Imagine that! The smoke clears and what do we have standing there with a damning email hanging out of his pocket- for Drudge and the rest of the world to see? Why, it's a liberally biased anti-war media guy of course! Taking advantage of an unsuspecting soldier, no less! Offering 15 minutes of fame in exchange for pushing a political agenda. Why am I not surprised?
I could write about it for the next 6 weeks- but I found a guy who's much better at writing than I am- from a site called Cold Fury- this guy is good (I had to censor it a bit):
The political-opportunist blowhards who are wasting their breath trying to inflate this example of why our system works into some silly indictment of the Bushies aren’t even principled or intelligent enough to bother accusing of wanting to have it both ways. But I suppose when you’re as completely wedded to a failed ideology as they are, and over this last election cycle you’ve watched your long-accustomed means of fooling the average joe into thinking otherwise gasp and choke and wheeze itself into the ash heap of history’s discarded lies (or liars), you take your comfort where you finds it. Ahem.
Update! The whole thing was a put-up job by some unbiased impartial liberal media s%$#heel and some dimwit Guardsman who was undisciplined enough to let himself get suckered and used—and thus this entry gets transferred to the “Near-Naked Propaganda” pile. I should’ve friggin’ known. Y’know, at this point I wouldn’t be in the least opposed to yanking every last American-by-birth-only so-called “journalist” right the f$#% out of any and all war zones and just relying on Al Jazeera for my news from the front. At least there’s never any guessing about where they’re coming from. Although I suppose if I expect anything by now but anti-Bush, anti-military, anti-WoT, and anti-America can't from our homegrown propagandists, the blame for it lies only with me.
Nice job, sir! Please read the whole thing (be warned- rough language!).
Fact-Check and Verification
As I've stated all along, I believe that the soldiers might have been "dumpster diving" for armor- but only to augment their already existing armor that was already up to standard. The reporter, being the liberal spin-meister that he is, said, "Hey! That could be a great story! Let's pretend that you're doing this because your mean old commanders aren't supplying you with adequate protection before heading up north! Here's how I want you to phrase your question- Why am I having to pull metal out of scrap yards in order to adequately protect myself from the enemy?- that'll generate huge headlines, and then all of America will know they've elected a mean horrible man to serve as our President! And we'll be famous! Yay for me!"
Nice try, Mr. Reporter Guy- too bad the mighty Delobius (a certified REMF) is here to fact-check your hiney! From a comment on my last post:
2slick, you're 100% on the money. I'm an E4 in the Minnesota National Guard down here at Camp Liberty, and while we did our fair share of dumpster-diving in Kuwait, it was really for "feel-good" purposes. Every one of our trucks had 5/8" armor plate steel doors (that looked crappy and tended to lose their handles) and floorboards by the time we left - none of which came from the junkyard.
And from his outstanding blog site:
Nothing you do to a Humvee is going to make it an "armored vehicle." The Humvee is the modern equivalent of the WWII Jeep - as the acronym implies (HMMWV), it's a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. In the context of my unit, they're mostly used to carry the shelters that contain our radio and switching equipment. There's no way I can turn this into anything but a target.
The claim that the lack of armored Humvees is a damning indictment of President Bush is absurd, too - that's like saying the Eighth Air Force's lack of long-range escort fighters early in WWII is a savage criticism of FDR's joining the war in Europe. Both scenarios represent a paradigm shift - a fundamental change in the nature of warfare. The US Army that came to war in 2003 was still much the same one that won Desert Storm: heavy armor, artillery, mechanized infantry, and airpower, supported by allegedly rear-echelon troops like me. The Army wasn't doctrinally or structurally organized for a free-flowing all-areas battle, and "tragically unarmored" Humvees are a part of that.
As with every war, though, the military is adapting - the fleets of armored Humvees and the very training that I received is proof of that.
Delobius, you are one hell of a soldier- am I the only one who thinks this guy's gonna be a General someday? Be safe over there at Camp Liberty, and get home soon!
And Then There's This
For those of you who asked about the cheering- the soldiers were cheering because they want better equipment and they want it now. We all want that- of course they're going to cheer when somebody speaks up about it. The premise of his question was fine- get us better equipment and get it to us faster. The way he phrased it was misleading and dishonest (as the reporter drew it up). This has nothing to do with the fact that the soldiers cheered. Those same soldiers cheered two minutes later, when the SECDEF said:
SEC. RUMSFELD: The other day, after there was a big threat alert in Washington, D.C. in connection with the elections, as I recall, I looked outside the Pentagon and there were six or eight up-armored humvees. They’re not there anymore. [Cheers] [Applause] They’re en route out here, I can assure you.
What's that? Oh, you didn't see that part on the news? Hmmm. They must have forgotten to show that part. Oh well...
As for the big story about how the manufacturing plant "isn't producing at max capacity"- here's this from Powerline:
One of my readers has first hand knowledge of the armor production process, and he informed me:
The ability and capacity to assemble armored vehicles does NOT mean that the upstream suppliers also have the capacity to produce more Ceramic armor plating. I agree -- there probably is no shortage of assembly capacity of vehicles -- whatever the configuration. But I do believe there is a shortage of ceramic armor production capacity (Ceradyne is opening a new plant -- I understand there was over an 18 mo lead time to manufacture and deliver the furnaces needed for the production -- and yhey are not sourced in the US).
The MSM will mislead by discussing the assembly of vehicles -- but that is not where the bottleneck is...I had the opportunity to talk to some of the people at Ceradyne -- from what was related during the visit, the bonus potential and contracts are set up to run capacity at 100% 24/7. I just do not buy that if capacity existed along the entire supply chain -- we would be artificially limiting production. Apparently, the furnaces are the hold-up, and there is some serious lag time since the furnaces take 18 months to manufacture. I'm still researching the specifics of the process, and I've put some more info in a post on my blog, but your large readership would probably make this much easier if you're interested...
As I've stated- the bottleneck is somewhere- there is a very good reason why we're getting 450 per month as opposed to 3,000 per month, and it's not because some guy in D.C. wants to see as many American soldiers killed as possible- no matter what the media tells you...
There was some great debate about this in the comments from my last post- as well as several other sites around the net. I'd like to single out this one at Little Green Footballs (if LGF isn't on your daily reading list by now, you should be ashamed of yourself- not really, but you should check it out!). Lots of good discussion- I was compelled to chime in a few times myself...
I guess now would be a good time to remind everyone that I'm a proud member of LGF's Lizardoid Nation Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge Team. Please give to a worthy cause!
Tomorrow I plan to write about a recent WSJ article about my old history teacher from West Point- seems he's about to lead a Brigade into combat in Iraq. You're going to want to know about this man- trust me!