Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"You Go To War With The Army You Have!"

Rumsfeld gets defensive:

Disgruntled U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about the lack of armor for their vehicles and long deployments, drawing a blunt retort from the Pentagon chief.

"You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops -- mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers -- to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own -- not of the war itself but of how it is being fought...

SF Chronicle Article

-Jean

55 Comments:

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

I have read articles about families and communities having fundraisers to raise money for their soldier’s body armor because the government hasn’t provided them with what they need. This is crazy considering we spend numerous times more than any other country on military spending. I don’t understand where all the money is going when our soldiers don’t even have the proper armor and equipment to fight the war. I think it is unfair for the President to say that he is doing everything he can to protect our soldiers when all this is happening. If I was a soldier I would be extremely pissed off that this country expects me to fight for them and won’t even provide me with the proper equipment. That’s not asking someone to risk their life for their country, that’s asking them to give their life for their country. What is going on in the US right now is unacceptable. I am appalled at the actions of this country and our president. I'll pray for our unarmored soldiers.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

I have read articles about families and communities having fundraisers to raise money for their soldier’s body armor because the government hasn’t provided them with what they need. This is crazy considering we spend numerous times more than any other country on military spending. I don’t understand where all the money is going when our soldiers don’t even have the proper armor and equipment to fight the war. I think it is unfair for the President to say that he is doing everything he can to protect our soldiers when all this is happening. If I was a soldier I would be extremely pissed off that this country expects me to fight for them and won’t even provide me with the proper equipment. That’s not asking someone to risk their life for their country, that’s asking them to give their life for their country. What is going on in the US right now is unacceptable. I am appalled at the actions of this country and our president. I'll pray for our unarmored soldiers.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Russ said...

Rumsfeld does get testy when he's called out onto the carpet.

I think some of the money is going into the deep pockets of the Halliburton company executives when it should be going for armored vehicles. I'll lay odds the private Halliburton contract security in the Iraqi theater has top notch equipment and all the armament they need and they aren't even the ones fighting.

I think I read somewhere that Cheney still has a vested interest of some sort to Halliburton. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Karie said...

There it is again... that pesky little Halliburton word again. Why is it that every time I hear someone speak ill of the War they have to bring up that word again. Do ppl even know what Halliburton is all about? All I see is THAT Word!

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger c. perspective said...

Check out conservativeperspective.blogspot.com

You say that Rumsfeld's comments were prepared - However, the questions were not screened - and the event you refer to was broadcast live. I think the manner in which Rumsfeld took questions from the troops - and even the fact that at times he seemed hesitant (or) at times found it difficult to answer certain questions only underscores the "unscripted" nature of today's Q & A. I think Americans (liberal especially) should be very happy with Rumsfeld's actions today -
P.S. Great Blog! I'm new to blogging and have been checking a bunch out lately - I like what you've got here.

Check out conservativeperspective.blogspot.com

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

This blog is so one sided and democratic. The govt. is awful you say what will you say when there is a democratic president. The govt. is doing a good job. Next time you think about dissing it just think that there isnt genocide here, there arent thugs running around shooting everyone, and that you are safe. Who keeps everything peaceful in our country the govt.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Russ said...

Matthew,
Felt compelled to answer your questions/comments from my perspective.

Your right... This blog and most blogs are one sided. You usually have one opinion and express it. People like yourself that comment provide countering views.

When there is a democratic president, there will be many many conservatives out there complaining. Trust me on this one. They were rampant during the Clinton years and we didn't even have blogs back then. I know because I was one of them complaining about Clinton at the time - but then again I'm critical of them all. Imagine if we did have blogs what would have been said and spread about him Bill Clinton! So I think that argument is moot.

Government is doing a good job??? Really? Record deficits, majority of Americans feeling we've been misled into a war, soldiers complaining of stop/loss and armor, Lost Jobs, Sucky economy... There's much more this government could be doing. When you say the government is doing good that's your perception and your take on things from your point of view, given your life experience. There are many more people out there much more educated in governmental affairs than I and you that would disagree with your assertion that the gov't is doing good.

