Monday, December 27, 2004
Obviously the earthquake/tsunami disaster is the big story right now, and I simply can't fathom the amount of sheer horror that's been going on in those countries that were hit. So many dead- it really puts things in perspective. I'm not an expert on this sort of thing, so I won't comment except to say that my heart goes out to those who have been affected by this disaster. Drudge has a comprehensive round up.
Papa Ray pointed me to a site called In Iraq for 365. What a great site. This guy is a Public Affairs soldier and he's currently stationed in Mosul. His writing is excellent, which isn't surprising since it's what he does for a living. It's an absolute must read if you want to know what's really going on in Mosul. And thanks again to Papa Ray for pointing out the story about the two Iraqi soldiers.
No Surprises Here
I direct you to this new Military Times poll:
-63% of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war.
That's pretty much what it was right before the election.
-60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting.
-67% of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.
Makes sense- it's easier to understand it if you've seen it.
-nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.
I include myself with that half- although I don't think we'll be at the current strength of presence in 5 years. I doubt we'll be in Afghanistan in 5 years, but I could be wrong...
-87% say they're satisfied with their jobs.
Sounds about right.
-25% say they'd leave the service if given the choice today.
Hopefuly, they'll be able to get out soon.
Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged.
If nothing else, we're consistent.
-A year ago, 77% said they thought the military was stretched too thin to be effective. This year, that number shrank to 66%.
Wow. Imagine that- we believe in ourselves more and more each day.
-75% oppose a military draft.
It's bad enough that we have those 25% who don't want to be there (some of these soldiers do a fine job anyway, but many of them are what we call "leadership challenges")- a draft would boost that number to well over 40%. That would be awful. Nobody wants that. I'm willing to bet that the same 25% who want the draft are the same ones who said they'd leave if given the choice today.
-60% blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone.
Especially the ones that vote for the appropriations bill, before voting against it. Here's the best one of all:
-12% say civilian Pentagon policymakers should be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
I wonder how the NY Times staff of writers would compare to this. My guess is that it would be a mirror image of this number. 88% of them would say that Bush and Rumsfeld are to blame- citing the fact that no soldier would ever sink so low as to play "naked twister" with a prisoner unless he or she was "specifically ordered" to do so by a mean ol' bastard from D.C.
We know better. We know that our fellow soldiers are just as human as anyone else. We're just as human as a former President who likes to play cigar games with interns. We're just as human as the stoopid criminals who do stoopid things in every one of our 50 great states each and every day.
We soldiers are smart enough to know that the Army does not have a "special screening process" that keeps out the morons- we take who we can get and hope for the best.
We are smart enough to know that Boot Camp is effective- not magical. Our ratio of criminal morons vs. good people is better than what it is in the general public- but we'd be foolish to believe that the military is "completely free of idiots."
We are smart enough to look at those pictures and see that those idiots (especially Lyndie England) were getting some sick "kicks" out of what they were doing. Most of us hope those clowns get the book thrown at them.
We are smart enough to know that the Army catches it's criminals, prosecutes them, and punishes them when they're found guilty- just like in the real world!
If only somebody would educate the good folks at the New York Times- they just don't seem to get it.
Thanks to epador for pointing out the follow up to the "Rob story" at the Banty Rooster.
War Against the AP
You've probably noticed some commenters talking about other blog sites that have taken a stance against the AP. It certainly is looking more and more like the AP has taken sides with the terrorists in order to fatten up that bottom line (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here- they might just be a bunch of terrorists themselves). I was going to point you to some of the places that these commentators were referring to, but I found that Kate at Small Dead Animals has already done it. Make sure you read the last few posts at the Belmont Club- I really think Wretchard nailed these clowns. Thanks, Kate.
I've gotten a bunch of complaints about my RSS feeds. I'm not very smart about these things. I do know that my template crashed a few days ago, so I had to replace some things. Maybe you have to reset your feeds? I don't know. All I know is that I have my feed on MyYahoo! and it's been working fine. Any ideas? If anyone is having trouble with their feeds, please email me with the RSS service you're using, your browser, and anything else that might help me solve this problem. Thanks!