Democrats & Liberals Archives

Support Our Troops

“Better body armor could have prevented or limited about 80 percent of fatal torso wounds suffered by Marines killed in Iraq, a report by U.S. military medical experts obtained on Friday said.”
I’m not one to question the Federal Government or the Pentagon(maybe once or twice) but wasn’t this very issue raised two years ago?
I would have sworn the White House, two years ago, assured critics and the outraged families of our military men and women that this situation would be rectified.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

The report, conducted for the Marine Corps by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and not released to the public, examined the cases of Marines fatally wounded from the start of the war in March 2003 through June 2005, and found weaknesses in the torso protective gear.

Bullets or shrapnel hit the Marines' shoulders, the sides of their torsos or other areas not fully covered by ceramic plates contained in the body armor in at least 74 of 93 fatal wounds examined in the study.

"Either a larger plate or superior protection around the plate would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome," the study stated.

Critics in the U.S. Congress have accused the Pentagon of failing to provide the best possible body armor and armored vehicles for American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But military officials have defended the protective gear provided for troops as well as the quality of vehicles.

The study involved Marines killed due to "a primary lethal injury of the torso," which made up near a quarter of the Marines killed in the time period involved in the study. More than 60 percent of these torso injuries were caused by small arms fire, with 38 percent due to blast injuries from explosions, the study stated.

The troops studied were among 401 Marines killed in action during the applicable time period. Researchers reviewed autopsy reports and photographic records for each injury, the study said.

In November, the Army and Marine Corps they ordered the recall of 18,000 torso-protecting vests, some used by U.S. troops in Iraq, after determining that the body armor failed to meet ballistic specifications, but insisted troops were never put at risk. The Marines in May recalled about 5,000 other "outer tactical vests" because of questions about whether they offered adequate protection.

Christopher Kelly, spokesman for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, said the office that conducted the study performs full autopsies on all troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the evaluation of body armor "is one of many issues we address with these investigations."


"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want."

"He added, "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up."

Donald Rumsfeld 12/04

That's what I call leadership.

More than 2,190 U.S. troops have been killed in the Iraq war and another 16,000 have been wounded in combat.

We must not allow ourselves to forget those men and women who are fighting for their lives in Iraq. There are those of us who disagree with the attack on Iraq, based on manipulated and outright false inteligence, but the troops who are fighting there are doing so as heroes and are fulfilling their duty with dignity and purpose.
There are so many stories out there, Alito, Abramoff, Lobby reform, domestic spying, not to mention the fact that our inept President and his bungling administration are always pushing some ethical boundry or urging support for some questionable policy or another. People are not dying over corruption. Lives are not lost due to "far right" judges(at least not yet).
We must not forget the men and women in the armed forces and their families. They are the only Americans who are making sacrifices for the "War on Terror."
They deserve the best equipment available. They deserve to be better served by a government that has put their lives on the line.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at January 9, 2006 8:22 AM
Comments
Comment #111339

Andre,

It is not effective to fault the pentagon for the results of this study. Unless they are shown to have knowingly failed to do something they could have, my assumption is they are “doing the best they can.”

The people at fault are the idiots who started this mess in the first place.

Posted by: Dave at January 9, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #111341

Wow. I thought these REPs were the ones who truly supported the troops. So, the troops get sent to a war based on faulty intelligence (not sure if this aimed at the gathered information or the functioning brain power of the White House…) and then sold BS about how you fight a war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. At what point does this shift from an excuse based on timeliness to a derelict of duty to support those spending their lives? but what do I know… as one person posted prior

“‘Liberal Christians’ is an oxymoron. None can call him/herself a Christian if he/she supports abortion and/or homosexual. Simply NO WAY! There is no such thing as ‘Liberal Christians’ much like there is no such thing as ‘Patriot Democrat’! Democrat are always hoping more soldiers to die in the war so they can gain in the Congress in next election. How disgusting!”

Kind of hard to argument with that blind, fanatical acceptance.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #111344

I think the fact this President took us to war with no plan is utterly ridiculous! Is he really so stupid to think we’ll get Saddam and everything will be hunkydorey? These religious radicals don’t care about Saddam, they only care about their cause. It’s awful that our government would send our troops into a war without equiping them with necessary gear to win the war and come home safely. As an American I know some lives will be lost in fighting for a cause but to send troops into the fight with anything less then the best is not acceptable!!!! We are suspose to be a superpower of the world. What message does this send to other countries? George Bush has started something great in giving Iraqi’s freedom but can’t cash the check he wrote to the people of America. Americans are proud of the military and the sacrifice they give for their country. Our sons and daughters, husbands and wives should be able to feel safe while fighting for our freedoms at home.

Posted by: Kathleen at January 9, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #111345

I agree that our troops need more in the way of protection, but I don’t agree that it’s entirely the administration’s fault. The military may be super-efficient in logistics and battle-fighting, but when it comes to spending money, and determining where it is spent, it’s a bureaucracy like any other government agency.

Also, body armor is very heavy and bulky and it restricts movement.
It’s easy to say that certain soldiers would be alive if they had more or better body armor, but keep in mind that some of them might have not worn it because it would have kept them from doing their jobs.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 9, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #111348

Andre
You are correct in saying our soldiers deserve the best equipment available. But I would look somewhere else to score political points.
Have you ever donned a protective vest? Ever tried to move while wearing it? Do you know what it is designed to do?
You must be able to don the vest in seconds. Easy on and easy off.
It must be light weight and flexible. There is no protection offered on your sides, this is elastic so you can move. Some of the vests have small shoulder plates.
It is designed to protect vital organs from direct hits, to give you a “second chance” to react.
It is not meant to make you invincible.
Now I am all for giving our troops the best equipment available and would like to ask you which vest that is available would work better than the standard issue vests that we have now?
If there is one, then we need to get it to them. If there isn’t one, then we need to fund more research into this subject.
There are just so many factors that need to be considered and the only real test can only be done during hostilities.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #111350

Dave,

“my assumption is they are “doing the best they can.”


It’s been two years.
This issue should have been treated as priority one, given the situation in that country, the divided support from the American people and their pledge in 04 to fix this.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 9, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #111357

I don’t buy the fact that you can excuse this Administration by the mere possibility that there might not be a useable option available for the soldiers.

I’ve not heard a single person from this Administration suggest that no armor exists that could better protect the soldiers. Also, had this been the only issue surrounding armor in Iraq, it might be dismissed, but it’s not. You have soldiers driving canvas sided Hummers… soldiers using garbage dumps to gain metal and creating make shift armor.

Rather than continually making excuses for why this Administration fails, can you not exert pressure to prevent future failures. I don’t give money or vote REP, so they will not listen to my concerns, but for those of you who do vote/support REP, they will listen to you.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #111364

kctim,

“But I would look somewhere else to score political points.”

You’re right, what would the Pentagon know about this situation?
Why would I think I can take a report from their medical people who have studied the problem when I can have you explain it so much more simply and without all that pesky research and facts and stuff.
I’m sure when the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology did their study they, due to political motivations,they disregarded the kctim”easy on, easy off” theory which basically negates their research as political point gathering.
Sarcasm is theraputic.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 9, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #111368

Tony
You can’t excuse them because there “might not” be a useable option, but you can condemn them because there “might” be one?
So I’ll ask, what is out there that is better?

“You have soldiers driving canvas sided Hummers…”

Cooler, lighter and more manueverability in sand.

“soldiers using garbage dumps to gain metal and creating make shift armor”

Improvising, happens in every hostile conflict.
Adapt and overcome is not just some hollywood tagline.

Its not about “making excuses” like you say.
Its about knowing what the reality is and knowing what the political talking points are.
You know, seperating the BS to get votes from the facts.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #111371

Andre
Their study and what I said, go hand in hand.
Their conclusions show what is already known, a higher death rate when a soldier is hit in a non-protected area.
The problem comes with creating a more effective vest that still allows the soldiers to don in seconds and maneuver freely.
Other than getting the money to supply the troops with these types of vest, it has nothing to do with politics.

