appear that our past two presidents have had a real problem with the definition
of certain words. With Clinton it was that darn pesky word; is. Now it
would appear that Dubya is having trouble with the word chaos.
that in his speech to the nation last night he had to prepare the big
dumb middle in this country for increasingly terrible news that will be
pouring forth from Iraq in the next few months. He said that at times
events there may appear to be chaotic. To even the untrained
eye of anyone who is not in the pocket of the Republican Party, the entire
episode of Iraq has been nothing but chaos.
we have a war perpetrated in the bowels of the White House by people who
totally ignored any evidence that did not fit their needs. Evidence that
did not exist was fabricated and anyone in the military who did not toe
the line was dismissed. Ever heard the saying about fruit from a poisonous
what we have in Iraq. Everything is chaos. We have had more deaths since
Bush declared the hostilities over than we did during "the
war". The man all the Neocons love and adore, and who provided them
with the rotten Intel that led to this fiasco, has now been determined
by the Defense Intelligence Agency to be working with the Iranians!
that we have done the folks in Iran a huge favor by getting rid of their
old nemesis, Saddam. Since the majority of folks in both Iraq and Iran
are Shiites, it would appear we have stepped in it with both feet!
to definitions. The absolute worse phrase to come out of this mess is
supporting the troops. Bush and the Neocons want to be sure
we all support the war. In order to insure that in their minds, they must
insist that supporting the war is supporting the troops. They actually
don't give a damn about the troops, as the letter included in this article
perhaps before it is too late, Americans will realize that all the people
who run the State are concerned with nothing but money. If it takes the
blood of our children to grease the wheels of the military industrial
complex so it and their cronies can prosper financially, then so be it.
is a letter I received from a soldier who recently returned from service
in Iraq. He was evacuated medically some weeks ago. My history with this
fine young man goes back several years. I sought to counsel him as to
his career choice, using my similar experiences as a guideline. Almost
two years ago, our correspondence all but dried up. I could detect from
his words that he did not agree with my assessment of the coming war in
Iraq. He was young and thought that he was going out to defend liberty.
I could not be too critical as that had been my thought some 39 years
ago as I headed off to Vietnam.
finish this letter you might want to ask yourself: Where the hell is all
the money we are sinking into the military these days and why are our
soldiers doing without? Then ask yourself: What the hell are we doing
there and who the hell is in charge?
is the first of several to come. I have left it just as I received it.
Please pardon the military jargon, but this is the way it came.
Here's the first installment of info that y'all probably aren't hearing
about. If you wish for me to stop sending info let me know. I just want
the truth, not the lies to be heard.
Before the 4th Infantry Division deployed, its soldiers were told it
had the best equipment and best training to "get the job done"
in Iraq. Upon arriving in Kuwait the division was no more ready for
what was about to happen than it was ready for a dress parade at Fort
Meyer. Besides none of the initial deployment units (Division Cavalry,
Division TOC, and support units) equipment being delivered properly,
it had recieved NO training in the mission it was going to participate
in. Nor was it equipped properly. I will go into the fiasco, of units
that were still a month from getting to kuwait having their vehicles
off the boats first and clogging the port, later.
initial move out of Kuwait was nothing new to 4th ID. The convoy of
HETs were miles long, so it was nothing different from Fort Hood, where
tracked vehicles can't drive more than a mile without being placed on
a HET. April through May was regular Combat. 4ID secured Baghdad, 3ID
was reporting "Black" on everything from fuel to Food. So
4ID was unloaded and sent in. From there it attacked north to Taji Airfield
and army barracks, then K2 depot. "Major Combat" ceased as
you well know on May 1st, but Someone didn't tell the Iraqis that. You
know the casualties we sustained for the next 11 months.
This is the story you didn't get. This is about several casualties that
were sustained because of the lack of proper equipment. You have seen
the flack vests that some of the soldiers wear in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is from Point Blank Industries. They are called IBAS. It is a three
piece system. One is the ballistic vest that is rated to stop a 9mm
Pistol round. The other two parts are Ceramic Plates that are inserted
in front and back. these are rated to stop a 7.62mm round. They weigh
together about 8 pounds with the vest a little over 10 pounds. When
4ID Deployed the majority of it's Ground Combat units had the Vietnam
era "Flack Vests" which as you know are rated to stop a spit
ball, as long as a 2 year old is shooting it at you.
