Just Above Sunset
June 27, 2004 - ... and the madness continues.

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This weekly publication and its daily web log leans left, of course.  Bloggers blog because they have a point of view.  But that doesn’t stop us from reading what folks on the other side of the dancehall are writing.

I came across this gem in Men’s News Daily (...the home of real men, the manly men?) telling me to relax about Bush and the war and all that. 


What is going on in the Middle East is not difficult or complex.  These Muslim terrorists are evil; we are good; and we should not hesitate to wipe them off the face of the earth, like we did the Nazis. 

We are over-thinking this war, and it’s time to stop it.  The reason why we are over-thinking it is because the left is forcing us too.


As one wag puts it - Damn liberals, always making us think and stuff!

Yes, hate does make you stupid. 

But I can hear George Bush saying those words, protesting that he doesn’t LIKE to think.  And why should he have to?  He has Dick Cheney for that hard stuff. 

And on the general theme of not thinking things through, note this item from the Associated Press:


Even with concerns growing about military troop strength, 770 people were discharged for homosexuality last year under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, a new study shows. 

The study, which analyzed discharges between 1998 and 2003, found the majority of those let go under "don't ask, don't tell" were active duty enlisted personnel in the early stages of their careers. 

Of the nearly 6,300 people discharged during that six-year period, only 75 were officers.  Seventy-one percent of those discharged were men. 

Hundreds of those discharged held high-level job specialties that required years of training and expertise, including 90 nuclear power engineers, 150 rocket and missile specialists and 49 nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare specialists. 

Eighty-eight linguists were discharged, including at least seven Arab language specialists. 

Brian Muller, an Army bomb squad team leader who had advanced training on weapons of mass destruction and served on a security detail for President Bush, said he was dismissed from duty after deciding to tell his commander he's gay. 

"I didn't do it to get out of a war - I already served in a war," Muller, 25, said in an interview.  "After putting my life on the line in the war, the idea that I was fighting for the freedoms of so many other people that I couldn't myself enjoy was almost unbearable."


Did I say hate makes you stupid? 

Here you might say it is not hate, but fear – those gay folks will corrupt us and we’ll all be humming shows tunes and then dying of AIDS.  Or it’s hate and fear, mixed with a religious fervor to shun sinners and sins. 

Do we need these gay folks?  Should we have tossed them out? 

I see we're kind of running out of troops - and they're cutting way back on training.  The Pentagon is sending over much of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from the National Training Center at Fort Irwin (Barstow).  I know someone involved as part of that, in the Regiment’s Black Horse Squadron.  The experienced trainers – the person I know has been playing the part of a wild Sunni cleric lately in the simulations - are too valuable not to use in combat.  Training from now on, for Iraq, will be pretty much hands-on on-the-job training.  Training has been scaled back.  Way back.  New motto?  Learn by doing.  Or maybe it's "Make it up as you go along." (Isn't that the motto of the whole administration?) Anyway, this move, along with shifting three thousand guys from Korea to Iraq (announced last week), will help out the 138,000 we have there now - some of whom need a rest.  The local Barstow economy may take a big hit.  Oh well. 

At least we’re not sending any of the Village People. 

But the news this week is filled with lots of stuff about Bill Clinton’s new book, My Life – on sale since Tuesday last.  Almost one thousand pages!  What did Richard Wagner say?  “Beware of thick books!”  Yeah, and beware of long, dull operas about Rhine Maidens. 

So all the chat now on television and in the opinion pages is about assessing Clinton – corrupt and evil, master politician, murderer and rapist.  All those scandals!

The most amusing comment I’ve seen so far is from Joe Klein in the Time Magazine cover story, and it gets to the heart of all the controversy. 


In retrospect, it is clear that there was no substance to the Whitewater allegations and the other White House scandalettes -- the travel-office firings, the FBI files, the death of Vince Foster -- except, of course, Lewinsky. 


The only thing folks remember. 

Did I say hate makes you stupid?  So does sex. 



Training Units May Go To Iraq
Associated Press, May 26, 2004


WASHINGTON - In a sign of the Iraq war's strain on the U.S.  military, the Army is planning to send into combat thousands of soldiers whose normal job is to play the role of the "enemy" at training ranges in California and Louisiana, defense officials said Tuesday. 

… With nearly every other major combat unit either committed to or just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, the Army is planning to call on two battalions and one engineer company - about 2,500 soldiers - from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which serves as a professional enemy force at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.  The regiment last saw combat in the Vietnam War. 

The Army boasts of the "tough and uncompromising standards" of the 11th Armored Cavalry, which it says makes it the premier maneuver unit in the Army and "the yardstick against which the rest of the Army measures itself."


The news of this has been out there, just not much noted.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....