The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is the Palm Beach Post editorial board. They get the award for their Saturday editorial titled 'Armor saves and kills'
This week, members of Congress snarled back and forth at each other about when U.S. forces should leave Iraq. Another question is when the military will figure out how to give soldiers the best protection.The Post once again has gone too far. If Randy Schultz and his cronies bothered to either talk to a soldier who is in Iraq or served there, they'd know more body armor is a trade off. You can only wear so much and work a job in over 100 plus degree heat every day. A soldier can't be a knight in armor, they'd be even more of a target.
In January, The New York Times broke the news of a secret Pentagon study showing that better body armor could have saved 80 percent of the Marines in Iraq who died of wounds to the upper body. There was no reason for that study to have been secret, just as there was no reason to send American forces into combat without giving them every chance to come home alive.
As had become clear long before that report, troops were needlessly vulnerable in another way. Many of the Humvees that the Army uses to move soldiers also lacked adequate armor, especially for protection from the roadside bombs that have killed so many Americans. Soldiers were forced to buy extra armor and improvise ways to attach it. Parents back home sent money.
Now, The Dayton Daily News reports that the problem is being fixed but that the fix is creating another problem. The Ohio plant that makes the most-used Humvee model, the M114, has added 3,000 pounds of armor to the vehicle. The extra weight, however, has caused more rollover accidents because the vehicles are harder to control.
The paper concluded that 60 of the 85 Army soldiers who have been killed in Humvee accidents in Iraq died because of rollovers. Thirty-four of the 38 who died in accidents involving the new M114 were killed in rollovers. Said a vehicle dynamics expert who is helping the Pentagon design a replacement for the Humvee, “The whole thing is a formula for disaster.”
The Army Combat Readiness Center confirmed the paper’s sad numbers. Almost certainly, there also are soldiers who owe their lives to the new armor. But in a war in which the Pentagon has gotten so many things wrong, why has it taken so long to get this one not even right but better? The Army has tried to improve training for Humvee drivers but cites the hazards of this war as other reasons for the rollovers.
In Congress, the popular phrase is “Support Our Troops.” Cutting the number of those troops who die for no good reason would be a nice show of support.
Randy, when were the M114s built? Did you and your board know what war would be fought in Iraq? I remember something about street to street house fighting. The armed chair generals always know best.
Accidents happen, the best training and equipment can do only so much. The US Army is the best trained and equipped in the World. Why do you think most countries shake in fear of them?
The last sentence of the editorial riles me the most. These soldiers died for no good reason? What's the definition of good reason? The Post seems if its a Bush policy its bad. I can't recall the last time they ever said anything positive.
Here it is Randy. Our men and women are fighting to defend their country. That's the best reason of all. To protect your and my freedom. Including your freedom to write idiotic insulting editorials, and my freedom to call them the trash they are. Freedom is never free, and freedom of the Press a rare principle in much of the World. Just ask a NY Times researcher who was put on trial in China last week.
The Post doesn't support our troops, they insult them and the loved ones left behind by those who die. For that the Palm Beach Post is today's Knucklehead of the day.
Open Post- Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation, Basil's Blog,
Cross posted to Bullwinkle Blog