Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Secretary Rumsfeld supports our troops

Disgruntled Troops Complain to Rumsfeld

"Disgruntled U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about the lack of armor for their vehicles and long deployments, drawing a blunt retort from the Pentagon chief.

'You go to war with the Army you have,' he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops - mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers - to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help 'win the test of wills' with the insurgents.

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own - not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.

Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

'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. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

'We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north,' Wilson said after asking again.

Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device that has killed and maimed hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops since the summer of 2003.

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

That's right, folks, all that stuff about the protective value of vehicle armor is hype. This guy is a fucking disgrace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that Spc. Wilson is headed for the Russian front.... I mean, Iraq. Well, OK, I guess it will be a cold day in hell before he gets more than plywood to armor his Hummer.

9:43 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I just heard the audio. The amazing thing is the roar of (what I assume is) approval from the other soldiers. If these guys were all on a ship, Donald Bly would be put in a rowboat.

4:24 PM  

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