This was in WorldNet Daily, which is obviously slanted. But the Brookings Institution transcript backs it up. WorldNet Daily wrote
Clinton then noted that during the 2000 campaign, Vice President Cheney said there is almost nothing you can do to improve the quality of a military force created by your predecessors.
Cheney, she pointed out, wrote a letter to former President Reagan “thanking him for building the military that fought so capably.”
“Well, I don’t know, but I don’t think any letters have yet arrived on the desks of anyone associated with the Clinton administration,” she said.
You are DAMN RIGHT they haven’t.
That. Is. The. Stupidest. Thing. I’ve. Ever. Heard.
I understand, and supported, the need to cut back the military after the victory over the USSR in the Third World War. But it was GUTTED in the 1990s to get budget surpluses. Many of the best and brightest stayed on, of course, and many programs reached fruition during the decade. But the depth and redundance of the force was severely compromised.
Not that I’m suggesting that we should have kept all of them, but if we still had 18 divisions instead of 10, there wouldn’t be any National Guardsmen in Iraq today, we’d have more troops in Afghanistan, AND we’d still be able to carry out another major campaign somewhere else.
I welcome anyone to comment about how Bill Clinton is more responsible for our military’s successes in the Fourth World War than Ronald Reagan is.
UPDATE: Not that I expect an answer, but I contacted Senator Clinton’s office about this matter. Here is the text of the letter I submitted through her site:
I was quite surprised to hear your remarks of February 25th, 2004 at the Brookings Institution regarding the fact that no one from the Bill Clinton administration had received a thank-you note from Vice President Cheney for the military that has performed so spectacularly over the past few years.
I publish a small weblog primarily devoted to military matters at http://www.murdoconline.net. My feeling is that the military, which underwent an incredible transformation during the Reagan and Bush administrations suffered pretty badly during the Clinton years, but I could be wrong. I posted about this on my site here: http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/001055.html . I readily admit that I used strong language in my post. Upon reflection, however, I have realized that I don’t have all the facts.
If you would care to explain how the military of 2001-2004 is better off than the military of 1991 because of new policies enacted during 1992-2000, I will gladly publish your comments, in whole, on my site, along with my own commentary. If you check out my site you will see that I strive to be level-headed and open-minded about issues, especially those concerning our military.
One of the strongest anti-Clinton reactions I’ve encountered is that against the perceived gutting of the US military by President Clinton, and if we are mistaken this is a chance to reach a small number of knowledgeable, open-minded followers of military policy. Many of my regular readers publish their own blogs, and if you can convince us, you will convince many others.
Please take the time to respond with the reasoning behind your statement. I will listen with an open mind and will publish your response verbatim.
Although the name “Murdoc Jern” is a pseudonym that I write under, the mailing address I provided is accurate. I’m sure that if my real identity is required, it can be obtained easily enough. If not, just tell your people my house is the one with the US flag by the front door 24/7/365.
I look forward to hearing from you.
UPDATE 2: I should have known. Less than five minutes after I sent off my message, I received this reply:
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns with me via e-mail. I hope you will understand that, because of the volume of e-mails I receive from residents of New York State, I cannot at this time respond to messages received from residents of other states. I encourage you to contact your U.S. senators if you have an issue or concern that needs immediate attention. You can access your senators electronically by visiting http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm for a listing of their contact information. If you are still interested in learning more about the work I am doing on behalf of New York State, I hope you will continue to monitor my work through my website at http://clinton.senate.gov.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
New York State
Of course, I could resend the letter with a New York address, but that would be lying. I could also set up residency in New York just so I could contact Senator Clinton, but that wouldn’t be right either. Would it?