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Ear to the Ground

Troops Still Waiting for Armored Vehicles

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Posted on Aug 22, 2007

Throughout the war, getting the troops the equipment they need to stay alive has been more of a goal than a reality. The latest example is the expected delivery shortfall of MRAPs—the specially designed armored vehicles that have proved particularly resistant to roadside bombs. The Pentagon had hoped to deliver 3,500 of the vehicles to Iraq, but it looks as if only 1,500 or so will make it there by year’s end.


AP:

The vehicles - known as MRAPs - have a special V-shaped hull that provides greater protection against roadside bombs. According to the military, no troops have been killed while riding in one.

Once the MRAPs are built, the military installs necessary military equipment - such as radios and radar - then sends them to Iraq. Right now that process is taking about 50 days, but officials hope to shorten that to a little more than a month.

Still, [Pentagon press secretary Geoff] Morrell said that many of the MRAPs produced in November and December won’t get to Iraq before the end of the year. He said getting 3,500 to the forces in Iraq by year’s end was an “ambitious goal” but the revised estimate of 1,500 is more realistic now.

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By Tim Kelly, August 26, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Re: #96979 by farmertx on 8/26 at 7:34 am

You “give up on me?”  I was unaware of your authority over me.  You fail to recognize how much our own actions have instilled justified hatred towards us.  You sarcastically comment about how I could travel the world and change things if people would only listen to me, yet admit to being part of the group of people that steadfastly refuse to change.  You claim to live “in ‘this’ world,” but in reality all you do is compromise and negotiate with people who kill.  You negotiate over how many people to kill, and how often.  It is not “your” world to do this with.  How will the world be better when you refuse to participate in paths that can lead to a better world?

“This” world is this way because of attitudes like yours.  Do not wrap yourself in “pragmatism” and think you are bettering the world with your compromises.  There is to be no compromises with people that believe weapons and violence solve problems.  You helped arm the world and now claim we need more arms here because of how scary the world is.  You allowed capitalism and democracy to become fascism in your support of “American values” and attacks on the left wing.  You claim Bush is the problem, but in reality, he only represents the inevitable conclusion of beliefs like yours.

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By farmertx, August 26, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Tim
I give up on you.
I keep asking that you read what I writebut you add words to that.
You mentioned ‘cross’. I responded with ‘cross’. Nowhere was there a mention of your religion.
Your thoughts of an ideal world are admirable. But I have to live in this world.
It could be a better world. And folks with your ideas could make it better.
But, until you can spread that word around the globe and get all people to acknowledge it, we still need an Army.
You can deny that til the cows come home, but that is reality. And sensible folks deal in reality.
Again, have a nice trip around the world explaining to all peoples what you could achieve if only they’d listen.

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By Tim Kelly, August 26, 2007 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

You erroneously claim that I am a Christian.  I am saying this country believes that if you fly the American flag and wear a Christian cross, you can kill without it being “murder,” and even worse, be considered a hero.  You are correct - the U.S. is not going to stop arming its soldiers, and certainly you will help arm them, although you should review what happened to Italy, Germany and Japan when they went down this path of fascism, militarism, imperialism and nationalism.  Your sarcasm betrays your closed mind and inability to go beyond superficial thinking.  You are wrong that this country has never been lied to in order to get a military action.  Since the Civil War every U.S. military action has been a deception, whether for its reasons or even its existence.  Every military in the world has eventually been used for power, not defense.  More often than not since the Civil War, the U.S. has armed that military.  We are not “the good guys.”

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By farmertx, August 26, 2007 at 4:16 am Link to this comment

Well Tim you have all the answers.
I can’t argue with anyone who is waiting for a cross to be raised.
As this country isn’t likely to stop totally arming its soldier’s, I am sure you must be making plans to go to a better country, such as Switzerland…oops, they have an Army too.
Oh well,I am certain you will find the answer in that rarefied air that you breathe.
I won’t detain you any longer. Have a good trip.

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By Tim Kelly, August 25, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are you naive enough to believe soldiers actually help people?  Do you mean after soldiers have killed their children, raped their women, bombed their homes and businesses, poisoned their lands with radioactive waste, and stolen their natural resources that soldiers then stop and “help” people? 

