John McCaslin

It seems the Pentagon's postal system isn't any speedier than Uncle Sam's - yet another cause for Democrats to demand the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

(Burning question: Will the Pentagon, when it releases videos Rumsfeld says exist of U.S. military personnel humiliating Iraqi prisoners, also release videos of Americans and fellow allies being beheaded, burned alive and hung out to dry by enemy captors?)

Back to the mail problem, the House tomorrow considers a bipartisan resolution directing the Defense Department to rectify deficiencies in the military postal system to ensure members of the armed forces stationed overseas are able to receive and send mail in a "timely manner."

That includes receiving and sending election ballots in time to be counted in the 2004 presidential election.


Should a commander in chief of the U.S. military be out campaigning for re-election?

No, says Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a member of the International Relations Committee, who says "our wartime president is missing in action."

As U.S. troops are coming under repeated deadly attack in Iraq and one of the "worst" scandals of U.S. military prisoner abuse is uncovered, the congressman says, Bush "is in Ohio flipping pancakes, and in Michigan, of all places, riding in a $1 million bus made in Canada."


"When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Or so observes House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, condemning last week's wartime rhetoric of Democrats who say the Iraqi conflict cannot be won.

Blunt says Democrats "hiding behind podiums" are now "engaging in the same soft bigotry that the French and Spanish use."

"They don't believe that democracy can ever take root in an Arab nation. This belief is wrong."


Regarding the turmoil surrounding Iraqi prisoner abuse by certain members of the U.S. military, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) says, "Americans should not flagellate ourselves because of a tiny number of American personnel who humiliated or abused prisoners."

"Certainly, the vast, vast majority - if not 99.99 percent - of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have conducted themselves in a courageous and honorable way," notes Rohrabacher, who says such abuses of prisoners, although illegal and not to be condoned, "have occurred in every war."

"From the American Revolution on, we have seen soldiers who ... lash out with revenge, killing a person or killing a prisoner or mistreating a prisoner," he says. "This happens in every war and conflict."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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