alien & sedition.
Friday, February 02, 2007
  Can We Call it a Civil War Yet?

Within the GOP, I mean. Apparently we can:
The first rhetorical shots of a Republican civil war will be fired Monday when the Senate begins debate on a resolution rebuking the president's plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.

While Republican critics of the surge policy persuaded their Democratic colleagues to tone down a version of the resolution passed nearly along party lines in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, those Republican senators who said they would vote for such a resolution are now under fire from the party's base.
I agree with Sen. Feingold: Warner-Levin is inadequate and maybe even counterproductive. But on a political level, it's still causing all kinds of trouble for the Republican leadership.

Now Hugh Hewitt has started a petition drive for conservatives pledging not to vote for or donate to any Republican who opposes the escalation - and that includes supporting Warner-Levin. I wish Mr. Hewitt the best of luck in his efforts.

The NRSC has taken it under advisement:
A spokesman for the committee, Rebecca Fisher, said via e-mail, "The online pledge has had significant support and we have certainly taken notice. While we respect the online community's right to petition their government, we also hope they realize that the NRSC has a job to do and that is to elect Republicans to the Senate in order to advance the principles of the party for the American people."
In other words: Hewitt can go surge himself.

David Frum argues that Republicans should fall in line behind Bush for the sake of the party:
"The reason Vietnam destroyed the Democratic Party was because it shattered the party's internal consensus," he said. "It may be that a strong defense of the president's policy will hurt the Republicans in 2008. But the mutiny against the president's policy, led by Republicans like Senator Hagel, follows the same path that discredited the Democrats for a generation."
So according to Frum, the GOP has two options: get on board with the disastrously unpopular war and ride it into 2008, or destroy effective party unity for a generation.

If you all stop reading me because of this pun, I won't blame you, but the GOP really is between Iraq and a bloody hard place.

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Comments:
Your post has some excellent points. Here's some additional data:

The U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, is one of the most massive organizations on the planet, with net annual operating costs of $635 billion, assets worth $1.3 trillion, liabilities of $1.9 trillion and more that 2.9 million military and civilian personnel as of fiscal year 2005.

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.

Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.

Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years.

What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing.

Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.

Please examine the following link to testimony given by Franklin C. Spinney before Congress in 2002. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.

http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/spinney_testimony_060402.htm

The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting on this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following sites from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary and from "Defense In the National Interest", inspired by Franklin Spinney and contributed to by active/reserve, former, or retired military personnel. More facts on the Military Industrial Complex can be gleaned from "The Dissident" link, also posted below:

http://pogo.org/

http://www.d-n-i.net/top_level/about_us.htm

http://dissidentnews.wordpress.com/2007/01/30/the-military-industrial-complex-and-the-business-of-war/
 
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