Congress to care about the now nearly four and a half thousand US military dead in Iraq, to no avail.  Yet Republicans are holding even more hearings toda about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

Clearly our mistake in fighting against the Iraq war was not making our troops honorary consular employees in Benghazi.  Only then would the Republicans have cared about the ongoing disrespect the Bush administration, and its GOP allies in Congress, showed our troops for years.

Republicans were happy to send our brave men and women to a war of convenience in Iraq, with inadequate armor – though that didn’t stop John McCain from getting his body armor when he went to Iraq – only to receive them back home, injured, if not dead, with inadequate medical care, and little to no attention to the financial burdens that vets face on a regular basis.

Nearly four and a half thousand American service men and women have died in Iraq.  That’s a more than one thousand times the number of Americans who died during the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  In Benghazi, four Americans died.

To recap: 4,474 Americans dead in Iraq; 4 dead in Benghazi.

I don’t need to tell you which deaths the Republicans care about more.  They deaths they can better politicize, of course.  That’s why GOP Benghazi ringleader Lindsey Graham ran campaign ads based on the Benghazi deaths from the beginning.

It’s also not lost on anyone that the GOP has suddenly discovered the merits of State Department employees.  As you know, Republicans hate the State Department.  They think US Foreign Service Officers are soft.  They think they’re commies.  All the way back to Joe McCarthy, Republicans have hated the State Department.  It’s why Paul Ryan was willing to cut half a billion dollars from diplomatic security before the Benghazi attack.  Because Republicans hate American diplomats.

Until now.  Now Republicans love US diplomats.  Well, the dead ones.

It’s a not unfamiliar pattern.  Republicans did the same thing with New York City.  God, they hated New York.  They outright mocked Democrats for having their party convention in NYC in 1992.  Here’s VP Dan Quayle at the time:

“In so many ways, the liberal Democrats chose the perfect site for their convention,” Vice President Dan Quayle said last month, homing in on the theme. “Almost as if they feel a strange compulsion to return to the scene of the crime.”

But what do you know, 9/11 comes along, 3,000 people die in New York, and suddenly New York City is the best thing since sliced bread.  The Republicans even held their 2004 convention in NYC as a result of the attack.

Yet again, Americans die and suddenly the Republicans find value in something they once hated.

Mitt Romney called this phenomenon “opportunity.”

So spare me the crocodile tears from Republicans about the four Americans dead in Benghazi.  The Republicans don’t care about patriotic Americans, or they’d do something about the impending cut-off of funds to US troops worldwide, rather than paying off China instead.

Democrats’ only mistake in fighting the Iraq war was failing to make US troops honorary Benghazi consul generals.  Had we done that, maybe the Republicans would have expressed as much outrage about nearly four and a half thousand dead patriotic Americans in Iraq as they do four American dead as a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m ecstatic that the GOP compassion-bubble, like the Grinch’s heart, has grown from zero to four.  That’s an infinite increase in caring.

Now if we can only get the Republicans to care about the other 311 million Americans who are still alive.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Conservatives and their inability to use proper capitalization, punctuation, and grammar make me sick. I also truly believe that most undocumented workers would know that SOS is a distress signal in Morse Code.

  • richard

    the liberals and what they have done to our country makes me sick, and respect for our troops please how can you say that an american president like george bush doesnt respect troops? can they be serious However in the same breath they claim the obama cares about our Troops and citizens the ones that belong here. please. of course the illegal immigrants and welfare bums, oh year and his radical anti american cabinet, thats a different story. To paraphrase that spineless S.O.S

    “What does it matter”

  • Mike e

    Given Obambams lack of interest in stopping the slaughter in Syria it seems as though Bush et al care more about brown foreigners than the current regime in the white house. That’s ironic given that Barry is black and thus owes his own freedom to a war of liberation fought predominantly by white Republicans.

  • silas1898

    In the last couple of days? or so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Yeah, it’s a laugh seeing this old chestnut roll out of the fire.

  • samizdat

    ROFLMAO!

  • Mike e

    Funny to see the libs try to justify their racist, unpatriotic opposition to the liberation of Iraq by claiming they some how support the troops. Support the troops and their mission.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The importance of Benghazi lies in the fact that it was another in a long series of sharp blows against Obama’s policy of spreading murder (by American drones, soldiers, mercenaries and spy agencies) and mayhem across the Arab and muslim world.

    Only Republicans would criticize Obama for not killing enough civilians and only Democrats would ignore his racist wars against Arabs and muslim nations

    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.

