Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Good news...bad news?

I was pleased to hear that, after the utterly wretched way that the man was made a byword and a hissing by the LoyalBushies for telling the truth to power about war and occupation, Eric Shinseki has been appointed to the position of Secretary of Veteran's Affairs for the incoming administration.

Shinseki always struck me as a decent, honorable man in a career track (Army general officer) that more often rewards venal, self-seeking careerists. His treatment by then-SecDef Rumsfeld and the then-usual Bush gang of idiots was disgraceful; regardless of what you felt about what the man said, respect his service to the nation, dammit.

That said, he is reported to have been the driving force behind getting all of us tree-suit wearers out of our sensible P-caps and into the reviled Black Bag, a headgear of surpassing silliness.Mind you, I wore my Red Beret with pride: it said a lot to me, about my own hard work, the Airborne units in which I served, and the combat history that parachute and paratroop units have earned since WW2. But the beret as hat? Fuhgeddaboutit! Useless in sun and wind, sopping weight in rain, and liable to freakish fashion extremes from the "Jeff Cap" style of Army cooks to the generic "puffball" of those too inexperienced to shave and shape it, the black beret was and is an abomination before the God of War.

So I have great hopes for our new SVA. But, Eric?

Let's leave the fashion to Stacy and Clinton. Okay?Oh, and a warning order.

I've pretty much expended all remaining rounds, politically and militarily, for the rest of December with the "Commander's Intent" series of posts. I'm focusing now on kids, home and family, both mine and those of friends - in particular I want to shoutout to a dear couple now in China on their first week of parenting; yay, you four! - and I'm thinking that the rest of the month will be devoted to thinking and talking about those things. So for those of you who throw up a little in the back of your mouth at the family glurge, be warned: the next couple or three weeks will be mostly yucky domestic and small-ball stuff.

But check back in January for more political goodness.


pluto said...

I'm okay with reading fun stuff about your family for the rest of the year.

The "Commander's Intent" set of posts were brilliant and I can only hope that somebody will be bright enough to forward them to Obama who would be highly likely to implement your suggestions if he knew about them.

Anonymous said...

But wouldn't it be sweet, if berets were the worst complaint about the brass?


mike said...

Glad to see the good general's resurrection.

But head of the VA is a thankless job. It has ruined scores of reputations. Will he get funding and backing from Congress to make the changes needed?? Or will he end up as the next whipping boy??

Surely Obama could have given him a plum for his rebirth instead of this bowl of sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

I think that he'll do well. He had the b*lls to speak truthfully when required (and when duty required), and the integrity to keep his mouth shut otherwise.

Besides, he's got a Democratic administration and Congress, and a whole bunch of (hopefully) mobilized new vets to work with.


FDChief said...

While I agree that the SecVA is nominally a booby prize, I have to agree that if anyone can tame the snakes in that snakepit Shinseki has as good a chance as any.

I see the next ten years as fairly ugly for the VA. The high incidence of traumatic brain injury in the guys coming back from SW Asia may well turn out to be a ticking bomb as they get older. And cognitive disorders - if that is what the late-stage TBIs produce - are among the hardest to treat on an outpatient basis, which is how the system is now designed; the huge infrastructure of VA inpatient facilities we had after WW2 are gone, baby, gone. It'll be interesting to see how the VA and the federal agencies in general handle this, if it turns up...

rangeragainstwar said...

I see the next ten years as being bad for all working Americans-and we know who'se at the bottom of the food chain.
I wish well for Shinseki and all Vets but there are too many ominous signs on the horizon.
The phoney change that we just voted for will not ameliorate the fact of debt at all levels, corruption, and false solutions to economic concerns.The change will as always come out of the lower classes pocketbooks. jim