When we begin to recognize that the purpose of soldiers is to kill, and that we need to stop giving soldiers weapons so they may continue killing, perhaps then we will see the end of wars.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix

Your defense of soldiers just perpetuates the violence.  You are not heroic, you are not patriotic.  You are defending people who have agreed to kill other people.  It does not matter if they were “lied” to.  They agreed to go kill people.  Only when the American flag and the Christian cross is raised does killing change from murder to patriotism.  How strange that both the Founding Fathers and Jesus rejected killing in their name.

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By farmertx, August 25, 2007 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

#96840 by Tim Kelly on 8/25 at 9:26 am
(Unregistered commenter)

No, finally you stayed pretty well on topic.
But, are you really naive enough to believe that helping Africa or any other country will stop war?
As long as there are militants who would do us harm, I say we need a military.
I also say that the Shrub has totally misused the military, with the tacit consent of the Generals and a politics as usual attitude among Congress Critter’s.
Maybe it seems right to expect soldier’s to just die. I can’t accept that.
They are there through no fault of their own. Even those who willingly went, after the truth became known, would have had no place to willingly go, had not the Shrub enabled it.
Until he is impeached, nothing will change. And as long as they are there, I want as many of them to come back alive with all parts attached.
If that means special armored vehicles, so be it.
Just because some elected a cheerful idiot does not mean that any more troops (than those already dead) should needlessly die because of him.

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By farmertx, August 25, 2007 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

#96839 by RAE on 8/25 at 9:21 am
(195 comments total)

You have a point,in a manner of speaking.
The main thing to remember is that we have never had a President who deliberately lied to the citizens about the ‘need’ to go war.
I can’t defend the fact that they continued to believe his lies after the lies became obvious.
Ideally, war would be a thing of the past.
It isn’t and isn’t likely to become a thing of the past.
It is the duty of a soldier to obey orders as long as the order is legal. Morality doesn’t enter into being legal.
As VietnamVet noted, the Generals are the ones who decide that the Commander in Chief (the decider guy) has issued a legal order and pass that order down the ranks.
Do you really want an Army whose soldier’s will debate which orders to obey? I hope not.
This all rests on the citizens being smart enough to select people who have a clue and not a cheerful idiot as so many, with the help of Diebold/Premier, did in the past two Presidential elections.

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By Tim Kelly, August 25, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#96825 by farmertx on 8/25 at 7:05 am

I am not avoiding the issue of the thread at all.  I have stated categorically that soldiers are not heroes and they are not willing to die for their beliefs if they need armored vehicles, body armor, helicopters and missles.  Being the best-armed military in the world simply makes soldiers willing to kill everyone else and has nothing to do with being willing to die for their beliefs.  All militaries exist for the purpose of furthering the interests of those in power, to the detriment of those who actually pay the cost of the militaries.  For what the U.S. spends in one month in Iraq all of Africa could get fresh water daily.  We would have no enemies after we did this, as it would only take turning on a faucet to drown out the propaganda of al Qaeda (which used to be called “mujahadeen” when the U.S. was funding it).

As for defending American values, the civil rights marchers that stood without weapons in front of the dogs of war were willing to die for their beliefs, that of equality and freedom for all.  It was soldiers that held the leashes on those dogs of war, turning on Americans exerting their American right to peaceably assemble, just like it will be the soldiers that turn on the tear gas cannons and fire into crowds protesting martial law next year (as they did in Orangeburg SC and Kent State Ohio), simply because their commanding officer ordered them to do so.  It will be well-armed soldiers killing non-violent protestors willing to die for their beliefs, and the soldiers will think themselves defenders of America and heroes for having done so.  That is the soldier way, as it always has been in history and as it is so clearly depicted in the military propaganda.

We need to dispel the myth of patriotism behind being a soldier.  It is an escape for violent people to be violent, or an outcome for people who did not use the free education system in the U.S. to its maximum benefit (and as such is indicative of mecenaries that don’t even negotiate a decent wage for their killing, unlike Blackwater).  We need to stop raising our children to worship soldiers.  We need to stop providing the politicians and corporations armies to go to war with, and we need to stop arming the soldiers so maybe they will consider if they are willing to die for politicians and corporations.

That’s not avoiding the thread at all.