I wouldn't agree with you that we are safe one bit at all. Yes our gov't is trying, but keep in mind Al-Queda and the terrorist organizations out there are very determined and have demonstrated their willingness to wait a long time to attack in the manner of their choosing. Also remember we have been the victim of the single largest terrorist attack ever in the history of the world. So we are no safer than anyone else in this world right now. The fact we have a homeland security agency and nothing has happened on our soil since 9/11 means very little. If they want to get us, they will find a way, one way or another. The rest of it is just sugar coating to make you and I feel good.

Rock on!

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger stevesnotblogger said...

At 1:30 PM, Karie said...
There it is again... that pesky little Halliburton word again. Why is it that every time I hear someone speak ill of the War they have to bring up that word again. Do ppl even know what Halliburton is all about? All I see is THAT Word!


A Defense contract company formally headed by VP Dick -chest pains- Cheney, who flunked out of Yale, over charged the US goverment to the tune of $60 Million on just gas alone in the Iraq war.
I think that Hal. is the focal point of people whose opinion is that the war in Iraq is mainly driven by profits of US companies(you can understand why other countries who are NOT getting a piece of the pie are not part of the coalition forces).
It is very sad to hear straight from a soldiers mouth the lack of good equipment they are missing.

It's great that a single word can bother you so much. I can just picture you and your family eating at the Olive Garden & someone at the next table says Halliburton and you just go off and choke on your bread stick.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Russ said...

Maybe that "pesky Halliburton word" hurts so much because often times the truth does really hurt. Ouch!!!!

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Melissa Andersen said...

Alright, the troops not having enough armor and ther equipment is sad, but can I ask...have any of you heard from an actual person in the military that this is the case? I personally have 5 of the closest people to me over fighting in the war, (well 2 are home, suiting up to leave) and NONE of them are complaining. Not to mention, even if the circumstances are treacherous, not one of them feels like they are fighting for an unjust cause. I don't disagree that the President was shady in how he conducted his business when we originally entered the war, however, I DO NOT feel like we don't belong there, nor do I feel that our men and women are fighting in vain!

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Melissa Andersen said...

Check out my blog @ melissaspeaksout.blogspot.com

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Jay said...

In every war that the the United States has been engaged in, there has been shortages in hardware, equipment and yes! manpower. In the revolutionary War many soldiers were never paid even though the Congress promised they would. In the Civil War, they had new repeating rifles on hand that was not issued till near the end of the war. So this is not new!! So when I hear this type of critism it seems it has been ratcheted up by some democrat lefty wacko who actually takes himself seriously in thinking he knows what he is talking about. But it is amazing how many people grow up and finally become Republicans when the facts doesn't sustain their position as a democrat.

 
At 5:43 AM, Blogger Russ said...

It's also amazing the number of people who used to be whacko Republicans who get sick of their way of politics (and politics in general) and go Independent because they are embarassed to claim affiliation with either party!

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger stevesnotblogger said...

At 7:04 PM, Melissa Andersen said...
Alright, the troops not having enough

armor and ther equipment is sad, but

can I ask...have any of you heard from

an actual person in the military that this

is the case?


Does one soldier asking Rumsy & about 1000 of his comrades cheering him on count?

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Christiana said...

At the risk of sounding like a big war-supporter, (I'm not,) I just wanted to point out that Rumsfeld actually had a semi-legitimate answer to this particular issue. Of course, for all the news that the issue is getting, all we hear is the question and the one-line sound-bite response.

Basically, the problem is not a lack of money or funding, it is a lack of production capability. Due to poor foresight, we went in without enough armour. The problem now is not that no one is willing to pay for more armor, the problem is that we can't make it fast enough!

Now, that still sucks and we should definitely work on a resolution, but it's important to know that the bottleneck is not the money. It's the production facilities that are suddenly being asked to make fifty times as much armor as they used to make.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Joe Cross said...

"But it is amazing how many people grow up and finally become Republicans when the facts doesn't sustain their position as a democrat."

