December 23, 2004

He Told You So!

I caught this article from Yahoo! news, about Senator Dick Durbin's assault on Donald Rumsfeld:
The incoming deputy leader of Senate Democrats demanded answers Saturday from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as to why U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan lack protective equipment for themselves and their vehicles.

Nothing sickens me more than when politicians use tragedy to grab a few headlines. And that's exactly what Durbin is doing here. If he really wanted to know why, he should have read this incredibly insightful opinion piece by Bruce "Nostradamus" Bartlett, from way back in 1999:
As a consequence, defense officials are scrambling to pull together the resources needed to sustain our operations there. Unfortunately, they are bumping up against severe limits resulting from the drastic deterioration of U.S. military capability during the Clinton Administration. In just fiscal year 1998 alone the Defense Department lost the following assets.

Aircraft. The number of combat aircraft fell by 434 or 4.8 percent. Sixty-two airlift planes were also retired, and 857 other aircraft. In total, 1,353 planes were taken from service, reducing the number of aircraft available by 6.6 percent.

Ships. More than 10 percent of all submarines were decommissioned, reducing the total to 123 from 137 the year before. Ten support ships were lost and 684 small boats. Overall, U.S. ship strength was reduced by 16 percent.

Combat vehicles. The number of tanks were reduced by 827 or 7.6 percent. Other combat vehicles fell by 6,360 or 14.5 percent. Overall, available combat vehicles declined by 13.1 percent.

He finishes with this:
In short, Bill Clinton's emasculation of the Defense Department is going to sandbag his successor, regardless of who it is. We can only hope that that person has the political will to do what is necessary in the face of inevitable opposition.

You may be asking yourself how the Clinton administration managed to gut our nation's defense so much. Maybe this will help. It's a few selection's from Dick Durbin's voting record. (from LexisNexis(TM))

Aye HR 2461 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR FY90-91
Terminate further production of the Stealth bomber.
(CR# 167; Tally: 144-279 Date: 07/26/89)

Nay HR 5006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FY 1993
Pass H. R. 5006, Defense Authorization.
(CR# 172; Tally: 198-168 Date: 06/05/92)

Aye HR 5006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FY 1993
Terminate the production of B-2 bombers.
(CR# 170; Tally: 162-212 Date: 06/05/92)

Aye HR 5006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FY 1993
Reduce the authorization for SDI by $937.5 million.
(CR# 169; Tally: 161-211 Date: 06/05/92)

Aye HR 5006 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FY 1993
Ban domestic nuclear testing for one year.
(CR# 164; Tally: 237-167 Date: 06/04/92)

Nay HR 1530 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FY 1996
Pass H.R. 1530, authorizing appropriations for DoD military
activities for 1996.
(CR# 385; Tally: 300-126 Date: 06/15/95)

Nay HR 7 NATIONAL SECURITY REVITILIZATION ACT
Pass H.R. 7, to revitalize the national security of the United
States.
(CR# 145; Tally: 241-181 Date: 02/16/95)

Thanks a lot, Dick.

2 comments:

  1. Amen, brother.

    I've been screaming at the TV set for a week now asking why the media won't point out the fact that Clinton gutted the military over eight years in office and Bush has been doing his best with what's left, all the while scrambling to re-build the armed forces.

    This one really pisses me off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps another reason why Clinton did not support Gore. His military-lite version of our defense would have been very difficult for a member of his own party.

    ReplyDelete