It’s been stumping the GOP why Benghazi doesn’t resonate with the public. GOP voters are certainly fired up about it, rightly so. But among the left and independents they just shrug it off, why?
It’s a hard question. Considering how it’s believed that American casualties in Vietnam hurt the war effort, it should mean something, right? Or the casualties in Mogadishu shown later in “Black Hawk Down” that made Clinton rethink the mission there. Or the casualties in Iraq seen as a large factor in the 2006 Democratic mid-term win and Rumsfeld’s departure. With Benghazi has Americans become desensitized to casualties after years of war?
My working assumption is that the Americans don’t associate those that died in Benghazi (Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors and former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty) as servicemen. They aren’t picturing them as 18 year olds that signed up for college money. These were professionals who volunteered for dangerous assignments.
Its callous and a shame they are being disregarded, but we’ve seen this before. American Special Operators in El Salvador and other Central American countries in the 1980s lost their lives and there were no protests. The public saw an all-volunteer force and special operators as those “knowing what they got themselves into.” We need to value all Americans that serve, in uniform, in agencies, or as contractors. But more importantly, just because people volunteer for dangerous assignments doesn’t mean they are expendable. When those missions go wrong, like Benghazi, leadership needs to be held accountable for their failures. Let’s honor those that lost their lives and not let poor leadership get a pass.