I take exception to this, and not just because you began a sentence with "But" which is poor English. I have read this sort of comment from Ann Coulter: that in some way being a Democrat (capital D there, people - believing in democracy as we (mostly) do, we are all democrats with a lower-case d) is tied to immaturity. It is certainly the case that the Democrats dominate the youth vote, such that it is. Maybe when people are young they are idealistic and the Democrats offer a more positive world-view. However, I think it is more to do with the fact that as you grow older and become wealthier, you start wanting to pay less taxes. You also become more reactionary and conservative, but none of these positions is necessarily better or worse than the positions traditionally held by young people.

As related to facts, age has nothing to do with it. That was a cheap comment. However, it does seem to be the case that a belief in clear facts, right and wrong; black and white is a product of a conservative mindset. So yes, if you are the sort of person who believes themselves to be in possession of 'the facts' then you will probably turn out to be Republican. If you are the sort of person who understands that facts can always be disputed depending what angle you look at them from, that nothing is totally clear cut and every issue has shades of grey between the black and white, then you are more likely to be Democrat. This is why most academics are Democrats: they are trained to think, to see and understand nuance. They will not always be correct, but their mindset suits that particular political affiliation. If you are not such a deep thinker, and are less educated, then you are more likly to be Republican, because you see the world in simpler terms. Each of these scenarios has its advantages. Sometimes, a commander-in-chief needs to think and act decisively and quickly, and so a simple world view can be beneficial. Other times, patience and deep thought is required, and so an individual with an understnding of complexity is the better option. Ideally a president would embody both of these characteristics. In the last election, however, each canddiate embodied an opposite one. I fell on the side of Kerry, because I happen to think that the threat against us (the Western world) is exaggerated, so quick, decisive actions is not always necessary. I also think that such decisive action is pointless if it is the incorrect decision being taken. Half of America disagrees with me though, and that's fair enough. I would rather, though, that you didn't insult me and my kind just for holding a different world-view, especially not in such an unthinking and callous manner.

More bi-partisan rumblings at http://unitedstate.blogspot.com

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Russ said...

Joe Cross,
There's probably much truth to your comment. I think the modern military we have is a prime example. Look at your officer ranks. They are usually your college educated thinkers who serve in command level positions making the big decisions.

But also by the same tolken, many immediate and important decisions in the field that require a rapid decision are made by NCO's and senior NCO's (your sergeants) who often have very little education in comparison to their commissioned counterparts.

It takes a balance of both to make sure things run smoothly. But then when you get people like myself who are college educated and join the military but don't seek the commissioned ranks that really jazzes things up!!!

:)

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger FarFromFound said...

Halliburton = same company Clinton gave no-bid contracts too!

You go to war with what you have = if we give the enemy a chance to regroup we will ultimately lose more troopers than if we go with "what we have" now.

The element of surprise was basically lost with the UN's bought and paid for security council pomp and (shady) circumstance.

Good to hear people debating I'm very new to this, but as a conservative was amused to hear that we are "less educated."

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Rumsfeld is a scewball!
Let's get our troops out of bagdad and send that bunch of rag-heads a "big-boy" for Christmas.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Niccolo2 said...

I'm just enough of a political geek to go to the 'net and look up the particulars on Iraq. Go to http://worldfacts.us/Iraq.htm for more info.

The site says "slightly more than twice the size of Idaho", which is totally useless for me since Idaho has such an unusual shape (but I digress).

The population is 25+ million folks, with 7+m men between 16 and 60 something. The median age is just under 20 years old.

We sent about 150 thousand guys to control 25 million people, and some of that 150k are probably in Kuwait and/or Afghanistan. The chief complaints so far (among many)are that the borders are relatively open (it'd be hard to shut them down since they are so mountainous) and we're having a hard time controlling certain areas of the country.

Does it ever get through to our leaders that there really are NOT enough US troops there? 150k soldiers to control 25+ million?

I know that POTUS and SecDef both say if the commanders asked for more troops they would get them. But really, after Rumsfeld took over the Pentagon he set about to slim down the military in terms of troops needed for any particular operation. Knowing that, are the commanders really going to do that? And if they do, do we really believe that Rumsfeld will abandon his previous views and suddenly approve these requests for building a substantial presence in Iraq?

The retired generals on all the talk shows were fairly unanimous in their belief that we needed more folks going in. And after the recent decision to raise troop levels to 150k in time for the elections, and with the continuing problems in quelling the "insurgents", does anyone really think we could or can do this on the cheap?

