Put This In Your Pipe!

It’s pretty obvious that the U.S. doesn’t need to build an expensive and controversial missile defense system in Europe so that parts okay. But it’s equally clear that we should be focused on trying to shrink the overall size of the U.S. military, so you have to wonder whose side these folks are on that just allowed this to pass: “Defense authorization bill sent to Bush — without timetables.”

And the whole issue of Iraq is just left to fester with nary a game of hardball in sight…

The Democratic-led Congress authorized more Iraq war spending on Friday, sending President Bush a defense bill requiring no change in strategy after failing again to impose a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals.

The defense policy bill, approved 90-3 by the Senate, also expanded the size of the U.S. Army and set conditions on the Bush administration’s plan to build a missile defense system in Europe.

The measure already had passed the House and now goes to Bush, who is expected to sign it into law. It authorizes Pentagon programs expected to cost $506.9 billion during fiscal 2008, which began in October.

The bill authorized another $189.4 billion for the Iraq and Afghan wars, for which Congress has already approved some $600 billion. But it does not deliver the new money. That is done by appropriations legislation at the center of a big dispute on Capitol Hill.

Democratic efforts to amend the defense policy legislation to change course in Iraq passed the House but failed several times this year in the narrowly divided Senate.

“The effort (to change course in Iraq) is not over,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said after the vote. But the Michigan Democrat did not know what the next step in that struggle would be.

The defense policy legislation expands the Army by 13,000 soldiers to 525,400 in 2008.

Five hundred plus billion dollars for the military, and $190 billion of that authorized just for fighting in the Mideast, with the total package being so popular that it was able to swing 90 votes. I don’t know of any to interpret this other than that we obviously need at least 90 new members of the Senate.

I mean, I’m not sure what percentage of the general population would feel that this is defense bill is optimal, but I wouldn’t hesitate to bet that it is well below ninety per cent. Couple the general bill with caving on cutting our presence in Iraq, if such does become the road that we travel at least through the spring, and I doubt that there would be even a majority for the whole package.

How can the rest of us get whatever it is that those people are smoking?

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3 Responses to Put This In Your Pipe!

  1. Ken Larson says:

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    Politicians make no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/11/halliburton200711

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

    http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    Ken Larsen: Being ever the optimist, I believe that we could avoid the cataclysim that you describe by taking matters in our own hands at The Second American Constitutional Convention. The people of this nation largely know the truth of the problem as you describe it and, collectively, we have the brain power to design the optimium solution. I’d prefer to see us go that route rather than waiting for things to fall apart, when the only thing we can do is try to figure out how to pick up the pieces.

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