December 24, 2004

Supporting The Troops: Bush-style:
Members of a second National Guard unit that prepared for duty in Iraq at the Army's Fort Bliss compound have ... said in interviews, e-mails and official documents that they were sent to war earlier this year with chronic illness, broken guns and trucks with blown transmissions. The unit's M-60 machine guns reportedly were in such bad condition when the soldiers deployed in February that one sergeant -- in a section of a post-training summary sent to his commanders that was titled "gun maintenance" -- wrote: "Perhaps we should throw stones?" ... In the summary document obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the sergeant reported that some soldiers had arrived in Iraq without ever having fired some of the weapons they would use in war.
After Rumsfeld's callous F-You to a soldier asking why troops are forced to gather any "rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass" they can find to protect themselves and their vehicles disappeared from the news after a day or two, I can only assume that most Americans simply do not give a shit.

Last month, Colin Powell told Bush and Tony Blair that there were too few troops in Iraq. According to the Dallas Morning News, these discussions were so secret that "the transcripts are destroyed after other senior officials read them."

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel blames "the arrogance and incompetency of the civilian leadership at the Pentagon" for the increasing death toll in Iraq (now at least 1,324 Americans) and says that a draft may be necessary. ... Because how long can the US ask men in their 40s (including Kansas Republican State Representative Lee Tafanelli) and 70s (retired Army colonel John Caulfield) to return to active duty?

From PBS: "In late 2003, the Selective Service System began quietly filling vacancies in local draft boards around the country, and has begun creating procedures for a 'special skills' draft of linguists and computer specialists, in the event that the administration asks for and Congress approves a draft."

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