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By RAE, August 25, 2007 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

“Obviously, the life or limb of the poor hapless boot-on-the-ground is only the concern of his parents, kids, or wife - certainly not the government who is putting his life in jeopardy.” (Felicity #96562)

While the loss of life is an appalling, AVOIDABLE tragedy, please remember NO ONE IS FORCING THESE MEN TO OFFER THEMSELVES AS CANNON FODDER. If they and their families “buy” the BS fed to them by their government and promptly march off to join up to become slaughtered, THEY HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME for the outcome.

Suiting up to defend one’s family or country when attacked is one thing - a laudable, if regrettable necessity given the state of underdevelopment of the human psyche to date.

But to willingly ship out to invade a foreign nation WHICH IS NO THREAT TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY OR FAMILY, is an illegal, immoral act. Instead of medals and honors, these participants, from President to potato peelers, should be charged as international criminals.

Remember… you make a MAJOR MISTAKE when you ASSUME those set in authority over you KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY’RE DOING! Just because some bozo is elected President or weasels his/her way to become a General DOES NOT MEAN he or she automatically has or deserves “honor” or has YOUR BEST INTERESTS at heart.

Only a brainwashed moron immediately signs up when any government lays out the guilt trip “your country needs you.” Seems we have LOTS of expendable morons available.

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By farmertx, August 25, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

#96814 by Tim Kelly on 8/25 at 5:53 am
(Unregistered commenter)

I consider my stand to be for a strong military, to be used to defend America.
You keep avoiding the issue of the thread—providing what is needed by our troops.
But to digress to your points.
Maine was a set up deal, no doubt now.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident was not a cause for war, but rather to ‘heat’ it up.
Grenada was Shrubs’ daddy trying to avert attention from the real problems at home.
The other incidents were all after the fact, just like Gulf of Tonkin.
You seem to want to cast me as supporting this ‘war’. For the second time, this ‘war’ was contrived by the Shrub. I can’t support that.
But neither can I support leaving the troops without what they need. They are, after all, mostly American citizens, doing what they thought was their duty.
Never before have we had a President that lied about a reason to go to war. Shrubs’ daddy came real close with Grenada, but still, it was the “request” of others that brought him into it. And it sure didn’t drag on like this one has.
Now, once again, why are you against providing American troops the equipment they need? If you can’t answer that, forget about it.

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By Tim Kelly, August 25, 2007 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, let’s see about about being lied to for getting us into wars.  To start with, there was the U.S.S. Maine, the Gulf of Tomkin, Grenada, and the whole “Protecting American Interests” mantra.  Then there is the selling of munitions and steel to the Nazis and Japanese (the former by Prescott Bush, by the way), at great profit to U.S. companies, much like today.  Let’s talk about Falluja, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay, as far as atrocities that make us different (and those are only the ones that have been discovered).  I do not see it possible to feel the Japanese behavior was worse than the lies our gov’t spread to justify killing 600,000 Iraqis.

The U.S. gov’t illegally conscripted sons for Vietnam, but today’s sons freely volunteer to go kill for the lies.  Let’s stop creating heroes from people volunteering to go kill other people for those people’s beliefs.  And some of us don’t need to have been in a war to know killing is wrong.  It is appalling that it takes some people to go through a war to learn this.

You seem to take a pro-military perspective on things.  Perhaps you should read Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler’s words on war.

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By farmertx, August 24, 2007 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

#96713 by Tim Kelly on 8/24 at 2:14 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah Tim, you are adept at reading one thing and hearing another.

Our country was lied into this ‘war’. It compares to no other in living memory.

Japan attacked the US while peace talks were underway. Seems to me that took the gloves off.
Japs believed in killing prisoner’s, that the prisoner had disgraced himself by surrender.
Those civilians died because the Jap leader’s had to be woke up to the fact that they had lost.
War is Hell. Bad things happen in war. A fact lost on those who have never been in a war. Or even the military.
Now, back to the topic of the thread; our troops waiting for something that a real leader would have insisted upon them having much sooner.
Are you saying that is a good thing?
While I abhor the fact that Shrub got us in this mess, I can’t blame the troops for it, like a lot of folks did back in ‘Nam.
To me, that is twisted logic to do otherwise.

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By Louise, August 24, 2007 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

How on earth did we win World War II?

Couldn’t have been because we had a mighty standing all volunteer army waiting in the wings.