Regards, N2

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger bmayeux said...

Russ:
You THINK Haliburton is getting money from the war? You THINK Cheney has a hand with Haliburton?
Stating what you think isn't credible. Find facts. Because otherwise, you're just running your mouth off.

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger Don said...

Rumsfeld's answer to the Tennessee guardsman was total bullshit. The fact is the U. S. has been in Iraq now for nearly three years. And you want me to believe that the Secretary and his Commander in Chief just now learned that our troops are ill equipped? It was a campaign issue for Christ's sake. Kerry included it in his stump speech. To know that Bush and Rummy would send our sons and daughters into war with less than adequate protection is unconscionable. Bush has two daughters the same age as many of the soldiers now in Iraq. Would he send them into battle without armor? Hardly!

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger bmayeux said...

"If you are the sort of person who understands that facts can always be disputed depending what angle you look at them from, that nothing is totally clear cut and every issue has shades of grey between the black and white, then you are more likely to be Democrat. This is why most academics are Democrats: they are trained to think, to see and understand nuance. They will not always be correct, but their mindset suits that particular political affiliation. If you are not such a deep thinker, and are less educated, then you are more likly to be Republican, because you see the world in simpler terms."


Where to start with this vapid misconception? Since a Democrat is supposed to see (at least according to you) that there are no absolutes -- no certain black and white areas, just oceans of gray -- then it would be wrong to say point-blank that Democrats are of academia, and Republicans are of a "simpler" mindset. Should I mention how most minorities vote Democratic, but are (generally) unable to obtain access to the high education that you hold so dear?

While we're discussing how natural Democrats notice nuance and are extremely disconcerting, what about the celebrity/entertainment industry leanings and the youth vote? Hopefully your fellow Democratic voters in the under-30 demographic discern that MTV, VH1, teen magazines, and the like aren't valid news sources. Networks can't just change their focus for a few months for an election (the "M" does stand for something!). The news young Americans were watching about the election was mixed with the "news" they were used to. An industry presenting record releases, movie premiers, and celebrity gossip as breaking news won't be able to shift gears to topics which are less ephemeral -- Unless, of course, they can coincidentally enlist the aid of celebrities. For example, P. Diddy needed another publicity stunt. Let's not forget the excessive MTV coverage he received for "Diddy runs the City," after which he "ran dry" of publicity. Luckily there were others who joined him in this and other ploys so there'd be no specific manipulator.

It's unfortunate American youth are going to be raised by television to vote "cool" instead of intelligently.

By the way, when's MTV gonna follow P Diddy around when he kills the people who didn't vote?

 
At 7:48 PM, Blogger A. F. Litt said...

Okay, wow... There's some responses.

Conservatives! Wow, cool. Unfortunately, where I tend to lurk, there are not many. Good to see you guys.

About the Rumsfeld show...

I totally agree that it is a crime that the soldiers feel that the government is not doing all that they can to protect them in the war. And I do believe that a large number of them feel that way... My proof, none. Just my gut. But I haven't seen numbers on either side of this issue.

However, it turns out that the soldier who asked the question about armor that is getting all of this attention was there guarding a reporter who prompted him to ask this question.

Is it still a valid question? Of course.

Were the audience's entusiastic cheers when the question was asked legitimate? Sounded like it to me.

But I am afraid that the conservative elements in the media will use this as an excuse to invalidate the question itself.

And that is sad. If there is no issue, then prove it. If there is, then something needs to be done.

I am tired of everyone avoiding the debate of real issues because they do not like who asked the question, etc.

Anyway, I'd like to invite the conservatives to come tear me a new one at http://democracyindistress.com

Debate. It's good for you, it's good for me, it's good for America!

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

I'm sure 2 years ago if it was known that the goverment was increasing the amount of armored vehicles being produced. The Dems and the media would have had a field day.
Haliburton, mmmmm....... They are the ONLY company of it's kind. There is no equal in the U.S., Let's hire a french company then. GIVE ME A BREAK. The template you Dems use is pathetic. Oh if that won't do let's have the U.N. handle this one I'm sure they will get it right sooner or later. Mr. Cheney has divested from Haliberton except in the minds of Dems. Clinton had no other way to go but using Hali.... You don't want to hear the rest of the word do ya Dems.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Karie said...

