:: Pedantic Platitudes ::

Greetings! My name is Sam J and I am a student at Harvard University. Perhaps this blog will present a little look into the mundane yet unique events that make up my life.
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:: Thursday, December 09, 2004 ::

Support our troops/Rumsfeld falls far short

I liked this article because it really points out the fact that it is meaningless to have a big "support our troops" ribbon displayed on your car yet support "leaders" who 1). put our troops in the way of extreme danger when it is not absolutely necessary and 2). don't do all they can to help them stay safe in dangerous territory.

From the article:

"It's common to see cars with yellow ribbons pasted to their backsides, signifying that the drivers "support our troops." The inference, of course, is that some Americans do not. That list must be incredibly small -- but Donald Rumsfeld's name surely belongs at the top.

That this man remains secretary of defense is one of life's great mysteries. Embarrassing is the best word to describe his performance in Kuwait on Wednesday. At a town-hall meeting with soldiers about to be sent north to Iraq, Rumsfeld came under sharp questioning from troops complaining that their vehicles lacked the armor needed to protect them from roadside bombs.

Specialist Thomas Wilson from the Tennessee National Guard had the courage to speak for thousands of troops when he told of rummaging through landfills for the scrap metal and shards of bulletproof glass routinely slapped on vehicles, 95 percent of which, in his unit, lack proper protection. Wilson simply wondered why the best military in the world had to resort to what the troops derisively call "hillbilly armor."

A stammering Rumsfeld had no good response because there isn't one. "You go to war with the army you have," was the answer he tried. But the Pentagon had years to prepare for an invasion and occupation of Iraq, an adventure anticipated from the Bush administration's very first days. Moreover, it chose when to begin the hostilities; if its forces weren't ready, it should have waited.

It's sad enough that a president has sent troops into harm's way under false pretenses. It's sadder still that troops are ill-equipped. Footage of Marines foraging for scrap metal, shown Thursday on ABC, was a shameful sight.

Supporting our troops requires more than affixing a yellow ribbon to the back of a car. It means demanding accountability and personal responsibility from those charged with ensuring that, once deployed, American forces have the very best opportunity to prevail and survive. Rumsfeld has always wanted to fight this war on the cheap. The troops deserve better than that."

:: SL 6:49 PM [+] ::

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