Death Total At 4,000-US Troops Still Lack Equipment

Five years ago, the Rumsfeld/Cheney/Bush steamroller insisted American soldiers had to be rushed into action to prevent Saddam Hussein from unleashing his famous weapons of mass destruction. General Shinseki, chief of staff, urged caution and more troops, but his voice was muted by forced retirement. Today, five years later, the Defense Department complains insurgents are operating freely in Iraq because the Pentagon simply has not been able to fulfill urgent requests by field commandeers for unmanned drone aircraft. Retired military historian, General Robert Scales, notes: “The demand is huge because commanders no l oner want pictures taken last week; theywant streaming video with enough clarity and fidelity to anticipate the actions of the enemy. Thus, we are not evenw ith 5 % of what’s really needed.”

An internal Marine report in January said insurgents , free from drone observation, have “prepared and executd attcks with relative impunity.” There is something almost criminal in failure by the Bush administration to ensure those fighting in Iraq have the best available equipment today, not yesterday. In World War II, President Roosevelt closed down car manufacture in order to build thousands of tanks and airplanes. No one is suggesting closing down car manufacture, but ending tax cuts for the wealthy might provide the money to expedite construction of what must be built. Perhaps, if the Bush/Cheney focus was 100% on needs of the military waging the war in Iraq, the figure of 4,000 would not today be in the headlnes.