Bayonets and Battleships: Random Thoughts


Military expert Barack Obama certainly had a couple of zingers for Mitt Romney in the last debate. He certainly "schooled" Romney as he oh-so-smugly pointed out that our military doesn't use bayonets or horses anymore (even though, in point of fact, we most certainly do employ bayonets and horses).

The current commander-in-chief also "brought Romney up-to-date" on the fact that we now have aircraft carriers and submarines, patronizingly describing submarines as "ships that go underwater".

As it happens, submarines are nothing new to American warfare; we made use of a submarine in the American Revolution. But the Navy has always called them "boats", not "ships". Such a semantic distinction is perhaps no more important, nor more telling about the speaker's military expertise, than the difference between a "corpsman" and a "corpseman".

And Yes, we certainly have aircraft carriers now. But our aircraft carriers are increasingly vulnerable to Red China's latest surface-to-surface missile capability. And whence came the technology for such missiles? Could that be the same missile technology that another wonderful (and oh-so-promilitary!) Democrat president, Bill Clinton, sold to his Chinese friends in exchange for campaign contributions?

Ever since those transactions (which put politics above national interest, something the current regime would never do!) many of us have wondered just when those chickens would come home to roost.

As to whether our Navy needs more than the 285-some-odd ships to which it has been reduced, Obama might consider this: nobody disputes (not yet!) that we still need our Marines (those Devil Dogs who still train to fight with bayonets or, if necessary, with anything else at hand), even if the current regime willfully neglects to provide them even in cases where they are clearly needed. When they are sent, they need a way to get there.

That said, someone might inform Obama of what sailors never tire of reminding Marines: that the letters "M-A-R-I-N-E" stand for "My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment"!

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