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View Diary: Wow! Lookee! A Value-For-Money Military! (129 comments)

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  •  you may be right (5+ / 0-)
    that the Blue team was playing by the rules when they got wholloped. But what kind of Defense Sec. would war game the other team by rules that politically he admits our enemies don't recognize in real life? A myopic one blinded by his own hubris? One that just can't stand to be proven wrong and ineffective?

    Please. If Rumsfeld isn't creative enough to learn a lesson from that exercise then we have serious failures of leadership at the top of the Pentagon. (big surprise.)

    Also, I think your second point misses the point that Iran has been capable of establishing quite enviable civil infrastructure and social programming AS WELL AS an enviable and self-sufficient military defense for pennies on the dollar compared to what other nations spend. All in a restrictive global environment that has forced them to be creative and resourceful. If we fuck with Iran we are going to get stung very hard in ways that will SHOCK. Repeatedly. For YEARS. And they will not be playing by the "RULES".

    SO if Rummy has to win on paper we lose for poor planning and hubris in real life. Oh, sure. We could probably devastate Iran in a real confrontation. But only through massive bombing. 'Cause we don't have the troops for the ground. Because we went to Iraq. So unless we reinstate the draft (which is coming, eventually) it has to be by air. And that means massive collateral damage. Dead babies and women and old people. And despite what the politicians and talking heads and military planners might say, those are, in real practice, crimes of war.

    BTW, we are so undereducated and unaware in America of how other countries live that it would shock many Americans to know that Iran has such standards of civilized society. Do we have clean water and sewage in the 90% zone in our country? Whose literacy rate is higher, USA or Iran? Whose standard of living is higher across the board? How about poverty figures? See, we have a lot of things in America that are the envy of the world (or used to be). One thing we DO NOT HAVE in general is awareness of others in this world. We are like the spoiled only child. We have never gotten past that stage in our development where the whole world revolves around us.

    ...and now that I'm cooking with THAT line of seasoning...

    by bastrop on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:11:26 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Clarification (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, Iberian, snacksandpop

      No doubt Rumsfeld is a fool.  My comments are to mitigate fears that we are defenseless.  The sailors onboard the ships deserve to know there is a way to survive, and bluntly it is to kill everything that comes near.  I would hope Rumsfeld would realize that to get an even footing in such a war, we would have to be so ruthless that the world might rally to Iran’s side.  But I doubt it.

      The second point was more along the lines of absolute spending numbers are not adequate to predict who will go broke first.  It’s not a per capita number; it is more like % of GDP that matters.  I assume our % is higher, but probably not as bad as the per capita numbers suggest.  Just trying to clear some murky water here.

      I agree, the general public does not know the standards of living of the rest of the world is very true.  Much of Europe has a higher standard, especially when you factor in health care.  But the analyst within the intelligence agencies are not so ignorant.  You won’t see defense spending in absolute terms as a point of cross country comparison, even in the spin based public assessments.  But in the same way the Fed looks at debt as a percentage of GDP, not a per capita, defense spending as % of GDP should be consider as a factor in effecting future economic growth.

      It is rarely mentioned, but Japan’s and Germany’s economic growth is in part a result of relying on us for defense.  Do you recall that Bush I got money from Japan and Germany for the first Iraqi war?  

      Rumsfeld, and other neocons, as you say, in their hubris are threading on dangerous ground.  They are also digging a hole that will take some time to get of.  Of course they are counting on the inflation caused by gas prices to alleviate some of this debt.  An Iranian adventure might cause a world wide economic collapse, if not a nuclear war.  It is big time dumb to contemplate such an adventure. And it would accomplish nothing accept more hatred of America.

      Do the right thing 'casue it feels better.

      by John Boy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:04:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, Iberian

      Most Americans are surprised to learn that Europeans have cell phones and internet access, let alone hospitals often better than ours, and way more accessible.

      Iran is a democracy - not like ours, but a democracy nonetheless - with a duly elected government.

      Women have educations, jobs, the country just has cultural norms that aren't ours. Big whoop.

      It's THEIR country.

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