“Sarcasm is theraputic”

It must be.
So as not to compromise your attack on Bush, you decided to ignore the facts and refused to answer my question.
If its really that Bush himself, refused to buy better vests, then which vest out there is better?

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #111373

Andre,

I’m not sure of your last point to me. It takes time to do these studies. It takes data to come to a substantiated conclusion. Any solutions come with compromises.
Without that study and without that data you get, what? You get crap. A good example is the Bush excuse to go to this war in the first place. I.e. A rushed war based on bad and unsubstantiated data.
At this time, my problem is with Bush et. al., not the brass. Any issue I have with the brass is based on my disdain for the military way of thought, not their concern for our troops. To make this more clear; Rummy is a moron, he is not military. He is neocon and screwed over our troops with is ignorance and hubris. He and his ilk should be the ones in the sh!t right now, not our sisters and brothers.

Posted by: Dave at January 9, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #111375

The mere fact that this is even being debated is proof enough to me that there are far too many of us who have experienced a comrade in arms receiving a mortal torso wound.
It further proves that there are far too few politicians who have had a friend die in their arms.
Democrat….Republican….WHO CARES?! A soldier is a lot better off with less rhetoric and more empathy.
Semper Fi

Posted by: DBear at January 9, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #111386

I am a devout opponet of Bush’s Iraqui War and believe it is unjustified, illegal, unethical, and immoral.

I have no problem with the War in Afganistan: even though it will never result in any kind of effective or recognizable Democracy. The strong-man warlords currently and will still continue to have major control whether we are there or not.

Having said that I have nothing but respect and honor for the troops in both places for their service. My wish for all is to return home safe at the earliest possible time.

It is a documented fact that from the very beginnng the troops in Iraq were sent in to this battle knowing that they were, IN FACT, inadequately equipped. Unbelievably that situation still exists today. All during this conflict the Pentagon has given the most disingenuous and false rationalizations possible. There will never be an excusable reason for deliberately sending our troops to be unneccessarily wounded and killed. The troops on the ground are unquestionably heroes, but the higher command, Pentagon and DOD, and President should be helded responsible as premeditated murderers for their acceptance and complicity of this heinous situation. All of these casualties are one their heads and no others.

Athought this conflict is unwinnable either militarily or politically, troops, in large numbers, are still required to protect and rebuild the infrastructure that the Bush Regime immorally destroyed. The continuing failure for these troops to be fully equipped is proof positive that they have always been considered by the Bushies as just the necessary expendibles for the imposition their nefarious agenda on the Iraqi people.

And to tony:

Anyone who can uphold the deliberate covetness and lies of the Bushies in this conflict, not to mention the overall falsehoods so fundamentally prevalent in this administration, cannot in any sense EVER consider themselves to be “Christian” Virtually all of Christ’s teachng about the required conduct of man to others is to always take care of “the least of these”. The whole Bushie
agenda has been to punish them whenever possible and to steal whatever they might have and give to the rich. That is what’s absolutley UNCHRISTIAN.

Furthermore he abortion issue is not at about whether abortion is not about morality. It is all about whether the right to CHOOSE IT should be legal. If one thinks it is immoral then they won’t do it, but those who don’t should have the right to choose. Opponets certainly have the right to speakout against it, including peaceful civil disobedience, but not to force their moral judgment on the choice of others as law. “Chistianity” has from it’s very beginning had a wide cross section of viewpoints. If God’s will was unmistakably known then all believers would always hear the same message all the time. That we know has never been true. For anyone to believe that their understanding is absolutely God’s is to committ the greatest sin of hubris against God possible, as they are making themselves equal to God . Similarly, to force it on America is an equal sin against the Constituion as they are making themselves the LAW.

Posted by: Richard at January 9, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #111389

“It is a documented fact that from the very beginnng the troops in Iraq were sent in to this battle knowing that they were, IN FACT, inadequately equipped”

What body armor would have adequately equipped them and why did the administration deny it?

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #111392

DBear,

Good post.

Perhaps the military would be better prepared if their funds would stop getting taken away to pay for something else. Fewer $ for testing, fewer $ for manufacturing. The military is trying to stand up with what they have. How do we expect better intelligince if we take funds out of intelligence department’s? How do we defeat the terrorist if we do not go get them on their soil? Waiting for another 911 is not an option. All of the terrorist want to get us.

How can we win this war if we keep sending the world negative messages about our country and military?

Yes, it’s past time to stop the rhetotic, win this war, and bring home our troops. Our HEROES!

Posted by: rick at January 9, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #111402

Richard,

The problem is not that the troops were sent into combat inadequately prepared. The problem is that Bushie and Rummy thought we would be “welcomed with open arms” and there would be no need for combat after “Mission Accomplished.”

Afterwards, as the stupidity of the neocon beliefs were exampled, what would you have had the Pentagon do? They had orders to follow, I believe they “did what they could” given the military mind (which I think is pretty foolish but not amoral or cavalier about our manpower). That Shalikashvili (sic) ‘retired’ should be some indication.

Posted by: Dave at January 9, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #111405

kctim,

“What body armor would have adequately equipped them and why did the administration deny it?”

“Liquid armor for Kevlar vests is one of the newest technologies being developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to save Soldiers’ lives.

This type of body armor is light and flexible, which allows soldiers to be more mobile and won’t hinder an individual from running or aiming his or her weapon.

The key component of liquid armor is a shear thickening fluid. STF is composed of hard particles suspended in a liquid. The liquid, polyethylene glycol, is non-toxic, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Hard, nano-particles of silica are the other components of STF. This combination of flowable and hard components results in a material with unusual properties.

“During normal handling, the STF is very deformable and flows like a liquid. However, once a bullet or frag hits the vest, it transitions to a rigid material, which prevents the projectile from penetrating the Soldier’s body,” said Dr. Eric Wetzel, a mechanical engineer from the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate who heads the project team.”

By Tonya Johnson, Army Public Affairs 2004

I did not say that Bush denied it. I said he has not prioritized it.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 9, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #111413

Well the administration seems to have no problem pulling the resources to wiretap people without warrants post-haste. Seems like getting the people that are fighting to defend us the tools they need should be just as important, if not moreso.

Posted by: chantico at January 9, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #111416

Andre
That is one of the neatest projects out there and I really hope they can make it work.
But it is still being developed, which means it is not available now nor was it in 03.
This is less of an administration issue than it is an R&D issue.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #111417

“Seems like getting the people that are fighting to defend us the tools they need should be just as important”

Which mission essential tools are they lacking?

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #111418

Andre,

Your last post was interesting, but I think you misread the article. If the new armor was in the development stages in 2004, it couldn’t have been used in the war. Stuff like that isn’t invented overnight.
You’re right that is should be a priority, though.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 9, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #111422

Firstly, I’ll say that most on this thread know where I stand on the war in Iraq. I’ve been against it from the beginning. However, as an ex-infantryman, I’ll concur with kctim’s assesment of the current kevlar body armor. It works OKAY but is not some sort of impenetrable shield that protects every inch of your body. It’s hot, it’s unbelievably heavy and it’s uncomfortable as all hell, especially when worn along with all the other crap you’ve gotta carry in a combat zone. A lot of guys in my unit in Desert Storm refused to wear it.

That said, I will not agree with anyone who says that we planned as well as we could have for this war. Perhaps some of you have seen the movie Gunner Palace. If you have, you know how disgusted and used the soldiers and marines over there must feel about how well they’ve been outfitted. If you haven’t, you should check it out before you label it as some kind of Michael Moore-ish liberal diatribe, because it is nothing of the sort. Virtually all real, all the time, no conjecture, no hype and nothing but real war footage and dialogue, from your men and women in uniform in action night and day in the streets of Iraq.

