Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Support our troops?

It really pisses me off when I hear the Republicans talk about supporting the troops. They clearly believe that the only way to support the troops is to vote to send more of them over to get shot or bombed to pieces, but you wouldn't think that to hear them talk.

Anyway, this week we have two excellent examples of what "support our troops" means to them. One has been all over the TV and papers: it's what happens to you if you get badly hurt in Iraq and are cast on the mercy of Uncle Sam for your medical care.

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

Do you really think these guys deserve to be living in mold, stained carpets, and mouse droppings? I don't. If we're going to send them over there to get shot up for nothing, the least, and I mean the absolute least, we can do for them is to give them decent care when they get back. They had a general on McNeil-Lehrer tonight talking about it and he kept saying how the medical care they receive is excellent. So fucking what? Let him live with the rats and cockroaches and then he can tell us about how good his doctor is.

But it's not just what happens to them when they get back, it's also what happens while they're over there.

There used to be a military punishment in which soldiers were sent into battle unarmed. Pretty barbaric practice, eh?

Well, what do you call what we're doing? Remember a long time ago, like two or three years, when there was this big controversy about making our soldiers ride around in Humvees that were not adequately armored to protect them? And people were getting killed for lack of armor, or "rednecking" their vehicles, salvaging junk from old busted Humvees to make do? Well, it's happening again.

The Army is working to fill a shortfall in Iraq of thousands of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs -- including a rising threat from particularly lethal weapons linked to Iran and known as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFP) -- that are now inflicting 70 percent of the American casualties in the country, according to U.S. military and civilian officials.

Edit: February 24--David Corn and James Pinkerton discuss Bush's failure to support our troops here.

So tell me: who's supporting the troops? The people who are sending them over there, ill-equipped and neglecting them when they get back, or the people who are trying to bring them home safely?


Blogger Leney McCullough said...

This post absolutely broke my heart. When you think about veteran neglect its associated with Vietnam & a "we wont do that to them again" attitude, it makes me angry that it's happening again and hurt for them that they must endure it.

Sometime our government just makes me want to scream!

February 22, 2007 7:58 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Horrible story

This is what happens when you give DOD a blank check. if you give the mmore money, they will always buy more bullets and expensive gadgets/machines.

How the DOD budget is spent is not controllable by congress...that has to change...they need to force DOD to set aside a significant amount of money to upgrade all medical facilities and treatment centers for the troops. There will be many more coming home with PTSD and other ailments, and we are not equipped to help them.

Cancel some projects for Cold War weapons systems and funnel that money to where it is actually needed.

YES, the Repugs will have some pissed off campaign contributors, but our troops will actually be supported

February 22, 2007 4:01 PM  

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