Friday, December 10, 2004

Ask Not

Perhaps the Moose was wrong about the President failing to ask for sacrifice from the well-off during wartime.

The juxtaposition of the two headlines in the on the front page of the New York Times this morning was quite jarring. In the first headline, it becomes apparent the President is telling his fellow advantaged citizens to sacrifice for their country - It's Inauguration Time Again, and Access Still Has Its Price. The piece details what is asked of our fellow citizens,

"Tickets to all official inaugural events, including an "elegant" candlelight dinner with a special appearance by President Bush: $100,000. Tickets to all official inaugural events, two additional tickets to an "exclusive" lunch with Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney, plus an all-access pass to any inaugural ball: $250,000. Telling your friends, "As I explained to the president just the other day... .": priceless.

Mr. Bush's inaugural committee, seeking to raise more than $40 million, a record, sent out hundreds of solicitations to the president's biggest campaign contributors this week offering packages of party benefits and access to the president in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even at a time of war when more than 138,000 American troops are serving in Iraq, the organizers say that the inaugural celebration at the end of the January will not be marked by any noticeable restraint and will cost more than any other in history."

JFK would be proud. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do to keep the Republicans in power. Brings a tear to the Moose's eye.

The other headline in the New York Times was more sobering, Armor Scarce for Big Trucks Transporting Cargo in Iraq. This is what that article informs us -
"The [House Armed Services] committee said more than three-quarters of the 19,854 Humvees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait carry protective armor, which can vary in quality. The most secure are factory-armored Humvees, and the Pentagon has received only 5,910 of the 8,105 that commanders say they need. But only 10 percent of the 4,814 medium-weight transport trucks have armor, and only 15 percent of the 4,314 heavy transport vehicles."

Of course, this entire issue came to light as a result of a soldier's question to Rumsfeld. In response to this controversy, President Bush had an oddly passive response -

"We expect our troops to have the best possible equipment," he said. "And if I were a soldier overseas wanting to defend my country, I'd want to ask the secretary of defense the same question."

Excuse me, Mr. President, you have just been re-elected to the most powerful position in the world. If reports are accurate that the company making the armor is under-capacity or is incapable of supplying the necessary protection, why don't you call an emergency session of Congress, get a declaration of war, and force industries to manufacture the equipment. For God's sake, lives are at stake!

Meanwhile the right wing is in a tizzy over the fact that a reporter requested that the soldier to ask the controversial question of Secretary Rumsfeld. The Moose bellows, so what! Of course that dogged defender of American morality, the alleged druggie, serial divorcer and Vietnam draft avoider Rush Limbaugh bloviated,

For two days we think that this is an act of courage and bravery and, 'Oh, wow! Rummy got his,' " Mr. Limbaugh said. "We found out the whole thing today is a setup."

Rush, here's some breaking news for you - Rumsfeld has a whole platoon of taxpayer-paid flacks who help him with the press. Do you really have a problem with a brave soldier voluntarily asking a question of one of his civilian leaders, and gets some assistance from a member of the free press? And Rush, remember the right's favorite line from Braveheart - "they may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freeeedoooomm."

Returning to the Moose's original point about sacrifice during wartime - a constructive suggestion. One of the most popular event's at the Bush Inauguration is the Texas State Society's "Black Tie and Boots Ball". As you can well imagine, this is a very patriotic crowd. So, to support our troops, why doesn't the Texas State Society hold their Ball this year at a landfill in Landover, Maryland and rummage for scrap metal to send to the troops in Iraq to protect their vehicles.

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You!
-- Posted at 9:00 AM | Link to this post | Email this post