The Talking Dog

January 2, 2005, You have a bake sale with the army you have

Ah, yes. A young reservist, whose unit has not yet been deployed to Iraq... give it time, lad... has raised around $3,000 in an auction of sports memorabilia intended to be used to fund body armor and other necessary equipment for his reserve unit. Despite reports that the $87 billion "for our troops" (which was, if our troops were smart enough to have large defense contractors", but didn't mean body or vehicle armor), many military men and women report having to scrounge around for what we would consider basic safety equipment-- as roadside bombs have killed a fair part of the over 1300 combat dead.

Reservist Sean Flynn of the Mountain View (California) based 445th Civil Affairs Battalion was promptly told that his unit had all the equipment it needed (lest the truth which might save soldiers' lives get in the way of the official story), at which point he donated the proceeds to a soldiers' mothers' group and for a "luxury item" like a computer for the unit.

Ah, the mightiest nation that ever existed we are told. Whose army is down to 18-year old reservists who feel the need to privately raise money for their own equipment (shades of the Czarist forces battling Napoleon, no?)

We spend an awful lot of money on fancy anti-missile technology that not only doesn't work, but is directed at a threat that by and large no longer exists. The actual human beings who are going to go in and take and then hold ground are an after-thought. SecDef's Rumsfeld's fantasy military of the future only makes things worse, as we continue to ignore the reality of the wars of the present, which are raging away in Afghanistan, Iraq and all over Africa-- where irregular forces that move fast engage in hit and run guerrilla attacks. By contrast, we are the red-coats lining up with our muskets dropping to shoot and standing to reload, making oh so nice targets.

Well, godspeed to Reservist Flynn. He really is the future of this country. Let's hope we don't go getting him (or too many more of our finest young men and women) killed over in Iraq. For nothing.


My god, geo. bush is such a waste as a human being. In Nov. 2000 I just hoped we would survive until we could be rid of him in 2004. Surprise, by some cruel twist of fate, we've still got him. Makes me crazy!

Posted by DJ at January 2, 2005 5:30 PM

Down to 18 year old reservists? What does this mean? The reserves are made up of men and women of ALL ages and we aren't "down" to using them either - they were MADE to be used this way. Now, you can argue that it was a mistake to structure the force this way, but using them was not something that we just decided to do - it has been in the works since before Clinton.

And just because this kid "felt the need" to raise the money doesn't mean it was needed for armor. Perhaps the unit had already obligated their budget for armor and NEEDED something else?

Think before you write . . .

Posted by David at January 3, 2005 5:56 PM

No, Sir. YOU READ the sentence before YOU write. We are down to 18 year old reservists who feel the need to privately raise money for their own equipment. THAT is I wrote, and that is what we are down to. (Very few things make me angrier than being misquoted to my face on my own blog; you may disagree all you like, but there are SOME rules here.)

Go ahead and blame the whole God damned Iraq war on Clinton, why don't you. He didn't structure our military for decades-long occupations manned by 150,000 troops-- a trend started at the end of the Cold War by POPPY Bush. Of course, this Bush hemmed and hawed over this very war for 18 months past 9-11-- and did exactly NOTHING to alter our force mix himself.

In some sense-- it IS Bill Clinton's fault, for helping Al Gore feel the need to have to defend against Slcik Willy's inability to keep the other slick willy in his pants-- so he felt compelled to pick an asshole loser prude creep DINO like Joe Lieberman as his running-mate, thereby allowing Dubya to sneak in and steal the election (interpret that statement anyway you like-- it doesn't necessarily imply criminality--nor rule it out).

The fact is, Sean Flynn is IN THIS. He knows exactly what he signed up for. And he knows units are not being provided with adequate armor-- including most likely his own (maybe, maybe not; it's a public affairs unit, so who knows; he's there, I'm not, and I suspect you're not either). Flynn's doing something about it-- in the great American tradition of self-reliance.

And, because avoiding embarassing adverse publicity is far more important to our military than actual "force protection", at least when it comes to spending money, the rest is, as they say, history.

But then, that's all Bill Clinton's fault too, right? I guess I forgot that the Imperium can do no wrong. EVER.

Never mind. Just, never mind.

Posted by the talking dog at January 3, 2005 6:31 PM