The Watering Hole, Saturday September 15, 2012 – Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

It was a week of tragedy. On Tuesday, an al Qaeda-trained unit breached security, overtook the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his aide (and former Airman) Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. They were honored yesterday in a Transfer of Remains Ceremony at Andrews, AFB, in Maryland. [Full Disclosure: My first assignment out of Tech School was to Andrews, AFB, in 1983. I got to play golf on one of their championship golf courses because Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger decided to cancel his tee time, an hour and a half late.] Recent reports indicate the attack may have been in retaliation for a drone strike that killed the then-Number Two In Al Qaeda, widely agreed to be the most dangerous job in the world. It did not have anything to do with the protests going on in Egypt and Yemen over that stupid anti-Muslim movie trailer for a film that, in all likelihood, given the criminal past of one of the men involved, does not exist. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton made wonderful, poignant remarks in remembrance of the fallen Americans.

President Obama began by quoting Scripture, as Christian men are wont to do, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It is, even to this Atheist, a beautiful sentiment, and one with which I wholeheartedly agree. As for me, I can think of no more honorable way to die than in an effort to save the life of others. The brave men who died in the service of their country did so knowing their jobs were dangerous ones, and that this could happen, yet they chose to do it anyway. Though much well-deserved credit is given to the armed forces who keep us safe, an insufficient amount of credit is given to the diplomatic corps who work behind the scenes to keep us safe, too. Bad things happen, more often than we would like, and some heads of countries cannot be seen to appear weak in the eyes of their people, and diplomats find a way to satisfy everyone’s interests in the name of Peace. We may not agree with some of their results from time to time, but by and large, if it weren’t for the Department of State, every able-bodied person would have to be prepared to fight in some war over some stupid shit, because we’d have no one to talk sense into those who wish us harm. And their efforts work. And they should be appreciated more. Because sometimes, even they die in the line of duty. And we owe them every measure of respect and devotion we’d give to a fallen soldier in combat. They died for the same noble cause.

UPDATE: Thanks to badmoodman, we now have a video we can post of the entire ceremony at Andrews AFB.

This is, of course, our Open Thread, so feel free to discuss the tragedy leading to four dead Americans which had nothing whatsoever to do with the ignorant, bigoted, fraudulent anti-Islam movie trailer, released on the Internets, or maybe something a little more lighthearted for a Saturday morning, such as cute little kittens:

Dawn broke, Captain Whiskers and his mysterious sidekick—known only as “the Kitten”—had triumphed, the city was safe.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain]

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74 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday September 15, 2012 – Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

    • Ralph and I went to the dog park. Only one other dog was there when we arrived, but then the fleet came in. Almost all the regulars (even Bridget, who is in no way a dog) and some newcomers. A handful of lab mutts, two goldendoodles, three greyhounds, a ridgeback, a gorgeous coon hound and all manner of mutts. We don’t see much in the way of purebreds there, which is fine. A perfect morning with dogs.

  1. You said so much, Wayne, that I don’t know what more to add.

    Today, I will be doing door to door canvasing for Barack Obama, Manan Trivedi (PA 6th CD, Obama needs him) and Russ Diesinger (to replace a teabagger Repub that voted for Voter ID and cuts to education). Please do what you can to help take our country back from the likes of Romney and the teabaggers.

    Manan could use some contributions. If he can raise enough money by the end of the month than the DCCC will help fund his campaign against the placeholder/Repub rubberstamp, Jim Gerlach. We need to get these do nothing Repubs out of Congress.

  2. President Obama promised that justice will be served to those that murdered our four diplomats in Libya. These terrorists should ask Osama bin Laudan how that worked out for him. Oh, that’s right, Osama bin Laudan is DEAD.

  3. 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing

    On September 15th, 1963, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The ground floor of the church collapsed. A Sunday school session was in progress and four children were in the church basement preparing for the service. All four girls died – Denise McNair, aged 11, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson, all aged 14. Many others were injured. Despite the many racial crimes committed in the South, this one was greeted with abject horror.

  4. Beautifully stated Wayne. You made me cry. Now I’m off to a friend’s funeral. I did the flowers our market is sending and tried to use wild looking things as it suits her nature. I even used three grains, amaranth, wheat, and corn. I hope no one hates it.

  5. This is a little weird. Here in Portland we haven’t seen rain since early July and it’s consistently been fair and 80F since. Next week looks to be more of the same. I remain suspicious.

