June 30, 2004

Pure lunacy..

Cori Dauber has a good dissection of this NYT article. Worth reading. I won't try to top her, but I noticed this quote:

...Of the $9 billion in contracts the Pentagon has issued so far, only $5.2 billion has actually been nailed down for defined tasks. Most of those projects are still in planning stages, though officials insist that the rebuilding effort will soon flower.

From the outset the designing of projects and awarding of billions of dollars in contracts proved slower than some officials had imagined.

Among other things, planning, oversight and competitive procedures were tightened after some of the earliest postwar contracts, awarded without competition to companies including Halliburton, were tainted by evidence of waste and overcharging...

I think most of the "waste and overcharging" stuff was bogus, but even if it wasn't, this is the most incredible example of penny-wise pound-foolish ever! The slowness of our spending has almost certainly contributed to the unrest in Iraq.

So what does it mean, folks? It means we are spending billions to provide extra military force in order to save millions in possible "waste and overcharging."

It means that the idiots who have been pounding on us with the steady drumbeat of Halliburton-Halliburton-Oil-Cheney-Halliburton are murderers who have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis.
And it's all just utterly stupid; Halliburton isn't even a very profitable company. But more importantly, if the people who are always attacking the Administration and companies like Bechtel and Halliburton actually cared about their country, they would want us to spend what's needed to save American lives and win the Iraq Campaign.

In any war, time is the essence. Anything that slows us down is equivalent to a reduction in our forces. Our spending to fix iraqi infrastructure and generate jobs there is a weapon in the War. The people who have tied it up in red tape are attacking our forces more effectively than Al Qaeda is.

In war it is normal to spend wastefully (or what would be wastefully in a peacetime context) to gain time, to build up forces and weapons more quickly than the enemy. In war "quick and careless" spending saves in the long run.

I remember just after Iraq was liberated, and their phone system was knocked out, somebody in Iraq started a cell-phone service. It was desperately needed, but guess what? It was shut down! The despicable Islamists in our State Department shut it down! The proper rules of competitive bidding had not been followed, whine whine whine. And so it took a year to get them cell-phone service, and it's still patchy! But that's OK folks, because following procedures and keeping capitalism controlled is much more important than preventing our people from having their heads sawed off.

Probably some of this lunacy could be by-passed by the President, by issuing executive orders or some such. But the President only has a limited supply of political capital. Everything he does is horrendously difficult because everything he does is subjected to bitter political attack by Democrats. And in wartime, that means that our "loyal" opposition is sacrificing American lives to win political points.

And what really makes me feel bitter about this is that, during the 20th Century, most of our wars were Democrat wars. and those Democrat administrations and their wars were supported by the Republicans. That doesn't mean zero-criticism, but it means that Wilson or FDR or LBJ ever had to think, "I'd like to spend more money, I'd like to prosecute the war more vigorously, but it will mean a horrible battle with the Republicans, and I just don't know if we have the votes and the energy..." They never had to worry about that kind of crapola, because the Republicans were loyal. And the current lunatic rabble that calls itself Democrats is just the opposite; and they aren't about the return the favor and put their country first in its time of need.

Posted by John Weidner at June 30, 2004 6:56 PM
Weblog by John Weidner