We expect that soldiers, people we generally (and typically with good reason) feel are the best of us, to act like the best of us. We expect that since we can work alongside women without raping them, that the members of the military can do the same. We expect that in the 21st Century, the sight of a women who we are attracted to, wearing clothing that she looks attractive in, is not considered an invitation to fornication.
Woven into far too much of our Memorial Day celebrations is a thread celebrating the act of violence and the path to war. Paired with the fundamental human need to test ones self against a greater challenge, the celebration of war and violence uplifts the mindset that they are fundamentally good. Memorial Day is important in that we remember the sacrifice, by those who served and their families.
It has been 40 years since a president was pushed out of office for (among other things) ordering a break-in at the offices of political opponents (he got out of trouble by quitting.) It has been some 30 years since a president escaped prosecution for selling both anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to the Islamist Iranian government and using the proceeds to finance a civil war in Nicaragua (he got out of trouble by saying he had no recollection). A decade and a half has passed since a president was impeached for lying about the willful abuse of a cigar in the Oval Office (he got out of trouble by asking for both sex and is to be defined.)
Now and forever known as the “worst disaster” in Dick Cheney’s lifetime (his words), in any other time (or with a Republican in the White House) it would have been just a normal, if tragic, cost of doing business. The United States believes in an international presence, a presence that asks us to routinely deploy good people in dangerous places. Dozens (yes conservative friends, dozens) of diplomatic targets have been attacked by various forces regardless of the party affiliation of the White House during the last three decades. Many of these diplomatic targets were CIA fronts which demanded both secrecy and deniability. So where again is the scandal?