Wednesday, December 08, 2004

You Go to War With the Army You Have

So quoth Mr. Rumsfeld. Now I know why he sticks to the Bush administration's backside like a well-aged dingleberry. It's because he has abundant social intelligence.

This immortal answer was what came out of his mouth when Iraq-bound troops were complaining to him about insufficient protection and aging equipment:

Specialist Thomas Wilson, a scout with a Tennessee National Guard unit scheduled to roll into Iraq this week, said soldiers had to scrounge through local landfills here for pieces of rusty scrap metal and bulletproof glass - what they called "hillbilly armor" - to bolt on to their trucks for protection against roadside bombs in Iraq.
"Why don't we have those resources readily available to us?" Specialist Wilson asked Mr. Rumsfeld, drawing cheers and applause from many of the 2,300 troops assembled in a cavernous hangar here to meet the secretary. Mr. Rumsfeld responded that the military was producing extra armor for Humvees and trucks as fast as possible.
A few minutes later, a soldier from the Idaho National Guard's 116th Armor Cavalry Brigade asked Mr. Rumsfeld what he and the Army were doing "to address shortages and antiquated equipment" National Guard soldiers heading to Iraq were struggling with.
Mr. Rumsfeld seemed taken aback by the question and a murmur began spreading through the ranks before he silenced them. "Now settle down, settle down," he said. "Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here."

Well, that's no answer. You answer the questions with the thoughts you have.

Read the whole article. It will make you upset whatever your political views, and your upset will be righteous.