Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Blind to the Brave

Those who do the dirty work, aren't often appreciated. Where it's needed, the Bush administration pays only lip service.

Soldiers are there in Iraq fighting the battles for this administration. Believing that they are protecting the freedom of their country by extending said freedom to Iraq makes them persevere in the greatest adversity.
What thanks do they get?

Poor body armor, lack of supplies...
Soldiers at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait took Rumsfeld to task on Wednesday, talking about situations where they had to look through garbage to find scraps of metal to protect their Humvees. Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, stated that many vehicles would head north from Kuwait without the bulletproof windshields or the Kevlar flooring that protect against bombs exploding underneath Humvees or trucks (NYTIMES -

Rumsfeld's response to inquiries about what he and the Army were doing to address shortages seemed blunt, arrogant and unsympathetic. He said to one soldier, "Now settle down, settle down, hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here (NYTimes)." What thoughts did he need to gather? What adequate response did he have? "I'm an old man."

Rumsfeld continued, "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." I would like to ask Rumsfeld why doesn't America, with its wealth and focus on winning this war give not only the army that the soldiers want, but the army they need to get the mission accomplished.

Removing Donald Rumsfeld from his post would be one way to improve the way the war in Iraq is managed. He should have been removed after the Abu Ghraib atrocity. His noticeable apathy towards amending the problems of Abu Ghraib have allowed further abuses to take place. A Defense department memorandum, as reported by the NYTimes on Tuesday said that officials had seen prisoners being brought in to a detention center with burn marks on their backs and complaining about sore kidneys.

Rumsfeld has stated in regards to the Abu
Ghraib scandal that there is a difference between torture and abuse. A troubling statement indeed, especially from someone who must take responsibility for U.S. action in Iraq, and shape it into the best it can be.

The brave men and women serving in the Army deserve better. Leadership needs to be responsible and receptive to be effective. Those fighting for freedom need someone who can fill that role.