Today's decision by the U.S. to appropriate some of the new Predator drones to help aid reconnaissance may actually be the key note to help bring this new war in Libya to a quick end.
Predator drones are unmanned airplanes that are operated remotely by a user in a safe zone. They are smaller, cheaper, and safer to use for the purpose of recon and locale mapping--and in fact, they do it far better, with more accurate information, due to their extremely tight turning circle, compared to the fighter jets usually assigned to the job.
And the purposing of these drones could not be better--the most effective device in our arsenal, actually, aiding the hodge-podge, loosely-organized and poorly-equipped rebels. Using fighter jets to provide this data would have been a hopeless drain on the main military provider in this war--us.
Until now, Moammar Gadhafi has had all the tanks and military machines of the home team at his disposal, and using them against the hapless, hopelessly outnumbered rebels, who have literally been backward-engineering their weapons by disassembling the shooting mechanisms from any war machines (helicopters, tanks, even jets).
It really has been looking like some strange middle-eastern mixture of the A-Team, MacGyver, the Mythbusters, and some weird, backwoods twice-removed uncle whose mainstay is making PVC potato rifles on the weekend.
But another quality aspect of the Predator drones will prove to be their ability to be maneuvered into tighter, smaller, zones, and--by very nature of their size, plus the newer, higher-resolution imaging technology they provide--separate the most minute factions of bad guys from the good guys, fighters from civilians, right down to the individual.
The most inspiring insights into overall character of the anti-Gadhafi rebels comes when you make that final Quantum Leap and see how closely their general character actually resembles some other rebel forces we're all more than familiar with--those depicted by George Lucas in his classic Star Wars series.
This explains why this is such a good decision--actually, it may be one of the best decisions affecting our involvement in a mid-Eastern war made by any of our last five administrations--a quick, financially prudent, modern, and entirely uniquely effectual appropriation, exemplifying the term.
With real-time re-con data provided by these drones, any small band of rebels can have a well-deserved unfair advantage over an entire battalion of overly-equipped outgoing warmonger droids--and out him quickly, decisively, and to the benefit of all.
If he realized how impressive and useful this data will be, he might even surrender tomorrow. When that reality is forced upon him in a few days, he will quickly see how useless his greater numbers and strengths are, and that he has one of two basic choices--to give up, or disappear completely. If we continue to press on with this one, and especially if NATO does not screw matters up by politicizing control issues to an adverse degree, the Libyan revolt will end more decisively and quickly than even the recent Egyptian one.
It starts with the house. When you make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you need a big house. And a big house comes with a big mortgage payment. I mean, nobody pays cash for a mansion, ever.
Then there’s the cars. Even if a couple of family members have to drive 4-year-old BMW clunkers, it still costs a lot to keep them serviced and insured and licensed. But what else can you do? You gotta drive something.
And vacations: it’s really expensive to fly to an island in the Caribbean or to Europe. Plus, the decline in the value of the dollar versus the euro really jacks up daily expenses. Sometimes, I’ll bet people making more than $250,000 feel like it would just be cheaper to have a second home, maybe in Florida or Arizona.
The list of problems is practically endless. Utility bills, clothes, shoes. Have you looked at what good shoes cost these days? Memberships in clubs, contributions to the Republican Party. It just goes on and on.
And lastly, taxes. After all these expenses, you have to pay taxes, too. Of course, federal income tax is only applied to adjusted gross income, so with itemized deductions and all, you really need to make over $300,000 to pay the top rate. Oh, and the top rate only applies to amounts over $250,000, not to the first $250,000, but still, you have to pay a lot of taxes on top of everything else.
Don’t you feel sorry for people who must deal with all of this?
Can’t you understand why they don’t want their taxes to go up? I sure can’t.