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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!(20 posts)

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!Jon Billheimer
Jun 25, 2003 7:41 AM
I just completed my weekly visit to Debka to pick up the latest wildeyed Israeli journalistic "scoops". And lo and behold they're reporting that the Americans are building two super-intelligence centres, one in Baghdad and one in Mosul, to permanently monitor the goings on not only in Iraq but also Syria and Iran. The idea is that good ole' Uncle Sam is planning on maintaining a major military and intelligence presence in the area for at least the next ten years.

So welcome to Pax Americana and the unfoldment of of Phase One of the neocon dream of American imperial world-dominance. Critics of the Bush initiative have said all along, based on the written statements of hard-right ideologues in the State Dept., that this war was never about "justice", WMDs, or anything else. It's about the "grand plan" to establish worldwide American hegemony and the protection of Israel.

Scott, you and your buddies are going to be busy boys trying to run the world in the next few years!
Ah, Debka, that great source of reliable, unbiased info (nm)TJeanloz
Jun 25, 2003 7:43 AM
Not what happens over the next three yearssn69
Jun 25, 2003 7:46 AM
The Air Force just lifted its "stop-loss" (a preventative measure meant to regulate/control resignations across various ranks and jobs), allowing pilots out for the first time in over two years. The Marine Corps is in the process of doing the same thing for their enlisted members.

In the meantime, deployment rates are again sky-rocketting across the board, particularly in the Navy/Marines, where the new brilliance (not) of the sea-swap plan is underway juxtaposed against Rumsie's brilliant insight that it's cheaper to keep carrier strike groups and ARGs at sea indefinitely. Deployments aboard ship were mostly 7-10 months this FY; next year they look to be 12+.

So, like I said, watch. There will be an exodus of military folks out of the service in epic proportions over the next few years. It's going to be ugly. Pax Americana is going to be problematic if the legionnaires all jump ship.
"inter" National Guardjose_Tex_mex
Jun 25, 2003 8:04 AM
We are even deploying our National Guard abroad. Does anyone else have a verrrrrrrrry serious problem with our gov't sending the "National" Guard to Kosovo?

What about all those great Americans that joined the Guard in response to 9-11... Now they get to go to Kosovo.

Sounds like cheap labor to me.

Any guardsmen out there?
Again, the larger issue is the lack of people in the regularsn69
Jun 25, 2003 9:15 AM
services. The NG, ANG and reserves have been used otu of sheer necessity to offset end-strength losses for the past 13 years. In the 90s alone, deployment rates rose in excess of 60% compared to the prior 30 years. At the same time, the post GW 1 draw down saw active forces dwindle. Thus, DOD had/has/will continue to have no other choice as long as our elected leaders continue to mandate power projection/forward deployments.

I'm not saying it's right, Jose. It simply is....
The government will simply open the checkbook...94Nole
Jun 25, 2003 9:50 AM
and sooner or later, the exodus will end. It's all about the money.
Sure. The deficit's so out of control already, what's anotherOldEdScott
Jun 25, 2003 9:56 AM
few hundred billion?
Why is spending okay for a social program...94Nole
Jun 26, 2003 4:13 AM
or for district pork programs but to pay to retain quality troops in an already under-paid military we cry foul?

I would argue that we could reduce the federal employee count by a third, give the money to the military members and not have any additional effect on the budget.
Good straw man, Nole!OldEdScott
Jun 26, 2003 5:23 AM
Never said any such thing. It's amazing how right wingers so glibly put words in people's mouths.

I'm happy to pay the military. Those guys and gals deserve mucho dinero.

What I 'cry foul' about is the most radical right-wing administration in American history spending money like drunken sailors (sorry, Scott) while continuing to cut revenues and running up unprecedented deficits.

Tell you what, bud. I would really, really like to give one of you guys Total Power for a year. Let you reduce the federal employee count by a third, or whatever preposterous down-with-government scheme you wish. Just have at it. We'll check the country at the end of that period, and take a vote to see if the American people actually are happy with the government and the America you gave them by driving the 'bureaucrats' out of town on a rail.

With national parks and monuments shut down, Interstate highways crumbling even more than they are now, the Post Office running three days a week, the rivers and skies black with pollution, federal prisoners on furlough because the prisons can't be staffed, the space program shut down, illegal aliens boiling across the Rio Grande because even our currently inadequate border patrol is slashed, the FBI and CIA in even more decprepit shape than they're in now because their staff too has been cut by a third ...

Of course, state governments would take a huge hit because they'd have to pick up the slack for the services people demand, and because of unemployment benefits and other services to the thousands of federal workers on the streets unemployed, and their families.

Yep, a one-year-later referendum on your vision of America would be interesting. They'd ride you out of town on a rail at the ballot box, my friend.

This simple-minded right wing crap always sounds good (Fire 'em! Send the bureaucrats home, by God!) but even three seconds thinking about it shows how lame it really is.
A few simple questions beg a few simple answersLive Steam
Jun 26, 2003 9:56 AM
Why are our highways and infrastructure crumbling? Did this just happen in the 2.5 years that GW has been in office? Where are they crumbling? I seem to remember a boat load of money that was set aside for new highway initiatives and infrastructure, about ten years ago. Cuomo was the first to jump on that bandwagon and he hasn't been occupying the governor's mansion for quite some time. The road work here in NYC has been ongoing for at least 10 plus years.

