Saturday, November 17, 2007

What does wartime look like?

One benefit to living in DC is that the lunchtime professional /civic group rubber chicken meetings tend to have more interesting speakers than in , say, Topeka. Last week at an engineering group, the guest speaker was in charge of new construction for the Department of State. "I try to protect our employees from incidents like this", he noted. (1998 US embassy bombing, Nairobi.)
Later on he said "this is wartime." I had heard the same statement a week before from the Director of Public Works at one of the large Army bases near DC. He could not understand why local transportation and environmental agencies were not more cooperative with the Army.
From their perspective, they are right. I have to disagree.

If we were really at war we would be rationing gasoline and tires.
We' might be rationing meat and sugar.
We'd probably be rationing computer chips.
There would be a draft.
We'd have secure borders. There would be still be a lot of resident aliens working here but we would be keeping track of who and where they are.
Taxes would be a lot higher; government services, for most of us, would be a lot lower. Few would complain.
Bipartisanship would mean something. Politics really would stop at the water's edge.

The State Department employee made another comment, in passing, that makes me
wonder if he had heard something recently that stuck with him, or if he had
just been to one too many security briefings that week.
We need to prepare the American people to respond to chemical and biological attacks. The government has not done a very good job of that and we should. It 's
going to happen.

1 comment:

Karridine said...

You say, "If we were really at war..." and list several actions the nation should be taking IF we were actually at war...

And yours are rational actions, many of which would probably help America, but are all actions that would certainly have helped IN World War II.

Today, we are at war, and it is the DIFFERENTNESS of this War that lets so many rational people (yourself included here) think we really are NOT at war.

The actions being taken by America today are for the most part logically supporting our state of war, and our war efforts. There could be more (rationing gas would be a GREAT ADDITION, and pumping/refining America's OWN oil and gas would help, too) but it is not a NECESSARY ADJUNCT to the War effort, to 'prove' we're at war.

America is at war with an amorphous, semi-crystalline enemy outside American borders, and a persuasive, dedicated leftist-Muslim-ACLU Fifth Column INSIDE America, poisoning us domestically.

We Americans might LIKE to separate religion from government, but we're in a War that we've been fighting off and on for 6,000 years; and as Americans, since "...the shores of Tripoli!"