It is foolish to cry over spilt milk, but it is not foolish to look at why we spilt the milk and maybe to put the milk in a safer container in the future. Are we going to shrug off the safety of our diplomatic agents as too expensive to afford, and continue to depend on unreliable foreign agents to protect them?
We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans, or was it because of a defect in the way we protect our men in dangerous places? Was it a defect in policy, or was it a defect in the execution of policy, or was it just a song and dance to obscure the nature of the problem and deflect our attention to trivial matters? The business of asking half of a question and giving half of an answer still thrives.
Did the men that we lost foresee the danger and call out for help before they were killed? It seems that they did. Were their calls for help ignored because of budget restraints or because of a policy of turning over security to foreign allies? I surely do not know.
Did we gain anything from the congressional hearing testimony by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton other than elaborate posturing and empty speeches? If you have any clear idea of what we are going to change in the future, you are more perceptive than I am. Republicans repeatedly went for the jugular and Democrats asked not one single hard question. If it was a slander contest, it seems to have come out as a tie; Democrats zero, Republicans zero. As usual, it seemed more a contest between two political parties than a struggle against terrorism.
Assigning blame can be an exercise in pure malice or it can be a step in improving a system. Fixing blame seems most useful when it is directed toward a policy and not toward an individual.
Clinton surely weighs in as a national asset, and only a curmudgeon like me could come up with this essay.
I know that I am not competent to advise citizens on political matters so someone needs to help me with my mixed up thinking. Mostly, I just know what I do not think, and that is a poor storehouse for information to share with my readers.
TOBY HIGHTOWER is a retired educator and former Hopkinsville High School teacher. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Write to him at 222 S. 25th St., Apartment 434, Terre Haute, IN. 47803.