Ok, there are several things I believe and agree with. There are also several things I disagree with. If I didn't I would be a mindless drone. (Sounds like some celebrities I could name.....)

I, too, would like to know where all the money is going for Military spending. I mean, after all, when Clinton was in office, he had several military bases shut down, now we are not as strong military wise. So where is all the money. Might wantto check all the contributions that clinton did to all the third world countries long ago. Not that I disagree, but perhaps cutting Salaries of Congress and House would have been a better place to find the money.

Rumsfeld was called on the carpet... but he still didn't answer the question satisfactorially in my mind. Yes you go with what you have. No you do not go if there is not a majority vote to give the men the needed armor to protect them. Thank Kerry for that one, BTW.

Haliburton...... Nope, no bread sticks choking up my throat... Thanks for the concern, though.

The blog is not that one sided. It is actually quite even, from my prespective.

I agree with Russ, we are not safe. But then, we were never safe. Drive by shootings and Drugs on many street corners... how is that safe?

Also Russ, I agree with you about the Independant part. I am an Independant. I voted for Bush... but I am now concerned that was the wrong way to go. But I am not saying that Kerry would have been much better.

Joe. Thank you for, in essence, calling me less educated. I do my best with what I see and hear. many people do. Not many people get to go to Ivy League schools....

To the Guy/Gal that said something about a "Big Boy" for Christmas... Little harsh, don't ya think? Especially after just spending time on Tuesday remembering Pearl Harbor and the war afterwards. The one that we didn't want to be in. The one we were forced to jump into. And there weren't a lot of American's arguing then...

We do not have enough men and women fighting in Iraq. This has been admitted but the Soldiers themselves. They know there aren't enough. I don't think there should be a draft for it. I don't believe Bush is going to have a draft. But then I have been wrong about his promises before.

I think that is enough. I know some of you are wondering when is she gonna shut up. Oh well, I'm done.

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Sincere Verbage said...

The war is going on and there's really not much any of us can do about it. Whether we went into it too early or the "true" reason why we are even there will probably never be answered. I am a true Democratic and I did not vote for Bush, but I know plenty of life long Democrats that did. Reasons why? I'm sure everyone has legit reasons for voting the way they did, I feel it was mainly the "talk" that was talked and in the next four years we'll see the walk that is walked. But now that the election is over, it is not the time to STOP picking and choosing your words. True, we only heard that snippet of the conversation from the talk between Rumsfeld and the soilders but the bottom line is whether they are National Guard, Reserves, or active duty the soilders need to hear support spewing from every political avenue, Democratic or Republican. Rumsfeld needs to realize it wasn't so much what he said but how he said it. Every little word is watched during campaign time so as not to be misconstrued how about lets keep that ball rolling. Everyone needs to forget why we're at war, stop pointing the finger and concentrate on making these men and women lives' that are serving our country as comfortable as possible.

It pains my heart to hear soilders talk bad about our country when they have always been the uplifters, supporters, defenders of our nation. We talk about uniting the nation that is so divided. We talk about pulling together regardless of our affiliation and making a run for the next four years. To quote Rumsfeld, if he is even being quoted accurately, "You go to war with the army you have".....well all we have is Bush. (Good or Bad, Right or Wrong) But the entire nation needs to focus on the SOILDERS. Make them feel like even though no ones sure about the whys, wherefores and howcomes, you are our main priority. If we make them our main priority who knows what could happen....I know it has to be hard fighting a war you don't agree with, but it's got to be doubly hard to fight one thinking the 'Powers that Be' really don't care whether they've fully equipped you or not. Rumsfeld,again, if he was quoted correctly, came out sounding like this, "Listen you guys I'm getting ready to chain you to this bank here, there's a ditch that needs to be built but we only have a handful of shovels, every man has to dig his share. Once you're finished you can leave. By the way, there's a train coming right through your path in 4 hours, you need to be done if you expect to be out of the way." WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEN WHO DIDN'T HAVE SHOVELS?