Couldn’t have been because we had hundreds of thousands of armoired vehicles, ready war ships and the best Air Force in the world.

Jeeps, tanks, bullets and guns, and all things necessary to win a war were in short supply back then, not waiting in the cupboard for just such an occasion.

So how on earth did we win World War II?

Cause now ... or at least a few years ago ... we had the bestest and the mostest of everything a military needs to win a war. Back when Bush sent off what he likes to think of as “his” military, to fight and die for him, we had it all.

What happened?

Well for starters there’s no-one in charge.
You know ... as in the crate is empty!

On the other hand, this problem could be very deliberate. Delays created to convince a “don’t bother me with war talk” crowd back home we need MORE privatization!

Naw ... they wouldn’t do that would they?

Don’t bet the family farm on it!

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By Tim Kelly, August 24, 2007 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Japs

Interesting that your jingoistic response ignores that we killed 40,000 Japanese civilians when the two atomic bombs dropped and 400,000 more over the next ten years from the radiation poisoning.  That pretty much sums up the U.S. response to being attacked - kill ten times (or more) of whomever “attacks” the U.S., from five miles up or a mile away.  At least the Japanses soldiers did die in their suicide attacks.

Is there any difference between the U.S. invading Iraq and Japan invading Manchuria? The U.S. considers itself “the good guys” because it writes the history books.  The U.S. does not die for its beliefs .  It does, however, kiil others for theirs and our own (“American Freedom” is not good for its recipients).

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By farmertx, August 24, 2007 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

#96663 by Tim Kelly on 8/24 at 4:19 am
(Unregistered commenter)

You must be thinking that American troops are like the Japs.
Hint: They ain’t.
That’s why we won that war.
It is one thing to fight for your beliefs. That could entail dying.
But why die needlessly?

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By namvet67, August 24, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It used to be that the government didn’t start neglecting the troops until they were discharged. That has obviously changed. Our active duty troops now have to compete with Blackwater troops when it comes to supplies.
Hoa binh

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By Tim Kelly, August 24, 2007 at 5:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As our troops continue to complain about the lack of armored vehicles, it is clear that U.S. soldiers are only willing to kill others for their beliefs, not die for their own.

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By Kem Patrick, August 24, 2007 at 2:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The best way to protect our troops in Iraq is to load them on C5A and C-17 aircraft, or cargo ships, and bring them home.  For every one of those MRAPS traveling along the Iraqi roads, there will be a couple of Hum-Vees, some Bradley fighting vehicles,  refuel trucks or a helicopter, which the bad guys are now able to shoot out of the air quite easily. The entire war is a bunch of bullshit anyway___ always has been.

If your’re going to fight a war and steal the country’s oil, you go in with the manpower, airpower, firepower needed and take over the country. Then you round up ALL of the weapons, put in a military goveror and declare Martial law.

Then you seal and patrol the borders with aircraft and mounted patrols, restrict all vehicle use to the bare minimun, no one out after dark and then search the entire country, house to house and round up every weapon you can possibley find. You buy about twentyfive thousand metal detectors from China, because we don’t make them anymore and you hire locals to use them, each in conjunction with a couple of armed U.S. Army MPs and dig up any other buried weapons.

After a few months of stringent control of everyone, you allow the people to have an election and make sure the Sunnis, the Kurds and the other bands all get to be friends again. If any give any static, you mix em in an isolated stockade until they act like humans. Meanwhile you make sure your military repairs the county’s infastructure you have ruined, put the schools and hospitals back in good order, fix the bridges and roads and act like you give a shit about the people your stealing the oil from.

If you can’t do that, don’t start the war in the first place and buy their oil, instead of ruining the entire country and killing a million or so innocent civilians. Finally, don’t use depleted uranium weapons, so that every single person who is there, including your own troops, isn’t going to inhale the microscopic uranium dust and slowly die from cancer after they’ve inhaled a few specks of the radio-active poison.

We didn’t do that and we lost the war we started and it’s costing us, financially, militarily and morally and the end is not in sight.__ It’s bullshit. Of Course Bush has ruined everythng he ever touched, that’s how he is and besides that, he’s evil and cruel.

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By Douglas Chalmers, August 23, 2007 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “Throughout the war, getting the troops the equipment they need to stay alive has been more of a goal than a reality…..”