  6. Here is the thirty minute ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base:

    Clinton speaks at the 7-minute mark. She has shone throughout this tragedy and tension, as Dan Klaidman reports in a must-read:

    “Through it all, Hillary Clinton was a source of strength for her wounded department, employees say. She moved back and forth between public appearances and private internal diplomacy, showing her trademark combination of resolve, empathy, and hyper-competence. She began at State, looking drawn but determined, calling the events in Benghazi “an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world.” Later that morning she stood by President Obama at the White House, looking alternately stoic and stricken. Then the president and his secretary of state traveled to Foggy Bottom where they met with shocked employees. Those who saw Clinton in action this week say it was in the more private, intimate moments where she was at her best.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/15/inside-the-state-department-during-the-benghazi-attacks.html

  7. Obama brings out this kickass ad tackling the core Reagan question that Romney keeps asking – “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ – and answers it with Clinton and Obama.

  8. I just love the unintentional hilarity of Man-dog Boy as exemplified in today’s story about Santorum. The Reichwhiners really are so stupid that they don’t realize how stupid they are. I am also looking forward to hear his list of “smart Republicans” when he finally realizes what he said. I’m hoping that Kent Hovind will make the list.

    • Tensions are a bit high today in Madison, partly due to the court ruling that declared Snottie’s power grabbing union busting law as unconstitutional. Plus there are a whole buncha hippies in town for Bobfest.

    • Well, they’re not the ‘smart people’, are they?
      They’re the same ones who believe Saddam Hussein masterminded 9-11.

  9. This idiot was insisting that the Breitbart.com “story” about the brochure for a book written by Barack Obama said he was born in Kenya just had to have some validity to it, because he understands how the publishing business works, and nobody would have tolerated a mistake like that. At that point, I felt I no longer had to be polite to him. He didn’t appreciate that and tried to come off as taking the higher road, after insisting that lies about Obama had some truth to them. I hope he knows how to use a dictionary, or what one is.

    • It’s OK Wayne. I’ve seen this phenomenon before.
      Extremely rigid and bigoted people who, when challenged on their paradigms, fall back on the “you’re being rude” defense.

      • It’s curious when you call these people out on their lies, they want you to prove them wrong…and then when you do prove them wrong, you never hear from them again…

        Keep up the good work spreading the truth, Wayne.

    • It’s beyond futile to argue with people who do not inhabit the cause and effect universe populated by sane people. They start with a desired conclusion and then concoct “facts” to support it without even being able to identify what evidence is.

  10. Back from Bobfest. A great bunch of speakers and a high energy crowd. Even Buddy Roemer wasn’t too bad.

    • Lost in West Texas?
      It’s likely on some oil riggers nightstand, next to the Red Bulls and the 5-Hour Energy bottles…

  11. Speaking of vile morons; I stumbled across this comment on a YouTube video. I think I’ll have to calm down considerably before formulating a truly scathing reply.

    No, the apollo 11 landed on the moon, but Hitler killed no jews, why is it you pricks never speak of Stalin or Lenin who murdered over 65 million chrisitans, Even if the six million myth were true, 65 million is ten times more than any jews , what makes jews more important than people who were murdered for nothing more than having bibles on their property? You sicken me jew lover. Go die with your satanic brethern, King David spent six months murdering edomite jews

  12. Very strange, using the new device, a Droid phone, to post a comment. The comment box is above all previous comments, can’t read them and then type.

      • I suppose. Right now it’s easiest to read on the big screen, and type on the little one.
        Very silly, I know.
        I upgraded my whole Mi-Fi, Wi-Fi and phone foolishness, and am now busy wading through and weeding out all the tricky little bytes the device uses to track my every move and whim.

        Dirty bastids, collecting all that data…

    • That’s the way my cheap AT&T phone does comments. Unless you do a reply, the box is at the top. You have to hit ‘edit’ to type the comment, then hit OK to put it in the actual box. Then you can check the other comments, and hit edit again to put more text in, or hit submit. Except my phone sometimes puts replies at the bottom, for some reason.

  13. Coming soon to your local cinemaplex is a feature length film by Michael Moore entitled “The Last War Crime” starring Dickhead Cheney in the lead role. No comment yet from the spawn Liz.

    • Sounds intriguing.
      The Dick is evil personified. A lump of coal where his heart should be.
      (even the ‘new’ heart couldn’t make him any less malevolent).

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