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Sincere Verbage said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Draft, the men who have enlisted as it is now have to serve next to guardsmen who for the most part don't want to be there and are the first ones to complain about being extended. The last thing we need is more people that do not want to be there. By the way a Democrat introduced a draft bill last year and the media (MTV) made it out to be Bush and so forth. I don't want to have to deal with car bombings in this United States.
Oh to the King of grey. I'm sure the ACLU is your God. Crime is only black and white and they seek to get off those that are clearly guilty. There are enough safeguards to protect falsley accused people. Wait maybe I have not expanded my thinking enough on this issue, NOT!

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Russ said...

You all make great points, but as I recall Cheney still draws some sort of retirement funds from Halliburton. While he may have "severed the tie" so to speak, he still receives much more money from that company than the rest of could ever hope to get. Plus all his friends that remain with that company have much to benefit from No Bid contracts.

I don't beleive for one second that Halliburton is the only company in existence in the world (or the U.S. for that matter) that can do that kind of work. No bid contracts are total B.S. They were wrong under Clinton and they are wrong under Bush.

And lastly to suggest that Democrats are more educated than Republicans or vice versa is a lot of crap too. I jump off different sides of the fence on many issues and I have many conservative and liberal friends. Education exists plentiful among them both, as does ignorance.

Yes on some issues there is only black and white, but on others there is grey. One's refusal to see the color grey doesn't make it non-existent.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger arch said...

All that money going to the middle east is being used to build military bases across the world, and especially Asia, to guard against the Chinese when they decide to take over.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Joe Cross said...

It seems my earlier point was anything but a 'vapid misconception', as bmayeaux called it. Over-generalised, perhaps, but not a misconception. And if it were so vapid, then why bother responding to it at all?

Let me clarify, for I didn't mean to insult the conservatives amongst you. I too fall on either side of the partisan divide, depending on the issue. My point was not that conservatives are uniformally stupid or uneducated. Nor was it that all liberals are intelligent and enlightened. It was that, speaking in very general terms, conservatives have a view of the world that is more simple, and this is a view that highly educated individuals in academia tend to veer away from. That is not to say that it is an inferior way of seeing things. As I said, sometimes it is absolutely necessary that we see things simply and with clarity. I just do not believe this to be one of those times. Disagree with that, by all means, but I never meant to insinuate that consevatives are all uneducated and low-brow; that would be to conform to a typical liberal stereotype that simply doesn't apply to me.

It is possible to be highly intelligent, and still see the world in simple terms: there are many conservatives on this board obviously of above-average intelligence.

To bring minority demographics into the equation is also misleading. There are always groups with special interests that buck the trends. My point was (an admittedly generalised) one of political philosophy, not a jab at a particular group of individuals. Sorry for any offense, but I stand by what I said.

There is a post on my blog (unitedstate.blogspot.com) about political philosophy, liberal vs. conservative etc. Feel free to visit and let me know what you think of that.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger William C. White said...

This issue isn't about Democrats or Republicans, it isn't about big business, it isn't even about this war. This issue is about our military, in general, recognizing what our skills are when it comes to fighting ANY war. America is militarily strong because we are a NUCLEAR power, we are strong because we have state of the art technology (planes, missles, satellites, etc.), we are strong because almost everyone else is weak.

But none of that matters in this type of war, our nuclear weapons can't be used, are technology is useless in detecting car bombs and suicide bombers, and no matter how weak you are, it doesn't take much to blow up a car. America needs to recognize what type of war it is fighting and ask itself, is it willing to fight this type of war. If not, we have to leave, period. It's strange to me, on another level, that you can say that the reasons for going to war were wrong, or found out to be wrong, but then say, in effect, now that we're here let's keep shooting.

If America is going to go to war, we should go to war under our terms using the technology and weaponry that makes us better than everyone else. What would Superman look like fighting ANYONE in a kryptonite room? Kind of like what America looks like right now in Iraq, Target Practice.

