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We Need MacGiver to Keep our Troops Safe

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Message Missy Beattie
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Just think. All of you. If the Marines had been provided proper upper-body armor, perhaps 80 percent who died from chest wounds would be alive today.

This is criminally unconscionable. It is a lock-them-up-with-no-possibility-of-parole criminal charge. Murder in the first degree. And it is not a figment of left-wing imaginings. Rather, it is in a report, a secret study by the Pentagon. And it demands a wave of revulsion--an indictment--not only from the public but also from Congress.

Add this to the list of reasons why the Bush Administration is the worst in the history of our country. George W. sends our troops to war without adequate equipment and talks about the "noble cause" and the "sacrifice." Recently, he told us to expect more loss. And now we hear that the issue of less than state of the art armor is even worse than we thought.

My family's soldier is dead. Certainly, enlarging the plates of his protection would not have saved him because the explosion that took his life blew off his face. But this study says that so many of our men and women would have survived with "improved body armor."

Meanwhile, other branches of the military are still deciding what sizes of "plates" to buy. Still deciding? I wonder how often they're meeting to discuss this. How much time do they need? Maybe, they should ask the parents and spouses of the troops to join this brainstorming session. Something this critical would have been at the top of the to do list if the president really valued human life. No, I apologize. I remember vividly that he rushed from his Crawford ranch where he was (gasp) vacationing to sign a measure to review Terri Schiavo's case so that her feeding tube would be restored. Seems there's no hurry though to sign measures to save the lives of our troops.

Furthermore, the Pentagon report revealed that problems were a result partly from "years of cost-cutting that left some armoring companies on the brink of collapse as they waited for new orders."

"Years of cost-cutting? Picture Bush's extravagant inauguration. Yes, yes, I know that this expense was picked up by wealthy supporters, but with all his stammering about sacrifice and noble actions, wouldn't it have occurred to him to have a simple gathering of family and to tell all those big spenders to donate instead to something as necessary as proper life-saving equipment for those he's sent to defend us because "we're fightin' 'em over there so we won't have to fight 'em over here."

And, then, think about the bat mitzvah of the daughter of super-rich defense contractor David H. Brooks who made his fortune selling vests to the US military. Defective vests. Brooks' rite-of-passage party for his child-on-her-way-to-womanhood was held in New York's Rainbow Room where she and her friends were entertained by a cast including Aerosmith and 50 Cent to the tune of $10 million dollars. That's right. Ten million. No cost-cutting in the Brooks' household. This sure sets a high bar for the wedding down the road--you know, the social event of the decade. "Heckuva good job, Brooks."

How many more horrors of Bush Inc. can we endure?
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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