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I would first note that Mr. Babbin, along with Mr. Neumayr and Mr. Macomber, are the very treasures of my conservative reading each week (with Buckley, of course). However, Babbin is, at best, confusing and at worst, a hack, when he lamely defends Secretary Rumsfeld and his untactful, flatly callous remarks in Iraq last week.
Babbin seems a lot madder that a journalist put the Tennessee soldier up to the “up armor” question than the fact that our troops are resorting to a cross between rag picking and Yankee ingenuity to keep their fannies in one piece. Even the President averred he would ask the same question, Jed.
The fact is that the Secretary shot off his mouth in a rather un-managerial way. His responsibility is to manage his generals, and replace them if they are found untruthful, and to always be close enough to the war to know. He needs the inputs of the guys on the ground; not listening to them is his own folly, not his generals’. Whether his subordinates are trustworthy or not is his job to determine. It is his job to find remedies, or forever forfeit the principle of civilian governance of the military.
In short, Rumsfeld personally owes every soldier in the field his best effort at protecting them, and his failure to do so is unacceptable job performance on his part. Smart-ass, uninformed assessments of American industry’s ability to meet this challenge betray an unacceptable detachment from Rumsfeld’s trade.
Personally, I find his vision of the high tech, efficient, agile American military a major plus for the coming age of warfare. However, the Secretary’s job description also includes having the acute vision to take all measures needed, even if dramatic, to conserve American lives in this conflict. No flip answer will atone for one wasted life of an American son or daughter. Fix the Hummers, Mr. Secretary; hold off on the lame excuses, Mr. Babbin. We go to war with the Army you make.p>By the way — are we sure there is no engineered solution for hardening those Hummers against explosion? br> — Lee Tichenor /p> p> JUST DON’T DO IT
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?