'Bush has lost respect of soldiers'

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Jul 23 03:05:47 MDT 2003

>  > "My son is in the U.S.Army and currently stationed in Baghdad. I
>>  hear from him every three or four days.
>i wonder if the general's are having a problem with the internet. i
>imagine in Vietnam the frequency of communication was much lower.
>does anyone know how the modern GI gets his/her world news,
>battlefield news, and home communication?
>les schaffer

*****   07-01-2003
Hack's Target
Shoestring Logistics -- The New American Way
By David H. Hackworth

...If our regulars in Iraq were draftees, bet on it, there would be 
open rebellion. That's why those who run the Pentagon Pre-Emptive War 
Machine want professionals with their lips sewn shut. It's 
practically part of the job description.

With all-volunteers -- active and reserve -- livelihoods are at 
stake. Seventy percent of the force is married and spouses are afraid 
to sound off at the risk of hurting their families. They just suck it 
up. But word of what's going on in Iraq keeps leaking out anyway. The 
bold warriors over there continue to como by email even though 
they're constantly warned Big Brother's reading their dispatches and 
they're going to be in for it if they're caught writing to a gadfly 
like me. Others get around this totalitarian type of censorship by 
routing messages through their loved ones or via snailmail to yours 
truly at PO Box 11179, Greenwich, CT 06831.

What grunts and moms and dads and spouses are saying is that our 
supply machine in Iraq is broken. Which is a shocker since there's 
never been a better logistical performer than the U.S. Army.

Even though Iraq presently costs you and me over three billion bucks 
a month and Generals are living in palaces, the kids are complaining 
about the basic stuff so important to grunts: hot chow, decent water, 
mail and spare parts to keep vehicles, aircraft and weapons going. 
They're ragging about eating lots of dust and their Hobo Junction 
living conditions. Some combat units haven't gotten mail in over 40 
days, while for months many have been chowing down MRE's -- which 
after a few weeks are like eating bark from a tree -- with a side of 
hot drinking water laced with enough chlorine to make even a 
lifeguard squeamish. And for those in the combat arena, spare parts 
are harder to obtain than a cold drink.

Relatives are responding by sending whatever they can to help -- 
Kool-Aid and WD-140 and decent rifle lubricating oil because the 
standard issue gun oil sucks.

The reason the troops need this kind of support from home is that the 
Pentagon went into Iraq too light, expecting it would be Slam Bam 
Goodbye Saddam followed by a victory parade down Fifth Avenue. 
Rumsfeld, Wolfawitz and their tech-loving crew believed their own 
simplistic propaganda and now our soldiers are paying the price on a 
complicated insurgency battlefield without the logistical depth to do 
the job....

Good units seldom want for zilch, especially American units. Because 
when the supply system lets them down, they usually can send the 
scroungers out. Call it what you want: liberate, steal, hijack, 
that's the time-honored soldiers' way to get the stuff the system 
didn't provide.

But that only works when there are enough supplies in the pipeline. 
Today the depots in Iraq are in bad shape -- and our troops are 
suffering accordingly -- because the dilettantes in the Pentagon and 
the senior field commanders thought they could run a war and an 
occupation on the cheap....

Http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home 
page. Sign in for the free weekly Defending America column at his Web 
site. Send mail to P.O. Box 11179, Greenwich, CT 06831. His newest 
book is "Steel My Soldiers" Hearts."

© 2003 David H. Hackworth

This article says what needs to be said, and I urge people to get the 
word out to their representatives and senators, especially if you've 
got someone on Armed Services Cmtee or Appropriations. Autumn.


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