A Hodge Podge Of Thoughts
by James Glaser
When one is doing research for writing, lots of little pieces of information make it to little slips of paper, but never seem to come together for a column. Many of these are of interest and I am going to put some out for you to read today.
Now that Osama and Mulla Omar have been picked up on the phone, by spy satellite, I'll start with some information about Afghanistan. You remember Afghanistan right, that is the country we are in a war with right now, have thousands of troops there, and we have the main objective of the war left to do. That object is the first one President Bush talked about and that was getting Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.
So far at least 3800 civilians have been killed since America first attacked, 39 American service personal have been killed, also three from England, and four from Canada. Before America attacked, Afghanistan produced 370,000 pounds of opium. This year with the defeat of the Taliban and America installing a government, Afghanistan has been able to produce 5,400,000 pounds of opium. You see, capitalism does work!
Of the $15 billion needed to restore the country, $4.8 billion has been pledged, and $1.8 billion has been sent to Afghanistan. It is kind of a shame, but almost all of the money sent so far had to be used to keep the people of Afghanistan alive. The capitol city of Kabul now has 38,000 street kids living there.
Now that Afghanistan doesn't even make the papers anymore, America can start looking for other foes to fight. I know that Iraq is right up there on the front burner, but Iran, it has been said by the Bush Administration, is now training Osama's troops. Maybe we can take on both as they are right next to each other.
The General Accounting Office has found out that the Pentagon has lost track of 250,000 defective chemical warfare suits. If you would remember it is chemical weapons that George Bush keeps saying Saddam Hussein has and we are going to attack this guy who has these chemical weapons, but our troops have 250,000 defective protective suits.
Here is the deal, in 2000 the Pentagon found that they had bought 800,000 defective protective suites from Istratex, a New York company. Never heard of that? Well either have I, but I am sure you have already guessed, Istratex went bankrupted. They have found 550,000 of these suites which is pretty good, except if you have to be one of the troops playing Russian Roulette with those that remain. Bad suit, bad war.
Hard to believe, but some units in the Army were buying these suits at two hundred dollars a pop while other units were selling theirs on eBay for three dollars apiece.
A 1996 audit found that troops deployed early in the Gulf War lacked required equipment such as protective clothing and decontamination kits. Soldiers and Marines didn't have the training required for chemical and biological warfare and vaccine and immunization stocks were inadequate
Now our Government wants to send Hundreds of thousands of our young people back to this war zone and this time we know that a quarter million of their protective suits are defective. Would that be Murder? In my book it would be. Hope they aren't your kids, but they are. They are all of our kids.
As I have said in other columns, over seventy five hundred of the veterans from the last Gulf War are dead and over one hundred and fifty thousand of those Gulf War Veterans are permanently disabled from what ever Illness they got in that War.
The trouble is that our Government does not know what got all of these Veterans sick and we spent a 150 million dollars trying to figure out what happened. Really those in our Government don't even care. Just about everyone in Government is ready to give George Bush the power to Attack even though we do not have the equipment, training, nor the intelligence needed to protect all our young people that trust us.
But hey, there is money to be made over there!
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