Tie a Yellow Ribbon

So Rummy hits the bricks and gets his ass over to Camp Buehring in Kuwait to host a fun little Q&A with the troops. I image he wasn’t expecting this:
In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops — mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers — to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own — not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.

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.
Now, a man of honor might have acknowledged the surprise he obviously felt, and probably even offered a profuse apology. A man of strength might have told those soldiers that he would spend every waking moment and every last breath until he had made sure every one of them and each of their vehicles was outfitted with the best armor money could buy. But, of course, Donald Rumsfeld is neither honorable nor strong.
"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said.
What an incredible asshole.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks to U.S. military Special Operations personnel at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004. Rumsfeld, who was among those who attended the official inauguration ceremony for Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, is scheduled to travel to Kuwait for the evening. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

With this story in mind, it’s no wonder that CBS is reporting that over 5,000 soldiers have deserted since the beginning of the war, rather than serve in Iraq:
The men, who have violated military orders and oaths, tell 60 Minutes Wednesday that it isn't cowardice, but rather the nature of the war in Iraq, that turned them into American deserters.


One soldier, Pfc. Dan Felushko, 24 [says], "I didn't want...'Died deluded in Iraq' over my gravestone."

It was Felushko's responsibility to go with the Marines to Kuwait in January 2003. Instead, Felushko slipped out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and deployed himself to Canada.


"I was told in basic training that, if I'm given an illegal or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it, and I feel that invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do," says [Spc. Jeremy Hinzman, from Rapid City, S.D.].


He later adds that his contract with the military was "to defend the Constitution of the United States, not take part in offensive, preemptive wars."
Hinzman was denied conscientious objector status.

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