Friday, December 22, 2006
Contrary to Kline's claim... it doesn't provide further evidence that our volunteer armed forces continue to answer the call of duty...and in fact it shows just the opposite: that to meet current lowered recruitment goals the services have new lower aptitude standards to help recruit in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties. No wonder there are breakdowns in discipline and crimes being committed by servicemen.
In the wake of the news that the Army is taking people it otherwise wouldn’t have, comes this AP story about the Army forcing drill instructors to tone down basic training and not flunk so many recruits. One can only hope that the Army has arranged for combat to be kinder and gentler, too. What was once a 'few good men' is now becoming juat a 'few men'.
As for increasing the size, how does Kline plan to do that?JUST WHERE DOES KLINE THINK ADDITIONAL TROOPS WILL COME FROM?
You say "There are many steps we can take to increase the size of our active-duty military". How? By lowering the standards even more? Increasing the advertizing budget another $15 million? Rising signing bonuses again? Shortening enlistment time? Giving recruits even less training? It's all being done now just to meet current levels!
Kline goes on to say "But to be clear, a military draft is not one of those remedies." Oh really, again I ask...How? Gives the specifics!
Kline's comments show an amazing ability to spin half truths and false data into positive crap that the facts don't support. If Congressman Kline wants to increase the size of the active services as he has stated the only way is a military draft....unless Kline's has found a magic recruitment wand in his fairytale world? You know the fairytale world where he keeps maintaining along with Bu$h, that they will be victorious in Iraq!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
What's the mission?
Who knows? This has never been clear even from the start!...pretty words like freedom and democracy have no meaning half way across the globe if the local Iraqis don't fight for themselves. With civil war, we either have to take a side, or stand in the middle and take fire from both sides. That's not a mission, it's suicide. Where are the clearly defined goals?
Where's the payback?
Early on the administration promised that the cost of the war would be reimbursed by the Iraq government. Now we know that's no longer possible. There's been hell to pay, but no money. The massive costs of the Iraq war has basically broken our treasury and any future earnings making the United States economy less stable.
John Kline says the United States should bear the total cost of the Iraq war, suggesting the gesture will show we're serious in our committment to building a secure and stable government. So let's follow Klines reasoning.... we provide the money for troops, rebuilding and arms while the Iraqis continue to....what? Use the arms to shoot at one another and us?!
Where's the additional troops?
As John Kline so eloquently speaks against a draft, he forgets to tell you: there are no more troops! There will be the same troops on extended tours of duties, over laps and extensions of tours, and shortages elsewhere. And at what cost?
Currently the services have new lower aptitude standards to help recruit in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties. Almost 20% of the first-time recruits are accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems. Can't get much more basic that putting criminals in the military instead of jail. No wonder there are breakdowns in discipline.
Even former secretary of state Colin Powell on Face the Nation had questions regarding 'the new troops' beign sent to Iraq:
"If somebody proposes that additional troops be sent, if I was still chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my first question . . . is what mission is it these troops are supposed to accomplish? . . . Is it something that is really accomplishable? . . . Do we have enough troops to accomplish it?"
Colin L. Powell went on to say that the United States is losing what he described as a "civil war" in Iraq. Powell was not persuaded that an increase in U.S. troops there would reverse the situation. But he did called for a new strategy that would turn over responsibility for Iraqi security to the government in Baghdad, with a U.S. drawdown to begin by the middle of next year.
A deluded Kline has continued to back this losing war at the costs of billions for American taxpayers, thousands for American deaths, and countless civilian deaths.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
"Bush plans to increase size of U.S. military Acknowledges troops stretched thin; generals doubt ‘surge’ plan for Iraq"And since we're on the subject, instead of renaming Post Offices or putting new faces on $50 bills, could Kline possibly start working on ending the selective service? After all, it'll save tax dollars and what's the purpose if we don't need a draft?
Really Kline can't have it both ways, he's for growing the war, in which case he'll need new sources to fill in the ranks of our already thinned military, or he's for drawing down the troops and getting out now.... no surprise with which option Kline supports.
