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July 6th, 2005

The Restless Miscreant: The Emperor’s New Army

by Delbert Grady

So what’s the story, Jerry? Well, of the 135,000 or so Army and Marine troops in Iraq and Kuwait, almost 60,000 are reservists or National Guard. You know who they are-the guys and gals down the block just trying to make a living and get away from their spouses once a month and a couple of weeks a year. Unfortunately for them, they never figured on Bush (after all, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition). Shanghaied off the streets, they found that perhaps they should have paid more attention to the fine print. Who knows, maybe it was just another cynical Rove plot to help job statistics by removing potential additions to the unemployment lines due to outsourcing. Let’s face it, Machiavelli is never far away with this administration.

Anyway, excluding the above troops, the remaining total active duty force of the Army and Marines is about 545,000. Subtract from that the 145,000 or so deployed elsewhere around the world and you have about 400,000 in the U.S. and its territories. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, it does until you consider that about 40,000 of the officers and 140,000 of the enlisted are of a rank putting them in “management”. That means another 180,000 have to be subtracted, leaving 220,000 to defend the homeland short-run. And of these, probably half are desk jockeys with beer bellies who would do more harm than good in a firefight. That leaves 110,000, or about 2,000 per state to protect the rest of us. And recruitment is down big time, too.

So let us now consider a remote but thought-provoking scenario proposed by my evil twin: in great secrecy, subversive forces within China conspire with al-Qaeda and North Korea to attack America using documented, legitimate container ships bound for the west coast. The Chinese crowd provides the ships and bills of lading “cover”, North Korea hardened suicide troops toting weapons you don’t even want to think about, and al-Qaeda a bunch of sleeper cell guys destined for deployment somewhere down the road but in the short run equipped with shoulder-fired missiles to be used for bringing down U.S. troop-laden aircraft sent in response later. Trucks pick up the containers, then move to pre-arranged locations to disgorge their contents, each one housing 50-100 men plus food, supplies, sanitation and weapons, etc., upon some signal. Then all hell breaks loose.

Like “War of the Worlds”, they rapidly take over near targets in wide swaths of attack, joining up with other units as they go. By the time we can react properly to the threat, they’ve decimated numerous police and fire forces, confiscating weapons and killing all in their way (think “The Terminator”). Then they burn everything to the ground.

So, you say, what about nearby Army bases? Mostly caretakers there. The Air Force? Sure, let’s bomb L.A. The Navy? Well, maybe they’ve got some leftover WWII amphibs. The reserves and National Guard? We know where they are, don’t we.

So, Chicken Little, what to do? How about this: we institute a late-60’s-style lottery draft system for illegal aliens. They all get a number and each month a drawing is held to provide more grist for the mill. If they survive a couple of years of being shot at (or up), they become full citizens. Hey, no pain, no gain, right? And what is life without adventure? If they don’t cotton to the idea they can always go back to where they belonged in the first place. Don’t like that solution? Then what about mercenaries, an American Foreign Legion? Hell, bring ?ɬem over here from some down-and-out venue, train ?ɬem as best we can, give ?ɬem some firepower, pay ?ɬem 10% of what we pay our troops but 10 times what they’re used to, turn ?ɬem loose and hope that al-Qaeda doesn’t pay better. We even get to disavow their brutality since they don’t have American values and would be hard to control. After all, getting others to do what we don’t want to is the American way, isn’t it?

Either way, maybe we could save California. I doubt the Republicans would be pleased.

(Editor’s Note: Mr. Grady is currently on psychiatric leave but will return soon.)

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