Rumsfeld was right, "You go to war with the Army you have", but he should recognize, that's only true if you're willing to use what is at your disposal.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Mr Rumsfeld was given this problem of the make up of our forces long ago. You see the Senate sets the budget and appropriations and the 2 terms of Mr. Clinton preceding Bush cut the military and in the end that shaped our present troop strength. Congress sets those prorities. Yes, there is the attempt to ramp up but Rumsfeld and even the president can't just get what they want right away. They must go thru Congress and I am sure they will do all they can to increase troop strength.
Meanwhile it's easy for any member of Congress to attack Rummy who was not in Congress when Congress voted to cut the military and many of those members are still serving in Congress. Yet they put the blame on him. That is why he will go with the Army he has.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Mr Rumsfeld was given this problem of the make up of our forces long ago. You see the Senate sets the budget and appropriations and the 2 terms of Mr. Clinton preceding Bush cut the military and in the end that shaped our present troop strength. Congress sets those prorities. Yes, there is the attempt to ramp up but Rumsfeld and even the president can't just get what they want right away. They must go thru Congress and I am sure they will do all they can to increase troop strength.
Meanwhile it's easy for any member of Congress to attack Rummy who was not in Congress when Congress voted to cut the military and many of those members are still serving in Congress. Yet they put the blame on him. That is why he will go with the Army he has.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Mr Rumsfeld was given this problem of the make up of our forces long ago. You see the Senate sets the budget and appropriations and the 2 terms of Mr. Clinton preceding Bush cut the military and in the end that shaped our present troop strength. Congress sets those prorities. Yes, there is the attempt to ramp up but Rumsfeld and even the president can't just get what they want right away. They must go thru Congress and I am sure they will do all they can to increase troop strength.
Meanwhile it's easy for any member of Congress to attack Rummy who was not in Congress when Congress voted to cut the military and many of those members are still serving in Congress. Yet they put the blame on him. That is why he will go with the Army he has.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Mr Rumsfeld was given this problem of the make up of our forces long ago. You see the Senate sets the budget and appropriations and the 2 terms of Mr. Clinton preceding Bush cut the military and in the end that shaped our present troop strength. Congress sets those prorities. Yes, there is the attempt to ramp up but Rumsfeld and even the president can't just get what they want right away. They must go thru Congress and I am sure they will do all they can to increase troop strength.
Meanwhile it's easy for any member of Congress to attack Rummy who was not in Congress when Congress voted to cut the military and many of those members are still serving in Congress. Yet they put the blame on him. That is why he will go with the Army he has.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Joe Cross said...

I keep feeling I should leave this thread alone, as enough has been said already really, but the above comment from Joe Caggiano is so flawed and fundamentally misconceived that I feel something needs to be added.

1. "Mr Rumsfeld was given this problem of the make up of our forces long ago. You see the Senate sets the budget and appropriations and the 2 terms of Mr. Clinton preceding Bush cut the military and in the end that shaped our present troop strength."

So, the Senate (I would say both houses of Congress have a say, but let's go with you for now) sets appropriations for military spending. What does Clinton have to do with this? I've been pointing out for years that the president has little say in domestic policy (and that includes appropriations), and that Congress is far more important. Yet conservatives have never before accepted it, preferring instead to put forward the 'delay' theory: the concept that Reagan's policies led to the boom of the 90s, and Clinton's led to the slow down of Bush's first term. Now Joe admits that it is Congress that "sets the priorities", but still attempts to blame Clinton for a cut in military spending - in the same paragraph!

2. "Yes, there is the attempt to ramp up but Rumsfeld and even the president can't just get what they want right away. They must go thru Congress and I am sure they will do all they can to increase troop strength."

They have had four years. Two of those with a Republican legislature. Also, the timing of the Iraq war was chosen by the administration, not Congress, not Saddam, not the U.N., no-one else. If the American military wasn't prepared, then the only people that can possibly be to blame is this administration, because they could have waited.

3. "Meanwhile it's easy for any member of Congress to attack Rummy who was not in Congress when Congress voted to cut the military and many of those members are still serving in Congress. Yet they put the blame on him. That is why he will go with the Army he has."

True, Rumsfeld wasn't in Congress when the arms-reduction measures went through in the early 90s. However, George Bush Sr. was in the White House, and Vice President Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defence. It was he who proposed the arms reductions, and he actually wanted more drastic reductions than the ones he got. Guess what? The Democrat Congress actually amended his bill to cut arms by less than what he wanted. So now who's to blame?

