Or, Where Are the Real Conservatives When We Really Need Them?

Regan managed to defeat the entire Soviet Empire without ever firing a shot, an event for which conservatives are rightly proud. Bush I destroyed almost the entire Iraq military in 100 hours with almost the entire world not only cheering, but fighting along side.

Bush II though can’t seem to defeat even (according to Rumsfeld) a “few thousand” enemy terrorists and “holdouts” armed apparently with nothing but box cutters, AK-47s and homemade bombs. Close to chaos reigns despite his committing most of our army overseas to that single task. Either his intelligence must be wrong or his approach. Why then are genuine conservatives still supporting such an incompetent military strategist?

Regan, Nixon, Eisenhower and even Bush the elder believed in fielding the best equipped and trained armed forces possible. In contrast, Bush II apparently not only doesn’t provide the best equipment and training, he diverted scarce funds to hire private, for-profit company mercenaries at seven times what army privates get. That allows him, for political purposes, to tell the press not much military is needed in Iraq and simultaneously keep the reported daily military death toll down. In other words, he has been playing word games. He has even added insult to injury by skimping on post service medical coverage and veterans benefits for real soldiers. But, the important point for this discussion is a question to true conservatives as to why are we using extremely expensive mercenaries of questionable quality, loyalty, training and supervision, when for the very same dollars we could literally double the pay of our current enlisted men, plus double their number and still save taxpayer money? For every $150,000.00 mercenary (not to mention their employer’s fee), we could get two army privates delighted at their 100% increase in pay or four privates at the current pay and have $30,000.00 or more left over. Wouldn’t that be the more “conservative” approach than what Bush II is pursuing?

Or consider the draft issue. The most glorious Republican presidents of the past favored drafts to insure fairness and sufficient troops. It’s maybe okay for a candidate to spout stupidities like he’ll never reinstate the draft, but why’s a sitting president who should know better tying his hands by making such dubious promises? We have no idea of what the future brings. Since being conservative used to mean being prepared, why are US self styled "Conservatives" silent on the debate when conservative run nations like Switzerland and Israel have universal drafts?

Besides, evidence suggests the present policies may cripple National Guard and Reserve recruitment. Many are not only being sent out frightfully unprepared (leading to mutinies like the transport group refusing to go without armor and working vehicles), the “stop loss” hitch extensions which would make anyone fearful of volunteering for staying in regardless of sense of duty, especially when families and jobs are threatened by the long time away.

How’ll we staff those services if this keeps up? Plus, we need our “home units” at home for hurricanes, floods and forest fires. As a matter of fact, since many guardsmen and reservists are our police and firemen, we are jeopardizing those local functions as well by calling up many of the experienced people filling those jobs. Shouldn't the "conservative" thing be to protect that vital asset?

Speaking of protection, wouldn’t it be “conservative” to spend more to protect our chemical and nuclear plants, our ports and our arriving cargo containers? Why has Bush II fought requirements for better protection there? Actually we do know why. It is campaign contributions and lobbying. But, is saving a few bucks now more “conservative” than preventing many billion dollars costs later when the open “barn door” is entered by those wanting to attack us?

We used to say those in charge should be fired when glaring, costly mistakes are made in business or war. That traditionally was the "conservative" approach. Do the true conservatives who could make a difference want us to fail? Have they forgotten what patriotism really requires? Are they simply too cowardly to speak up when our military is threatened by such obvious malfeasance of those now in charge? Are religious, cultural or partisan goals deemed more important than our troops in jeopardy?

Hopefully, the real conservatives will finally become as disgusted as I am about the "Neo Conservatives" and speak out before it’s too late.

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