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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Smilin' Norm: Bear Share before body armor

Posted by: Hammer / 2:56 PM

Sen. Smilin' Norm Coleman (R-MN) is still calling for Kofi Annan to resign. Sadly, he's pimping questionable facts to do so:

In a telephone interview from California, Coleman said he wasn't surprised by the new charges, and he reiterated his call for Annan to step down. He said Annan is too damaged to survive after failing to control the $64 billion Oil-for-Food program, which he says was used by Saddam Hussein to bribe U.N. member states as a way to pay for terrorism.

Terrorism? You mean international terrorism by groups like al Qaeda that no reputable body believes Iraq supported? Or is Smilin' Norm defining terrorism more broadly here? Certainly, Hussein's regime was guilty of terroristic acts against its own people and may have attempted to assassinate Bush 1, but there's no evidence that Iraq was blowing up embassies.

Coleman continued: "I don't see how you're going to [reform the UN] if you have leadership that is so stained from this lack of accountability, from the failure to get its arms around this massive fraud."

Julian Zelizer explains why Smilin' Norm will continue to tilt at the United Nations: "It will continue to give him notoriety, especially with conservatives. The U.N. is a big issue for Republican conservatives. It's almost as symbolic as abortion. ... It's a symbol of the international pressures that the U.S. doesn't want to be bound by anymore." Smilin' Norm loves to play to the Black Helicopter Right.

Meanwhile, over 2,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard are preparing for deployment. To show his concern, Coleman "held a series of forums in May on the growing concern of what troops are experiencing while abroad and what they face when they come home."

Here's an idea. Smilin' Norm should join Rep. John Larson's (D-CT)call for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation today. His incompetent leadership has consistently failed to provide American soldiers with equipment necessary to save their lives:

For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is replacing body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, citing a need for better protection that can withstand the strongest of attacks from insurgents, a spokesman said Saturday.

The effort, which began more than a year ago, would upgrade the protection used by more than 500,000 soldiers as well as civilian employees and news reporters. The first upgrade installed ceramic protective plates in the vests and was completed in early 2004.

Defense officials acknowledge the replacement processes have been slowed in part by debates over what is best for the troops. The current replacement is expected to take several more months to complete, said an Army official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of information affecting troop safety.

The civilian leadership at the Pentagon has consistently failed the brave men and women who are fighting in Iraq. Smilin' Norm chairs the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Coleman himself says, "My mission as PSI Chairman is to crack down on waste and fraud in government and rout out wrongdoing on behalf of the American taxpayer." He has managed to investigate file sharing, but can't find the time to investigate why we can't get body armor to the troops who need it most.

Loyalty to your party must end when it puts American soldiers at risk.


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