4. Why blame anyone anyway? Is it not reasonable that when the Cold War had ended and the Soviet Union ceased to exist, let alone be a threat (something it hadn't been since the mid-1970s), Western governments saw a chance to cut back on military spending? I would have been disappointed if they hadn't taken that course of action, especially since it helped to fuel the booming economies of the late 90s. We also don't need the kind of weaponry that saw the largest cut backs to fight terrorists. Battleships and tanks aren't particularly useful against Bin-Laden and his followers. Terrorism is much more a law and order issue, and one that requires the use of small-scale special forces when military action is deemed necessary.

It is frankly spineless and pathetic to attempt to blame the blatantly obvious failings of this administration on previous presidents and previous Congresses. There really are no excuses for this one, and it would make a more than refreshing change to see the Bush White House, for once, put their hands up and own up to something they got wrong.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger William C. White said...

You tell him, Joe Cross!!!

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree. The government in the U.S is crumbling and has been since the horrid day that the Twin Towers fell down. Bush has no clue what he's doing. What suprises me is that he actually got relected. The only good that could come out of this would be more political music like "Mosh" by Eminem

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Guys, as I have argured with you previously. The president does set the peramiters for negotiations with congress that is what winning the elections are all about. Clinton did set a course of reductions. Republicans had no clear majority when you take the Rep. moderates into the fray. Look everybody the presidents gets what he wants for the most part.

As far as those Senate members so quick to critisize Rummy. They are positioning against Rummy for future political gain.These are men I may have to vote for in the future whitch does not make me too happy.

It also seems that you do not like the looking back at Clinton while you are so quick to jump on Bush before he gets anything really done in the present.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

Your comment on George Sr. and Cheney proposing cuts. Would they really have cut in the post Desert Storm era. I'll have to check on that. The facts is that on Clintons watch troop strenth dropped over 40%. I will get he name of this study and pass it on to all of you. In key areas there were significants drops. As we were attacked by terrorists in the 90's there was no effort to build a new stategy to meet this threat. Shame on everybody in Congress. Alquida grew in strenth in the 90"s right under our noses. Man, you guys are wicked Liberals huh!

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Erin said...

For all of you that feel so stinkin sorry for the troops "without armor":

I feel sorry for the soldiers who spent the holidays alone. I feel sorry for the soldiers who don't get mail. I feel sorry that the soldiers that didn't cry like whiny bitches to Donald Rumsfeld have to defend the fact that our government DOES give a damn.

My husband has been in Iraq for seven months, and he said this complaint is a load of shit. Yes, there are scrap metal bins. Yes, military vehicles do get hit by IEDs. Yes, soldiers are allowed to go to the scrap metal bins and weld whatever pieces they need onto their vehicle. This does not mean that our government is complacent. It just means they have trained our soldiers to survive in the worst conditions.

As part of my job, I see a lot of the uniforms that were on soldiers at the time of their death. These soldiers are equipped with thousands of dollars of equipment; equipment that is REQUIRED even if they leave their barracks room. I got a uniform covered in blood...this soldier was wearing ALL of his equipment, and the explosives went underneath his Flak Vest and killed him. Another soldier from our post was hit in the head, right under his Kevlar. Split his head in half. So who's fault is it now?

My point is, even if our soldiers weren't 110% equipped (which they are), they are in Iraq for heaven's sake! They are fighting a war!! There are psycho insurgents running around with machine guns!! There are going to be fatalities, regardless of the armor.

The least you can do is support them and maybe send some mail. They are doing the hard work and 99% of them aren't complaining. They joined the Army for a reason.

www.erinrages.blogspot.com

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger William C. White said...

They didn't have to join the military, Erin. Support our troops? For what? Are you one of those people who support the troops, right or wrong? You would have made a good Nazi.

Remember, if another country invaded us, we'd have a bunch of "crazy" American insurgents running around with machine guns.

The soldiers get no sympathy from me. If you follow orders and fight an unjust war like a good Nazi, you should be killed like a good Nazi. Period!!!

 
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At 8:56 PM, Anonymous golf equipment trends said...

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At 7:59 PM, Blogger daniel said...

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