Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Supporting The Troops

The fact that our troops are insufficiently protected has been widely reported for quite some time, yet although many helpful suggestions (e.g, as AssRocket's commentary that soldiers should be able to provide themselves with sandbags - and no, I won't link) have been put forth, nothing has been done. Until now.
Captain Royer said that he photographed the Humvees in which his men died to show to any official who asked about the condition of their armor, but that no one ever did.

...Lt. Sean J. Schickel remembers Captain Royer asking a high-ranking Marine Corps visitor whether the company would be getting more factory-armored Humvees. The official said they had not been requested and that there were production constraints, Lieutenant Schickel said.

Recalls Captain Royer: "I'm thinking we have our most precious resource engaged in combat, and certainly the wealth of our nation can provide young, selfless men with what they need to accomplish their mission. That's an erudite way of putting it. I have a much more guttural response that I won't give you."

Captain Royer was later relieved of command. General Mattis and Colonel Kennedy declined to discuss the matter. His first fitness report, issued on May 31, 2004, after the company's deadliest firefights, concluded, "He has single-handedly reshaped a company in sore need of a leader; succeeded in forming a cohesive fighting force that is battle-tested and worthy."

The second, on Sept. 1, 2004, gave him opposite marks for leadership. "He has been described on numerous occasions as 'dictatorial,' " it said. "There is no morale or motivation in his marines." His defenders say he drove his troops as hard as he drove himself, but was wrongly blamed for problems like armor. "Captain Royer was a decent man that was used for a dirty job and thrown away by his chain of command," Sergeant Sheldon said.
Well, at least they (National Guard) appear to have given up the idea of using the dollars they don't have for armor in 'honoring' the troops by naming a baseball stadium for them, temporarily ... for three years. Did that little story fall off the charts quickly or what. But as Mary Chapin Carpenter says ... it wasn't what you said, it's what you didn't say:
Last month, city officials reported that the Army might be willing to pay about $1.4 million per season to become the primary sponsor at RFK. An official in the administration of Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said the Army was interested because of the large number of young people who watch baseball.
[Nitpicker emphasis] If we read between the lines we might read ... large number of young, poor, disadvantaged black men who watch baseball. That's one way to get rid of a large number of people who didn't vote for you. I know, only Michael Moore believes military recruiters target that population. I have to admit though, I did like this genetleman's suggestion with regard to RFK stadium:
Phil Frankenfeld of Washington has been following the efforts of the U.S. military to purchase the naming rights for RFK Stadium. He has a modest proposal: "Relief pitchers stop losses of games, correct?" Phil says. "Have the National Guard sponsor only the bullpen at RFK. It can be called the National Guard Stop Loss Bullpen."
Note: You may have noticed the "hello Tblogg" on the WaPo links [I did and was initially bemused] - quite some time ago (well over a year) TBogg had a link in which he included his logon -as WaPo is subscription only ... it was saved in my 'keychain', there you have it. Thanks, Tbogg.

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