Friday, September 16, 2005

A Pleasant Surprise

I get a daily email from several newspapers each day which summarizes the morning headlines for me. Today, the Washington Post update directed me to a 'blog' WaPo has. I tend to stay away from such mainstream media 'blogs' because they tend to be poorly written excuses for op-ed pieces that didn't quite make it into print.

Today, however, the title of one intrigued me because it seemed to echo the subject I posted on yesterday: "A broader role for the armed forces?" The 'blog' is located here.

On the site is another link to the biography of the blogger, one William M. Arkin. I clicked on the link and discovered the following: "William M. Arkin, journalist and author of more than ten books on military affairs, is an NBC-TV News military analyst and a consultant to numerous organizations. He was an Army intelligence analyst in West Berlin during the 1970s, a nuclear weapons expert during the Cold War, and pioneered on-the-ground study of the effects of military operations in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan."

Pretty heavy credentials for a journalist, and really heavy credentials for a blogger. I was reasonably certain that his post would not exactly be my cup of tea, but I was wrong. His succinct article was right on the money, to my way of thinking. He began by quoting a passage from President Bush's September 15th address to the nation and then took off from there.

"It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces -- the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment's notice."

The President’s plan is both wrong-headed and dangerous. ...

I for one don't want to live in a society where "a moment’s notice" justifies military action that either preempts or usurps civil authority.

The change that is needed is for the White House and Congress to admit that they over compensated for the shock of 9/11 by focusing too much on WMD and terrorism at the cost of basic domestic preparedness.
[Emphasis added]

Keep in mind that this was written by someone with expertise in military affairs over decades. Even he sees the danger that this Administration and the Republicans in Congress are exposing us to in their rush to 'fix' things in such a way that an honest assessment of the best way to secure this nation cannot really take place.

More like this, please.


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