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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Well, they don't call him the Defense Secretary for nothing. Donald Rumsfeld was caught on the defensive yesterday while giving a, uh, "pep talk" to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait. Flying in the face of the rosy scenarios the Bush administration continues to project about Iraq, thousands of soldiers provided Rumsfeld with an earful yesterday. My new hero, Specialist Thomas Wilson, asked the most pointed question of the day when he asked the Secretary of Defense why soldiers in Iraq had to rely on "hillbilly armor" to protect themselves:

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to armor our vehicles ... (scrap) that has already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament for our vehicles to carry us north (into Iraq)."
Rummy's response?

"Not every vehicle has the degree of armor that it would be desirable for it to have. As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
Hey Donald, if you hadn't rushed to war, hadn't tried to do it "on the cheap" and hadn't miscalculated the resistance so massively, maybe the troops would've been properly equipped and prepared. And now, instead of owning up to poor planning and miscalculation, you continue to make excuses, even when questioned by the soldiers themselves. Unbelievable.

Rumsfeld added:

"If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up."
After this gem, the Secretary revealed his plan to equip all units in Iraq with inexpensive, unarmored Hyundais to roll into the desert with. Because, you know, armor doesn't really matter. What a dick.

And the questions kept coming. The soldiers asked Rumsfeld how the Army planned "to address shortages and antiquated equipment" for National Guard troops on their way to Iraq. They asked about Army's "stop-loss" policies, the equivalent of a backdoor draft that is keeping troops in Iraq much longer than they'd anticipated. Finally, Rumsfeld threw up his arms and exclaimed:

"Now settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early in the morning. I'm just gathering my thoughts here."
What's the old Army recruitment slogan, "we do more before 6 a.m. than you do in your entire day"? Apparently, that doesn't apply to Mr. Rumsfeld. And this is the cabinet member Bush decided to KEEP!

Pentagon Memo: US admits the war for ‘hearts and minds’ in Iraq is now lost
Rumsfeld on Osama: "When people speculate about where they think he is, I say to myself, well, if you're so smart, person who thinks where he is, go find him."
Rumsfeld's Miscalculation: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
Rummy Reenacts the Abu Ghraib Pyramid!

Oppose the Policy, Support the Troops
Since our government won't do it, please visit Veterans Against the Iraq War to get a comprehensive list of ways you can support the troops. And just for the record, support means more than simply slapping a yellow-ribbon decal on the back of your SUV.

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