Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Those bastards still can't get the troops armor 

And the troops know it. I wonder what they think about Rummy still having his job?

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (AP) - In a rare public airing of grievances, disgruntled soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment.

"You go to war with the Army you have," Rumsfeld replied, "not the Army you might want or wish to have."

Heh. Right. "You [the troops] go," alright. None of the chickenhawks went, and none of their children go, either. "You go." Unbelievable.

Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.

Wilson, an airplane mechanic whose unit, the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee Army National Guard, is about to drive north into Iraq for a one-year tour of duty, put his finger on a problem that has bedeviled the Pentagon for more than a year. Rarely, though, is it put so bluntly in a public forum.

Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What is more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up," he said.

Right again. "You [the troops] can." Not the chickenhawks or their kids. But you know, Rummy's right! Why are we armoring anything? It's useless! I say, sell all the armor for scrap and go naked!

The deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, Maj. Gen. AlbertGary Speer, said in an interview at Camp Buehring that as far as he knew, every vehicle deploying to Iraq from Kuwait had at least "Level 3" armor protection. That means it had locally fabricated armor for its side panels, but not bulletproof windows or reinforced floorboards.

Speer said he was unaware that soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and discarded glass.

Well, he should start paying attention. But of course, he's lying.

However, Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, the adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard, disputed Speer's remarks. "I know that members of his staff were aware and assisted the 278th in obtaining these materials," he said.
(via AP)

But it is great that Bush issued that Executive Order thanking all the parents who sent their children body armor, and thanking all the Chambers of Commerce that put together armor kits for the Humvees, and not only thanking them, but reimbursing them.

Oh, wait.

That would imply that it was possible for Bush, who is, after all, The Chosen of God To Be Leader, could make a mistake. What was I thinking?

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