It's been real
President Bush will announce Monday that he plans to pull 70,000 to 100,000 troops out of Europe and Asia in the first major reconfiguration of overseas military deployments by the United States since the Cold War ended, White House officials said yesterday.
Bush, who will reveal his plan in a speech to the annual convention of the 2.6 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cincinnati, plans to say that the change is necessary to adapt the nation's military to the demands of the global war on terrorism and to take advantage of new technologies, said a senior aide involved in developing the plan.
The only thing wrong with this plan is that it wasn't enacted in Bush 41's term. Bring 70,000 US paychecks back from Germany? I like it. Pull 160,000 Americans out of that festering swamp of bigotry? I'm behind that, too. Take the support money for these fine folks (that Germany refused to continue protecting after begging that they be kept there), and channel it into something more productive and -- dare I say -- domestic? Right on, brother - I feel the fervor upon me! The Soviet threat is history, and the neosoviet threat shouldn't need our troops; it's long past time to bring 'em all back home. I'll be busy rounding up red carpets.
But then - to not stop there and bring our guys off the DMZ too? Man! That's like ordering a sundae and getting free hot fudge! After South Korea, whose native traffic fatality rates suggest that it may embrace Death Race 2000 as a national sport, erupted in protests over the accidental deaths of two children hit by a U.S. tank, I thought it was high time that all concerned re-thought our position in Korea. As we pull our 37,000 man "speed bump" out of South Korea, we should also remove the millions of land mines we've placed in the DMZ, eliciting much disapproval, just as quickly as possible. It's only the decent thing to do, right? (hey, Morocco - is that offer still open?) Besides the overwhelming outpouring of international affection that I'm positive this will generate (predictable by years of strident international reproach), gleeful South Koreans liberated from the oppressive presence of U.S. troops and hardware will be able to contemplate the unimpeded path from Kaesong to Seoul in peace. Right? Right??
Sometimes the best way to bring people around is to give them exactly what they want. Auf Wiedersehen, hasta luega, au revoir, sayonara, 안녕, and seeyalatagoobye.
My only question is: will Bush try to count these as offshore jobs that he brought home?