Maybe if we spent less money every year on finding out how often monkeys copulate and whether or not there is water on Saturn we could afford to adequately fund the research for better armor as noted above.

Finally I would point out that anyone who is surprised at the current admin’s treatment of this issue should note their stance on veteran’s benefits and lack of unquestionably honorable uniformed service themselves.

Posted by: macsonix at January 9, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #111426

DBear,

Hi! Thanks for your input. All those in uniform are AMERICAN… not members of political parties. Remember the flack-jackets? They WERE NOT ARMOR… simply to help deflect any flack. That God we have advanced.

To all,
Because I am a traitor and a wisher of more American deaths (i.e. a disabled vet who happens to be a liberal democrat) I hesitate to say anything there.

Never once in my military service did partisan politics enter into the discussions we had. No one ever accused a particular party of being traitors.

All Americans want our military to have the absolute best equipment possible. I do believe that the overconfidence of Rumsfeld contributed to his not sending over enough forces which caused an increase in violence.

This caused a loss of control, which as anyone who deals with children or the public knows… it is almost impossible to get back.

I am not a fan of Rumsfeld, but no matter how I don’t like it… it is true… we go in with the military we have.

Should this be an excuse not to upgrade as quickly as possible the equipment that reveals its weakness in battle? No.

I have read a lot of concerned people here caring that our service people get the best we can give them.

They understand that we all want our troops safe and the best for America.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #111431

—-
Tony
You can’t excuse them because there “might not” be a useable option, but you can condemn them because there “might” be one?
So I’ll ask, what is out there that is better?

“You have soldiers driving canvas sided Hummers�€�”

Cooler, lighter and more manueverability in sand.

“soldiers using garbage dumps to gain metal and creating make shift armor”

Improvising, happens in every hostile conflict.
Adapt and overcome is not just some hollywood tagline.

Its not about “making excuses” like you say.
Its about knowing what the reality is and knowing what the political talking points are.
You know, seperating the BS to get votes from the facts.
—-

You’re really stretching it here. And the guy in the alley behind my office eating out of the garbage cans is simple creative culinary? Come on, there’s better armor out there, and as far as the vehicles go - they are on paved roads. Yes, comfort my be degraded a bit, but I’d rather the soldiers make the choice of comfort or life. Supporting the troops means more than making excuses for this administration. It’s all about separating out the facts from the BS/talking points. (I do agree with you on that point.)

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #111447

Tony
“You’re really stretching it here”

Not stretching anything friend. I speak from experience. You do what you can to survive.

“Come on, there’s better armor out there”

What is it exactly? IF its better than what we have now, we need to get it to them.

“and as far as the vehicles go - they are on paved roads.”

LOL! Ok.

“Yes, comfort my be degraded a bit, but I’d rather the soldiers make the choice of comfort or life”

Don’t worry, they are.

Mac
Well said. I only differ in that I believe it is our GOVERNMENT that is to blame for shoddy vet treatment and not just the current admin.
It does us no good if half of America falls asleep while its their guy who is president.

Darren
Nicely put my friend!

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #111453

Maybe if we spent less money every year on finding out how often monkeys copulate and whether or not there is water on Saturn we could afford to adequately fund the research for better armor as noted above.

Well said!

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 9, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #111455

kctim:

We are fighting insurgence using road side bombs… watch the videos of these boms… vehicles traveling on paved roads. They hit the main roads (paved) because the the high likely hood of a target. They also use car bombs… in cars that would not handle off roading… We removed the heavy armor because it’s very expensive and those in charged felt the mission had be accomplished.

I do not think the ‘do what you have to do’ is the best or even remotely acceptly form of military policy. These people are risking their lives - and are horribly under paid compared to their contracted couterparts. These contractors have better armor and vehicle protection. Why the hell was there ever a difference between the two? if the contractors can get men with the right armor and machines over there, then what’s the excuse?

—-
“Yes, comfort my be degraded a bit, but I�€™d rather the soldiers make the choice of comfort or life”

Don’t worry, they are.
—-
Going through the garbage for makeshift armor or lacking proper body armor is not giving them the choice.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #111458

I’m really suprised that the troops are wearing body armour at all. The stuff is hard to get on. It’s hotter that hell to wear. It limits movement. And it’s heavy. Most troops I served with would’ve dumped it the first day.
I don’t think anything better exist. If it does then why aint it being used? if it doesn’t why hasn’t research on better armour been done or being done?
The fault here belongs squre on the shoulders of our ‘esteemed’ politicians, on both sides of the isle. Why haven’t they been funding (or attempting to) research and development of better equipment?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 9, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #111459

On the subject, an article by Ralph Nader. Whatever you may think of him, his point is valid that the untold story of this war is just how far Bush, Cheney and Rummy will go to silence and punish those high-ranking officers who dare to disagree with them. Check it out at:

http://www.progressivetrail.org/node/110

hope that link works.

A very good point raised is what in the name of pete is our government doing paying out sweetheart contracts to private security companies and other businesses who lure away the military’s best and brightest? Is this how we’d like to protect our sons and daughters in uniform?

Posted by: macsonix at January 9, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #111461

I almost forgot -

If we can figure out how to double the speed of computer processors every six months, I’d hope the Pentagon would get their sh*t together enough to finalize research on body armor that worked better than the stuff I was wearing fifteen years ago.

Posted by: macsonix at January 9, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #111465

No matter the armor or equipment. We cannot leave Iraq. We must finish the job regardless of cost. If we have to stay 20 years so be it.

Posted by: Aldous at January 9, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #111468

Ron -

I agree with your last statement. (I’ll try not to do that too often… )

I’ll continue to push the politicians on my side of the fence… you on yours?

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #111469

Tony
“We removed the heavy armor because it’s very expensive and those in charged felt the mission had be accomplished”

Really? Damn. I did not realize that you were serving in Iraq right now, things sure have changed and are different throughout the country I guess. Buddies of mine currently over there have a totally different view.
Where do you store all that expensive heavy armor that you were forced to take off your vehicles? Just wondering, thanks.

“I do not think the ‘do what you have to do’ is the best or even remotely acceptly form of military policy”

Really? I once had to take a bolt from a dead soldiers M16 so that I could continue. I did what I had to do in order to survive. Are you saying I should have waited until President Bush brought me a new one?

“These contractors have better armor and vehicle protection”

As I said, I am not over there so I do not know about the contractors vehicles, sorry.
But since you are ther and have first hand knowledge of it, what kind of vehicles are they driving and how are they armed?
Are they like the politicians and celebrities vehicles over here? Why is it better?
Again, I’m a bit of a military buff and I enjoy getting new info about it.
And even though your first hand account of whats really going on differs ALOT from others over there that I have spoken with, I would still be very grateful and thankful to hear your story.
Thanks.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #111483

kctim:

Heavy Armor = tanks and Bradley Assault Vehicles… sheesh

Your idea of reacting to situations and improvising does not wash with your original excuse of this administration’s lack of ‘supporting our troops.’ I know soldiers have to do what is needed in a given situation, but those situations should be few and far between, and problems observed in these situations should be noted and solutions implemented. Bush has done very, very little to improve the situations these soldiers have to deal with.

As far as ‘I know people over there’… yea. So do I, so do most people in this country. My neighbor is over there (again) - Marines, ordinance specialist. My best friend’s Dad was over there for 16 months. I also have trained soldiers at Fort Bragg. (Yea – I shoot things, but it’s just video… I know quite a few from the 82nd.)

The problem comes down to this: road side bombs are nothing new - as is the reaction and solutions from this Administration.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #111487

That was a very good link.
FULL DISCLOSURE: It was written by Nader and it does have a particular bias. However, there were points in there that I would like to bring out.

“Donald Rumsfeld, one of the most disliked of the Secretaries of Defense, has spent much energy making sure that high level dissent in the military is muzzled and overlayered by his loyalists. “

“Just last week Rumsfeld demoted three military service chiefs in the Pentagon hierarchy and replaced them with three loyalists who previously worked for his buddy Dick Cheney.”

