Contrary to the image the Republicans like to project that they are the party that should be trusted with military matters, again and again we see that our troops are simply not getting the supplies they need. While we can blame “lack of planning” on many of the initial problems, this war has been going on for more than a year now and the troops are still not getting proper equipment.
'One soldier, identified by The Associated Press as Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a Tennessee National Guard outfit, asked Rumsfeld why more military combat vehicles were not reinforced for battle conditions.
'“Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?” Wilson asked.
‘The question prompted cheers from some of the approximately 2,300 troops assembled in the large hangar to hear Rumsfeld deliver a pep talk at what the Pentagon called a town hall meeting.’
This, by no means is an isolated view of what is going on. Add in the well-documented lack of body armor plates, night-vision goggles, etc., and you get a pretty good picture of how the Bush administration simply does not give a damn about equipping the troops. Lame and tired excuses get made up for these failures, but clearly the troops aren’t buying what the Bushies are shoveling.
Add in this “stop loss” and “ready reserve” callup stuff, the inability to get recruits, cuts to benefits, lack of pay for several months for reserve soldiers (throwing many of them into financial ruin when their families simply cannot keep up with home payments, etc.), we see an overall callousness to the people we’re putting on the front line. Bush evidently thinks that our troops, like all those who don’t make more than $1,000,000 a year or more, are simply not worthy of his time and utmost attention.
On this forum, we’ve only seen the neoconmen offer canned denials that parrot the garbage that the Bush administration has been peddling. However, there is an issue that is simply not going away. This isn’t even a partisan issue at this point – the troops are not getting what they need and are at their wit’s end. Enough so that soldiers are arguing with Rumsfeld when he comes near them and/or refusing to go out for missions. Although the Bush administration bears responsibility (buck has to stop somewhere and we are in year 2 of this war he launched after all), we need to find a way out of this mess and it would be nice to have an honest discussion of what has clearly become a problem.