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The Road to Benghazi

12:08 pm in Uncategorized by Kate Flannery


An aid tent erected by the Red Crescent sits along Benghazi's corniche road.


You can call me crazy – call me irresponsible – even call me late for dinner – but I don’t think I’m wrong about this ~


Lately, the Republicans have been nearly losing what’s left of their collective pod-like minds over the supposed cover-up of the attack on theU.S.embassy inBenghazi.  What did the Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice know, and when did she know it?  And if she did know it, is she stupid and incompetent or is she lying?  That’s about the gist of it…or, something like that.


Whatever’s been going on regardingBenghazi, it’s certainly the most scurrilous of duplicitous behaviors known to this country.  “Off with their heads,” the GOP shouts!


Now, of course, this whole Benghaziattack question is nothing new.  Ryan and Romney were all over this baby during the election like an oil slick coating the waters of the Gulf.  Oh, lordy – how could anyone in their right mind even think to rehire Obama as president after his complete bungling of, and his remarks made about, this most extraordinarily monstrous and unprecedented attack in Benghazi.


Call me misinformed, but I’m pretty sure that after the original September 11th attack, the Republicans didn’t even want to hold hearings of any kind in order to sort through the failures of the intelligence community or the president and his administration.


AndIraq?  A lie turned into a war that destroyed thousands of lives and costs a trillion or two – but who the hell needs any real investigation into that fiasco.  And it wasn’t even just the GOP playing deaf, dumb and blind – because I don’t remember much from the Democrats on either of those two issues either.  And please don’t get me started onAfghanistanor I’ll be here all day.


But still, four Americans died inBenghazi.  Four Americans are dead, for god’s sake!  And the sky is now falling, according to these highly educated and professional people.  Amid these outraged cries, the credulous media is reporting every detail of this ongoing seismic event, endlessly and breathlessly.


But, I got news for all of those enthralled by this story — no one cares.  Yeah, you got that right — no one cares.  The American public didn’t much care about it after it happened, didn’t care about it during the election, and sure as shootin’, don’t care about it now.  And, I hate to break it to these fonts of gravitas – but Americans die every single day – it’s not that much of an unprecedented event.


I’m quite certain that the people who knew the four folks who were killed care very deeply, as they naturally would.  But as far as the rest of the country, no one is thinking about what happened or about those that died – not one whit.  And anyone who says they are is lying.


So many people die ever day – guns, illness, accidents, suicide – just to name a few causes of premature death.  And for years now, people have been dropping like flies all over the world – quite a few of them at the hands of theU.S.military.  Anyone think about those people lately?   Who has time or the emotional capacity to invest any feeling at all in all these anonymous people?


And honestly, if a person is working in some dangerous or unstable place in the world – they’re kind of accepting serious risk as part of their job description.  Or if you decide to go skydiving and your chute doesn’t open.  If I hear about it, I’ll think – “Oh, man!  What a lousy way to go.  Poor bastard.”  But do I care?  No, not really.  I don’t know you, and besides, you took on that risk knowing there was a chance you wouldn’t land safely.  Same goes for these diplomatic types.  Sure, it’s a shame – but I don’t really care.  It’s sort of part of the package you voluntarily took on.


And before you think I’m a cold, heartless monster – which I might not be able to dissuade you of no matter what I say – I’ll say that I do feel genuine sadness when I hear about a stranger’s death from an illness or an accident – as I’m sure many people do.  There’s something in those tragic moments that can evoke a deep sense of empathy, community and brotherhood, if you will.  But this situation is not one of those moments.  And if it even initially produced some genuine feeling of grief or horror – it’s long since passed.  We’ve moved on.  Time to stuff the Thanksgiving turkey.


When it comes to thisBenghazithing – I bet if you stopped twenty random people on the street and asked them if they knew whereBenghaziwas – they’d direct you to the nearest Benihana.  They have no clue and they do not care.  Like I said, I don’t even care and I’m a very compassionate, empathetic and kind-hearted person (if you don’t irritate the bejesus out of me first), who happens to know whereBenghaziis.


