With The Call For Silly String Donations For U.S. Troops Comes The Question, "How Long Can The Pentagon Keep Silly Stringing Along Our War Effort?"
For as long as humans have engaged in warfare, those left at home have done their part to try to provide what their warriors need. During the American Revolution, for example, those not on the front lines did all they could to collect the salt peter needed (not to reduce the sexual urge in men, which was often a standard use for the stuff) by colonial soldiers to use in weapons against the Tories.
As such, I certainly won't mock the effort many troop families and others are putting forth to send Silly String to U.S. soldiers in Iraq (the kid stuff is useful in detecting bomb trip wires) and the call by Time Magazine this week to get more people involved in the cause.
What appalls me, however, is that - again and again - soldier families and others are forced into the position of providing the troops with essential equipment the Bush Administration and the Pentagon simply can't be bothered to supply. This has happened with water, with bullets, with body armor, with first aid supplies, and God knows what else.
It's certainly not that the Pentagon is underfunded. If anything, they have a blank check! Mr. Rumsfeld insisted upon, and was granted (crap!), money that he was never asked to account for how it was spent. This was above and beyond the "normal" Pentagon budget which costs more than all other government spending rolled together (education, Medicare, housing, homeland security, etc.). And Congress has approved every damned additional Iraq war spending request the Bushies put forth - the official Iraq war cost right now stands at about $350 bbbbbbBillion and climbing fast toward half a tttttTrillion. Even Washington acknowledges that is just part of what has been spent; much of the rest has been hidden or lost in bureaucratic spreadsheets.
Nor does this factor in the money Rumsfeld was handed for the global "War on Terror": the General Accounting Office (GAO) reports that there is no central running tab for how much taxpayer money has been spent there, although the guesstimate is that it probably starts at no less than $500 billion and likely has cost exponentially more. Since there will be no end to terrorism, there can be no end to the War on Terror (unless we get some "sense" and end it) or the tax money we spend on it.
But our soldiers don't have bullets, water, medical supplies, body armor OR adequate bomb detection hardware so they must resort to asking family and friends to send them Silly String. Funny. I don't think I have ever heard a single case of Halliburton or Bechtel or Blackwater or any of the other massive contract corporations having to beg the Pentagon to supply neessary materials. I suppose it's a matter of priorities and, with it, the very clear message that our soldiers matter far less than Kellogg, Brown & Root or either Donald Rumsfeld's or George Bush's ego.