The President has said that he will rely on the advice of his military commanders. I do not want to see a repeat of the intelligence fiasco where there might be people discouraged from telling the truth.

The President needs professional officers that are free to disagree and speak their minds. Only in this way can they be faithful to their troops and to America.

“When Colin Powell was at the Pentagon, he developed what came to be known as the Powell Doctrine—know clearly what your military and political objectives are, follow up with overwhelming force and have a clear exit plan. Bush/Cheney, Rumsfeld violated this Doctrine.”

This Docrtine was made while Gen. Powell was still in uniform, not a politican. It was a non-partisan review of what was learned from the Vietnam war.


“Their Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, after testifying before Congress about the need for over 300,000 soldiers for any such invasion, found his retirement accelerated. Draft-dodger Paul Wolfowitz, then number two in the Pentagon, rejected his estimate and recommended less than half that number.”

It is true that we went in without enough troops to stop the looting, recover the weapons caches discovered and to police the areas of occupation.

Was this because of the pet theory of a newly aligned, smaller sized, high tech military theory versus the experience of the officers tasked with planning? This was also a violation of the Powell Doctrine.

“Retired high military officers, diplomats and intelligence officials, with good sources inside the Department of Defense, say that the military is furious with Bush/Cheney. The latter orders torture with thinly veiled instructions and dubious legal memos and when disclosed, as at Abu Gharib, the Army takes the rap to its reputation.”

Yes, the military is taking the rap. It also exposes them to criminal charges because of the wink and nod towards what America considers legitimate use of force and the treatment of prisoners. We train our people to obey certain tenents… that they must obey lawful orders… so we need to make sure that the oders are clearly legal.

“Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld still refuse to count officially U.S. soldiers who are injured outside a combat situation, again for political reasons. This keeps the official injury count at about one third of the real total. Career Army officers do not like their solders being used this way.”

Again, as I have said over and over. The military is not a political puppy dog for one party or the other to claim as their own. They are professional, volunteers serving to protect America and its ideas. Not a party.

“The Army is also upset over the loss of some of their senior officers and non-commissioned officers to the giant corporate contractors operating in this cost-plus environment of maximum profit for less than maximum service. These companies are hiring away these experienced soldiers with offers that double or triple their salaries to do the very privatized jobs which the Army used to do for itself. In a tight skilled manpower situation, the Army finds this drain to be undermining its mission.”

There are many issues here.

One is the old Reagan era “Any company can do anyting that government does but better.”

That wars could be “budgeted.”

We don’t have to worry about post-war problems with vets. Those issues will belong to the corporations.

MY GOODNESS… don’t we remember the disdain we were taught to feel for the Hessians in the Revolutionary War? Mercinaries fighting for money instead of for their Nation?

If a person in the military kills a combatant in war he does it in the name of our country and all that we want to defend. If a civilain contractor does it… then it is murder for hire. Isn’t it?

Another is we can bypass nasty things like adherence to law and the UCMJ.

We can also hide casulties caused by the war because they are civilians.

I have to ask… who in their right minds wants to have a CORPORATION have their own army? Who thinks this is a good thing?

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #111504

Sorry about that Tony. I just assumed with you knowing so much about how it was over there that you were there, my bad.

“Bush has done very, very little to improve the situations these soldiers have to deal with.”

I get it now, its not about the soldiers, its about blaming Bush, again. The facts and common sense don’t matter when there is an election coming up. I understand now.
Again, my fault all the way. I was thinking and hoping that this was about the soldiers.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #111513

—-
I get it now, its not about the soldiers, its about blaming Bush, again. The facts and common sense don’t matter when there is an election coming up. I understand now.
Again, my fault all the way. I was thinking and hoping that this was about the soldiers.
—-

WRONG. It’s about the soldiers, but it’s also about the pathetic lack of support and willingness to do what is needed to keep them safe. I know I besmirched your precious leader, but it’s there, B&W. To him, it’s all about sunshine and success… but it’s different if you get by a roadside bomb. Why do so many of the wounded soldiers face a lifetime of government support? (It’s not based on disability, it’s based on living in poverty. How does that show support for the troops?)

Question for you: who do you support more - the troops or the President? I haven’t seen one issue you’ve had with this administration, yet report after report comes out stating for fact that the soldeirs are not provided the protection that they need. Initially it was ‘because you fight the war you’re in, not the war you want.’ That was 2 years ago - if this administration is so concerned with the troops, then tell me a single thing that they have done to correct this issue?

btw - neither of us are over there, so why to you assume to know most about the situation? At least my side is supported by articles and reporting - your side still seems to be mired is blind faith and spin.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #111532

kctim,

The point of the post is that those who make the ultimate sacrifice should come first. Their safety should take precedence over all other matters.
I never mentioned Bush or Cheney. I did quote Rumsfeld because two years ago this issue was brought to our attention. It is still a problem. I want to know why?
If you yhink it’s politically motivated then so be it. My concern is based on the fact that I have friends and family who have served and that I have a right as an American and a concerned human being to question whether their safety is being adequately addressed by the Pentagon and the White House.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 9, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #111540

“Question for you: who do you support more - the troops or the President?”

Lets see:
I didn’t vote for Bush.
I was against the war. I don’t believe ANY country is worth American blood.
So I guess its the troops I support. I just dont let my dislike of Bush get in the way of supporting the troops.

“I haven’t seen one issue you’ve had with this administration”

The war
The growing debt
Gay marriage
2nd Amendment
4th Amendment etc…
There’s many, but since I do not feel the need to blame every little fart on Bush, but instead focus my outrage on govt in general, you think I’m some sort of fringe righty.

“yet report after report comes out stating for fact that the soldeirs are not provided the protection that they need”

Again, what available “protection” is better than what they have now? IF there is something better, I will happily support you in an effort to get it to them.

“if this administration is so concerned with the troops, then tell me a single thing that they have done to correct this issue?”

Did I say they were concerned? Or did I say that our govt has never cared about our soldiers?
clinton ripped apart our military, the equipment they now have is because of all his cuts and Bush sent them to war knowing this.
You excuse clinton of any wrong doing but blame Bush for it.
I blame BOTH.
You play politics, I don’t.

“btw - neither of us are over there, so why to you assume to know most about the situation?”

I dont assume that at all. Hell, I thought you were over there.

“At least my side is supported by articles and reporting - your side still seems to be mired is blind faith and spin”

If the soldiers own words and experiences are nothing but “blind faith” and “spin,” then yes, I am guilty.
Call me crazy, but I am more willing to believe someone with first hand knowledge than somebody with a political axe to grind.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #111553

Andre
Your free to ask and demand all you want, I don’t care.
You say you are only interested in whats best for the troops, thats great.
But you know damn well that it would benefit the left if you can make this SEEM to be a only a Republican deal.
Its not.

“They deserve the best equipment available. They deserve to be better served by a government that has put their lives on the line”

What IS the best eqipment available? Is it what they have now or is it like you wish it to seem and Bush is holding back on better equipment?
Why was this body armor worthy for Bosnia, Somalia or central America, but is not today?

Its a valid issue to be concerned about.
Its just not a political one.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #111586

—-
I just dont let my dislike of Bush get in the way of supporting the troops.
—-

And how is my dislike of Bush getting in the way of supporting the troops?

You dismiss the idea of proving better armor for the troops by stating ‘there isn’t anything better than what they have.’ I don’t agree - there’s been a ton of money poured into this area of R&D. You also attack my arguments as being ill-founded because I’m not on the ground there. But you are not either. My point is more than what is available, but what should be available. How quick did the military move when the losses from road side bombs started going through the roof? Did they bring back the Bradleys? Did they retrofit Humvees with armor? Even after 3 years of this?

