"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, December 10, 2004

A Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

Where to begin?

Okay, I expect you've already heard about Tennessee National Guard Spc. Thomas Wilson asking Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld why soldiers in Iraq are forced to dig through landfills for scrap metal to attach to their vehicles as armor, when they should be provided with honest-to-gosh armored vehicles.

To which Rumsfeld replied that "you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want". Did anyone else cringe? I did. Way to respect those troops, Rummy.

He continued to insert his foot in his wide-open mouth by adding that "you can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up." Hey, that'll help troop morale! The irony is, he left the press conference and was whisked away in a heavily armored vehicle.

And then there was this zinger: "It's essentially a matter of physics, not a matter of money. It's a matter of production and the capability of doing it." Guess what? Several manufacturers of armored vehicles and armoring kits have since come forward to say that they've been ready to increase production for months now but the government hasn't asked them to.

And then a military representative got in on the song and dance, only to be shot down by, ahem, friendly fire.

ABC News: "Wilson's comments about soldiers searching landfills for scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass sparked a controversy at Camp Buerhing, when Maj. Gen. Gary Speer told The Associated Press that he was not aware that soldiers had to scrounge for materials to armor their vehicles.
However, Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, adjutant general of the Tennessee Guard and Wilson's commander, disputed Speer's remarks. 'I am surprised by General Speer's statement that he was not aware of the soldiers using scrap metal and used ballistic glass to up-armor the vehicles,' he said in a written statement. 'I know that members of his staff were aware and assisted the 278th in obtaining these materials.'"

Now we know that the question was given to Wilson by a reporter doing a story on armored vehicle shortages, unable to ask the question himself because only soldiers were allowed to address the Secretary. And I'm fine with that--I can't imagine he'd have agreed to ask the question if it wasn't something he was concerned about. I'd sure be worried about driving through Baghdad in a canvas-sided Humvee if I were a soldier.

But now, get this, some conservatives are accusing Spc. Wilson of being a "liberal plant". Excuse the hell out of me? There's a long way between asking a reasonable question suggested by a third party and being some sort of infiltrator.

However, let's play devil's advocate and assume that yes, Spc. Wilson is a liberal plant, inserted into the military on the off-chance that someday he'd get to ask a high-ranking Republican a very uncomfortable question on television.

How exactly are we then explaining the 2000+ soldiers who burst into applause and cheers so enthusiastic that Rumsfeld missed the end of the question and had to have it repeated? Are they also liberal plants? Have those sneaky wine-drinkin' east coast elitists been infiltrating the military for decades, manipulating battalion assignments via their agents in the military brass, in order to fill that meeting hall with radical soldiers? Was this, in fact, the crowning moment of a vast left-wing conspiracy?

Come on, people. If the liberals were that cunning, they would have won the election.

0 rejoinders: