Two tales of pleas for help ignored, and two different reactions

In New York City, a man thrown onto the subway tracks tries frantically to clamber back onto the platform. For 20 seconds or so (which surely seemed like an eternity) no one lifts a finger to help, as the train bears down on him and ultimately kills him.

A photographer (who evidently felt bound - like the crew of the Starship Enterprise -- by some "Prime Directive" forbidding interference) documents the tragedy. He proffers all manner of excuses for his behavior.

Across the nation a great hue and cry is raised; people are outraged that such a thing could be allowed to happen.

In Benghazi, Libya, American consular personnel are attacked by a mob equipped with military-grade weapons. For some 7 hours (which surely seemed like an eternity) their government, from the president on down, fails to heed their pleas for help; ultimately, four of them are slain, at least one after being tortured.

The attack is documented by live video which is watched by those who could order deployment of rescue and counterattack forces, but who nevertheless decline to lift a finger. Later they proffer all manner of excuses for their behavior.

Across the nation the reaction is ho-hum. The majority of the populace (largely the same majority that re-elected the president) remains unfazed and indifferent.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions about 21st Century America.

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