How Can Any Mother Support Bush’s War?

by James Glaser
February 8, 2006

Four more Marines were killed in two roadside bomb attacks on Sunday and Monday in the Western part of Iraq. We don't know if they had on body armor, or if the vehicles they were in were armored. What we do know, is that 80% of the Marines killed in Iraq from upper body wounds would have survived if they had been supplied with proper armor. Think about that—80%!

This from the New York Times:

Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows
By Michael Moss
A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.
Additional forensic studies by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's unit that were obtained by The Times indicate that about 340 American troops have died solely from torso wounds.
Military officials said they had originally decided against using the extra plates because they were concerned they added too much weight to the vests or constricted the movement of soldiers. Marine Corps officials said the findings of the Pentagon study caused field commanders to override those concerns in the interest of greater protection.
The findings and other research by military pathologists suggests that an analysis of all combat deaths in Iraq, including those of Army personnel, would show that 300 or more lives might have been saved with improved body armor.
Military officials and defense contractors said the Pentagon's procurement troubles have stemmed in part from miscalculations that underestimated the strength of the insurgency, and from years of cost-cutting that left some armoring firms on the brink of collapse as they waited for new orders.

Everywhere you go you in America, you see bumper stickers and signs that say "Support Our Troops." Americans expect to pay for the equipment our troops need, and they figure that out of the hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars we give to the Pentagon, they could spend a few million on body armor for the troops.

The President has been saying he is going to do that for four years now, and still the blood flows out of American troops lacking the equipment the President promised he would get them.

How can any mother or father for that matter, support a war in which their child is denied the equipment that can save their life? We are not talking about equipment that is cost prohibitive, no we are talking about personal body armor that can be bought for less than two thousand dollars. This armor can be reused by any replacement trooper as new units replace those whose tour in the combat zone is finished.

And if someday we do pull out of Iraq, we can take that body armor with us, and use it again some place else

Just a few words by the President in his State of the Union speech, and every trooper would get his or her body armor. American industry would fall all over themselves getting armored vehicles to protect our troops. Just a few words, but the President had other priorities.

"300 or more lives might have been saved with improved body armor." Three hundred less funerals and three hundred less devastated families if we gave our troops what was promised to them. That would be supporting our troops!

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