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Something Not Stupid.

So . . . smaller boat?

It's about goddamned time.

WASHINGTON - President Bush said he plans to increase the overall size of the U.S. military because of its worldwide campaign against terrorism, saying he agreed with complaints that the armed forces are stretched too thin.

Three plus years of rational critics of this war suggesting, then begging and finally screaming that we needed more men not fewer, more force not less, a bigger Army and Marine Corps not smaller ones. And being denounced by smug Rumsfeldian nitwits for being impatient, ignorant, panicky and treasonous and finally, finally, fi-nal-ly the jackass in the White House decides it might be time to get a bigger army.

Well, what do you know? Rummy barely clears the Pentagon parking lot and suddenly, as though, say, the lithium finally kicked in, the President snaps back to reality long enough to say, "Holy Christ I'm losing two wars. Maybe . . . maybe, just putting the idea out there . . . maybe, I need a bigger goddamned army."

Well, better too fucking late than never, I always say.

No details yet, so maybe it's just a sop. Maybe it will amount to nothing. Maybe it's just another stupid Rovian trap for Democrats. Who the hell knows with these idiots. But for now, for this moment -- mark it on your calenders -- George W. Bush may actually be doing something right.

Feel free to gasp.

And while we're at it, let's note the fact that what I've been saying since about a month after "Stuff happens," to whit that we needed more not less -- and what does it tell you about the geniuses out there in the President's cheering section that this is actually an insight? -- is now White House doctrine.

Keeping score at home? The new-army Rumsfeldians: Zero. Me: One. Them wrong, me right. Them: learned, sober, firm-chinned men of prodigious upper-lip-stiffness who write in ponderous, magisterial tones replete with references to the Entente Cordiale and sneer as I run around with my hair on fire. Me: a kids book writer who made his money writing, "Rrowwrr!".

Does it not scare you just a bit that the kid's book hack got it, and the Krauthammer-manque crowd didn't? Isn't that just disturbing?

Yes, George, we need a bigger army. Yes, more is better than less. And if you're fighting several wars at once a BIG army is better than a tiny army. And more money is better than less, and healthy is better than sick, and the sky is blue. So many things to learn, George.

Okay. Bigger army. Now. Where the hell are you going to get one? Because honest-to-God I cannot imagine what would convince a man to risk his life to get a piece of this cosmic fuck up. This is like enlisting in 1970 when all you were going to get was your name on a sad black wall and no glory.

But, then, there are better young men (and women) out there than I ever pretended to be. I'm free to be a snarky, cynical know-it-all because there have always been better men than me ready to ensure my freedom. Maybe there will be enough to make this happen.

For the first time in not quite four years we're doing something useful. Don't get me wrong: it won't salvage the situation in Iraq. But at least it's not a completely stupid thing to do. And that's progress.

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“Something Not Stupid.”

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