Friday, May 11, 2007

America’s Military – Grounded by Bush not by Al Qeda

Time after time Congress with bipartisan support pleaded Rumsfeld to increase the military strength during 2002 to 2006. But no avail – Rumsfeld and Cheney thought they were smart in not increasing the recruitment so as to undercut any possibility of Vietnam era style resentment getting generated due to higher enlistment or draft. Rumsfeld’s belief in so called ‘lean and mean military’ might have played a role; but no doubt he and Cheney thought they would not give any opening to the war opposition by way of draft or higher recruitment. But alas, Rumsfeld and Cheney’s incompetence and mismanagement of the war have been so thorough and tragically devastating that there are not many coming forward to serve the military.

In Iraq, army general after general is now asking for more American bodies to fight the war. Army recruiters are undertaking all sorts of gimmicks to increase the enlistment. Why did all these Generals with all their bravery ‘stars’ and high leadership credentials keep quite when the Iraq war started? How come collectively they withstood the non-sense of Bush & Co. and did not demand resources they would need to wage the war? Where was their integrity in accepting the Rumsfeldian non-sense of ‘you fight the war with the army you have’? Why did Pentagon in essence allow this degradation of its Army?

And now Pentagon is lamenting that it is ‘parents’ who are the main obstacle in recruiting GI Joe. How shameless all this military brass can be? They want Americans to come forward and sacrifice their children for their incompetence and the hubris of Bush.

Politicians of this country do not have guts to control guns strictly and as a result essentially let loose killers on college campuses. Americans land up sacrificing their children on college campuses to psychotic people. And now they have to endure laments from the military brass that American parents are not ready for the sacrifice. How bizarre Bush world has become.

In the end Bush era will go down in the history of America as the one when Army top brass failed as well as colossal degradation of America’s military preparedness occurred. Given this vulnerable situation, hundreds of Billions spent on F22 Raptors and other hypothetically superior weapon systems do not necessarily bring any sense of security. For some crummy jobs retained by these weapons programs in their electoral districts; many in Congress also join this farce of ‘securitization’ of America, completing the loop of Rumsfled’s logic – ‘fighting wars with the army at hand’.

May be the eloquence of contestants in the American Idol competition - I mean aspirants in the presidential campaign of 2008 - could open this vital debate for America. And may be Media also connect ‘the dots’ and be vigilant in exposing all these complexities.

Umesh Patil
Cupertino, CA 95014
May 11, 2007.

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