All politics are local. In the case of the attack on Fort Bastion last year on this day, it is a local issue because one of the men that died there was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. Lt. Col. Christopher "Otis" Raible died fighting off insurgents at Camp Bastion, leading a group of men that normally spent their time taking care of the aircraft he flew.
Michelle Malkin encouraged people to remember this attack, because in spite of little mainstream media coverage, it is extremely important. The fact that a small band of insurgents could make their way onto a U.S. military base in Afghanistan in the first place is an issue that should have been addressed immediately. It wasn't. While our forces are being drawn down in the region, they are arguably more vulnerable than ever, thanks to lax security procedures on the ground. The insurgents know this, and they have been taking advantage of it. The reports of soldiers being killed in Afghanistan now just end up getting a little attention in the press, and the names are dutifully listed each week on ABC's This Week. It is appropriate to at least list the names, but it is not enough. As we are sitting on the edge of possibly having to put forces in Syria, if only to oversee the turning over of chemical weapons to the international community, the issue of our military keeping our soldiers as safe as possible should be a primary concern.
The full story of the attack on Fort Bastion through the eyes of one journalist has been made public. That doesn't answer all the questions that need to be answered. This attack occurred just three days after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods died. Both of these attacks are the direct result of security failures on the ground. The U.S. public and the families of these men deserve answers. But, beyond that, the public needs to stop just letting the names slip by each week, without questioning what is happening overseas. Yes, these are casualties of war, but we are supposedly reaching the end of these conflicts. More accountability should be expected of our government, not less. There are reasons why these people are dying, that has more to do with deficiencies in our own military and security procedures, than with the enemy. As for the residents of the Pittsburgh area, a local man was lost needlessly in Afghanistan. Have you asked your Congressperson or Senators why?