This is in reaction to the tragic events in Benghazi, and the comments on it.
I say this, full disclosure, as a retired career member of the U.S. Foreign Service (diplomatic) Corps.
It is standard in this country to praise the outstanding service and sacrifice of the brave and capable men and women in our military services. It is right and proper to do this, and shameful when their service is exploited for narrow political reasons.
It is, however, standard practice to either ignore or criticize my many brave and capable colleagues and former colleagues in the diplomatic service who have also put themselves in harm's way time after time, as if their service to our country were less noble than that of the military.
Since WWII, more ambassadors have been killed in the line of duty than have flag rank officers in the military. At the time our military was preparing to do battle with the Iraqi military in Desert Storm, several dozen diplomats were under siege in the U.S. embassy in Kuwait, unarmed and surrounded by the same Iraqi military.
We should remember the men and women who were killed by Al-Qa'ida in the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the bombing of the embassy in Beirut, as well as countless other incidents that the media and politicians ignore. We should remember that diplomats routinely serve under hardship conditions around the world without complaint, as a matter of routine and pride.
And we should honor that service, and recognize that working together with other countries in the service of peace is probably more useful than bombing them. And sometimes just as risky.