In a Star Tribune ‘netlet’, John from Coon Rapids fires away at Colonel Kline:
The veterans who fought and won World War II as well as the GIs who fought courageously and well in the Korean War and the Vietnam War may feel rightfully offended at the implication of U.S. Rep. John Kline that they were inferior soldiers because many of them were draftees. Kline, the Second District congressman, wrote that he is opposed to the draft because it would "harm our nations defense by undermining the camaraderie ... of our Armed Forces" (Opinion Exchange, Dec. 7).
Monday, December 11, 2006
...File it under: Campaign Déjà Vu
The dreaded pixie dust of Coleen Rowley has come back to haunt Kline in the form of James Baker’s ISG report. I can't wait to see Baker's face when Kline calls his report pixie dust!
...File it under: Your Day is Coming
Kennedy gives John Kline tips on what to do after next election! I can see the coming attraction and movie trailer now: Mark's excellent adventure into retirement I...and the sequel, Mark and John's most excellent adventure into retirement II (coming next election!).
...File it under: Reaching Out with his Big Stick
Glad to see Kline calling GOP delegates out on the floor for desecrating the purple heart. Can’t wait to see them jailed.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said awards such as the Purple Heart “hold a deeper meaning and value for servicemen that far outweighs their monetary worth,” and called the bill a chance to honor the sacrifice of all troops by preserving the military’s legacy....File it under: Kline's Shock Treatment:
Over a year ago (November 2005), Republican Congressman John Kline was feeling so optimistic about the Iraq War that he declared that he “would be shocked” if the United States were not ready to withdraw military forces from Iraq within eight to ten months.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
"For lawmakers, it is awful, compared with what they have come to expect. For much of this election year, the legislative week started late Tuesday and ended by Thursday afternoon -- and that was during the relatively few weeks the House wasn't in recess.
Next year, members of the House will be expected in the Capitol for votes each week by 6:30 p.m. Monday and will finish their business about 2 p.m. Friday, Hoyer said..."
"Hoyer and other Democratic leaders say they are trying to repair the image of Congress, which was so anemic this year it could not meet a basic duty: to approve spending bills that fund government. By the time the gavel comes down on the 109th Congress on Friday, members will have worked a total of 103 days. That's seven days fewer than the infamous "Do-Nothing Congress" of 1948."
Hoyer said members can bid farewell to extended holidays, the kind that awarded them six weekdays to relax around Memorial Day, when most Americans get a single day off. He didn't mention the month-long August recess, the two-week April recess or the weeks off in February, March and July.
He said members need to spend more time in the Capitol to pass laws and oversee federal agencies. "We are going to meet sufficient times, so the committees can do their jobs on behalf of the American people," he said.
Kline will just have to put in his time like the rest of us...for a change!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
"A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks".
In fact the Iraq war has provided Americans with the next generation of terrorist:
And while I'm glad that Kline is now paying attention to terrorism in America, it’s clear the GOP Congress with Kline and Bu$h Administration did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks and that a security memo was issued by the U.S. regarding a terrorist attack by flying planes into high buildings but was ignored by the GOP administration.
Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank. Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."
Also the number one terrorist from 9/11, Bin Laden is still free. No serious attempt has ever been made by the GOP administration to catch him. Makes you wonder how committed the GOP administration is to counter terrorism when they seem to have lost sight of the terrorist leaders.
The current state of Iraq has not left Americans safer no matter how much it's touted by Bu$h and Kline. The statistics tell a very clear and simple story :
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02
"I am truly not that concerned about him."- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts,
- The number of significant incidents increased steadily starting in 1992.
- Most of the significant incidents were caused by radical Islamic extremists.
- 2004 marked the single, largest increase in terrorist activity ever recorded since the CIA started keeping records dating back to 1968.
- The four fold increase in significant terrorist incidents (attacks in which people were killed and wounded) was a direct consequence of the war in Iraq.
Once again we are witnessing the Bush Administration and John Kline trying to ignore the bad news the intelligence community is obligated to tell and present only the positive (we haven’t been attacked again…yet). This willful ignorance of bliss by Kline amounts to his being an 'enabler' in creating a more dangerous world for Americans. Hiding his head in the sand isn't the type of leadership Minnesotan's deserve.
"No reasonable person can possibly deny that our intervention in Iraq has been an enormous stimulus to terrorist activity worldwide. Efforts by John McCain and others to discount the significance of that factor by pointing out that the attacks on 9/11 occurred before our overthrow of Saddam Hussein is as trivial and irrelevant as they are disingenuous."