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 | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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