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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Monday, January 09, 2006

No good reason

The US is liberating Iraq, we are told, and the soldiers are treated like kings. Or not:

"A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armour. Such armour 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."

These figures are devastating and prove, not unlike Vietnam, that soldiers are expendable. The main difference this time lies in the fact that anti-war sentiment within the armed forces is growing much quicker than during the Vietnam era.

24 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

Like you care about American soldiers...

Monday, January 09, 2006 10:44:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Most of us have addressed how the soldiers themselves are just exploited by the US government as cannon fodder. Most are forced into the military due to economic hardship. Not all peopel share your sentiment Shab, that supporting the tropps means sending them into harms way.

This issue proves how disgustingly cynical the Us goverhnemt are about their attitudes to military personel. Billions re being given away as tax break to the rich while shortchanging the military.

In spite fo the fact that most Humvee's were movign death trapsv(due to lack of armour), last year it was annouced that ratehr than properly arming Humvees, Bush was giving a contract to General Motors (who are in financial limbo) to replace Humvees with Mini vans.

What do you cal that Shab? Tough love?

Are you blaming AL for the fact that 80% of soldiers that could have been saved are burried?

Monday, January 09, 2006 11:43:00 am  
Blogger Wilbourne said...

Antony,

Can you explain the incongruity of your statements concerning body armour.

In this post you criticized David H. Brooks for throwing a lavish bat-mitzvah for his daughter and I quote you here "while ignoring the misery his job actually creates".

It was then pointed out to you by Shabadoo that DHB Industries is in the business of making body armour. Other posters derided Shabadoo and then you went on to say;

"As I say, making money by military means is morally wrong. Of course, some little capitalists are proud of anyone who makes a buck, no matter the means."

So excuse me if I find your sudden concern for soldiers and the amount of armour they have as slightly ridiculous. It is inconsistent to state that soldiers require more body armour while lambasting those who provide that armour as war profiteers and 'little capitalists'.

In your view, is the supply of body armour wrong or not?

Monday, January 09, 2006 12:19:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Body armour is essential, of course. The Bushies are failing to protect soldiers, that's the issue here, in case you need reminding.

Monday, January 09, 2006 12:28:00 pm  
Blogger Wilbourne said...

You have deliberately ignored my point, being your inconsistent application of values. If body armour is essential then why did you deride DHB as a misery creating war profiteer?

Does DHB provide a valuable service or not? Is he in the business of creating misery, or preventing it?

Monday, January 09, 2006 12:38:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Seeing as US servicemen are reduced to having their families buy their body armor and shipping it to them (along with food), it seems you point is moot Willbourne. If this gear is being produced, it is more than likely being bought up by private security firms like Blackwater and provided to their contractors.

In fact, the bill to repay the US soldiers who had to fork out for their won body armour is being held up in the Senate for some bureacratic reasson. Pretty amazing when at the same time, KBR/Halliburton are being investigated for overcharging while at the same time being handed huge bonuses.

A bizzaro world indeed.

Monday, January 09, 2006 1:57:00 pm  
Blogger Wilbourne said...

My point isn't availability of armour, or the lack thereof. If it is indeed lacking, and soldiers require more armour, then it should be provided to them. Armour though is not the final line of protection and there is a tradeoff concerning armour and ease of movement, but I won't pretend to understand their combat conditions.

My point is far from moot. Antony seems to have a moral compass that changes day to day because he won't acknowledge the inconsistency of his moral indignation on this topic. If armour is essential and it is a crime that soldiers are lacking it, then DHB is far from the profiteer and misery creator that Antony labled him as.

Monday, January 09, 2006 2:09:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

If memory serves, it wasn't Anthony that labelled his as such - at least not originally, but an article he linked to.

Grantd, the article itself was trying usuccesfully to draw the unsavoury parallels between an overly extravagant bahmitzva (a religious celebration) being funded by the proceeds of arms sales.

