Lies, damned lies, and U.N. lies.
The Dems learned their lesson well. Not from the election, but from their idol, Lil' Billy, who taught them that the campaign never stopped. Never mind that Vichy John surrendered on November 3. The wild-eyed lefties who drove the Demo clown car off a cliff this year are still campaigning against Dubya, Dick, and Don. They and their media minions are running on as if it were July, campaigning against what we're doing in Iraq and aghast at any attempt to hold the U.N. accountable for its enormous failures. Some in the media are carrying on in the finest traditions of CBS News' “fake but accurate” reporting.
p>The whacko antiwar lefties of MoveOn.org proclaimed last week (to those they called “the professional election losers” of the Dem Party) that the party now belonged to the MoveOn'ers: “We bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back,” they said. Let us pray they're right, and that Howlin' Howie Dean will achieve his ambition of becoming DNC chieftain. The signs are most encouraging. The Dems are still lobbing the same charges at Dubya and his team. I know, no one voted for Don Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice. But we did vote — about 59 million of us — for the guy who keeps them on the job.
p>THREE STORIES DOMINATED the news this past week. First was created when a Tennessee National Guard soldier headed to Iraq asked a very pointed question of Big Dog Don Rumsfeld. The man asked, reasonably, why soldiers were having to scrounge armor plate from junkyards and armor their Humvees like do-it-yourselfers. When Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq was a “come as you are” party for the army, the press and Teddy's old drinking buddy, Chris Dodd, went after Big Dog for incompetence and carelessness with soldiers' lives. It got so bad that I found myself on Fox News Saturday afternoon, arguing with a swaybacked old Clinton warhorse who chose to use the armor issue to reargue the whole Kerry “we got it all wrong in Iraq” theme. When I said that the armor issue wasn't a political one, and that the generals should have long ago gotten off their butts and solved it, he came unglued. He argued with me all the way down the elevator and out to the cars that it was all the fault of the civilian leaders. I told him that wasn't true, and that he had lost and he needed to get over it. But he, and the rest of the loser left, just can't.
p>The whole Rumsfeld incident stank from media manipulation. The solider read a question written for him by
reporter Edward Lee Pitts, who e-mailed his pals back in Tennessee that “I was told yesterday that only soldiers could ask questions so I brought two of them along with me as my escorts. Before hand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat have. While waiting for the VIP, I went and found the Sgt. in charge of the microphone for the question and answer session and made sure he knew to get my guys out of the crowd.” The soldier — who did have a legitimate beef — shilled for Pitts. It's one thing for a reporter to help another pick topics or even write up questions. It's another for the reporter to use soldiers as flacks to embarrass senior government officials in carefully stage-managed settings. Predictably, while Pitts was revealing himself as a Dan Rather wannabe, the
New York Times
campaigned to defend him. (Note to Mr. Pitts: Jayson Blair's chair at the Times is open. You should send your resume in, pronto, and better send one to
while you're at it.)
p>The media want to use Mr. Rumsfeld as a piñata because many Humvees and trucks lack the “up armor” kits to give them and those who ride in them some protection from small arms fire. (The “up armor” system won't stop anything heavy, such as an RPG or larger improvised explosive device.) Instead, they should be asking why that problem hasn't been solved. When I was a deputy undersecretary of defense in Gulf War 1, the generals took responsibility for problems such as these and made sure they got solved. In the first two days of that air war, sandstorms resulted in some of our fly-guys killing American troops in Bradley fighting vehicles because they couldn't see who was who. Gen. Schwartzkopf sent a rather pointed note back to then SecDef Dick Cheney, who immediately passed it on to the RSG's at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
p>The DARPA guys — in about 24 hours — built a prototype of a powerful infrared emitter. The DARPA chief at the time, Dr. Vic Reiss, brought it in to show me on his way to Cheney's office. It was a coffee can-sized device with Velcro fasteners on the bottom. You tear off the Velcro, stick it on the fender of the Bradley or other vehicle, and flip on the switch. Immediately, all the fly guys see a big bright “good guy” signal, and go find someone else to shoot at. An order for thousands of these was being filled by priority order, and it was only because the war ended about a week later that the devices weren't shipped. That's the way it's supposed to work. American industry can do just about any damned thing you ask, and just as quickly as you need it to. But you gotta ask, and the Army hasn't.
p>So why haven't the Army generals taken charge of the armor issue and solved it in the last 18 months? The whole armor question could be solved almost immediately if someone would sort out what's needed and when (like, now for instance?), get the army procurement weenies to get off their butts, and buy what we need. What's the big deal? This isn't something the SecDef should have to worry about. But however many in the army command structure who should have but haven't done this should be fired. That