Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Army to Ranchers: 'We Need Yer Land, or Troops will Die!'
The Ranchers of Piňon Canyon are understandably nervous and wary of Army promises, having been screwed by them before - in never ending land expansion grabs. Now they've come to that same threat again, in a recent meeting with army honchos at the Trinidad Colo. community center where one rancher, Paula Ozzelo, noted that just one calf disturbed by low-flying choppers and left for dead could end up costing her $1,000.
The military honcho in attendance, Col. David Grosso, showed no pity or understanding merely responding that he "worried about another cost - that of his soldiers' lives if they're improperly trained before heading for war". ('Fort Carson Looks to Mend Relations with Ranchers', Colo. Springs Gazette, p. 1A, Aug. 13)
Give me an 'effin break! Does Grosso seriously believe any thinking person would buy this codswallop?
First, Carson's contingent hopes or plans to resume regular training exercises in 2013, on the 235,000 acre Canon site, when all four of the 4th Infantry Division's combat teams arrive home from their respective occupations, errr....."wars". It is also late in the same year that Carson wants and insists it "needs" a full scale "combat air brigade" - consisting of 113 Chinook helicopters (as well as Apaches) that plan to log 25,000 hours flying a year going over the heads of the fine citizenry of Colorado Springs, as well as ranchland and training sites in the Piňon, guzzling some two million barrels of oil in the process, and likely scaring the bejeezus out of thousands of head of cattle, dogs, and citizens. They also want to conduct 'live fire exercises' at all times of year, such as some three years ago when they accidentally started a brush fire during dry conditions to the east of the Springs.
They say it's needed, but I call bullshit on that, since the very next year - indeed within a few months of the putative setup - the 11-year Afghan disaster will finally end according to joint U.S.- NATO plans for a pullout. I guess they finally figured that $2 trillion already pissed down the toilet is enough money, especially when we have bigger fiscal fish to fry including cutting a nearly $16 trillion deficit.
But the Piňon ranchers are rightly worried the Army will ask for more of their land, as they have been doing the past decade. (Never mind that so much "training" land was never required even during the peak years of the Cold War against the Soviets, far less during WWII).
Oh, and let's not forget the total costs of just adding the combat air brigade: some $1 billion. My question is why add this white elephant if the Afghan occupation is ending within a few months later anyway? It's all academic and a moot point, since there won't be but a few hundred training soldiers left behind anyway, so you won't need a whole combat air outfit to support them!
Nevertheless most of the yahoos that live in the Springs are drooling at the prospect of a 2,700-man and 113 chopper outfit coming here - 'cause they think it will perk up the local economy. Never mind that even after most of Ft. Hood moving here, all that's happened is most street lights remain off at night, the weeds are taking over whole blocks (no money to support cutting them) and schools are being closed for lack of $$$. Will these yokels ever learn? Hardly! They like the gov't tit in this case.
Colorado Springs, alas, has long been a shameless suckling on the teats of government to the tune of billions a year for military support and expenditure. The irony is most of its burgers are ideological (social-economic) conservatives who find no irony in bitching, moaning and pissing about the weak or homeless collecting food stamps- though they themselves collect hundreds of times as much in terms of fat military contracts, special benefits or spinoff largesse.....which is essentially the same thing. So while they bemoan the "Nanny" state to which the poor are driven, they overlook the "Pappy" state which sits them on its knees and doles out goodies galore.
One of their kind, indeed, could be seen bloviating in the local rag's opinion section today ('Gutting the Military'):
"Defense of the country is the foremost function of the federal government and the manpower of our armed forces is a long way from the kind of 'jobs' the government 'creates' in other areas."
Ahhhhh, written by a true troglydyte.. The guy obviously believes kicking in people's homes, tossing them on the floor and pointing rifles to their heads, or burning their Korans, or shooting them en masse, is more of a job than delivering the mail, or say, serving in Peace Corps setting up a fresh water well so people don't get water borne diseases. To be truthful, my dad, a now -deceased WWII vet (Pacific theater) would laugh at this claim in comparison to what HE and others did (in fighting off two empires - the Japanese and Third Reich) . To him, the "nation sitting" these current soldiers think passes for real war would make him ask them if they'd ever lined up in a real battle in Afghanistan - say facing 33 or more days of brutal incoming shells and bombs as opposed to a few lobbed mortars or RPGs.. The truth hurts. My dad was sent into hospital, but after having ears temporarily blasted out and suffering concussion from being pounded by 2,000 lb. bombs from Jap Zeros and mortar shells for over twenty hours a day at the Battle of Buna. He'd have welcomed exchanging that intensity for watching for a few IEDs. And calling the latter "war".
The next thing is the idea this character has that defense is the foremost function of government. If that's really so, why exactly does the Preamble of the Constitution come before anything else and clearly state the government is to "promote the GENERAL welfare". Seems to me that has priority. Even if the guy's claim is valid to some minor extent, he obviously hasn't processed that we now spend more on "defense" than all the other nations combined! Isn't that more than fulfilling a mandate, and in an era where you aren't confronting the Soviets - as in the Cold War, but a gaggle of robed loonies with a couple of strap on bombs. How the fuck do you get off comparing THAT to what those like my dad went through?
Then we have Col. Grasso at the end of his Trinidad spiel asserting:
"Calves have value and so do human lives, as in Afghanistan"
If that's the case, Colonel, and as my dad would also tell you if he was alive - then get the hell out of there or press the prez to speed it up, because all you all are doing is creating more terrorists.
We don't need a $1b combat air brigade carving out another big mammoth hole in the deficit. If you all are going to have your military adventures, then damn well get your congressional clowns - like Doug Lamborn - to PAY for them.
As in TAXES!