Dec. 9, 2004 #01:  Political Satire/Commentary where satire is always commentary but commentary isn't always satire(but we're confident you'll know the difference)  Search PoliSat.Com Home  Tell a friend about PoliSat.Com    Subscribe   Permanent link to this installment in PoliSat.Com's Archives    Google-News list of recent updates    About author, Jim Wrenn.

Guardsmen in Kuwait challenge Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Two rights make a wrong to be righted; Hillary Clinton claims to have had answer all along-- Commentary.

            At a "town hall" meeting in Kuwait with National Guard and Reserves troops being deployed to Iraq, several troops challenged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on several issues.  One focused on the fact that many units must function with un-armored HumVees and transport vehicles; another focused on the Defense Department's use of "stop loss" orders to extend active-duty obligations of troops beyond the length of service for which they volunteered; another focused on delays in receiving travel-expense reimbursements.  See here or here.

            Rumsfeld answered with words likely to become his most-frequently quoted language for the foreseeable future:   "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want, or wish to have, at a later time."   Critics of the decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom will incessantly quote those words to characterize the war in Iraq as an "elective war."  Critics of military policy from 1992 through 2000 will cite those words as a reminder of the drastic cuts in our military during those years.

            The military sensibly designed the HumVee as a dramatically up-scaled replacement for the jeep-- not an armored transport vehicle.  Certainly anyone could have theorized that our forces might become involved in urban warfare posing higher than expected risks to those traveling in un-armored vehicles.  Certainly such planners could have decided that all military vehicles would be armored vehicles.  How many Congressmen and Senators would have decried such plans as being designed to create a "gold-plated military" (a favorite phrase of the leftists who are now so eager to decry the fact that all HumVees aren't armored)?  

            Congressmen and Senators only make those kinds of statements when we are not "at war," but when we are "at war," they all demand to know why we don't already have all the "gold plated" equipment our troops need.  Peacetime military planners must live with budgetary constraints imposed by the no-gold-plated-military mentality; wartime military planners must cope with the same politicians making hindsight accusations about the military's failure to persuade them to authorize gold-plated equipment.

            Few of the current critics of the "stop loss" policy were heard to be opposing the dramatic reductions in the size of the military in the years from 1992 through 2000.  The few who did voice such opposition then and are now expressing consternation over the "stop loss" policy are at least coupling such expressions with reiteration of what caused the problem-- i.e., excessive cuts in the size of the military in those years.  The rest express their criticisms as though the war were to be something we could put on "pause" while we enlarge the military or as though expressing such criticism is a "policy."

            Those critics viewing Operation Iraqi Freedom as an "elective war" characterize these problems (such as un-armored HumVees and "stop-loss" orders) as evidence that Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney should not have launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They compare what "is" with what they naively wish "would have been" if only Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney were to have "let inspections and sanctions work" rather than going to war to topple Saddam Hussein.  

            What they naively ignore is that if inspections were to have continued, the inspectors would have found no "stockpiles" (for the same reasons for which we haven't found them-- i.e., they were removed during the months preceding the war or they had been destroyed).  Failures to find such stockpiles would have accelerated the collapse of the "sanctions" even if we were to have vetoed such action.  For us to have maintained forces in the region as a means of deterring, containing and monitoring Saddam Hussein would have fueled the barbaric rage of al Qaeda just as much as our relatively token-size deployments (and no-fly zones) fueled enough barbaric rage for al Qaeda to launch the 9-11 attack.  With the collapse of sanctions, by now Saddam Hussein would be swimming in money and would have significantly reconstituted virtually all his WMD programs.  Additionally, a dictator daring enough to have given his blessing to an attempted assassination of George Herbert Walker Bush would have had no compunction whatsoever against covertly providing WMD assistance to the "enemy of his enemy"-- i.e., to al Qaeda-- for use against us and/or our allies.  

            Stopping Hitler before he invaded Poland would have been "elective" but would have saved millions of lives.  Yet those who knew that to have been the correct course of action then could never have "proven" then that the failure to stop Hitler then would ultimately cost millions of lives.  We have the benefit of lessons of history they learned the hard way.  Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney rightly "elected" to confront danger now rather than choosing to allow it to grow in magnitude and attain imminence until even the most ardent critics would view war as a necessity rather than a choice but at a time when the risks and casualties would likely be far greater.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.


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Questions for Americans:

Shouldn't we be at least as generous in supporting the families of our troops killed or injured while serving our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, in America and throughout the rest of the world as we were for the families of the victims of 9-11?  Here are some suggestions:

*Salute American Heroes*  *Support Fallen Heroes Fund*

Shouldn't we recognize that many, if not most, instances of foreign anti-Americanism in the late 20th Century (like most of the foreign anti-Americanism today) focused reactionary rage against maintenance of, and willingness to use, human-rights-respecting power against forces that oppose liberty and favor the "stability" of the status quo?   See a retrospective on Ronald Reagan.   Shouldn't we recognize that despite arguments to the contrary by devotees of the United Nations that the world remains a yet-to-be-civilized place in which the wise exercise of human-rights-respecting power more than intellectual sophistry can best assure the survival of liberty?

Shouldn't we recognize that "property rights" are among the most fundamental of "human rights" and are therefore vital to the survival of liberty?  See "'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' versus 'Life, Liberty [and] Property.'"

Questions for secular thinkers:

Shouldn't secular thinkers be at least as respectful towards ordinary people of faith as George Bush is towards ordinary secular thinkers, and shouldn't ordinary secular thinkers repudiate fanatical secular fundamentalists at least as firmly as Bush repudiates fanatical religious fundamentalists?  Shouldn't secular fundamentalists learn to recognize the unscientific nature of their own leaps of faith before throwing stones at unscientific leaps of faith by ordinary people of faith?  See satire/commentary about Secular Fundamentalists and Religious Fanatics.

Shouldn't people professing to be secular thinkers learn to understand the difference between science and political science (i.e., politicized science)?  Shouldn't radical environmentalists learn to understand that their views are little more than modern forms of pantheism?  See Satire/Commentary about Pantheopians.  Shouldn't they learn to objectively and scientifically scrutinize theories such as Global Warming at least as rigorously as they scrutinize "creationism"?  See "Global Warming or Scientific Flatulence?"  See also the commentary on proposed "climate stewardship" legislation and the animated illustration, "Goblins of Globalized 'Warming.'" 

Shouldn't people professing to be secular thinkers learn to understand that what science reveals about human evolution supports, rather than undermines, the sensibility of a rebuttable presumption that monogamous, heterosexual marriage best serves the interests of children notwithstanding the sensibility of recognizing civil unions to accord comparable (but not identical) privileges to mutual-support partnerships?   See  commentary "Evolution versus Revolution" and the animated illustration, "Devolution versus Evolution."

Questions for people of faith:

Shouldn't people with faith that a Deity created free will recognize that compulsory piety would be offensive to such Deity?

Shouldn't people with faith that a Deity created free will recognize that political compromises limiting the power of government to compel conformity with theocratic doctrines over which other people of faith, as well as secular thinkers, can reasonably disagree would not be offensive to such Deity?  See commentary about our Founding Documents, the Constitution and the Creator.

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