Can Old Lady Clinton Understand Benghazi Significance?

The thing that most bothers me about Hillary Clinton’s comments about Benghazi is that she doesn’t seem to understand why people are concerned about her mishandling of the Benghazi situation.   She doesn’t seem to understand that her mishandling of the situation allowed al Qaeda to win a major victory at Benghazi by killing the top U.S. official in Libya.    Clinton doesn’t seem to understand why her use of a private email server threatened national security.

The Obama administration had been claiming a victory every time it killed an al Qaeda leader including killing Osama bin Laden .   An intelligent Secretary of State would have wanted to prevent the enemy from being able to kill any American ambassador.  Clinton foolishly decided to make it as easy as  possible for al Qaeda to kill Ambassador Chris Stevens.  Her handling of the situation would have made more sense if she had wanted him to die.

Clinton’s   attempt to make a diplomatic facility at Benghazi permanent was the biggest American battlefield mistake since the Battle of Hamburger Hill in the Vietnam War.  The war on terror has made much of the world a potential battle field.   The enemy can attack any where, at any time even in San Bernardino California.

In May, 1969, the commanding general of the 101st Airborne made a foolish decision to try to take a well defended but worthless piece of real estate that became known as Hamburger Hill.  The Americans suffered heavy casualties and failed to take the hill which the enemy then abandoned.

Clinton had ample warning that the ambassador would be in eminent danger in Benghazi.  The consulate had already suffered two minor attacks.  There had been attacks on the Tunisian consulate and the U.N. Special Envoy’s convoy.   The International Red Cross closed its office after it was attacked.   The British government withdrew its diplomats  from Benghazi after an attack on its ambassador’s convoy.

Clinton’s critics have focused on the inadequate security at the Benghazi consulate and ignored the fact that the facility shouldn’t have been defended in the first place.   A competent Secretary of State would have followed the example of the International Red Cross and the British government and abandoned a  building that wasn’t worth the loss of American lives.

Clinton’s use of a less secure private email server may have made it possible for al Qaeda leaders to learn the United States wouldn’t defend the consulate

The advice of the old gambler in the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” applies to war as well as poker

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.”

The United States should have walked away from Benghazi.    There is no shame in walking a way from a battle that cannot be won.  In the early years of World War II the British army walked away from  France and the United States army walked away from the Philippines because the locations couldn’t be defended at that time.

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reasonmclucus

'm a retired janitor who has 100 hours of graduate study beyond an M.A. in U.S. history. I'm a mathematician and a generalist who uses a systems approach to study human behavior and interaction with the environment. As a naive undergraduate in the 60's I switched from a study of math and physics because I thought politicians didn't know how to discover solutions to social problems. I didn't realize until later that they didn't really care about solving social problems. I'm a political maverick and a Vietnam Vet. I was a postal clerk with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the central highlands of Vietnam May, 1969 - April, 1970.

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