Editorial: Inches, feet, yards, meters, miles, whatever

Column By Mike Bibb

“They’re highly portable.  They’re extremely effective against a wide range of targets.  They can hit targets up to 400 meters away and have a ‘fire-and-forget’ capability.”

President Joe Biden, Troy, Alabama, May 4, 2022

Seems President Biden has an ongoing problem keeping his facts straight. 

However, having the additional responsibility of being the military’s Commander-in-Chief, it shouldn’t be too much to expect him to at least be familiar with the effective range of one of our nation’s potent weapons.  Especially when he’s talking to the folks who build them.

Or, at least have a basic realization most modern combat armaments can shoot farther than slingshots, bows, arrows, or ancient catapults.

On May 4, 2022, speaking before employees of the Lockheed-Martin Company in Troy, Alabama, manufacturer of the military’s Javelin Missile System – a portable, short-range, shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon – President Joe remarked Javelin’s “can hit targets up to 400 meters away.”

Must have been a shocking revelation to every assembler, technician, and engineer at the Troy plant.  After years of research and development, the deployment of a missile incapable of flying higher or faster than an Arizona cactus wren has to be very disappointing.

If this is the case, infantry troops are toting individual combat rifles that can shoot bullets greater distances than Lockheed’s rockets.

Actually, a Javelin – in service and upgraded since 1996 – is promoted as being capable of reaching an effective range of 2,500 – 3000 meters; about 1.5 – 2 miles.  They can also be used against fortifications, bunkers, and helicopters.

The really disappointing point of this situation is the President of the United States – General-of-Generals – apparently didn’t have any idea what he was talking about while addressing workers of the industry responsible for research and advancement of the taxpayer-funded military hardware.

The Javelin has been around for 25 years and sold to various nations’ militaries.  Hardly a recent invention.  At some time during his Washington career, Biden must have heard or seen pictures of them.  Maybe, the subject was discussed in Congress at one time or another.

I realize President Joe has no military training or experience, nor familiarity with traditions common to members and former members of the various service branches.

Being a civilian and professional politician for most of his adult life, military lifestyle, job specialties, and jargon is probably not one of his more well-known subjects.

In spite of nearly 50 years as a U.S. Senator, Vice President, and President, and having a son who served in the Army, perhaps Joe missed reviews on Javelin’s military and budgetary topics, or wasn’t fully focused.

It’s an accepted fact President Joe often makes mistakes – “gaffes” – when publicly speaking; common knowledge even liberal CNN and “The View” recognize.  As a result, when he says one thing but should have said something else, press interpreters and White House officials will instantly tell us what he really meant. 

Consequently, informing us a Javelin missile is capable of hitting a target “400 meters away,” could easily mean 4000 meters or 40,000 meters.  Who knows?

Personally, I have difficulty believing Joe’s facts and figures on any particular topic are relevant.  They might be correct, close, or not in the ballpark.

As an example, in a press briefing, he recently remarked Sen. Rick Scott was from Wisconsin.  Sen. Scott is actually from Florida – more than 1,000 miles away.  As President, shouldn’t he at least be familiar with the home states of 100 U.S. Senators?  Some, I’m sure, he worked with when he was in Congress. 

I can understand his confusion when trying to recall the names of the 435 U.S. House members.  They come and go like carnival workers.  Senators, however, usually stick around a little longer. 

There’s also the possibility his topic of discussion isn’t his own thoughts.  College law school assignments and previous presidential campaign speeches have been revealed to have been plagiarized or copied from other individuals.

Which accounted for his low ranking in law school and dropping out of prior presidential runs.

Remember, the 2020 campaign was Joe’s third attempt at securing the big job on Capitol Hill.  He finally made it by making sure he rarely came out of his house to campaign.  Staying home lessened possible speaking flubs.

Plus, the media’s complicity in ignoring his decades-long lackluster and bumbled public service record continues to be an advantage.  A fact his former boss, Barack Obama, publicly admitted by reminding us to “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to (expletive deleted) things up.” 

Little wonder Barrack didn’t endorse Joe until he was practically the only Democratic presidential candidate left.

Now, Joe’s lecturing on his expertise in military weapons, border security, inflation, and economic issues.

Well, we see where that’s getting us.  Filled-up lately, or tried buying baby formula, crackers, or avocados?

You can still do it – if the store has them and you’ve got enough money.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.