Saturday, March 29, 2003
An excellent story in this morning’s NYT, Haunting Thoughts After a Battle, shows the “non war gamed situations” our brave young soldiers are having to face thanks to the ill conceived plans of Freedom Toast eating Warbirds safely ensconced in bunkers or at Camp David this morning.
Like many soldiers here, from the lowest private to the commander of the Army's V Corps, Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, Sergeant (Mark N., 26, Army 3rd Infantry Division) Redmond said he did not expect the Iraqis to resist so doggedly…"I expected a lot more people to surrender," he said. "From all the reports we got, I thought they would all capitulate."
In the three days that followed, they did not, and he fired every weapon on his Humvee, including a 50-caliber machine gun, his M-4 rifle and a grenade launcher — everything except the shoulder-fired antitank missile. Many of the Iraqis, he said, attacked headlong into the cutting fire of tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles…
"I wouldn't call it bravery," he said. "I'd call it stupidity.
"When I go home, people will want to treat me like a hero, but I'm not," he went on. "I'm a Christian man. If I have to kill the other guy, I will, but it doesn't make me a hero. I just want to go home to my wife and kids."
The brigade's chief chaplain, Maj. Mark B. Nordstrom, said he spent more than six hours with the troop's soldiers on Thursday after they returned from Kifl. Sergeant Redmond was among them…"We're in the thousands now that were killed in the last few days," he said today. "Nothing prepares you to kill another human being. Nothing prepares you to use a machine gun to cut someone in two.
Leaders in Washington with their politically massaged “plans” have placed our young men into unforeseen sickening dangers with thin supply lines and inadequate air cover. Now these same leaders are playing the usual spin games though now with the lives of some of our finest young people on the line. What did they promise and when did they promise it. So, what is it, Mr. President and Mr. Defense Secretary, according to your vaunted plan? Was yesterday the day you boldly planned for our front line Marines to be reduced to one MRE?
You have said this war will not be fought with half measures Mr. President yet you ham string our ground troops with rules of engagement that would baffle a diplomat.
Yesterday, in a long and almost paranoid rambling non answer to a reporter’s question the Secretary of Defense seemed surprised that embedded reporters would report the thoughts, feelings and needs of ordinary soldiers. Cold icy control freak Rumsfeld can’t seem to grasp that the reporters might bond with the young soldiers charged with their protection and that soldiers might bond with reporters who offer a link back to home and family. I’d advise the Defense Secretary to go get a transfusion. Get some real human blood pumping through your mean little veins, Don. But, before you do that lets see you busting your probative corporate hump to get some food, hot food, and some air cover out to the brave young men executing your dirty “plan”.