Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bush Administration Inaction Killing American Troops

The New York Times reported yesterday on a secret Pentagon study concluding that a large number of Marines killed in Iraq – perhaps up to 80 percent of those who died of upper-body injuries – would have survived had they been properly equipped for battle.

While the necessary armor cited in the study has been available for years, not all Marines and U.S. Army soldiers in combat zones are fully outfitted.

"Our preliminary research suggests that as many as 42% of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the [armor] vest," the study concluded. "Nearly 23% might have benefited from protection along the mid-auxiliary line of the lateral chest. Another 15% died from impacts through the unprotected shoulder and upper arm."

The Times discovered via the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's unit that about 340 American troops have died solely from torso wounds.

As a Veteran – and one who could probably still field strip and clean an M-16 in my sleep – I get frightened at how my feelings toward this administration are beginning to reach the level of pure hatred.

It's bad enough to take our brave men and women in uniform and put them in combat in a country that posed no threat to our land, sovereignty or people. To do it and have them fighting daily in an urban, guerilla war, while not coming through with the best life-saving protection money can buy, is criminal.

To those of you proudly sporting a "support the troops" sticker on your car, while still supporting George W. Bush: Damn you for your soulless hypocrisy.

Bush has the unfettered power of the executive branch of government along with total control of both houses of Congress and could easily have gotten anything needed to protect our troops – but it just doesn't seem to happen. At the same time, it's amazing how quickly he gets tax cuts pushed through for the wealthiest Americans.

And to my fellow Veterans who still support this chickenhawk president: What the hell happened to your true courage and loyalty?