Friday, July 18, 2003
While the television news channels seem consumed with the police blotter and pop cultural trivia today, another young American soldier, from the famously angry 3rd ID, was killed this morning in Fallujah.
Army bomb expert defuses
"improvised explosive device"
along the infamous
Baghdad Airport highway
I guess, because so few Americans have served, most people do not fully understand the military. This misunderstanding of just what soldiers are and do has been further confused by their use as propagandistic Presidential backdrops during the buildup to the Iraq II war. Through the rose-colored glasses of the media, the military has been perceived in lump form. A blob of youthful faces “who love the President” and do unquestioningly whatever he tells them to do.
Recent reports, in the midst of the crisis over falsified WMD documents, of angry frontline soldiers provides a glimpse of military reality that, unsurprisingly, remains unappreciated or possibly downplayed by the American press.
A clue as to why the American people have been manipulated into their dreamy romance with sanitized war resides on today’s Washington Post Op-ed page in an article allegedly written by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Don, in a full display of heartless goal-oriented bushian bluster, pushes the very same privatization that was supposed to be on glorious display in the Iraq II war:
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, more than 80 percent of civilians deployed in the theater of operations were contractors. Why? Because a complex web of regulations prevents the Department of Defense from moving civilians to new tasks quickly…these burdensome regulations are not acceptable…We must be permitted to be as agile, flexible and adaptable as the forces we field in battle around the world.
Burdensome regulations can be so burdensome, can’t they?
As I have carefully posted, once the battlefield situation became obvious to me during the first week of Iraq II through the reported events leading to the field dismissal of Marine Combat 1 Commander Colonel Joe Dowdy and the rescue of PFC Jessica Lynch, the true ferocity of the Iraqi battlefield and our readiness for it have been as carefully hidden from the American people as the reasons for war in the first place.
To sell the lucrative privatization scheme in the anticipated massaged glow of victory, the Iraq II plan for swift awesome conquest had to be maintained at all costs and it was.
Go to any Internet search engine and search for any combination of “Marine Colonel Joe Dowdy”. This gentleman, the commander of the elite tip of the Marine spear, with a reputation for preserving his troops, was not only historically removed from battlefield command but also has vanished from the public record. Why? Was PFC Jessica Lynch a hero or a victim? Why?
Now, as other war-related untruths clutter the national conscience, brave men have taken desperate measures to make their voices heard.
As Army General and new Central Command Commander John P. Abizaid contradicted the Secretary of Defense with a description of a classical guerrilla-type campaign in Iraq , so to have lower ranked troops offered the American people a less Rumsfeldian view of the Neo-con dream of empire.
Despite Abizaid’s statement that “none of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defense or the president of the United States” soldiers are as obligated to express their concerns up the chain of command as command is obligated to ensure the chain functions to hear their voices.
No one is surprised to hear nameless PFC’s griping. But an identified Sergeant griping on national television is, to me, evidence of a broken chain between Iraq and Washington. 3rd ID soldiers, tired, bone weary, anxious for their own lives and tied by satellite phone to news, wives and families are using the only means left at their disposal to inform their eventual saviors, the American people, of another set of Iraq II falsehoods. Another of these soldier’s brothers was killed this morning possibly providing military cover to another of Secretary Rumsfeld’s valued contractors. Only extreme matters of life and death would prompt career soldiers or their wives to speak so frankly to a member of the media.
Somebody's gettin' pissed...
The Bushies show their hand when the smell of money is evident and Secretary Rumsfeld’s Op-ed article on military privatization shows that this game of very high stakes poker is still well under way.
Can third and fourth shoes fall?