Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Divine Strake

I don't know how many people are aware of the Divine Strake event which is a test of the effectiveness of weapons against an underground tunnel complex. The event is supposed to be taking place in Nevada this year after being authorized by Congress in 2002. Back then it was a response to the unsuccessful efforts to go after Osama bin Laden in Bora Bora. Now I'm not sure why we are still pouring money into such a project.

Since 2002 we should have learned that our weapons are not our weak point in the kind of warfare we are likely to be engaging in now or in the future. If there is a military need, it is probably along the lines of increasing intelligence gathering operations and improving protective measures for our military personnel in the face of unpredictable enemies and unconventional tactics.

We should also know that we are not facing enemies who are going to be deterred no matter how effective our weapons are. Just as our soldiers would consider it to be an honor to die in the cause of preserving freedom, our enemies fight for ideologies in which death is an honor and not something to be avoided.

I think it's time for the government leave their cold-war thinking behind, and even their 2002 (early-in-the-war-on-terror) thinking behind and stop throwing money after projects such as this which do not, in fact, make us safer, or improve our military. If you feel the same way, write to your representative. You may also want to write to your senators. To make it easy, I have gathered the contact information for the senators in Utah (downwind from the test site) and Nevada (where the test site is located) since they would have the most vested interest in this.

Orrin Hatch(UT)

Harry Reid(NV)

Bob Bennett(UT)

John Ensign(NV)


Anonymous said...

Hind sight is 20/20 or at least it seems to be.

It's easier to see after-the-fact than it is to lead out in the beginning. And it's much easier to criticize than it is to be right on the criticism.

I wonder if we've considered what we can do (as opposed to just commentating) to make things better in this country. So many words are just lost on the wind.

Did you read this from
John L. Hutchins
American Entrepreneur
(716) 773-6114

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way.

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is
just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that
is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did . insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:
''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''

I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the
''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

John L. Hutchins
American Entrepreneur
(716) 773-6114

David said...

I wish I knew who "Anonymous" was unless this is all just the words of John L. Hutchins (which I had not read).

Perhaps it went unnoticed that I did not complain about Congress starting Divine Strake in 2002, only that they continue to fund it five years later when the situation has changed and we know that "bombing the terrorists back to the stone age" is not a viable strategy.

Rather than listing the things I am doing (and trying to do) to make things better - beyond talking - does anyone (Anonymous) have suggestions of what I (and others) should do make things better in the country?

Now on to the words of John Hutchins:

It's not the fact that we have running water and consistent electricity, low rates of unemployment, freedom of movement, and general safety here that makes us unhappy. It is the fact that we have engaged ourselves in a war where our leaders insist that we must keep doing what we are doing "lest the terrorists win" despite the fact that after years the Iraqi's don't have consistent power, running water, employment opportunities, freedom of movement or general safety. Our leaders cannot seem to catch up to the reality of today, they are operating in reaction to the realities of last year. We are unhappy that we seem to have wasted our energy as a nation on things that are tarnishing our opportunity for positive influence.

While it is fun and easy to claim that this administration has kept us safe from terrorist attacks, the fact is that any administration may have done as well as this one in that respect. We'll never know. The fact is that we have lost more soldiers in Iraq than we lost on 9/11 so were we safer with this course of action that we would have been without it?

Sadly, we are not free to have an open dialog about the issues as we try to "hand [our noble heritage] down unsullied to our children and theirs," because Hutchins is right - media is a business and bad news is good business. Our society is full of the rot which makes us prefer blood and guts to lemonade stands. The same rot that makes us spend our vast gifts on more materialism than philanthropy. That rot creeps into our dialog so that criticism can be labeled as coming from an ungrateful spoiled brat without having to take a hard look at the issues and defend the course we are taking or else change course.

I do not dispute the multitude of blessings that we enjoy, I dispute the idea that our current course of actions will help us to continue to enjoy those blessings.

Anonymous said...

An interesting discussion here. I think anonymous was a little off the mark though. I agree with what a wonderful country we live in--especially compared to so many of our brothers and sisters around the world. I have lived abroad and seen the effects of Communism firsthand, so I think I can say I have some idea what I'm talking about. However, saying what a wonderful place we live in, doesn't mean we can't make some changes to make it even better. I may love my house, but there is nothing wrong painting the walls and fixing faulty plumbing to make it an even better place. Am I going to leave the drain clogged or let my yard be ruined just because my neighbors house isn't as nice as mine? Complacency is a disease and we need to be always moving steadily forward. Wanting change doesn't mean you're not grateful for what you already have.

As for '[considering] what we can do (as opposed to just commentating) to make things better in this country.' The original post included links to senators and representatives . . . was there something else inferred? I think I'm a little confused on this point.