#96517 by farmertx on 8/23 at 6:57 am: “...one more instance of the Shrubs’ talk not following his actions. .......He ‘supports’ our troops. He prays for them. They are constantly on his mind…”

Oh, yeah, this was the one Bush loudly called “cutting off funding for our troops in eye-rak”, uhhh! Now, he’s doing it himself. No, that couldn’t be right - he’s the ‘fearless leader’ so he can never be wrong. Isn’t that right???

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By felicity, August 23, 2007 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Read “Blackwater,” other books, articles in periodicals and it becomes clear that government contracts (especially military and/or security-related) are awarded according to some kind of very sick ‘buddy’ system. 

The potential quality or quantity of the product and when it will be available are seldom factors in who gets what contract.

Remember Rumsfeld saying, “You go to war with the army you have”, well he should have added, “You go to war with the equipment you have.”  Obviously, the life or limb of the poor hapless boot-on-the-ground is only the concern of his parents, kids, or wife - certainly not the government who is putting his life in jeopardy.

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By farmertx, August 23, 2007 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Re:#96542 by RAE on 8/23 at 9:27 am
(193 comments total)

Actually, we had something similar in WarII, the Flail. It was a tank, with beefed up front armor and an extension holding a rotating axle to which were connected chains.
Granted that would be too slow for Iraq, but it does seem like a remote control scout vehicle with sensors etc could be used in its stead.
But, ya gotta remember; in the military, simple answers to complex questions are seldom allowed.
All these drones that can spot a fly in fog…they can’t be used to surveil a route over a period of time?

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By ETSpoon, August 23, 2007 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thinking, actually hoping, that the new, monster truck MRAPs will save any American lives is delusional.

The insurgents are well-educated people and we, meaning our patriots in the administration and Pentagon, have spread the design parameters of these diesel-powered behemoths all over the Internet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRAP_(armored_vehicle)

Anyone who thinks that Iraqi insurgents, more than a few trained in Western universities in engineering, will not be able to design explosive devices to overcome an MRAP is saddly mistaken.

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By RAE, August 23, 2007 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

It boggles my mind that with all the technological expertise available to bottomless pits of cash (our governments) they have not been able to come up with some device to DETECT roadside bombs BEFORE they go “boom.”

I’m assuming these are not terribly sophisticated - like invisible or something. How come the only way to find one is to DRIVE OVER IT?

Hell, if driving over it IS the only way to detect one, how about just getting a volunteer to walk ahead of each vehicle beating the ground with a metal pipe. When it explodes we lose ONE person… not a million dollar vehicle and a half dozen soldiers!

Oh ya… that volunteer. Why not use the captured Talibans? Oh, right. Against the Geneva convention.

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By Mark G., August 23, 2007 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s the rub. It costs more to put the MRAPS on the Air Forces C-5 Galaxy and fly them to Iraq than it does to load them on commercial cantainer transports and “ship” them over. Yeah, it does take 30 days or longer to get them there but what’s the hurry? When you factor in “cost effectiveness” over the lives that are a stake in Iraq, it’s a no brainer for Bush. Spread the wealth! First you ramp up production using the companies that are notorious for not delivering on time and then delay deployment of badly needed equipment to protect the lives of our military personnel to save a buck. Apparently that’s Bushes version of supporting the TROOPS. Let’s see now. If it takes over 30 days to arrive in Iraq and the lives that are lost during the course to that 30 days, due to IED’s, is somewhere around 200, than obviously to Bush that’s an accecptable Loss?
The bottom line is: THE BOTTOM LINE
Corporate America first…Troop support last.
Just gotta luv it!

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By farmertx, August 23, 2007 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Hmm,one more instance of the Shrubs’ talk not following his actions.
He ‘supports’ our troops. He prays for them. They are constantly on his mind.
The fact that he has very little in the way of a mind might explain that.
I can remember when the troops in Iraq were writing their folks here to go to Army Surplus and Radio Shack to buy things and ship them because the military wasn’t able to do it.
Maybe if the Shrub would just eliminate taxes for the richest, that would cause more money to flow into the Treasury.
If Shrub really got an MBA from Harvard, Harvard is teaching some mighty dumb theories.
Myself, I’m betting he either hired someone to register as him, or else they just showed up and took his tests for him. Thats been his way for a long time.

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