This is just another opportunity for these fools to open their mouths and let the hot air out so that they don’t spontaneously combust. Or to play their stupid, childish and inane political games – it’s getting real old, fellas.  Or maybe it’s to distract us from the economic pain they’re about to collectively inflict.  In any event, no one cares.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Now, pass the cranberry sauce.
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Instant Karma

12:16 pm in Uncategorized by Kate Flannery

The good and noble General David Petraeus has apparently gone all in with a woman or two (or maybe more) who isn’t his wife.  I wonder if this might not turn into a Tiger Woods moment with women eventually crawling out of the woodwork like termites eating their way through a supporting beam.


But whatever the final outcome, my feeling is that all of this controversy and public shame couldn’t have happened to a more justly deserving fellow.  Not that I care one whit about the sexual impropriety – Americans are all too hilariously prudish when it comes to matters of the flesh – but if this is what it takes nowadays to bring down a self-righteous individual in government, then I’m all for it.


Naturally, Petraeus being such an object of deification, the media, politicians and probably quite a few regular civilians are aghast and disbelieving at the shock of it all.  How could such a disciplined, morally superior specimen such as he, fall so low?  Especially after he’s risen higher than one of those killer drones he loves to deploy.


Yes, the pride ofCornwall,New Yorkand West Point – right near where I live in theHudsonValley– has come down to earth with a resounding splat. Who says there’s no justice in the world?


Personally, I’ve never understood this religious worship of all things military.  Especially toward these careerist types.  What’s the big deal?  He made a career decision.  So what?  I have a lot more reverence for firefighters and nurses and teachers than I do for people who voluntarily engage in death and destruction for a living.  But maybe that’s just one of my peculiarities.  Perhaps I just don’t appreciate how much he’s done to protect my freedom – I might need to ruminate on that a bit.


I remember when this guy first came to national prominence.  It was during the Bush years when Petraeus burst upon the scene slathered with ribbons and stars across his chest like so much colored confetti shot out of a canon.  In Congressional hearings regarding the debacle inIraq, the Senators were practically stampeding each other in order to throw the largest bouquet of accolades at his feet.  All the while, the good general dodged questions with impunity, basking in his carefully constructed half-truths and evasions – and the Senators ate it up like chocolate candy.  What exactly had he really accomplished up to that point – or this point for that matter?  What good has he brought the world?  What has he actually sacrificed for others?  What precisely is his contribution that so merits that kind of obsequious indulgence, then and now?


And then on top of his failed and disastrous wars of no good purpose inIraqandAfghanistan, he gets the top job at the C.I.A., brought to all of us by another in a long line of idiocies from Obama and his administration.  The guy who turned the C.I.A. into a paramilitary organization and supports Obama’s endless wars and the drone murders of innocents.  Certainly a legacy that merits national acclaim.  What an upstanding chap.  This fellow clearly exhibits the highest of moral compasses. 


So, after years and years of treating this dude as if he was the second-coming, way beyond reproach or criticism – he turns out to be not so wonderful and ethical after all.  Not so bright and shiny as originally thought by so many.  Oh, gosh ~ what a surprise.  Someone get me my smelling salts.


I don’t usually get much satisfaction from politics.  That’s to be expected given how thoroughly corrupt it’s become.  My bigger complaint is that I don’t often feel satisfied with karma either.  I mean, where is karma when you need it, I ask?  Cheney, Bush, Rice etc, are still running around free as birds, wealthy and insulated.  If there was any true karmic justice, they’d be sitting in federal prison or at least they’d be too ashamed and stigmatized to show their faces.  But, alas, that’s not the way it is.  As too frequently it’s made clear, karma doesn’t get them after all.


But in the past week or so – karma did indeed smile upon the world a couple of times.  There was Karl Rive and Romney being thwacked upside the head.  And then there was the ignoble David Petraeus falling right off his rusting throne.  Made me proud to be an American for a change.