Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cannon Fodder

The actual term is archaic; it first described those front line soldiers, in the time of linear warfare, who marched straight into cannon fire during an attack. Unfortunately the phrase has never been given the time to truly fall into disuse. And BushCo. have done their best to make sure it didn't go out of style in their time.

That most dangerous and feared weapon of the insurgents in Iraq and now, more and more, Afghanistan is the IED - Improvised Explosive Device. Those soldiers caught in the blast of such a device - the ones not killed outright - are left with broken or missing limbs and faces and with permanent, debilitating brain injuries.

But BushCo. has repeatedly said - about many things - "we couldn't have known!" And, after all, you have to go to war with the military you have, right? But every time they've uttered those words, it's turned out to be a lie. This time is no different.

The Pentagon "was aware of the threat posed by mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) … and of the availability of mine resistant vehicles years before insurgent actions began in Iraq in 2003," says the 72-page report, which was reviewed by USA TODAY.


Marine Corps leaders "stopped processing" an urgent request in February 2005 for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles from combat commanders in Iraq's Anbar province after declaring that a more heavily armored version of existing Humvee vehicles was the "best available" option for protecting troops, the report says.
Why would Marine "leaders" stop processing such an urgent request from their comrades in the field? I've known lots of Marines and the only thing that would keep them from helping a fellow Marine is pressure from the top. Lots of pressure. Remember that BushCo. was still suffering under the delusion that they could prosecute two wars on the cheap and could "transform" the military into a lighter, more deployable force. I'm sure there was plenty of pressure to keep costs down and to keep materiel as light as possible. No matter the human cost.

Add this to the way-too-long list of stories you can tell your conservative friends who still believe the lie that Republicans "support the troops."

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