I was against this war from the beginning. I was started by chicken hawks with no appreciation of what war truly is nor for what it means to win. However, I don’t think separating Bush from this discussion does any good at all. If you are truly against this war, and truly have no respect for Bush, then why do you instantly discredit my arguments simply because I feel he should be held accountable?

—-
You excuse clinton of any wrong doing but blame Bush for it.
—-

And where do you get this idea from?

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #111587


Why was this body armor worthy for Bosnia, Somalia or central America, but is not today?

Its a valid issue to be concerned about.
Its just not a political one.
—-

No - it is a political one. If you are willing to commit troups to action, you had better be give them the absolute best there is. If there are still problems, then those problems should actively solved… If you’re still making the same excuses 3 years down the road, then maybe someone else should be given the chance to do better.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #111595

another interesting article regarding this thread topic:

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2006/01/huge_defense_budget_lousy_equipment.html

this article, originally appearing on military.com (a great site if you’re into this sort of thing) raises an interesting question, one that I’ve wondered about since well before I enlisted way back in ‘88…why does our army (which constitutes an overwhelming majority of what’s known as boots on the ground in any conflict) still insist on providing the Colt corporation its raison d’etre by continuing to buy M16s when there are clearly better alternatives (for example the Heckler & Koch MP5)that will be more consistently dependable under what is always less-than-favorable combat conditions? I don’t want to count on a weapon that gets all locked up on me when the wind blows a little sand into the chamber or if I drop it in in a shallow puddle running for my life. The M249 SAW is a piece of garbage and I can’t for the life of me understand why it is still being used. The M9 pistol is passable but still not anything close to the hard-as-nails M1911 .45 caliber pistol it replaced.

What the hell is the world’s foremost fighting force doing using this junk? Especially when such a large percentage of soldiers don’t have faith in these weapon systems?

Posted by: macsonix at January 9, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #111622

Andre, I’ve been really busy lately, but wanted to tell you what a great article I think this is — and what an interesting exchange of posts it has inspired (especially by you tony and macsonix).

Posted by: Adrienne at January 9, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #111627

Thanks.

Glad to see you back.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #111711

You liberals r idiots!!! Dont you remember about something called 9/11. In short terms thats when we were attacked and alot of people died. That is the reason we r there. To get the ones who attacked us and to free a nation and bring justice and peace to all those in the world. Haven’t u liberals noticed the progress we r making in Iraq. Support Our Troops!!!

Posted by: Matt Michels at January 10, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #111776

Support Our Troops! Educate people who still think Iraq had anything to do with 9/11!

(Or send them over immediately to support their cause!)

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 7:18 AM
Comment #111781

Matt: Who attacked us?

AA Flight 11
Crashed into N. Tower of WTC

Mohamed Atta - Egypt
Wail Alshehri - Saudi Arabia
Waleed M Alshehri - Saudi Arabia
Abdulaziz Alomar - Saudi Arabia
Satam MA Al Suqami - Saudi Arabia

AA Flight 175
Crashed into S. Tower of WTC

Marwan Al Shehhi - United Arab Emirates
Fayez al-Hamadi - United Arab Emirates
Mohald al-Shehri - Saudi Arabia
Hamza Alghamdi - Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Alghamdi - Saudi Arabia

AA Flight 77
Crashed into Pentagon

Hani Hanjour - Saudi Arabia
Nawaf Alhazmi - Saudi Arabia
Khalid Almihdhar - Saudi Arabia
Majed Moqed - Saudi Arabia
Salem Alhazmi - Saudi Arabia

UA Flight 93
Crashed in rural Pennsylvania

Ziad Samir Jarrah - Lebanon
Saeed Alghamdi - Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Alnami - Saudi Arabia
Ahmed IA Al Haznawi - United Arab Emirates

But that’s not the issue here. I remember seeing something long ago, an easily repeatable mantra.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

What we’re reaping now is the direct result of a massive failure to plan. Nobody here is blaming the troops. Nobody here is unsupportive of the troops. They were put into a situation and told to deal with it. We’re saying that things should have been better prepared. I think in matters of war, the one making decisions should be at least somewhat educated in the art of it. We have West Point, The Citadel etc. for a reason.

I just hope Al-Qaeda doesn’t hit us again, I don’t think we can afford a third war…..in Venezuela.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at January 10, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #111786

Adrienne,

Very nice to hear from you.
Thank You for your kind words.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 10, 2006 7:45 AM
Comment #111809

“You liberals r idiots!!! Dont you remember about something called 9/11. In short terms thats when we were attacked and alot of people died. That is the reason we r there. To get the ones who attacked us and to free a nation and bring justice and peace to all those in the world. Haven’t u liberals noticed the progress we r making in Iraq. Support Our Troops!!!”

Matt Michels,

You know, I even leave bread crumbs when I attempt to follow that logic and I still get lost and can’t find my way back.

First, please get with the Conservative Talk Radio Handbook… we liberals are the “Intellectual Elite” so calling us idiots does not conform to the pary line. (Just thought I would let you know).

Second, America’s displeasure with the war is no longer just a “liberal” issue. If you look at the numbers it has widened out a bit to include the “moderates” too (both parties).

Third, what makes you think that only Conservatives remember or were effected by 9-11? Conservatives do not have a monopoly on 9-11, nor is it carte blanche to do whatever someone wants as justification.

Fourth, please don’t make it too short… because then it could lead to misunderstandings, such as the people who attacked us are DEAD. They died in the plane crashes you believe we forgot about.

Fifth, if you are talking about the people that supported the terrorists, then they were in Afganistan and you will notice no one was objecting to that. Also, as noted in the listing of the people who were on the planes that crashed… do you see any Iraqis?


Sixth, maybe we “idots” are too simple to see it, so maybe you can point out to us exactly how Iraq was involved in the attack on 9-11?

Seventh, please quantify progress. Elections were held. I applaud that. However, are the 3 factions within Iraq going to abide by the elections and the rule of law? This will require time.

Eighth, I hope that this serves as an example to all the singularly focused people that you cannot create democracy in a Muslim country at the point of a gun. The Utopian view of the neo-cons was we would be welcome with open arms… completely ignoring 1,500 years of history and the entire Mulsim-political culture. (Ever hear of the Wahabi sect? And people call us “idiots”! Geeeeezzzz!) Yes, democracy and freedom are wonderful… however, there is a basic conflict between those and the Islamic faith and its traditions. Study the creation of a secular state in Tukey if you want to see what is involved, and remember, this state was created by a Turk… not from the outside.

Ninth, and this one is my personal peeve. Supporting our troops has absolutely nothing to do with support of the President and his agenda. Period. Stop using them as a tool to support the President. It is unfair to the troops and dishonest to try to join the two together.

Example:
1) I never believed the “evidence” nor did I support the decision to go to war with Iraq.
2) I resented the unilateral approach of this President compared to the approach of his father when it came time to build an international consensus.
3) Some of us have waited a long time to hear this President admit that he was wrong. We have been attacked verbally by the “right” for all this time… Shouting at us and calling us names does not change the fact.

4) President Bush was (and still is) ruthless to those that disagree with him because he believes he is always right. When he is proven wrong he still cannot admit it like a man. Instead he has weazeled and mumbled and pointed fingers. (not manly in my opinion, being a man is more than posturing and sending men to their deaths.)
5) Like Sec. of State Powell (Ret. Gen, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff) the author of the “Powell Doctrine” said on the verge of releasing the dogs of war, “You break it, you bought it!”
6) I believe that we are now committed to a terrible plan of action and we do have to stay to see it through. Each life, to me, is wasted because of the original context with which they were asked to fight and die…
7) I do not want the President to get any political capital out of my support or anyone elses who disagrees with the President but knows we have to see this through.

Now, Mr. Michaels,
I know that you believe we are idiots. That makes it much easier to discount anything we have to say. So, I write this, in all honesty, for others to compare your post to mine and let them decide which one is either more in tune with their beliefs, or possibly may convince them to change their mind.

