the talking dog

August 15, 2004, From the People who Brought you the "Clean Skies Initiative" (loosening air pollution regulations) and the "Healthy Forest Initiative" (allowing increased logging)...

The Bush Administration gives us its plans for the redeployment of 70,000 troops from overseas station to bases within the United States. The People's Daily report linked to here is pretty consistent with other reports I have seen and heard: Bush will announce this initiative (which will not affect-- at all-- the 130,000 plus troops in Iraq or the nearly 20,000 troops in Afghanistan) at a VFW hall in swing state Ohio. The rationale for this pullback of forces permanently based in Europe or Asia is "to be able to respond more quickly to foreign situations."

You see? Its one thing to have simply said "the Cold War is over; we no longer need hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany defending Western Europe from the Red Army", we get the Orwellian suggestion that moving troops thousands of miles further away from where they will likely be deployed will help our ability to get troops to foreign trouble spots.

Here's the thing: after its little stunt of two weeks ago (literally a fake terror alert that included a target a block from my office in order to get Kerry off the front pages), the Bush Administration has made it clear that everything the President now does or says must-- must-- be assumed done for some short-term political advantage.

Again-- not many people yet agree with me, but I'll keep saying: the appropriate meme now is Kerry inevitability (just as he was the inevitable nominee after Iowa). It's Kerry's to lose-- he can, of course-- but I don't think he will. Bush can no longer do anything to beat him (and the Bushmen are doing everything they can think of).

In this case, the idea is to throw a bone to a core Republican constituency-- military members and their families. What it means, of course, is that Karl has concluded that he needs to do this-- even with the staged lying testimonials of veterans who didn't serve on Kerry's boat but resent his post-war anti-war activism so much that they are willing to say they did and then trash the value of military valor and honorable service in order to benefit a draft evader and deserter. This, of course, is further evidence of... Kerry's inevitability.

I accept that this troop reshuffling (proposed) has no significance vis a vis Iraq (unlike the shifting of nearly a third of our South Korea deployment to... Iraq).
What I refuse to accept is that there is any military or strategic purpose to doing it (even for saving money)-- Bush doesn't do anything unless its to get Kerry off the front page. Period.

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Is there any possibility that Bush wants the military close at hand so that if, as before, someone else (Kerry) is actually elected Bush can enforce his desire to keep the presidency by calling out the military on the rest of us? I realize this is an extremely paranoid position -- but I can't help thinking this is a possibility, based on the timing.

Posted by twistedchick at August 15, 2004 04:44 PM

Certainly, how you say, you have basis to feel that way. Thank Dieu that this sort of thing never happens in Paree.

Posted by Zee Frensh Poodell at August 15, 2004 09:39 PM

I think that the plan has more sinister implications. Along with the Patriot Act and the appointment of a national Intelligence director, I see the troop realignment as the next step on the way to the police state. It's much easier to put down civil unrest and quell dissent when you have more troops in the US. And don't get me started about the Department of Homeland Security!

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