Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hard Day

Today has been a hard day.  For anyone who may not know, at least four American Foreign Service Officers were killed yesterday in Benghazi, Libya.  Among those killed was Ambassador Stevens and information management specialist Sean Smith.  I have never met either of these individuals and I don't believe I know anyone else in Libya who may have been the other victims.

Despite no personal connection to those killed, I have spent the day mourning.  I am shocked that something like this could happen.  Dad called yesterday and asked me about the attack on the Embassy in Egypt.  I could hear the worry in his voice.  I assured him that the diplomats there would be fine.  Protesters may have climbed over the outer wall, but they would not get inside.  Everyone would be safe.  A few hours later, I heard about the first death in Benghazi.  This morning, I woke up to three or four more deaths.

I am scared.  Scared for friends.  Scared for colleagues.  Scared for myself.  All day, I've had the same sinking feeling I had eleven years ago.  This type of thing isn't supposed to happen.  I get the same helpless feeling when I see clips of the East Africa Embassy bombings or hear stories about the Iran hostage crisis.  These incidents feel all too real to me in ways they never did before I joined the Foreign Service.  Although logically, I KNOW that nothing like this will ever happen to me, days like today make it feel too close.

People often say that their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.  It's a nice thing to say and seems appropriate when people are grieving.  Most of the time when we say this, we quickly move on with the rest of our day.  But not today.  I can't stop thinking about the victims.  The IT guy trying to set up the internet for the consulate.  The Ambassador returning to Benghazi to open up an American Corner where he had previously liaised with the Libyan rebels.  Their wives and kids seeing the news and frantically trying to reach their loved ones.  Or worse, the mother who gets a phone call out of the blue telling her that he son died in some town she had never heard of a year ago.  The local staff, so proud to be working for the American Consulate, suffering along with their American colleagues, but without the recognition of their sacrifice.  The still-unnamed victims.  Do I know know them?  How long had they been in the Foreign Service?  Where had they served?  Did they want to be in Libya?

Finally, I am mad.  I am that some blowhard asshole makes a low-budget movie that has no other purpose than to piss people off and denigrate another religion.  That these assholes spent $5 million just to be dicks.  They KNEW that this would cause problems with Muslims and did it anyway.  They have every right to make their dumb ass movie and put it on the internet.  But I also have every right to call them fucking dumbshit assholes.

I am even madder at the pricks who get so upset about a dumbass movie that no one would ever know about or care about that they storm a U.S. Embassy and shoot up a U.S. Consulate with rocket grenades.  Lighten the fuck up.  It's a fucking low-budget movie that you propelled into the spotlight with your attack. You are hurting your own position with your actions.  You're hurting the wrong people.

Please remember that all the views on this blog are mine, and mine alone.  My views do not represent the State Department of the Government of the United States in any way.  Everything I know about this attack comes from public news sources.  I have no additional insight.

I apologize for the cursing.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with this 100 percent. Couldn't have said it better myself.