Wednesday, January 11, 2006
NOTE: Now before any of my erstwhile MILBLOGGER friends recoil in horror or pummel me senseless for my admission that I voted for Hillary, let me say in my defense that I thought her Republican opponent was inept and incapable, and for a unrepentant Blue State electorate, a politically ambitious Hillary would 1) move rightward, 2) support the military, and 3) have greater influence than the average junior Senator. (If that’s not enough of a defense for you, color me full of remorse, and swearing it all off on a moment of non-partisan weakness. If my friend Norm can forgive me, perhaps you can too.)
As one of your constituents, a veteran of OIF III, and someone who actually voted for you, I must strenuously object to your recent public statements on body armor for the U.S. Military, and the grossly offensive conclusions you have publicly drawn of competence of the Commander in Chief, the Vice President, and what you describe as their isolation "from different points of view."
You remain isolated from different points of view, yourself, Senator. Despite your many transparent efforts to portray yourself as a supporter of our military, on this issue in particular you reveal yourself as out of step with the majority of soldiers.
Body armor, as armor generally for military equipment as well as personnel, involves tradeoffs. The heavier the armor, the more energy and slower speed of movement. Increasing difficulty moving, and slowing soldiers down, gets them killed as well.
The study you site cannot yield any information about how many lives existing body armor saved. Nor, can one rightly conclude that more body armor would have resulted in fewer deaths. (Because, of course, there is a potential cost in lives to HAVING more and heavier body armor. For every lived safed with more armor, two more might have been lost.)
That you use the findings of the study to which you refer, to bludgeon your political opponents for political gain, makes your behavior all the more reprehensible.
If you want to support the military -- and I grow increasingly dubious of your motivations -- drop the partisan posturing and learn something about the military, our way of life, what we care about, and our values.
We don't demand that you share ours, but you need to show more respect for them. First and foremost of those values, is partisanship goes by the wayside when we're at war.
You'd have to clean up your act a darnsight to gain my vote in future.
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