Sunday, January 24, 2016

Not A Long Time Ago,

In a city far, far away,

Americans were left to die without support as their facilities in Benghazi were attacked on September 11, 2012.

I saw 13 Hours on Sunday. You should, too.

I know it is a movie and not an after-action review. But my basic question I've asked since that day of why help was not sent from our troops in Europe remains a mystery to me.

It isn't enough to say we couldn't have made a difference in the outcome. That requires hindsight about knowing when and how the crisis did end.

When the crisis began, we had no way of knowing it would be over the next morning with the Americans evacuated and "only" four of our people dead.

It could have gone on much longer. More could have died. Or Americans could have been captured and held hostage.

Yet we did not move forces in Europe? Or even begin to move them?

Sure, the loss of two Americans at the consulate (I know it wasn't, but that is what it is commonly called) took place too soon for help from American forces in Europe to have really mattered.

But don't tell me that American forces don't rush off to battle without 5 PowerPoint presentations made first.

The security personnel at the CIA annex in Benghazi rushed to the sound of the guns.

The State Department reaction force in Tripoli rushed to the sound of the guns.

But none of our tens of thousands of troops in Europe could be roused to even begin to head for Benghazi?

No aircraft--even unarmed--could be sent to buzz the area? When our enemies have learned over the prior decade of fighting us that engaging our forces for any significant time risks massive and accurate firepower ending their personal part of the jihad?

I don't believe our military was that relaxed on September 11, 2012.

I do believe that the civilians back in Washington, DC, were that relaxed. What with messages that the tide of war was receding as wars were responsibly ended (and Osama bin Laden's life ended, too), on September 9, 2012, I noted that our homeland security people felt that they had to use the threat of zombie attack to get people to prepare for disasters:

Well, perhaps some man-caused disaster as a reason to prepare will come to mind in a couple days.

Little did I know that is exactly what would happen in Benghazi.

This zombie warning campaign was just before the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on our homeland that left just shy of 3,000 of us dead. This speaks of a determination not to see our nation at war and under threat by enemies.

So I hope this movie gets people to ask--and our government to answer--the question of why no troops or aircraft were sent to Benghazi on September 11, 2012, when outnumbered American defenders were left virtually on their own within the shadow of our military presence in Europe.