December 14, 2004


What's the answer to this comment?

I Understand you[r] explanation, but I think you are missing the point we (the angry at Rumsfeld) are trying to make. When the head of the Armed forces says, "You go to war with the Army you have, not the one you might want," and the timing of that war was determined by that man, it is a disrespect to the troops who are over there fighting and dying. It was Rumsfeld's responsibility to have the "Army we want" before going to war. The Pentagon ignored the Army War College's analysis of the course of events. All of this was predicted before we invaded. If Rumsfeld was not so arrogant, maybe these guys would not be asking these questions. "Even tanks get blown up," is NOT and adequate answer and it disrespects every man and woman over there. If he was in the private sector, he would have been thrown out on his ass a long time ago. You can respect the presidents decision to go to war, but you cannot respect our troops AND respect the way Rumsfeld runs things. He has been incompetent from the start and if you have friends or family over there, you should be as pissed as I am... just my two cents worth.

Rebel Rouser has the answer, complete with colorful language and plenty of punchlines. I read every last word of his answer; you should too.

And apparently he wrote Military Classes for Civilian Dumbasses first, which is just as good.

I like this guy. Reminds me of Deskmerc.

Posted by Sarah at December 14, 2004 08:05 PM

Well Sarah. He summed it up pretty darn good. Thanks.

Posted by: Kathleen A at December 15, 2004 02:22 AM

What a load of crap! Sure, it's all Clinton's fault. It has nothing to do with the fact that Rumsfeld and the neocons went around for a year and a half and talked about how Iraq was going to be a cakewalk; or that Rummy denied for months that we were even in a guerilla war.
Americans are dying on a regular basis because of the decisions of Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. The right-wing has become so corrupted by their proximity to power that they can't bring themselves to hold the Bush administration responsible.

Posted by: clark at December 15, 2004 04:29 AM

Mr. Clark:

Please report to your nearest polling station and vote for Mr. Howard Dean. If it is closed, please inform the press of yet another BUSHITLERLIED!!! scandal. Please also drink your Kool-Aid. Further, please vote early, and often.

Oh, yeah: the election is over, and President Bush won?! Therefore, get over it. The truth of the matter is that first Mr. Carter eviscerated the military on his watch (and Pres. Reagan resurrected it, bringing up the Navy's ship inventory from a mere 300 to nearly 600 ships), then Mr. Clinton decided to "cash in" the so-called peace dividend (since the Soviet Union imploded); after all, the whole world was holding hands and singing "Kum-bah-yah". There was no need for any sort of military (well, except for a few cruise missiles--oh, and Kosovo).

Rebel Rouser's position re: 0.01% of Americans serve in the military is spot on: unfortunately, under Mr. Clinton's watch, that small number was reduced to an even lower value, along with other initiatives which further reduced the readiness and fighting capabilities or our Armed Services at that time. One obvious example (and Sarah will bear me out on this one, I am certain) is simple pay. It is grossly unthinkable to imagine Soldiers', Sailors', Airmen's, and Marines' families being forced to resort to food stamps, but during both Carter's and Clinton's administrations, this was the norm for those of lower rank/rate.

In conclusion, Mr. Clark, please go vote again for Mr. Dean (or, if you prefer, Mr. Kerry).

Thank you for your time.

Jim Shawley

Posted by: Jim Shawley at December 15, 2004 04:30 PM

Shawley -

Actually, if you go examine the site she links to, you'll find that several soldiers point out that it was Mr. Bush the elder that initially cut the troop-strength from 16 divisions to 10 without consulting the miliatary. Mr. Clinton reduced from 10 to 8 at the behest of the pentagon brass who wanted to have 8 staffed at 90% rather then 10 divisions staffed at 70% or less.

Another soldier pointed out that the limits to force strength are congressionally-mandated.

Finally, I pointed out that even if Mr. Clinton's priorities weren't those that would have brought about "the army that we want" (right now); the ones who held the purse-strings were all republicans who were more interested in pork-barrel projects like our Pascagoula, MS navy homeport, than those priorities set by the pentagon. Clinton didn't control the house, and for a good amount of time didn't control the Senate, either. The best he could do was get some of his pet-projects through, but he didn't set the budgets.

It was Bush I that cashed in the peace-dividend. Clinton did what the military asked him to do and re-organized (did not cut manpower, consolidated divisions). The Republican congress shit all over the military priorities in terms of base closures (or not closing them); R&D funded, and MILITARY PAY.

Yes, my friend, the congress mandates soldiers' pay, not the president! And they were Republicans! SHOCKING! The Republicans controlled congress, and had a balanced budget bill. They went for the pork (keeping unwanted and unneccessary bases open; opening new ones) at the expense of the soldier.

Yes, Clinton didn't try very hard to increase military spending, but in the United States, if the President can't control congress and doesn't have a line-item veto, it's not really his call.

You have to understand how the system works, then assign blame where it rightfully belongs. If you can't do that, then you're ripe for the picking as somebody else's pawn.

Congress (and Washington in general) is filled with self-serving backstabbers who don't care about you, the American people, or the American soldier. If you try to pin all the blame on one of them (Clinton), you're just letting the rest of them get away with it.

It's not one person or party's fault - it's the fault of a government that is no longer held accountable to the people, and (flipside) a people who refuse to hold their leaders accountable.

Posted by: Wha? at December 15, 2004 07:19 PM

Its always convenient to blame an entity such as the "Government". The only problem with this, is that nothing gets done. The problem appears to be an all or nothing solution, which is typically military in nature. The problem is not with the armor, but with the ballistic glass necessary to provide optimum protection. It won't fit into the channels made for the existing glass, so the military waits for a solution that allows them to fit 4" thick glass, instead of getting 2" thick glass in the interim. The other issue is a requisition issue. If you only requisition x deliveries per month, you get x deliveries per month. However if you ask the question "How many more per month can you build"? you may be able to increase your builds per month.

Blame does not solve a problem. Root Cause and Corrective Action are the only ways to solve a problem.

A materials engr.

Posted by: FrankR at December 15, 2004 10:46 PM

Anyone want to guess what those armor suppliers will do when all the humvees are armored? Will we pay the cost of preserving the machinery needed to produce that armor just in case we need some more? Do we stockpile the workers who can operate the equipment?
I am surprised that some up-armor will resist an RPG, that is not consistent with other reports.
When you need armor, send an armored vehicle.
After 40 years of prattle about $600 toilet seats, you can still criticize procurement?
One improvement to the supply situation was the decision to go to local water supply instead of trucking water in from Kuwait. In my year in Korea, they always managed to find local water and enough chlorine to make it both safe and unpalatable. Another is the decision to fly in more cargo where the ground route is dangerous. This points out the need for a real heavy lifter, a new one instead of a 40 year old design and 30 year old airfames. A delay in replacement of tanker aircraft of 2 or 3 years just because of some slap-and-tickle between Boeing and an AF procurement officer is unconscionable. Tell Boeing to get to building and take back any illegal gain during the audit that all government contracts get.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at December 16, 2004 05:15 AM

Wow clark, try reading a history book. Hell read Madeleine Albright's book, even SHE criticizes Clinton for gutting the armed forces.

I love how all the people crying out that our military doesn't have what it needs are armchair liberals who've never risked their life for anything.

Meanwhile, read any milblog site making fun of these reservists, or (it has been deleted from the ap news site for some reason) the article on the same day with the Marines who are IN IRAQ who said they have what they need.

The guys that know what it takes aren't the ones complaining.

News Satire that's right for you

Posted by: PlutosDad at December 16, 2004 06:53 PM