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Finally Some Common Sense

by : Mike Schiller
Wednesday December 15, 2004 - 10:12
9 comments

by Mike Schiller

New York Times journalist Eric Schmitt reported today (December 14, 2004) that the Air Force is finally taking control of supply transportation in Iraq via airlifts. For months now, U.S. troops had been expected to transport supplies via ground transports through dangerous terrain where they were regularly attacked and killed. It was bad enough that they had been asked to travel on these routes at all for such routine and non-combat related missions, and without armor for their vehicles the chances of survival were slim. I believe that in addition to those issues, there were also reasons to suspect that if supply convoys were being regularly attacked, the attacks might be traceable to the companies which manufactured the supplies, given that any time the supplies are destroyed in an ambush, the military is forced to buy more.

I also argued in prior articles that military generals and commanders would be unlikely to take steps to protect the troops unless it was made clear to these commanders that the troops would not be easily replaceable. The only incentive for them to protect the lives of those under their command is the risk of having nobody to turn to in the advent they fail in their responsibility to protect the soldiers. General John P. Jumper, the air force chief of staff, found that many of the ground commanders in Iraq had in fact been negligent in their responsibility to think of ways to prevent the troops from being killed while on supply transport missions. That finding reinforces my belief that most of the deaths which have occurred in this war were largely due to negligence, laziness, and lack of concern by middle management- the people to whom most troops report directly. I could tell from the reports about the 343rd brigade issue that the ground commanders were in fact completely indifferent to the deaths which the missions they sent people on and the manner in which they sent them on these missions were causing hundreds of troops to die when such deaths were clearly preventable with proper management. Unfortunately, the troops are usually unable to criticize the people they report to directly, because that would put them in even greater danger, due to the way the chain of command operates and the enormous amount of unchecked power which ground commanders wield over their subordinates.

It’s relieving to hear that General Jumper injected a much needed dose of common sense into this situation and took the necessary steps to protect these troops from senseless and purposeless deaths. Obviously, there is still more to be done. The troops need body armor. They need to be given permission to speak up about issues of concern to them. They need to be able to feel comfortable raising objections about inadequate field commanders, possibly through a system the military might be able to set up which might enable anonymous complaints to be filed by soldiers without any chance of their commanders finding out who filed the complaint. There needs to be a method by which smart and honest soldiers can speak of for themselves without fear of repercussion. In terms of investment, I think the American people would be fine with any expense that is specifically allocated for purposes such as airlifts or protective gear. If it saves lives, the people would be happy to pay for it.

What people object to is not the size of the military’s budget, it’s the fact that more money is being spent on rebuilding contracts than that which is being spent directly on measures to protect the troops. Money is no object where saving lives is concerned, as long as the money is spent honestly and transparently on the appropriate and justifiable things. I am heartened to see that there are now finally steps being taken to protect the troops.

Some members of congress have been irresponsible to portray the problems in Iraq as a question of how many troops are deployed. The larger the number, the more rampant and widespread this problem of ground commanders abusing their authority at the expense of their own troops’ lives would get. The ground commanders should never be given a blank check in terms of the number of people available to replace those who they recklessly put in harms way. They need to know in very concrete terms, that the troops who are working with them now are not replaceable, and they absolutely must take steps to ensure the survival of these troops. They cannot, must not, and will not be replaced if these ground commanders fail. These troops deserve commanders who understand that the troops are human beings and they are entitled to expect their leaders to act responsibly.

Mike Schiller is a writer and Democratic internet organizer
©2004 Michael A. Schiller
Written by Mike Schiller

 http://www.schillerpoetry.com/Poetr...



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> Finally Some Common Sense
Wednesday December 15 - 10:26 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

I suppose it’s too late for body armour for the 100 000 Iraqis, including women children and babies that have been slaughtered ?? REAL ’’Common Sense’’ would be for all US invaders to stop killing, maiming and stealing all the natural resources in an ILLEGAL invasion, pay substantial REPARATIONS, get the fuck OUT, beg forgiveness and depose the Hitlerite corporate puppets that inaugurated this conflict out of greed.




> Finally Some Common Sense
Wednesday December 15 - 13:40 - Posted by bd48d64c07e155f5...

