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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"You go to war with the Army you have"

That's Donald Rumsfeld, lying to the troops who were grilling him in Iraq.
Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson said after asking again.

Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.
In World War II, Roosevelt wanted an atomic bomb, something no one had ever made before, or even knew how to make. Three years later he had two completely different types of atomic bombs, both of which worked the first time. Here we are, nearly four years after Rummy and company decided to start this war, and nearly two years after actually starting it, and they still can't get enough vehicle armor, something they've known how to make for a long time. As fast as humanly possible? Go Cheney yourself, Rummy.