Rancor's The Way
Things must really not be going well for the Republican Party these days. Just this week alone, Dick Cheney had to boost the public image of George Warmonger Bush during his speech at the Reagan Library, Dumby had to be photographed standing amid a large number of troops at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky while wearing the uniform he shed rather than submit to drug testing while a member of the Air National Guard, the (mis)Administration's highly touted capture of a major Al Qaeda figure dissipated like the smoke from the Genie's lamp, numerous nations are beginning to reconsider their participation in the First Pharisee's Crusade for Crude, civil unrest has broken out once again in Kosovo (maybe because so many US troops have been redeployed to Iraq?), the stock markets are down for the second week, and gas prices hit record highs, so the recitation of the terror vulnerabilities of our nation was again trotted out in an effort to distract the American people from all these problems.
Terror - a real threat. No denying this, as the Madrid bombings painfully indicate. But just what kind of a threat is this supposed to be against the world's most powerful Navy in history, with a fleet of spy satellites that can read the number off a car's license plate from 25,000 miles out in space???
They may only be a fleet of rusty freighters, but the ships, dubbed "Osama's navy" by defence analysts, send chills down the corridors of ntelligence agencies in western nations. For the last year and a half, U.S. and British spies have been trying to track the 15 freighters believed to be under the control of al-Qaeda and sailing somewhere in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Fifteen rusty, slow, obsolete freighters against the US Navy's Fifth Fleet (Indian Ocean), typically consisting of an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (CVBG), an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), surface combatants, submarines, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, and logistics ships, and the US Navy's Seventh Fleet (Western Pacific) with 50-60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel, aided by dozens of spy satellites currently in orbit and numerous non-military satellites of many nations that could be used to find just 15 ancient rust buckets???
[US Navy data from US Navy Fleets]
Dear readers, I submit to you that if the billions of dollars the American people paid for the highest technology surveillance equipment and the most powerful Navy in the world can't handle 15 scows, then we have been defrauded. Only a fool, or a Republican, could believe that Osama's Navy could evade over 300 US Navy ships (not all of which are in the cited area, of course), supported by thousands of military and civilian aircraft, and hundreds of military and commercial ships, of many nations.
If I was the Navy, I'd be insulted.
We've seen this specific terror threat trotted out before. December 2001 - Navy ships searching for al Qaeda in Arabian Sea December 2002 - Al-Qaeda fleet takes terrorist threat to sea. May 2003 - How Al Qaeda might strike the US by sea. This last shows a photo os a US military plane observing for identification a ship about to enter Corpus Christi, Texas - a job that might once have been done the Deserter-in-Chief had he shown up for flight duty as required.
Just after the 2002 terror announcement, the US Navy caught some Al Qaeda ships flying the Tongan flag, which demonstrates that the surveillance I say above is possible is in fact being conducted, and is meeting with success. And it continues. Just last December, the US Navy managed to track and capture two dhows, a vessel much smaller than a freighter, which were found to be running drugs.
But notice the pattern of the previous news releases of the terror ships December 2001, 2002, 2003. (We'll ignore the others for the moment.) Am I expected to believe that NOTHING has been accomplished in locating and tracking 15 obsolete tramp steamers??? When there have been other events, including others I didn't cite above, that demonstrate that the US Navy is doing its job of protecting the nation and actually finding something substantial?
If this is so, then this - among so many other pieces of evidence - screams Blatant incompetence! at the top.
The US Navy, and all of the other armed forces of the United States, has the ability to do much good in the world, provided the top civilian leadership is not a bunch of Johnny Depp-character-wannabe petroleum pirates, sending them on missions of multinational corporate plundering which only further inflame already serious conflicts around the world. But what is one to do when the Policeman of the World starts taking bribes?
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline ... If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight.
The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers.
There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.
War for any other reason is simply a racket.
Semper Fi, General.
So what are we to conclude? I suggest that this latest terror threat is being used as a political smokescreen, as previously used successfully, to sway the American people away from the real problems facing the nation - job loss, the deficit, the economy, Iraq, etc., just so the BushCo racketeers can continue to play their game of Real-Life Risk (TM - Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers) undeterred.
The Gay Marriage Ban Amendment must not be helping the Bush Re-selection campaign.