Not based on intimidation or name calling, but based on my presentation of the facts as I see them.

I hope that here at this Blog people can do better than mimic talk-radio where they hurl an insult at people and then cut to a commercial.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 10, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #111827

—-
I hope that here at this Blog people can do better than mimic talk-radio where they hurl an insult at people and then cut to a commercial.
—-

No worries here - I don’t have any sponsors.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #111866

Darren 7160,

Well said.

Matt Michels,

“You liberals r idiots!!! Dont you remember about something called 9/11.”

Thanks for helping us liberal idiots remember the events of 9/11. I appreciate you stirring that long buried memory and bringing it back to the forefront of my conciousness.
I really thought we attacked Iraq based on faulty and manipulated evidence laid out to the American people and the House and Senate by our ruthless President, a power mad administration headed by Dick Cheney, who recognized that approximately 1/2 the people in the United States could be duped, due to a lack of desire for fact based information and a limited ability to process this information, into thinking Iraq had WMD and were linked to the 9/11 attacks.
My bad.
Your pal,
liberal idiot

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 10, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #111895

Andre:

I recall that it wasn’t only Cheney who thought that Iraq had WMDs. There was a global consensus that led to a multi-national UN based on-site investigation in search of WMDs in Iraq. Furthermore, Saddam used the belief that he had WMDs to intimidate his enemies.

There are lots of hidey-holes in Iraq and the border to Syria is a porous as cheesecloth. I am not prepared to say that Iraq did not have WMDs. And if I did say that, it would only be my opinion. Just as it is only your opinion, that Iraq did not have WMDs.

Posted by: good king ned at January 10, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #111901

good king ned -

It has been proved. The world has unfiltered access for 3+ years, nothing. The UN Inspectors said there was nothing. Even Bush say there is nothing.

So to crack the fragile bubble - but you are wrong, and the sooner you see that, the sooner you might be able to add an enlightened opinion.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #111905

Yes Ned, the sooner you roll over and accept the truth as THEY see it, the sooner you will have an enlightened opinion in their minds.
Come on, join the herd and just accept what you are told.
No need to think for yourself.

Posted by: kctim at January 10, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #111908

ned/kctim,

Your “WMDs still might be there” sure “sounds” reasonable, doesn’t it.

Then why has even Bush and Cheney given up on saying there are WMD’s (and that Saddam and OBL were co-conspirators in 9/11) even though WMDs (and OBL/Saddam) were the reason they went to war in the first place?

You need stop repeating what your told and take your head out of the sand.

Posted by: Dave at January 10, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #111912

And saying Bush “lied” and not being able to provide the facts needed to impeach him and harping about how WMDs were the ONLY reason we invaded Iraq is being reasonable?

FACT: To date, no WMDs have not been found. The country’s who supplied the intel, must have been wrong.
FACT: IF Bush lied, then give the facts to your reps and they will proceed. If your reps won’t do it, then give it to the DNC. I’m sure they would be more than happy to get that kind of information.
You would also be able to prove this tiring mantra to the righties who would then have to shut up and accept the TRUTH.
FACT: WMDs were not the ONLY reason Bush felt the need to go to war.

YOU are parroting talking points that the Dems think will help them win the next election. YOU want and need them to be true.
Provide the proof for your accusations to the proper authorities or media outlet and shut the doubters up.
Until then, all this whining and crying in nothing but partisan BS to get votes.

Posted by: kctim at January 10, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #111937

Dave

I suspect that the administration doesn’t talk about continuing danger from WMDs in Iraq because we dismantled the government that had used them in the past and was threatening to use them in the future. Of course, all that threatening talk was before we removed Saddam. The current Iraqi government doesn’t seem interested in gassing its neighbors.

Don’t discount the Syrian link. High level Iraqi officials were and are still hiding in Syria. Reiforcements for the terrorists cross the Syrian border everyday. If you don’t view Syria as a potential distribution source of WMDs, you are the one with your head in the sand.

Posted by: good king ned at January 10, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #111960

okay, so back on the farm…yeah, we’re in combat in Iraq. Yeah, there’s a conspicuous lack of consensus regarding whether or not we should have gone there in the first place.

What else is new?

Anybody have any ideas why the Pentagon keeps buying what is being characterised as outdated and ineffective weapons and protective gear?

Posted by: macsonix at January 10, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #111970

mac:

I’m not sure which weapons you are saying are outdated. The weaponry that we use seems to be as good or better than anything available in the world. Of course, its not foolproof but no weapon ever has been or ever will be.

As far as the protective gear is concerned, I cannot think of any reason a government would want to provide less than the most efficient protection. Since casualty rates for US soldiers directly impacts troop morale as well as public opinion, I’d think the government would want to limit casualties in any way possible, if only for the most venal of reasons.

There are always multiple issues to be considered. Heavily armored vehicles are slower, more prone to run out of fuel, less manueverable etc. Heavier flak jackets are more cumbersome and heavier, creating the need for more rests and more water for troops.

The desire to be as fully protected as possible is mitigated by the need for flexibility and manueverability. Not being a military expert, I don’t know all the factors, but I am sure there are more factors than simply adding more kevlar.

If there truly are not any other factors, then we should damn our leaders to hell for not providing the proper tools. But this would fly in the face of their own desires, so it doesn’t make much sense.

Those with military experience should have a broader knowledge of what is available and what the ramifications are. I’d be more inclined to listen to them, as opposed to a bunch of armchair generals like us.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 10, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #111985

I wish to say two things regarding the Iraqi conflict and the bloody price the troops are paying for it.
1. Fault the Bush people for many things,but the democratization of the Middle East has to be done.It can only benefit the West and I havent seen a better plan for doing it from anyone.
2. Heavy body armor is cumbersome and doesnt allow easy movement in a hot situation. More research has to be done on materials that are flexible and bullet resistant.

Posted by: jblym at January 10, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #111986

I was accused, rightly so, of putting President Bush in a no win situation when he invited former executive branch members to a sit down talk about the problems in Iraq.

The reason I was upset was that anything that is good will be taken as credit for the President and anything bad will come back to haunt us… more fingers for the President to point at anyone who tries to work with him.

He does not stand contrite and face the facts of his errors… he whines about bad intel, bad advice, and includes the people he hoodwinked into his mess to share the blame.

What made the Republican’s believe that this President had integrity?

WMD and the War Justification
Look at the Democrats that were willing to accept the information presented to them from the Bush Administration and support him in his war on Iraq. Instead of admitting he was wrong he shrugs his shoulders, points his fingers at the Democrats that did supporth him and says, “Them too!” That, to me, is not a leader. “The Buck Stops Here” will never be seen on this President’s desk.

There was conflicting evidence leading up to the Iraq war. To deny this is to ignore truth. How the conflicting evidence was viewed was open to interpretation and I belive that any evidence against Sadam having WMD was give short shrift.

The evidence given to the Congress was not the same as that given to the President. Also, the behind the scenes weighing of the information is not known to us. But, there have been rumours that the intelligece community was urged to give a bit more creedance to the bad reports.

There was a lot of evidence from the weapons inspectors that have been in and out of Iraq over the years. They were discounted because they were part of the UN.

Iraq’s Ties to Terrorists
No one could even say this with a straight face. Come on… a secular dictator supporting a bunch of Saudi Wahabi terrorists? Remember the Shiites? This was the group that the Sunnis have been dominating for all these years and gassing. The 10 year war with Iran? Shiites.

Nation Building and Saving the Iraqis
This one really should start out, “Once upon a time…” because it is the silliest excuse I have heard. What made this administration believe that they knew ANYTHING about Iraq, Islam or creating democracy in an Islamic state?

If they were just naieve, then it was criminally naieve. The President didn’t even know enough about the middle east to NOT CALL IT A CRUSADE!!!

