Thursday, December 09, 2004

Now I know what the fuss is about

So I finally read the questions and answers to Sec. Rumsfeld’s visit with the soldiers in Kuwait and I have a feeling that he won't do that again.

The Times has a good account of the questions, mostly related to the lack of armor for vehicles and personal when they are in a drawn out guerilla war, the back door draft for would-be retired servicemen and women, and the full-time work part-time pay of National Guard Reservists (two weekends a month my Butt!)

Needless to say, most people paying attention have know this problems for a long time, but the fact that media wasn't aware, didn't believe it, and the E-Ring folks basically ignored it is now quite apparent. All of a sudden, reports are trickling in about how new armored Humvees are being made for our troops...good work Pentagon Media Relations! The reality is that we have been in Iraq for two years now starting in next spring and they didn't plan properly to protect the grunt soldiers. It looks like they don't care, and Rumsfeld’s answer show he has about as much respect for them as he does the press corps, that is next to nothing.

After two long years in Iraq, we have next to nothing to show for it but thousands of dead soldiers and a broken country. Sure we have Saddam in some jail, but we could have done that other ways. Ways that would have not left the target on these soldiers with no return ticket and no armor.

Their families shouldn't have to hold bake sales to buy them armored vests when the Pentagon are spending billions on new submarines and stealth bombers (don't forget the hundreds of millions for no-bid Halliburton contracts even while they overcharge the government). Folks, we are in a long-term occupation of a poor, desert country, those things are useless. Body and vehicle armor, however, is vital.

We should be treating these fighting men and women with the respect they deserve by telling them honestly what is happening. And call me crazy, but I just don't get that impression from Rummy.

No comments: