Magazine article Insight on the News

Business as Usual on the Battlefield?

Magazine article Insight on the News

Business as Usual on the Battlefield?

Article excerpt

Byline: John M. Powers, INSIGHT

Business as Usual On the Battlefield?

The Department of Defense (DoD) Website has taken to explaining its function as if defense of the country were just business as usual. Visitors to the Website have found a section under "About the Department of Defense" that provides an "overview" of the nation's defense agency as if it were a retail business.

The overview starts by presenting the DoD as the nation's "oldest company, largest company, busiest company, [and] most successful company." It continues in the following pages to tout its number of employees and locations as if the job of defending the country were something for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the Ad Council.

This embarrassment to the high calling of defending the nation gives a rundown of the DoD budget/revenue and its number of employees compared with some of the world's largest businesses. The Madison Avenue slicksters who sold this calumny to the Pentagon list DoD at the top, of course, followed by Wal-Mart, which recently topped the Fortune 500. The last three companies listed on the comparison are ExxonMobil, General Motors and Ford.

Keeping with the business theme, the DoD claims its employees work first for the president, calling him the CEO, then for the board of directors, aka the Congress. Finally, the ad men ooze, members of the Armed Forces work for the stockholders, by which the metaphorists mean the American people.

In tangential respects the government and its agencies may seem like a business, but the courageous men and women who are serving the American people around the world and putting their lives on the line sure aren't in it for the almighty dollar. If the hucksters who created this showboating for the DoD were to ask the families who lost their fathers and children on Omaha Beach, in the jungles of Vietnam or the mountains of Afghanistan, it is unlikely they would reply it was for business as usual. If Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sees that site before he sees this article, the watchers bets this nonsense will be pulled before you can look it up on the Web.

Councilman Asks for Parking on Sabbath

A recent story suggests a lack of understanding on the part of government when dealing with religion. The New York Post reported that New York City Councilman Tony Avella, a Democrat, had offered a new proposal that would require houses of worship to provide parking lots for congregants.

In a shocking display of bureaucratic disregard for the needs of religious people and ignorance of their beliefs, Avella failed to take into consideration that Orthodox and some Conservative Jews don't drive (or ride in automobiles) on the Sabbath, as it is a day of rest. …

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