Republicans want to sneer at Liberals for being “Intellectual”, but my God man, someone in the administration should have mentioned this would not be a cake walk!

THINK ABOUT IT!!!! He might be a madman. He might be a tyrant. He might be all those things and worse…. but he was THEIR tyrant.

International Community
We blew one of the biggest opportunities ever created to work together as a community of nations based on law. We could have shared information, used our resouces to track down the terrorists.

Instead, President Bush thumbed his nose at the world. It was clearly stated, “His way or no way.” Now we are creating new terrorists by the dozens.

Yes, it is convenient for us (not the Iraqi people) that they are all in one place to kill… but how many of them never would have become terrorists without this war on a Muslim country? They don’t see it as removing a dictator… they see it as President Bush on a Crusade against a Mulsim country.

History
Historians will be earning more phds from this war than any other war… maybe all of them combined! They thought that WWI was kinda difficult to trace… wait until they try to get their arms around this one!

Historians will not blindly accept what is repeated over and over in the hopes that people will believe it. It may take time, but even the secret papers today will eventually become declassified.

I really do not believe that history will be kind to this President. He should have had the world eating out of his hand… but he really and truely showed his contempt for them. Long before 9/11.

The Biggest Problem
Did you really really think that after 8 years of garbage thrown against the wall to see what sticks… we would just roll over?

No. We are out here cataloging the errors and lies and misrepresentations of the President and the Republcan party.

Did it not once occur to you that eventually the roles would be reversed and it would be pay back time?

Solidarity and work together? Get behind the President and move forward? Really? It does’t look like many people are buying it.

There are a lot of people out there looking for payback. It has been a long time coming and it is turning out to be a dish best served cold.

Yes… many will fault the President. Just imagine all the wrong decisions he made, regardless of the reasons he gives. It looks as if he is batting a thousand when it comes to getting it all wrong.

Armour
As far as body armour and all that. Simple, there always has been, is now, and always will be a trade off between mobility and protection.

The military, not the administration, is respobsible for systems such as this.

Yes, Rumsfled should have immediately done something the same day the marine questioned him, oh so long ago.

But, when someone is so arrogant, it is really hard to tell them anything.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 10, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #112059

Dave

I suspect that the administration doesn’t talk about continuing danger from WMDs in Iraq because we dismantled the government that had used them in the past and was threatening to use them in the future. Of course, all that threatening talk was before we removed Saddam. The current Iraqi government doesn’t seem interested in gassing its neighbors.

Don’t discount the Syrian link. High level Iraqi officials were and are still hiding in Syria. Reiforcements for the terrorists cross the Syrian border everyday. If you don’t view Syria as a potential distribution source of WMDs, you are the one with your head in the sand.

Posted by good king ned at January 10, 2006 03:46 PM
===============================================
What does that have to do with the fact that Saddam didn’t have WMDs in 2001 nor did he have any functioning relationship with OBL, the reasons that BushCo sent our men into war????? What does it have to do with how badly BushCo implemented that war???? What does it have to do with letting our brothers and sisters hang out to dry for profits???

Posted by: Dave at January 10, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #112070

Your rant is impressive. Your reasoning is less so. As I said, the fact that we did not find the WMD’s does not mean that they did not (or do not) exist. Satellite surveilance of the Syrian border showed heavy traffic prior to the start of the war. The WMDs could have been smuggled across the border or dismantled and hidden in country during the long period when Saddam stalled the UN efforts to search Iraq. Various components were found as was protective gear for Iraqi troops for gaseous attacks.

Also, if someone pretends he has a gun and threatens to rob a bank, would you let him escape if it turned out he didn’t have a gun? As I said, Saddam used the world community’s belief that he possessed WMDs to intimidate other nations.

I disagree with your assertion that there is no evidence of a link between obl and Saddam. Iraqi agents met with alQuida agents. Evidence of financial and material support exists. The evidence is skeletal, but since these were covert relationships that’s to be expected.

Finally, I don’t think the war was bungled. Given the complexity of the problem, it is surprising that there weren’t more problems. Remember, the original plan included entry through Turkey. At the last moment, the approach had to be reworked. Time was limited due to approaching hot months and the attack had to be launched within a narrow window, leaving a vulnerable supply chain. All in all these obstacles were overcome with relative ease.

I don’t think that freeing Iraq to create a democratic state is an ignoble cause. If the strong don’t stand up for the weak who will? I believe that Iraq has the potential to form a successful, functional democracy.

Posted by: good king ned at January 10, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #112152

ned, Saddam swore up and down the whole time that he had no WMD — he wasn’t trying to fool anyone — and UN inspectors were a few weeks from confirming it when Bush kicked ‘em out and invaded.

By March 2003, nobody in the entire world (except you, I guess) though that Saddam had WMD.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 11, 2006 9:11 AM
Comment #112156

to say that the war was not bungled is to truly buy into the mission accomplished and last throes rhetoric spewing from the power thirsty lips of this renegade administration.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #112158

Enough with the blaming Partisan Politics! It is not supported by the evidence!

Yes, since the war the arguments against us have become partisan and denigrated downwards… but the objection to the initial invasion was not partisan.

I want to try to put this as clearly as possible…

People want to pretend that the objections to President Bush’s actions in Iraq are partisan politics. This is useful because then his decision to invade and his subsequent errors cannot be appraised without demagogry.

Why is partisanship not supported by the evidence?

Because, when it was time to go into Afganistan there was no outcry! There still isn’t one.

Does that tell you guys something? That when it came to a clear link between the terrorists and a nation we were behind the President.

Evidence-Facts-Actions
Listening to what a person says is fine, but watching what they do is a better indication of their true character. The evidence shows that we supported this President when he went after the Taliban, that is a fact, and our actions throughout this aspect of the battle against terrorists has stayed firm.

Do you really think that we would spit hairs between Afganistan and Iraq if the evidence was close to being the same? No! (You may say we would just to try to deflect it all back to partisan politics, but that would be dishonest. It would not be supported by the evidence of our support of the Agfan invasion and continual occupation.)

The justification for the war with Iraq did not measure up to the level we thought should be sufficient to go to war.

(Possibly there is a reason it is a good thing to have opposing views… because someone questioning your assumptions leads to finding the truth. Instead, whether intentional or not, the evidence was heavily weighed to towards the justification of invading Iraq. There was conflicting evidence.)

Contrary to any spin you may wish to give… you will not be able to get around the truth of the support given for Afganistan.

Good King Ned,
“Evidence exists there was a link with Iraqi agents”… is this along the same lines of the evidence of the WMD? Yellow cake uranium?

I think that we have already been shown that “evidence” used is highly suspect concerning the validity. I guess you can say that because all evidence was believed to be true back then, that this evidence was also considered to be true. However, there were some of us that didn’t agree with the evidence. Why? Because we were skeptical (and rightly so) of governmental evidence that was not supported with other information that was available to the general public.

Ever read the Congressional report on the intelligence up to the war? They cited the intelligence agencies for failiing to inform the administration of the speculative nature of the intelligence reports!

Can you believe this?? It is the fault of the intelligence agencies for not prefacing their reports with, “Once upon a time…”

Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney and the rest should have been well aware of this. They read intelligence briefings all the time. If they din’t know the specualtive nature of intelligence briefs then why do they still have their jobs?

Be careful… “IF the strong do not stand up for the weak, then who will?” Is straight out of the Democratic-Liberal handbook! You know, us soft in the head guys that care about inner-city kids, school lunches, the homeless and disadvantaged, social security?

It wasn’t bungled? Even when the military comes out and says that they didn’t have enough “boots on the ground.”

Tons and tons of weapons caches were bypassed because we didn’t have enough troops to secure them…. and by the time they got back to them they were gone. (Guess who has them?)

The ability of our military to destory an opponent is second to none. Winning was a foregone conclusion.

There is more to winning a war than destorying the enemy troops and capturing the leaders. Especially if the intent was to create a democracy within the country. From what we saw, there wasn’t much planning or attention given to securing the nation once we were in control.

