Thursday, January 06, 2005

Good Lord -- now we're running out of bullets? We have to import them?

TAIPEI - The United States is planning to buy hundreds of millions of bullets from Taiwan in the first such deal as its supplies are running low after wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a report said Thursday.

Citing Taiwanese military sources, the United Evening News said Washington had made the request to acquire some 300 million 5.56-millimeter bullets for rifles for an estimated two billion Taiwan dollars (62.5 million US)....

--Agence France-Presse/Khaleej Times

For as long as I can remember, Republicans, based on scant evidence, have accused Democratic presidents and presidential aspirants of creating, or being likely to create, a "hollow military." Now here's Bush actually doing so -- this and the leaked memo by the head of the Army Reserve that describes the Reserve's "broken" state are only the latest in a long string of evidence -- and yet it never seems possible to make such a charge stick when the president is a Republican. (John Kerry certainly couldn't manage it.)

But that's how it always works, isn't it? Some ideas are just so damn intuitive that American voters literally can't seem to process evidence that they're exactly wrong. Clinton left behind the military that won the Afghan war; Bush is relentlessly hollowing that military out. Yet everybody "knows" that Republicans are pro-military and Democrats aren't. Democrats have to find a way to hang reality around Republicans' necks -- or at least find a way to remove Republicans' protective cloak of myth.

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