Maybe the "HUGE" federal budget surplus the past 4 years came from Clinton neglecting our infrastructure, National monuments and parks, understaffing prisons, short changing the FBI and CIA, under funding the military. Why in two years, when most of the spending was yet to commence from this Congress, are all of these issues now plaguing us?

The difference between a liberal and a conservative is the liberal wants the government to spend money to provide everything for him and the conservative wants the government to spend money which creates an economic and legislative environment that will enable him to take care of himself. Conservatives plan for their future. Liberals plan on having the government take care of it for them. Big mistake if you ask me.

Should the federal and local government payrolls be smaller? You bet. I haven't done any real research into it, but there must be a ton of redundancy in functions and services occurring. I deal on a regular basis with the local bureaucracy in the building department here in NYC and I have to say that they can eliminate about 50% of the jobs and still be just as efficient - which isn't saying much. The government at all levels is a giant blob that can't get out of it's way. I know it will never be streamlined, but one can dream :O)
Who's talking about extremes?94Nole
Jun 26, 2003 10:19 AM
Everything you mentioned was an extreme. Have you been in a post office lately, the problem is not funding.

ED, I agree with you here. I believe that it is military, national parks, monuments, highways, environmental protection (that by the way is paid for on both ends, through tax revenues to police and the prices we pay for products made more expensive due to the costs of compliance), closing the border to illegals, and other (IMHO) worthy programs (defined loosely as those programs that help people incapable of helping themselves) that are the responsibility of a government and a people that should be funded. Not some stupid prescription drug benefit for people with enough money to burn a wet mule. It is nothing but a votegetter (and you will notice that although conservative, I have not sung the praises of W in my posts). Believe me, he is pissing off many in his so-called base.

As far as sending "the bureaucrats home", there are certainly many on both sides of the aisle I would gladly purchase their tickets.
I disagreesn69
Jun 25, 2003 10:02 AM
For example, pilot bonuses to the tune of $125K (USN, USMC) and $250K (USAF) have failed repeatedly to entice people to stay in. The statistics are staggering. Bottom line--if the gov't chooses to deploy people at these rates, people will leave when they can. Even the misery of the airline industry isn't substantially altering pilot resignations.
The old Steam would have said ....Live Steam
Jun 25, 2003 11:58 AM
why would anyone want to join the Army to learn a skill, earn some money and get an education to better oneself, when the government is willing to give it to them for nothing :O) The new Steam is somewhat more understanding. I wouldn't want to join the Army and work my butt off either when I know I can get everything without any sacrifice :O)

So you are saying, the incentives are no longer enough to entice people to join the armed forces? People were only willing to enlist for the benefits of education, learned skills and a future, with the assurance that peace would prevail and their services would never be called upon?
I think what he's said for the past few months...PdxMark
Jun 25, 2003 12:31 PM
is not that people in the services are unwilling to go abroad, but that deployments are extending to longer and longer periods that are becoming unbearable to people. In the case of carriers, deployments are even being used to defer the cost of ship maintenance. We're burning out our service people to pay for GWB's tax cut. (Otherwise, the budget could cover the ship maintenace costs.)

We are pressing all levels of our military people, regular duty, reserves, etc., to levels of deployment that are far greater than at any time in decades. And this is without a major, on-going war. It sounds like perpetual duty in dangerous far-away places is not the defense of America most folks signed-up for.
Well duuuh, Steam!Jon Billheimer
Jun 25, 2003 2:43 PM
Do you think people would join the military to voluntarily go to their certain deaths??
Well, if they build it underground and George Bush puts onKristin
Jun 25, 2003 7:59 AM
a blue turban, he could be the anti-christ. Hmmmm. Very interestsing indeed.
quite a stretchmohair_chair
Jun 25, 2003 8:08 AM
I don't know what you visualize when you read "super intelligence center," but to me it sounds like an antenna farm, a building or two, a couple of sheds housing cooling equipment, a helipad, and a lot of concertina wire. It's out in the middle of nowhere, probably on a hill, with clear sight lines for miles in all directions. At most, a dozen people are stationed there, with a dozen more for security.

How do we get from this to Pax Americana? Where is the imperialism? Seems to me the better we can get an accurate intelligence picture and respond to it, the faster we can get American troops home from Iraq. That's hardly imperialistic.

Is it better that we all go out into the desert and stick their heads into the sand? There are bad people out there who want to kill Americans, and they use cell phones, radios, and fax machines. I'm all for getting as close to the source as possible and monitoring their communications.
Amen brotha! Couldn't have said it ...Live Steam
Jun 25, 2003 8:19 AM
with less diparaging remarks, myself :O) Take the game to the enemy!
Great form, Steam!Jon Billheimer
Jun 25, 2003 8:30 AM
You're like a bored Roman at the Sunday afternoon circus:)-
I really need to see some blood :O)Live Steam
Jun 25, 2003 11:42 AM
I had to go for a run to let off some anxiety :O) But I'm back good as ever! I swear!