This has also been confirmed by officals… that we really did drop the ball when it came to post-hostilities. This does not indicate clear planning of building a democracy.

Anyone in control of our mighty military machine should know that winning a war is more than defeating the opponent on the battlefield. (Look to the Marshall Plan for inspiration.)

So, I guess I will have to disagree with the definition of winning the war. Remember the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” sign?

That is what happens when strategic thinking is ignored. Remember, it is the job of the senior officals, military and civilian, to do the strategic planning… the tactical goes down to the theater commander and his subordinates.

Our disagreement with Iraq is not partisan
However, it appears that some of the attempts to defend President Bush are.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 11, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #112206

my post is there for all to see with link attached. January 9 - scroll back.

And BTW I am the experienced military personnel you refer to.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #112212

joebagodonuts,
Absolutely! Like I posted above, the balance between protection and armor has always been a matter of debate.

Were the French beaten at Agincourt because of the superiority of the longbow used by the British, or were the Knights, once dismounted unable to defend themselves because of the soft ground and their inability to move against the unarmored men with knives?

A recent show on the History Channel tried to pierce the armor as worn in that battle and it did not go through. However, the soft ground did seem to limit a heavily armored knight’s ability to defend himself.

Our philosophy in WWII with the Sherman tank was a compromise between less armor and a smaller main weapon that was mass produced versus something along the Panzer or Tiger tank. They called the Shermans a zippo lighter.

Only the biggest systems, like bombers and fighters, are political… but even there we can find compromises. These are usually based on the expertise of the military with civilian oversight.

Personal body armor, I just don’t see being a civilian concern… unless you are talking about the civilian Sec. of Defense.

Again… using the military in partisan politics is disgraceful for either side. Even a side that wishes to care about the level of protection of the service member and turning this into a partisan debate.

BOTH parties are absolutely 100% behind supporting our troops with the best available equipment!

Design and implementation of a protective system capable of providing good protection against high velocity military weapons and shrapnel is science fiction… It isn’t politics.

What is scarier is this article
This article concerns the difficulty that our armed forces are having with enlistment!

http://www.slate.com/id/2133908/

A military unit (Squad, Paltoon, or whatever) is in more danger with less intelligent members than the lack of proper armor.

A quick straw poll:
How many parents of teenagers are encouraging their sons and daughters to enlist?

After Congresswoman Schmidt’s performance where she called a Congressman with an opposing view a coward I told my son I did not want him to enlist. I did not want him to be used and then thought of as a coward if he did not agree with one political party of the other.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 11, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #112374

Good article,
My husband is in the USAF and when he recieved his issued gear for diployment, we tested the equipment. The gas masks fall off, the vests crack (when you hit it with a metal pole, I would have hated to see it when it gets shot at), and the rest of the stuff is just well… crap. We sold the junk, and bought (with our own money) better equipment. I fear for the safty of the people that are going in with this junk, and to think if we just trusted what they gave us I know my husband would be dead (he was hit with a bullet in the stomach, and his vest saved his life).

-einghf

Posted by: einghf at January 11, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #112441

“We sold the junk, and bought (with our own money) better equipment”

First, not a very smart move in selling the “junk.” You have to return issued gear. YOU will be spending more money in the future to replace it.
Second, what “better equipment” did you buy that complied with military standards?

Posted by: kctim at January 12, 2006 9:40 AM
Comment #112628

Yeah, kctim, it’s all just liberal fairy tales, because these Bush guys can do no wrong! Okay, let me calm down a bit. Let’s be cooly skeptical. Let’s examine the reasons the US military might have for making statements about inadequate equipment.

1. They hate the US and our freedoms: no, that’s the terrorists and liberals.

2. They’re very confused from being in Iraq: no, these are desk jockeys who would never think of exposing themselves to combat.

3. They are medical personnel in the military who are responsible for fixing broken soldiers and want a lighter work load: bingo!

kctim, your efforts would be better spent at trying to figure out how this debacle occurred than tilting at the innocent bystanders who supply additional evidence of the debacle. Doncha think? Hmmmm?

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 12, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #112647

I am surprise that no one has cared to comment on the article I posted above.

In case you missed it… This article concerns the difficulty that our armed forces are having with enlistment!

http://www.slate.com/id/2133908/

For anyone that may not have military experience, there is an aptitude test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVB) test. I think it still has the same name.

Regardless of perceptions, not everyone is actually smart enough to join the military. Even the lowest enlisted ranks require a high degree or thinking and motivation.

The military has raised the maximum of lowest scoring recruits to try to meet their quotas… and they have had to markedly increase the enlistment of lower qualified rectuits for a couple of months. They haven’t yet hit their yearly maximum, but a couple of more months like this and they might have to.

The smarter the soldier, the better the soldier. This in not a rectuiting slogan but the truth. Not having the best qualified soliders on the field effects everything… mission accomplishment, safety, interaction with the locals in trying to promote democracy, you name it.

It appears that there might be a lot of people that are dissuading their teens into entering military service.

Possibly because they do not support the current use of the military?

Possibly because the see too many military deferees beating the drums of war?

Are we going to need to introduce a draft? This time with no loopholes? No college deferments? No Guard or Reserve postings? Though, because of the military downsizing, the Guard and Reserves are no longer a safe place to be.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 12, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #112708

Odd how the republicans distort terms and phrases in their rhetoric:

“Support the troops”=support Bush’s Iraqi war (welfare of the actual soldiers fighting, including having decent body armor, is irrelevant)

“unpatriotic”/”anti-american”= what someone is if they’re liberal, questioning the neocons in power, or disagree with the president
(the founding fathers would have valued the dissent and freedom of speech as being american)

others:

“junk science”=research the GOP doesn’t like, such as studies providing evidence for global warming or on the benefits of stem cell research
(real junk science would be intelligent design and distoring it for political purposes)

Posted by: Mark at January 13, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #113220

Mental
Actually, my efforts are focused entirely on “how” this happened.
Fact: The military has standard issue equipment.
Fact: It does NOT make you invincible.
Fact: It does have weak spots.
Fact: It is the same armor we have been using for the past 20 some years.
Fact: This is about developing better armor and NOT about Bush refusing supplies.
Fact: That ein chick and her husband will have to replace lost, damaged or sold equipment when they rotate. I suggest they quit saying they sold it and start saying it was lost while on the job.
Fact: Quit worrying about the left vs. right paradigm so much and be objective.

Mark
What “decent” body armor is it that the Republicans think is irrelevent?
Odd how you will distort words and phrases if you think it will get votes.

Posted by: kctim at January 14, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #114333

kctim, I don’t know, it was my husbands ‘junk’ and you don’t have to return issued gear… like your bcgs, and what not, it’s yours. IF you had to return issued gear then… OMG everyone in the entire AF is in bigggg trouble.

-Einghf

Posted by: einghf at January 18, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #114340

Fact: The military has standard issue equipment.

yeah, and it sucks

Fact: It does NOT make you invincible.

No, that’s the job for the people who care if they die or not.

Fact: It does have weak spots.

Extactly, and they are not fixing any of the real problems.

Fact: It is the same armor we have been using for the past 20 some years.

It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.

Fact: This is about developing better armor and NOT about Bush refusing supplies.

The ‘better’ armor is the same armor they have used for 20 years, even you said that.

Fact: That ein chick and her husband will have to replace lost, damaged or sold equipment when they rotate. I suggest they quit saying they sold it and start saying it was lost while on the job.

No we wont. We, have been in the military for 15 years, and this has never been an issue. And… if I were you I would suggest that you not get into my business, the better armor that we bought wasn’t military issued, but conforms to military standard.

Fact: Quit worrying about the left vs. right paradigm so much and be objective

Thats not a fact, that’s your opinion.

-einghf

Posted by: einghf at January 18, 2006 1:19 PM
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