Soldiers in Kuwait grill Rumsfeld

Soldiers in Kuwait peppered Rumsfeld with queries about the standard of equipment they would be using and about the Pentagon’s “stop-loss” policy, which prevents troops from leaving the military service, even if they are eligible to retire or quit.

Yeah Rummy, tell them why the stop loss program is working so well.

My favorite part

One soldier, identified by The Associated Press as Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, asked Rumsfeld why more military combat vehicles were not reinforced for battle conditions.

“Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?” he asked, prompting cheers from other soldiers attending the event.

I wonder how many of those soldiers cheering for this guy voted for Bush?

Yeah, Rummy’s response in that sometimes armor won’t save even a tank was a complete screw you to the troops. That may be true, but that gets away from the fact that armor still saves lives, and those troops deserve as much of an edge as possible that the country can give them.

Hey, as long as Rummy has Star Wars and the next-generation stealth technology plus the latest cruise missiles, what’s he need to worry about arming soldiers for?

You know how bad it is?


Snipers aren’t even getting standard rifles, scopes, and cleaning equipment. People in the US (mostly former military/law enforcement sniper types and hobbyist sharpshooters) end up buying necessary hardware for troops.

The worse you do, the longer you stay in Bush’s cabinet. It’s job security.

People in the US (mostly former military/law enforcement sniper types and hobbyist sharpshooters) end up buying necessary hardware for troops.

<kook type=“libertarian conservative”> That’s right – it’s all about INDIVIDUAL CHARITY, not government handouts! 'bout time we weaned those soldiers off our tax dollars! </kook>

I’d prefer you said kook type=“asshole fucking government fuckhead dipshit”, but whatever.

Just think: Rumsfeld also served on Nixon’s cabinet during the Vietnam fucking war, so you would think he’d have achieved an understanding of what constitutes bad military strategy, but OH NO, he’s right there trying to convince the troops they’re not being fucked over nearly as bad as they think they are.

Note that these were National Guard troops grilling Rumsfeld, as the Guard is really getting the shaft these days. The regular Army is getting all the good equipment, and the Guard is getting the leftovers. Add that to the extended deployments into hostile territory–yes, it’s in their contract, but nobody who signed up for the Guard before September 2001 was expecting to be mobilized for anything more strenuous than disaster recovery–and stop-loss, and they’re understandably testy.

And what’s with that ‘You go to war with the army you’ve got’ comment? It’s not like the decision to invade Iraq caught anybody by surprise; according to Richard Clark, they literally started pushing for it the day after 9/11.

This may also be a good opportunity to link this article:

That’s always been true though.

There’s leftovers and then there’s leftovers.

In previous years, it meant that those National Guard soldiers would be driving around in humvees that had seen better days and were prone to breaking down.

These days it means they’re asked to drive around in dangerous parts of Iraq in whatever extra civilian vehicles were abondoned in the area with some sheet metal welded onto the sides to make up for those previous humvees never getting replaced and finally having given up the ghost.

It also doesn’t help that some full-time Army higher-ups have taken to using the National Guard and Reservist forces to do jobs the don’t want to send the full-time troops on.

That’s news to me. What’s your source for those claims?

Just various anecdotes from my brother in the full time Army and friends who are serving out the remainder of their time in the Reserves and National Guard.

Is every soldier underequipped? Of course not. But there are plenty of horror stories going on that have no justification for happening, outside of a Secretary of Defense who’s always cared more about high-profile, high-tech weapon systems than the average pair of boots on the ground.

Being forced to make daily transport runs on dangerous highways full of snipers and homemade bombs in unarmored vietnam-era deuce and a half trucks with sandbags stacked on top and sides as your only protection doesn’t exactly qualify as “taking care of your troops”, yet that’s what one of my close friends does every day.

That’s always been true though.[/quote]

Well, sure, but you can get away with leftovers when you’re cleaning up after floods and tornadoes. It’s a little more problematic when you’re defusing roadside bombs. And this isn’t the first time this issue has made the news–remember the unit back in October that refused to run a supply convoy into hostile territory because their trucks weren’t armoured?

Of all the stupid answers, this was the worst in my opinion. All the emphasis on how we have the greatest fighting force in the world and then he says ‘Tough shit. Be happy with the inadequate equipment you have.’

I must admit, I liked his no nonsense approach once we knew we were invading and during the invasion. Once it was blatantly obvious that that was as far as we had planned, I lost much of the respect I may have had for him. Now, after hearing other comments and especially this most recent speech, I see he is the joke that many of you have claimed he was all along.

There are (and have been for months) private citizens who are collecting funds to try to better outfit our troops for fuck’s sake. I am pretty sure a major portion of our taxes is being misspent by the military already. Just damn.

Predictable response from the Republican Noise Machine: an evil reporter put them up to it!

Apparently he hypotonized them into asking it or something.

Not just the guys who asked the questions, but also all the soldiers who cheered!

shrug. Doesn’t matter if the guy was coached or read his question off a paper someone handed him or just made it up on the spot. It’s still a valid question.

It doesn’t to us, but we aren’t using fascist modes of analysis.

I’m not kidding about this. This is a perfect example of how discussion worked back then:

  1. The non-crazies point out a real problem.
  2. The fascists find a detail that they wildly exaggerated or, more importantly, come up with a narrative where the opponent has an ideological motive.
  3. That therefore discredits the entire line of inquiry to true believers.
  4. To top it off, they mutter about shutting out/eliminating them. I can’t be the only person who’s been reading “will someone not rid me of this meddlesome priest” stuff from Glenn Reynolds.

It’s fucking creeping me out. This crowd can literally do no wrong in their eyes - everything is excused by the perceived treacherousness of their opponents! That they aren’t treacherous, because they don’t conspire from day one on everything like you do, is not on the table.

Short Version: Spin doctoring is nothing new. Comparisons to fascism are just as spin laden.

Can you imagine the Democrats doing this?