Wednesday, May 04, 2005

 

Throwing himself on a grenade for Shrub

When the sun finally flickers out, I'm sure some wingnut will blame Bill Clinton. And how does George W. Bush inspire such fulsome yet completely unjustified loyalty?
Military's Lack of Armor

To the Editor:

I was sickened by the naïveté and hypocrisy displayed by The Times (front page, April 25), and even more so its readers (April 27 letters), regarding the lack of armored vehicles for our fighting forces.

When the military buys any weapon or piece of equipment, it must balance capabilities and cost. Although an armored Humvee offers more protection from small arms and explosive devices, it is slower, less maneuverable and much more expensive. Moreover, the defense budget is a zero-sum game. Armor a vehicle, get fewer vehicles, or get less of something else. Military planners must do this calculation daily, and believe me, they do care about the human cost.

Since I can remember, The Times never saw a defense budget that wasn't "bloated." Most of the vaunted "Clinton surplus" was borne on the back of an eviscerated and overextended military. It is the height of hypocrisy for those who cheered these developments to now wring their hands over the consequences.

Sean M. Hannaway
The funny thing is, the Times did "balance capabilities and costs". Just a few days ago, too.
Support Our Troops

More than two years after the invasion of Iraq, American soldiers are still needlessly dying or suffering grievous injuries because of the Pentagon's inexcusable slowness in protecting their Humvees and trucks with adequate armor. It's a problem that the troops in the field have been vocally complaining about for a long time, and one that briefly made headlines when a National Guard soldier confronted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Kuwait last December. Yet, despite accelerated efforts since that time, it is far from solved. Perhaps the Pentagon needs to divert some money and effort from those exotic weapons systems for the future that defense contractors prefer, and save the lives and limbs of the troops it sends into battle today.
Hmmm. Sounds like a fair tradeoff to me. I'd rather spend money on desperately needed Humvees now than sci-fi weapons in the future.

Further, I can't believe that the right wing kooks are still blaming Bill Clinton for everything that goes wrong, four years after he left office!

A) When Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense, he called for far deeper cuts in defense spending than Clinton enacted.

B) As Al Franken has pointed out, the military machine that Bush sent into Afghanistan was Clinton's. The one Bush sent into Iraq was still pretty much Clinton's, too.

C) Given that the invasion of Iraq was totally unjustified - I'm sure Mr. Hannaway will refuse to believe this, but then, Bill Safire still thinks we're going to find Saddam's nukes; the right wing is just chock-full of delusions - and given that Bush and Rumsfeld were convinced there would be no murderous aftermath, the military may try to persuade itself and us that it had no way of knowing that we would need armored Humvees. But we did. And still do. And they should have known it.

We had no justification to invade Iraq in the first place. Doing so completely unprepared is inexcusable. Trying desperately to concoct excuses is pathetic.

I am sickened by Mr. Hannaway's frantic efforts to blame anyone but those who are really responsible - George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and all the other neocons and imperialists who looked at Iraq as their own personal fiefdom. Where does Bush find all these slackjawed, gaping apologists?

Mr Hannaway should be ashamed of himself, although I'm not holding my breath.
Comments:
TNB

Hold on a minute, I need to wipe my chin. There, that’s better. It’s kind of hard to keep the drool off while my mouth is gaping.

That’s right, it’s me, the “wingnut” who wrote the letter to the Times. Now, I know I’ll have hard time keeping up with a brilliant polemicist like you, let alone that modern-day Sun Tzu, Al Franken, but I’ll do my best. A relative inadvertently came across your page when looking for something else with the family name in it. I first thought to ignore it, but then I thought, what the heck, I have a few minutes to kill.

First, a piece of advice - People will be more likely to listen to your point of view if you don’t immediately resort to ad hominem attacks. Also, you shouldn’t mischaracterize your target’s position. My letter said nothing about the justification for the war, or my opinions about it. You really don’t have enough facts to support your assertions. Finally, you really don’t do yourself any good by attacking a position, and then providing support for the position you just attacked. Which way, exactly, does Field Marshall Franken’s comment that we went to war with Clinton’s Army cut? I just don’t get your point.

Why am I bothering to respond to your post? Well, as I went through your page and looked at the posted comments, it occurred to me that you are putting an awful lot of effort into this enterprise, and not many people seem to be reading it (aside from a charming fellow named Banana Slug.) It’s quite sad, really. Perhaps you are not gainfully employed, or you just don’t have anything better to do, but I hope these pointers help. I may point this page out to some friends, but, as I said, you’ll have to up the quality if you want to keep them reading.

Finally, regarding your May 16, 2005 post, the actual Chesterton quote is. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” The great GK would never have written the pedantic statement you attributed to him. Moreover, he would do handsprings in his very large grave if he saw the purpose for which you were using his name. A more fitting GKC quote might for you might be. “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.”

Ooops, there’s that chin again.

SMH
 
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Comments: "
TNB

Hold on a minute, I need to wipe my chin. There, that’s better. It’s kind of hard to keep the drool off while my mouth is gaping.

That’s right, it’s me, the “wingnut” who wrote the letter to the Times. Now, I know I’ll have hard time keeping up with a brilliant polemicist like you, let alone that modern-day Sun Tzu, Al Franken, but I’ll do my best. A relative inadvertently came across your page when looking for something else with the family name in it. I first thought to ignore it, but then I thought, what the heck, I have a few minutes to kill.

First, a piece of advice - People will be more likely to listen to your point of view if you don’t immediately resort to ad hominem attacks. Also, you shouldn’t mischaracterize your target’s position. My letter said nothing about the justification for the war, or my opinions about it. You really don’t have enough facts to support your assertions. Finally, you really don’t do yourself any good by attacking a position, and then providing support for the position you just attacked. Which way, exactly, does Field Marshall Franken’s comment that we went to war with Clinton’s Army cut? I just don’t get your point.

Why am I bothering to respond to your post? Well, as I went through your page and looked at the posted comments, it occurred to me that you are putting an awful lot of effort into this enterprise, and not many people seem to be reading it (aside from a charming fellow named Banana Slug.) It’s quite sad, really. Perhaps you are not gainfully employed, or you just don’t have anything better to do, but I hope these pointers help. I may point this page out to some friends, but, as I said, you’ll have to up the quality if you want to keep them reading.

Finally, regarding your May 16, 2005 post, the actual Chesterton quote is. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” The great GK would never have written the pedantic statement you attributed to him. Moreover, he would do handsprings in his very large grave if he saw the purpose for which you were using his name. A more fitting GKC quote might for you might be. “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.”

Ooops, there’s that chin again.

SMH
 
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