Tuesday, April 27, 2004

You leave town for a few days...

So much to talk about, so little time. I guess the first thing to mention is the death of 64 insurgents in Najaf. This is an excellent result for the coalition forces. It also was encouraging in that they are beginning to use the 'heavier' elements in their arsenal, in this case the AC-130.

In Vietnam, it's precursor was called "Puff the Magic Dragon." Essentially, the AC-130 is a flying weapons platform. Flying with sophisticated electronics on the inside, one side of the plane's exterior bristles with weapons. These include rotating Vulcan cannons, 20 mm cannons, recoilless rifles and similar weaponry. The plane circles the target area with the weapons side pointed down and pulverizes anything within it's radius. It is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The Spectre gunship is a valuable tool to suppress these insurgents and protect our troops. It is high time it got some use in Iraq.

Slightly more depressing is that more armored Humvees and the new Stryker armored vehicles are not yet in Iraq. The Army is scrounging up the Humvees as fast as possible, and they are ramping up production of the Stryker to get it to Iraq faster. But shouldn't these steps have been taken a while ago, especially the armored Hummers? The Defense Dept. had to know we'd need a lot of foot patrols on the ground. The armored Humvees should have been gathered and sent over to Iraq a long time ago. This isn't negligence on a Les Aspin/Mogadishu scale, but Rumsfeld should know better. These vehicles save lives. Our men and women over in Iraq deserve the best equipment available, and they deserve it NOW.

Medals, ribbons...how about WHO CARES?

All this blah-blah crap about Kerry and his medals is ridiculous, as both sides look silly. The Republicans must be semi-suicidal. Why bring up military service just after you finally quashed the Bush/National Guard/AWOL questions? This just brings it up again. And Bush just doesn't match up well with Kerry in that comparison. Two sons of privilege: One does time in the ANG, the other earns a Bronze AND Silver Star in Vietnam. If I am a Republican, I let it lie.

At the same time, though, Kerry has a lot of gall. Whether it was ribbons, medals or licorice he threw over that gate, he symbolically trashed those decorations he was awarded. For him to trot them back out now to use as badges of honor in an election is the height of hypocricy. Either you are proud of them, or you aren't. Kerry turned his back on those awards in 1971. He shouldn't try to salvage them now.

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