While working as an assistant in a supply shop, I was seeing several
million dollar contracts opened to produce anything and everything to
stop the effects of IEDs. Ballistic blankets, sheets of iron to weld
to vehicles (making the Gun trucks of the Vietnam era) Oh and I almost
forgot the weeks of trying to get the Perfume Princes' air conditioned
trucks that are command posts and sleeper vans. All the while soldiers
were still sleeping in the sand.
I digress, the point is we were spending millions on everything but
what the basic soldier needed to survive. I asked the painful questions
and got alot of "Shut the F** up" from my supiriors. Finnally
a well informed officer pulled me aside and explained why we were spending
so much on everything but the IBAS. Seems 4ID had opened contract after
contract and requisition after requisition for the IBAS with plates.
Seems that everytime the order was sent, it was stopped at the stateside
Depot and sent to other units "preparing to deploy" These
included the Army's golden boys, the 1st Cavalry Division, 82nd Airborne,
National Guard, and Reserve elements. No priority was allowed to go
to deployed units. This is a lesson we learned in Blood.
very very bad July night, a company (minus) in my battalion was holding
a "Position" which is to say it wasn't in an FOB (sort of
like a fire base minus the artillery.) They had occupied a building
in a town as bad a Hue in Tet '68. They were being hit three, sometimes
four times a day in concerted attacks. This isn't counting the constant
sniping, mortaring, rocketing, and rock throwing. But they held fast,
and served with unparalled distinction in 4ID. This one night they were
ordered to conduct TCP (Traffic Control Point) Operations. So two were
set up along the main drag in town. these were supported by Armored
vehicles so they were safe from basic ground attacks.
fell the insergents in the area got hopped up on visions of dying for
allah and started shooting. The TCPs were reporting sporatic ground
fire, but the element TOC was taking the brunt. Several hours passed
and the night got darker (nights in the desert, as you well know, can
be as dark as any in a jungle). RPG fire and tracers began arcing their
way to the Occupied house. as the fire became more accurate, the Observation
posts began reporting seeing the source of the fire. There was no fire
support and Aviation was a Brigade Asset. So to stop the deadly fire
a reaction force was sent forward. It was a combined arms assault consisting
of Dismounted troops, and Armor. They secured the area and somehow captured
several insurgents who forgot to die for allah.
were returning to the House they came under intense heavy weapons fire.
Seems almost a trap was set. they had the element pinned down between
the armored vehicles and the Occupied house. No supporting fire could
be given. the dismounted element consisting of a 1LT, a Medic, and several
dismounted combat troops fought back and the fire susided, but as they
were making a quick dash for safety with the prisioners, the fire started
back again. the 1LT, good kid and good officer, was hit dead center
of his chest with a 7.62mm round. It did it's job effectively. He died
in the arms of a medic no older than 19. The other medic was hit in
the initial contact of the trap. He sustained a leg wound from a 12.5mm
Machine Gun. Two of the prisioners were also killed. But the 1LT is
what gets my goat.
my time in Iraq, I saw first hand soldiers wearing IBAS take multiple
hits from 7.62x39 and 7.62x54 rounds. They were knocked down, they were
pissed and bruised, but ALIVE. This LT was hit from ONE ROUND. It penetrated
his Vietnam Era vest and blew out his back. You have seen this and you
know the odds for survival. If he had been issued the IBAS with plates
as the units who didn't show up until months later, he would be alive
today with his wife. The after shock from this was massive. My unit
was "rushed" the IBAS vests minus plates. It wasn't until
October that plates were coming in at a trickle. I had to get my plates
from a REMF that was ETSing from Iraq. I couldn't report my small element
having 100% plates and vests until late November early December. this
On my way out of Iraq (due to medevac) I talked to alot of friends in
elements coming and going from a Logistical Support Area. Many had the
same story. Soldiers dying from senseless lack of proper equipment.
I know and you know who is to blame for this. I know you had probably
heard about the shortage. But this puts a face on the loss. I can give
you the names of the casualties that night if necessary. It was a bad
bad night, played out all over the shithole that is the quagmire we
this was so long. I wanted to give you the straight skinny on the story
and hopefully you can get the story or the fact that troops are facing
this even today. Keep on putting the truth out there, and fighting the
Buddy. You said it better than I ever could have.
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