Her statement was thunderously flabbergasting.
Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this past week to answer for September 11th’s, Benghazi, Libya slaughter of four American diplomatic personnel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton uncorked a stunner. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs/embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were murdered by a mob of rampaging thugs and when Capitol Hill Honorables pressed her for an explanation, all Hillary could manage was a shrieking, “[W]e had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again”.
The mainstream media never wearies of reminding us what a brilliant political strategist is Mrs. Clinton. Yet, here she blurts out, in full-shrill before a significantly hostile assemblage of Republicans, with mikes hot and television cameras whirring, that the investigation into the murders of these government employees is a waste of time, the details an exasperating distraction.
This from the lady who, presumably, is nurturing White House aspirations? Eyeballing the Commander-in-Chief berth? Among a rationale electorate, Hillary’s what-does-it-matter objection, all by its shrill lonesome, should shipwreck any hopes for a 2016 presidential run. Career wise? Dumb move.
Perhaps even more perplexing, however, is the relative lack of response from conservative media about her griping, mind-boggling eruction. Some of my favorite, go-to analysts have gone virtually mum on the matter. I know, a few commentators offered glancing disapproval — but only a few from what I can tell. And even then their reflections often lacked any especial energy or urgency.
First off, the soon-departing Secretary of State’s table-pounding dismissal is a textbook case of internal inconsistency: inquiring into the motivation for the Benghazi outrage is pointless (“what difference does it make?”) because our government’s “job [is] to figure out what happened and do everything [it] can to prevent it from ever happening again.”
Label me a naif, but wouldn’t one rather obvious and time-honored approach for puzzling out “what happened” on that bloody night be to dig into the specifics of why the attack occurred in the first place? Was it, as Obama and company insouciantly insisted for weeks after the attack, simply an affronted Muslim throng’s “spontaneous rage” at an insulting video? Or terror operatives piggybacking on the aforesaid riot to murderously advance their America-hating, jihadist-fueled objectives? Or was it something altogether more ominous: an Al-Qaeda-sponsored strike, months in planning, which should have been anticipated by any administration that bothered paying attention?
Minus a thorough post-mortem, drilling down into every element of this atrocity, it’s unlikely answers to those queries will ever see daylight. Prevention requires understanding, correct? Mrs. Clinton’s dismaying pronouncement seems to be repudiating that.
Contra Madame Secretary, some thoughtful types have clung resolutely to the paradoxical maxim that the most prudent, and efficient, way to move forward is by looking backwards — reaping warnings from failures that have come before us, drawing lessons from the accomplishments of our forebears. Twenty-five hundred years ago, Confucius exhorted, “Study the past if you would divine the future.” Echoing him centuries later, Supreme Court Giant Oliver Wendall Holmes surmised, “A page of history is worth a volume of logic.”
In instance after instance, taking presumptuous issue with that notion are habitués of the “Progressive” Left, Hillary Clinton prominent among them. Recall, Ambassador Stevens and cohorts perished a mere four months ago — but she doesn’t want to focus any effort scrutinizing the “why” even of that fresh tragedy? Hillary seems to be confirming sophisticated Liberals’ general disregard toward history, whether of the antique or greener variety: Meh. What different does it make.
Increasingly, this attitude looms all around us: the millenia-affirmed model of marriage — tossed aside. Immutable distinctions between adults and children, men and women — scoffed at. Commendable values of the ages: thrift, diligence, personal responsibility, self-control, sexual restraint, moral absolutes — ignored, even ridiculed.
Again, Mrs. Clinton’s protestations do serve one handy purpose: highlighting the fatal, epistemological myopia of the contemporary secularist/big-government set. She and her ilk, after all, have sneered at the utility of “the past” for decades. What do all those old-timers, with their fusty traditions and creaky perspectives have to contribute to enlightened “moderns”, anyway? Being shaped and shackled by what’s preceded us can be so inconvenient, so uncomfortable, so uncool — phooey on it.
Liberals understand rooting around too much in yesteryear might unearth precedents that refute their au courant, but blockheaded, schemes. Just as, I suspect, Hillary intuits if others keep looking into the facts surrounding “Benghazi-gate” it could prove unfavorable to her towering reputation.
Bygone times? Leave ‘em alone.
Thus, Europe’s self-imposed blindness and the United States military’s scandalous ill-preparedness before the Nazi threat has scant to teach the modern Leftist vis-a-vis Islamist Iran or nuclear-armed North Korea.
The soul-quenching miseries inflicted by socialist governments wherever their economic policies have prevailed mean nothing to the superior statists currently driving our nation towards insolvency.
The civilizational cave-in which followed the moral cave-in of empires like Rome is ignored by 2016’s libertine Homo Liberalimus.
No surprise, then, an examination into the reasons for September’s barbaric uprising holds small attraction for Mrs. Clinton’s shop. It’s not history, she prizes, but “Hillary’s-story.”
An unconscionable posture to maintain regarding the needless death of four Americans, it’s more troubling still when applied to leading an entire nation into the future.
Paraphrasing George Santayana: ignoring Benghazi’s grim realities and other, more remote, painful passages of human history means America is “condemned to repeat them”. Indeed, that original observation was made years ago; that doesn’t mean it’s not true.