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« Canadian Liberals Choose New Leader | Main | Interview with Sen. Mike Gravel - Part II »

December 03, 2006

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Wes F in Hapeville

He's an impressive fellow. I can't wait to read part 2.

(And Dave - next time you've lined up a US Senator, current or former, call me. I can drive over. ;) )

WF

PL

As someone also born in Springfield, I have followed Mike Gravel's career from the time when he demonstrated real backbone as the ONLY U.S. Senator who took on the Nixon Administration to end the draft. I've heard sevral of my contemporaries point out that Gravel's willingness to release the Pentagon Papers so that the American people could learn of this country's involvement in the Vietnam War literally changed their life. Maybe it's time for an unconventional, "maverick" to lead this country. The lacklustre group is unable to clearly articulate a position and devoid of the passion to affect real change. Why is it that those matters most relevant to people's lives -- choices of going to war, of funding universal health care --have been relinquished to a cadre of career politicians? Let the People Decide. I say give Gravel a platform and some fair media coverage. He stands out from the usual cast of characters. Gravel in 08 -- by a landslide! Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Ken Larson

You make many good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.


Pete Vasquez

You support the Fairtax...you have my vote. Let's eliminate the income tax and the influence peddling that it causes.

Dan Williams

You are right on the money, arrogance and greed is destroying our country and if we do not watch our backside, mother nature is going to kick our ass.

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