Interesting. The President sits for an interview with the WaPo and acknowledges, for the first time, we aren’t winning in
President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the
More interesting, to me, is Dubya’s acknowledgement that the military is “stressed” and needs to grow to meet current and future challenges.
A substantial military expansion will take years and would not immediately affect the war in
A force structure expansion would accelerate the already-rising costs of war.
There’s a lot in this article that’s speculation, but there’s more than a little bit of substance, as well. One of the issues the military establishment had with Rumsfeld was his insistence on transformation as he visualized it: “light and mobile,” as opposed to “strength in numbers,” or brute force. There is a middle ground, but apparently Rummy resisted any increase in permanent end-strength of the Army and Marines. That appears to be changing with Rumsfeld’s departure. It will take time to build up the Army, and it’s gonna take a lot of money, especially when one factors in the costs of replacing worn out or blown up equipment. And that’s not even considering the aging inventories of combat aircraft in the Air Force and Navy, a substantial problem in its own right.
The cost is the sticky bit. How do we pay for this expansion? I submit it’s past time to recognize war has costs above and beyond normal government expenditures. We’ve been doing this war on terror thing on the cheap for the past five years, and Dubya ain’t doing us any favors by prosecuting the war in this manner. It’s time for additional revenue, whether it’s in the form a ten cents per gallon “temporary” gas tax, war bonds, or an income tax surcharge. Pay as you go… Ya know?
Rich Lowry wrote a column yesterday at National Review that is getting a
The mainstream media is biased, arrogant, prone to stultifying group-think and much more fallible than its exalted self-image allows it to admit. It also, however, can be right, and this is most confounding to conservatives.
Partly because he felt it necessary to counteract the pessimism of the media, President Bush accentuated the positive for far too long. Bush allowed himself to be cornered by his media critics. They wanted him to admit mistakes, so for the longest time, he would admit none. They wanted him to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, so for too long he kept him on. They wanted him to abandon “stay the course,” so he stuck to it. In so doing, he eroded his own credibility and delayed making the major strategic readjustment he needed to try to check the downward slide in
Lowry makes some danged good points and I agree with his premise, for the most part. A couple of perceptive folks on the right provide some needed balance and perspective to Lowry’s comments, though, and Jules Crittenden is one of those guys:
He (ed: Lowry) is talking about trees, and a couple of thickets. What he misses is the forest. The pervasive underlying assumptions and perspective that taint many Associated Press reports and those in other major newspapers and broadcasts.
Chief among them is the notion that we remain a nation at peace, with a bit of a global crime problem, engaged in elective wars, and the notion that adversarial reporting should proceed full steam ahead regardless of any immediate or potential consequences (google New York Times treason).
Another example is the pervasion disinformation campaign that suggests Saddam Hussein was an manufactured threat, ignoring the actual history, what was believed by every major intelligence agency at the time, the image he was successfuly projecting, and the very real consequences of the collapse of sanctions. Another example is the fast and loose use of terms such as "torture," eagerness to amplify any
All of that said, an important point Lowry makes is that you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Every one of the news organizations that are routinely bashed by me and others also provide important information.
Captain Ed adds: “I suspect that Lowry has it more right than many of us in the blogosphere would like to admit.” I agree.
All three articles are worth the read. And by the way…I agreed with Laurie when she said Jules Crittenden gets her vote for “Best New Blog” in the recently concluded 2006 Weblog Awards. The guy’s good.
Picked this link up from a commenter at Lex’s place. I think I’ll do a bit of shopping here… (Note to SNs 1&2: When it comes to Christmas gifts you could do much worse than selecting an item or two from this site.)
The weather has changed considerably since I put the photos up this morning. Those crystal-clear skies have been replaced by a wooly gray overcast and almost-howling winds…on the order of 28 mph or so, steady, with gusts in the 30+ mph range. It’s not warmed up a lot, but enough so that I’m being alternately entertained and startled by the tink-crack-THUNK sounds of ice falling on the roof of El Casa Móvil De Pennington. Looks like an entertaining sort of day, weather-wise.