Ditto, "I suppose."

Schiller presumes to assert that, "What people object to is not the size of the military’s budget..." Well, I for one object to it. How much health care would half a trillion bucks buy for people who can’t afford it now?

And regarding his opinion on troop replacement, "They cannot, must not, and will not be replaced..." the likelihood of a draft - I predict mid-2005 - will take care of the replacement problem in short order.

As for the use of the Air Force, just wait until it starts to lose planes from insurgent ground fire. I suppose Schiller will then applaud some new effort to better protect those military assets, as well.

The whole idea of fighting a "smarter," more "economically responsible" war was always a pipedream of KerrySpeak. We’re in a quagmire, pure and simple, and the only solution is to get out ASAP.

Kato



> Finally Some Common Sense
Wednesday December 15 - 17:15 - Posted by a6843f4b596003fd...

How much health care? What that has to do with insuring national security by bringing the fight directly to the Islamofascist goat f*kers - nothing. Nanny-state domestic health care policy would deepen the several trillion-dollar hole we’re already in tenfold - look at Canada and the UK for example.

Draft - ain’t gonna happen, period. The Selective Service dept. hasn’t received any additional funding for 2005 than it did for the previous budget year. If you bothered to read the news instead of smoking crack you’d have known this fact.

A "quagmire", you say? Not really. The insurgents are in desperation and are on the run, yet you’d never hear about that from the MSM.

Cut-&-run is not an option, especially prior to the Iraqi elections - which the bands of insurgents there are desperately trying to foil. The way to deal with aggression is to meet it head-on with force, which is what we are doing. Leaving now shows weakness in the eyes of our enemy, and invites continued attacks.

[/rant]



> Finally Some Common Sense
Thursday December 16 - 12:46 - Posted by d8b7718aa09938ac...

You must be living on some other planet than the rest of us. Wishfull thinking does not make it so.



> Finally Some Common Sense
Thursday December 30 - 16:27 - Posted by 3df94ded3c0de126...

Ask who owns the media that you hear all this propaganda baloney off sir and you have your answer to why this other guy thinks you live on another planet. remember they are not going to loose this war again by splashing your losses all over the media again like they did in Nam...they want you lot in their and they don’t care if they are wining or loosing they are making big bucks…but they cant make the big bucks if you start screaming you want your troops out are they? So your only goanna get shite that you have already heard and have espoused on here through your official channels there not going to tell you they are loosing are they? THINK man THINK…lol

Pete in the UK



> Finally Some Common Sense
Thursday December 30 - 16:36 - Posted by 3df94ded3c0de126...

Sorry got my Their and Theres mixed up only realised after posting.

Pete in the UK.



> Finally Some Common Sense
Thursday December 30 - 16:01 - Posted by 3df94ded3c0de126...

Don’t worry the draft is coming they just need another atrocity...maybe a nuke this time or biological attack? All those options at their disposal I bet they can’t sleep at night with all the exiting ways to snuff their fellow Americans out and make lots and lots and lots of cash out of it from the never ending war on terrorism that the rich guys have created for you… for them.

Just think they take your Tax dollars to get your Son, Daughter, Father all blown up in Iraq and god knows where else they got planed...and all the time these tax dollars that’s spent getting your beloved ones murdered is going into the personal accounts of the already rich...they have never had it so good.

If you want to know who THEY are just look at your president and vice president and the rest of their pals…look who sits on the board of directors or have share options in these companies in the Oil and in the Industries… then when you do find out can you come back and tell me this is a war is for the grater good and the defence of the American people against terrorism Or will you see it for what it is a charade a deadly charade where you loose and they profit beyond their wildest dreams.

From Pete in the UK



> Finally Some Common Sense
Wednesday December 15 - 23:07 - Posted by 77fd9b0f4e76a18f...

100,000 with a margin of error of 92,000. Thats a detail of that study libs fail to remember.

Please find your way back to reality.



> Finally Some Common Sense
Wednesday December 15 - 20:13 - Posted by 2959eb8dfd5c6566...

Check out the new infomercial from US soldiers in Iraq:

 http://anon.salon.speedera.net/anon...







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