Thursday, December 09, 2004

IOYIYAR: Rummy gets a free pass on sending the troops into battle without armor 

Quoting Carl Luna's column almost in its entirety:

Just a passing thought. Back in 1993, following the infamous “Blackhawk Down “ disaster in Somalia, Clinton’s Secretary of Defense Les Aspin resigned amidst allegations that he had failed to provide the troops in Somalia with the armored support they needed to do their mission. House and Senate Republicans, including several who hold majority leadership positions today, were in the forefront calling for Aspin’s ouster.

Why then aren’t these same voices calling for the resignation of Donald “As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” Rumsfeld? Aspin’s Somalian botch resulted in the deaths of 18 US servicemen and the wounding of 75. Rumsfeld’s apparent failure to insure proper armor protection for US troops has already, to date, resulted in more lives lost or maimed than happened in Somalia.

Meanwhile Rumsfeld’s off the cuff musings that, "If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up,” has to rank as one of the great non-sequiturs of any modern Defense Secretary. Does this mean you might as well go into combat naked, painted blue with beards tarred like the Celtic warriors of old? I thought the goal was to produce tanks that blew up the other side before they blew up you and armored vehicles that kept soldiers from dying at the hands of low-grade homemade bombs? Rumsfeld’s job is to make sure the troops go into combat with everything they need to minimize loses. That he should have done so and hasn’t is indicative of incompetence, if not outright criminal negligence. That he makes light of it by essentially telling the troops “Life’s not fair – tough cookies—borders on reckless endangerment. For Republican members of Congress not to call for his head, they way they did with Democrat Les Aspin a decade ago, is partisan hypocrisy of the most brazen and dangerous kind.

Support the Troops-- Dump Rumsfeld!
(via Union Tribune)

Well, of course we can't dump Rummy. He Who Does Not Make Mistakes just granted Rummy a second term. Let's be reasonable, here.

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