    In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism….

    Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    Major General and USMC Commandant SM Butler, at the time the most decorated soldier in US history and author of War Is A Racket

  • Naja pallida

    Their primary reasoning is the same things they say for all aspects of taking things away from government control to privatization: private companies always do a better job than the government, better budgetary control/predictions because they know exactly what a contract costs up front, if they fail in their job they can just be fired and replaced with a better contractor, contracts picked based on merit/value… but chief among them is cost savings. All of which are complete myths. Especially when it comes to military contracts, which for the last decade or more have basically been given away on a no-bid basis, and companies like Blackwater have basically have billions in guaranteed contracts, because they there just aren’t that many companies that can do what they do. So no matter how bad they are, how many incidents they get involved in overseas, we can’t stop using them, because our military, our security services and our intelligence services have been defunded and are no longer able to serve those functions adequately on their own.

  • Naja pallida

    Yeah, but what was the CIA doing there? Was it just a field office, or a safe house, or was it some kind of clandestine operation in progress? How did the militants know about it? Was what they were doing part of the reasoning behind the attack? There’s a lot of questions, but where the CIA is related, chances are we will never know. Now I’m starting to sound like a Republican.

  • ezpz

    Yeah, the headline looks like it could have come straight from The Onion.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Republicans cut funding for security and then bitch about Benghazi!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Did that just happen? Someone else mentioned that to me by email.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Halliburton, Cheney, retirement blood money that will keep the Cheney brood flush for generations.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    OMG, I thought that was snark. Absolutely amazing how the police encloses us. The FBI complains about lack of information, but it’s lack of ‘intelligence’ that is the problem. They botched 9/11 and most recently Boston.

  • silas1898

    I have some ads overlapping the text on Verizon.

  • ezpz

    Meanwhile, “Obama On The Verge Of Supporting End Of 4th Amendment On The Internet”

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/05/08/obama-on-the-verge-of-supporting-end-of-4th-amendment-on-the-internet/

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    What he is saying is that the diplomatic protection force was hollowed out by the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton administration to divert the money into the pockets of their cronies at Blackwater/Xe.

    Yes, I appreciate that. What I’m curious about is: what is the stated, ostensible, supposedly logical reason for throwing money at mercenaries? Of course the real reason is probably going to be straightforward corruption but what’s the claimed advantage?

  • Naja pallida

    Exactly. It’s about draining the public coffers into that of war profiteers’. Not much else. It breaks down the chain of military command. It compromises national security. It puts serious limits on what we can accomplish. And above all, which nobody ever even mentions… these are private, for profit companies. What happens when we’re no longer Blackwater’s highest bidder? They’re not even an American company anymore, they fled to avoid paying taxes. What makes anyone think they won’t jump into something we don’t want them to, the second they get a better offer?

  • Naja pallida

    There is nothing to be gained by hiring mercenaries instead of making sure our security forces, intelligence agencies and military are capable of being mostly self-sufficient. It serves only to line the pockets of the war profiteers, which is really all the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were EVER about. Claiming freedom, or anti-terrorism, or nation building – all things we failed at, is a farce, at best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Towey/1211046469 Patrick Towey

    Yes, Republicans love the war in Iraq, but not our fine Democrats.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/u-s-troop-withdrawal-motivated-by-iraqi-insistence-not-u-s-choice-20111021

    “President Obama’s speech formally declaring that the last 43,000 U.S.
    troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year was designed to mask an
    unpleasant truth: The troops aren’t being withdrawn because the U.S.
    wants them out. They’re leaving because the Iraqi government refused to
    let them stay.
    Obama campaigned on ending the war in Iraq but had instead spent the
    past few months trying to extend it. A 2008 security deal between
    Washington and Baghdad called for all American forces to leave Iraq by
    the end of the year, but the White House — anxious about growing
    Iranian influence and Iraq’s continuing political and security
    challenges — publicly and privately tried to sell the Iraqis on a troop
    extension.”

  • MyrddinWilt

    That has already been accepted. The Annex was a CIA site.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The logic the GOP seems to be using is that if they make enough smoke and mirrors, people will think there must be fire.

    And given the habits of the establishment media, they are not far wrong.

  • MyrddinWilt

    What he is saying is that the diplomatic protection force was hollowed out by the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton administration to divert the money into the pockets of their cronies at Blackwater/Xe.

    So his isn’t complaining that the Libyans wouldn’t let mercenaries on their soil (they have rather too many of them left over from Ghadafi after all), he is complaining that the GOP left the state dept without the resources to do the job properly themselves.