Monday, January 09, 2006 2:18:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Furthermore, Anty is on record as saying that the more troop deaths the better, all to further the castration of America, the end of "illegal imperial wars", etc.

That Ant is a hypocrite who ducks questions and muddies the waters is also pretty well established.

Monday, January 09, 2006 3:00:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Will some one please show the graph of how many US soldiers were forced into service due to economic hardship?

Someone on this thread posted some addamo concerning this without any proof.

Monday, January 09, 2006 3:01:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Oh Shab,

C;mon yo ucan do better than that. I know you diagree with AL, but to completely obfuscate A"s comments is belwo you. I foloowed whatAL said and he said none of the rubbish mate.

You're getting lazy dear boy.

Get back to debating like a real man.

Monday, January 09, 2006 3:15:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Addamo_01 said...
Most of us have addressed
Most of us have addressed how the soldiers themselves are just exploited by the US government as cannon fodder. Most are forced into the military due to economic hardship.

Please prove this bit of deliberate addamo.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 5:16:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

If it hasn't dawned on you that ther US military is used to serve the interestest of US corporations and multi-nationals, then you are not worth the waste of time.

Anyway, I was speakign to an adult Ibby. This stuff is too high brow for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 5:31:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Perhaps you missed this while you were loading your sling with more addamo:

Addamo_01 said...
Most of us have addressed how the soldiers themselves are just exploited by the US government as cannon fodder. Most are forced into the military due to economic hardship.

Please prove this bit of deliberate addamo. A reference if you please, proving this bit of doggeral? Or was it just addamo?

You can admit it. No one will bite your head off.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 7:28:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

It's intersting that it's always you asking for proof and sources from others, yet it is you who refuses to reciprocate.

The first statement is historically provable by the evidence that no US involvement in conflicts since WWII have been about defence.

http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/inequal/2003/0523forall.htm
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles9/Valenzuela_Exploitation1.htm

While an all volunteer military avoids the Vietnam era tensions, anti-military attitudes of malcontents forced into the service, most volunteers don’t sign up to go into battle. Many are simply trying to earn money for college, secure GI benefits, learn a skill, or travel during these uncertain economic times. Reservists and National Guardsmen -- the weekend warriors -- sign up to earn extra money and as a form of public service.
http://www.nathanielturner.com/reinstitutingthedraft.htm

The Crime of Conscription
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/The_crime_of_112603.htm

WSWS : News & Analysis : North America
US Army’s expanded “stop-loss” program prevents thousands from leaving military
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jun2004/stop-j04.shtml

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:02:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The first is mere opinion and can not be proven either way. Prove the second, you stated a cold hard fact. I was merely including the first as part of your quote, not as an escape hatch for a coward.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:33:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

No it cannot be proven either way. There is no proof that throughout any of the conflicts since WWII has the US acted in self defense.

I don't recall the part about claiming to having cold hard facts.

"Many are simply trying to earn money for college, secure GI benefits, learn a skill, or travel during these uncertain economic times."

it;s plain from thsi statement that these people cannot obtain obtain a college education, benefits, or learn skills any other way. In other words, economic hardship gives the no options.

Unless you can prove tha this is false, I believe the matter have addressed your question.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:49:00 am  
Blogger HisHineness said...

Wilbourne: ...then DHB is far from the profiteer and misery creator that Antony labled him as.

Addamo_01: If memory serves, it wasn't Anthony that labelled his as such - at least not originally, but an article he linked to.


AL's original post: ...ignoring the misery his job actually creates...

It seems pretty clear that Antony has labeled Brooks a "misery creator", and the tone of the rest of his piece can only be taken as suggesting that Brooks is also a war profiteer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 7:22:00 pm  
Blogger HisHineness said...

Oh, and I notice Antony hasn't responded to Wilbourne's questions in comment #5...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 7:26:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

HisHineness said...

