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Ben Franklin's bifocals December 11, 2004

Let Them Eat Cake

It was delicious the way that the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stepped in it when confronted by an E-4 during a widely televised town hall style meeting with the troops. In response to a question about why the servicemen who were about to go into battle in Iraq had to dig through the dump for material with which to armor their vehicles, Rumsfeld said: "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Apparently, the same arrogance that has characterized Rumsfeld's management of the nation's military led him to respond in that way to a perfectly legitimate life-and-death matter for which he bears full responsibility. The phrase, "hoist by your own petard" comes to mind.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

It is not just that the response of Secretary Rumsfeld begs the question of why this nation went to war at a time, in a place, and in a manner entirely of the President's choosing, with inadequately prepared and equipped forces, what is truly scary about the Secretary's response is that on some level it is entirely correct. Indeed, this nation has always gone to war with a military force that was configured to fight the last war instead of the next one. One wonders if the Japanese aircraft that struck Pearl Harbor had found the three Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers in port instead of the battleships that Sunday, whether we might be learning English as a second language. Of course, it is up to the President, as Commander in Chief, and his Secretary of Defense to make sure that we do not repeat past errors in structuring the Armed Forces of the United States. The fact that we have failed to fire either of these gentlemen does not bode well for the future security of the country.

Donald Duck & nephews Huey, Louie, Dewey
"Gee, Unca Donald, our bikes are falling apart!"
"Nothin' to it, boys!"

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