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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Bake sale for bombers

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Remember this bumper sticker?
"It will be a fine day when schools have too much money and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."
Well, it looks like that time has come.


I know the basic orientation here is anti-Bush/conservative; so, let's assume this quaintly specious blurb was posted as yet another jab at the current administration.

Remember when the Cold War ended, we tried to cash in on the peace dividend. There was a fallacy, that remains to this day, which held that Reagan won the war by outspending the USSR in the arms race. So, with the USSR in collapse, we can cut back on our military spending and go back to being the huffing-puffing, inventive isolationists that we always wanted to be.

The problem comes exactly at times like these. Prior to WWII, our military was smaller than Romania's! We were by no means ready to fight, let alone win, a two-front war with three countries. We all know how that turned out, and no small part of our success was due to the millions and millions of Americans who did the exact equivalent of what's posted here as some sort of indictment. Remember gas rations? Food rations? Pennies weren't made out of copper anymore, because we need that for wiring.

Should the government be spending more on the military? Yes. Is it the end of the world that the private sector is helping out our soldiers? Of course not, that type of support was crucial to us winning the most important war in history.

I don't think that anyone can deny that the people in this country are spoiled. The mood of the country has changed since the 2nd world war. We're an impatient lot. We want things done now.

No one is questioning the fact that the private sector is, or should be, helping the soldiers. That is a great thing. But what is disturbing is having a President that ran as a War President, not fully supplying the troops with the right gear.


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