    The GOP love giving money to the folks running the mercenary companies but they don’t give a hoot about their people being killed either. One of the ways the GOP kept the US body count down in Iraq was by using mercenaries for a large number of jobs that should be considered military and not counting the 4,000 odd mercenaries they got killed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    I admit I’m a bit ignorant in this area. What are we supposedly gaining by employing mercs from Blackwater / Xe / whatever the fuck they’re calling themselves these days? It’s hard to believe they’re any better at their jobs. Surely there’s no savings in money? I sort of remember reading that Blackwater mercs drew huge paychecks. Is it for the same reason that companies hire temp workers, accepting the huge overhead charged by the staffing agency in exchange for not having to worry about supporting costs (paying for benefits &c.)?

  • nicho

    “DSL” rhymes with “living hell”

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    lol ok. Yeah, another friend of mine has that, hates it. My comcast has been surprisingly good.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You’re assuming this is anything more than the Republicans seeing the death of Americans as an opportunity to bash Democrats. It isn’t.

  • Freedonian

    My money is on the ‘Annex’ being a CIA ‘black ops’ outfit and Amb. Stevens went on a fact-finding quest at exactly the wrong time.

  • Naja pallida

    One thing that no one seems to mention, is that the provisional authority in Libya specifically barred American security contractors, like Blackwater (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days to avoid their own bad stench). So the security was left to what has become an under-resourced Diplomatic Security Service, which has expressly been defunded to shift that money to private contractors to handle State Department security in active war zones. Why has no one suggested that we stop shunting money away from real security, to mercenaries, and instead adequately fund and deploy the DSS and the Marine Embassy Security Guards? Benghazi likely would have been a completely different story if there was a small contingent of equipped Marines there.

    As for cover-up… there isn’t one. It’s a contrived story. Congress failed to adequately foresee that diplomatic security in war zones might need adequate funding. The State Department failed to have enough imagination to believe they’d be attacked. The Ambassador himself failed to heed sound advice for his activities in a war zone. There’s plenty of blame to go around. The question now isn’t who is to blame, it’s what the hell is Congress going to do about it besides stick their dicks in the mashed potatoes?

  • http://www.paskino.com brian

    I am missing the point on the Republican Benghazi cover-up. We had bad information going out for days here in Boston about the bombings and they are concerned that Rice gave a statement that was not 100% accurate? Is that what they are complaining about? Since there were other embassies in the Middle East being protested due to that stupid video on YouTube, it was plausable this was the case. Rice probably did not know any different. Did someone at State know immediately it was the case? Maybe. I agree that she should have said they are investivating both avenues, but still it is not end of the world.

  • condew

    Verizon DSL has become so bad, I don’t think I could tell if you hosted the site on an Apple ][.

  • condew

    For his next pander, I recommend Obama change his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Not much of a change for him, and it won’t increase the sale of cat food. See if Republicans like Obama(R) better than Obama(D).

  • condew

    Why do I never read a juxtaposition like that in the mainstream press; 4 Americans dead in Benghazi more important then 4,500 dead in Iraq.

    And even sadder, all those dead who can’t be helped matter more than any of the living.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Don’t I know it. The GOP probably still thinks the State Department is full of Commies, and it’s only the prospect of retreading the second term of the Clinton presidency that’s making them pretend to care some diplomats were killed.

  • caphillprof

    The ambassador is directed not to go to Benghazi, the ambassador is warned that he cannot be protected there, the ambassador goes to Benghazi anyway on “personal business,” the ambassador is killed and now we have a lot of Republicans arguing that the US should have moved its security from the embassy to protect its consulate in Benghazi and leave the embassy unprotected.

    What am I missing?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Benghazi, abortion, Boston, Benghazi, abortion. Boston….oh, and 9/11. Where’s that old grease ball Rudy Guillani?

  • PeteWa

    no, we should have had a republican as president at the time, then they wouldn’t care about Benghazi.

    take the Sept. 17, 2008 Embassy bombed in Yemen as but one example, there were 16 killed in that attack.
    a month before that attack, there had been another attack on the same embassy, but the bomb had struck the girls’ high school next door to the embassy by mistake.
    the outrage over this at the time was non-existent, and 16 is four times worse than 4.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Hey, off topic question. We installed new ad code last Wednesday and I’m trying to get a sense of whether it’s changed the way the page loads, slows it down, overlaps the page text etc. has anybody noticed any change?

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