"Oh, and I notice Antony hasn't responded to Wilbourne's questions in comment #5... "

Wilbourne said...
"You have deliberately ignored my point, being your inconsistent application of values. If body armour is essential then why did you deride DHB as a misery creating war profiteer?
Does DHB provide a valuable service or not? Is he in the business of creating misery, or preventing it? "


I notice that by Googling "David H. Brooks" there are a few uncomplimentary sites relating to the name - except JF Beck who gets his information from T. Blair I think.
But any rate here's one,

http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/002527.html

where ,

"You see, Brooks and his company -- DHB Industries -- make a lot of the bulletproof vests that our fighting men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wearing. The Pentagon bought them even though the union of mostly low-paid workers at DHB's plant in Florida; a small, muckraking paper, the Marine Corp Times; and experts from two government agencies had been warning that the vests didn't stop 9 mm bullets. Earlier this year, the Marines finally recalled some 5,277 of the DHB vests."

So what do we have? Brooks may be a not nice person, but he does provide a valuable service to our troops in Iraq-Bullet Proof Vests.

But wait a minute, the Bullet Proof Vests that don't stop bullets!!!

So you mean that our boys are heading off on patrol, wearing their David H. Brooks bullet proof vests thinking they're perfectly safe when.....some "Foreign Insurgent", or Al Qaida (I've just taught myself to stop putting a "u" after "q") terrorist starts shooting with an AK47 and wham...bodybag time.???

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 7:22:00 pm  
Blogger CB said...

It's clear that AL's supporters aren't familiar with basic ballistics. The armour package worn by troops in the ME consists of plating rated to a certain ballistic tolerance, usually level III, that is to say small arms fire.

7.62 x 39 rounds fired by the AK family are steel tipped, copper jacketed rounds, designed for maximum frangibility. I've seen rounds penetrate through engine blocks, firewalls and then pass through flesh and bone. The efficacy of the armour is predicated on a straight hit, not angled, multiple shots.

Those who shed crocodile tears for the safety of potentially ill-equipped US troops would do better to put their energies into topics they understand. Like Play School.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

cb,
You are correct that most of us (I) know very little about the topic.
However what is your opinion regarding the quote above, which insinuates the body armour was inferior/ill suited for the situation.

"You see, Brooks and his company -- DHB Industries -- make a lot of the bulletproof vests that our fighting men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wearing. The Pentagon bought them even though the union of mostly low-paid workers at DHB's plant in Florida; a small, muckraking paper, the Marine Corp Times; and experts from two government agencies had been warning that the vests didn't stop 9 mm bullets. Earlier this year, the Marines finally recalled some 5,277 of the DHB vests."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:12:00 pm  
Blogger CB said...

The best defence against an attack is mobility. Heavily armoured vehicles and troops are a liability in low-level conflict, ie urban patrolling, roadblocks, cordon and search type operations.
Between the need for protection versus the increased fatigue, lack of hydration, and limitations to speed of movement, the US Marines have opted for a solution that provides protection to the front and back of their body with ceramic plates which are removable.

You can engineer body armour to stop heavy/high speed weaponry. You just can't move in it. Your glib coments about the Pentagon's refusal to issue "better" armour shows a lack of understanding of the subject. What percentage of US Marines were killed or injured by IED's or high explosive RPG rounds? There's no armour in the world that would stop that. As previously stated, stick to ranting about subjects that are in your sphere of influence or understanding. Making claims about the evils of the US administration when it is patently clear that the majority of AL's commenters woulds clearly like to see the Iraq deployment fail is just white noise.

You are all like Simpson's dog, just choosing to hear what you want to hear. "Blah, blah, hate US/Bushitler, blah, blah"

Thursday, January 12, 2006 9:06:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but personally I do want the Iraqi deployment to fail. You mean you support an illegal invasion?

How about the titanium disks instead of ceramic plates? (not that I give a fuck, just making polite conversation)

Thursday, January 12, 2006 7:49:00 pm  

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