BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

As Long As We're Over There

Two related stories:

"Dad picks up $600 tab to get Marine battle ready"

Excerpts from the first story:
John Tod of Mesa had been prepared to face Father's Day worrying about his son's pending date with the war in Iraq.

Then Uncle Sam stepped in with more disappointing developments.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod called home with news that his superiors were urging him and fellow Marines to buy special military equipment, including flak jackets with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of their survival.

The message was that such purchases were to be made by Marines with their own money.
"He said they strongly suggested he get this equipment because when they get to Iraq they will wish they had," Tod said.

Total estimated cost: $600.

Tod said his son's call about two weeks ago from the Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma was a sobering reminder that the military is not prepared to equip Pfc. Tod and fellow Marines with the best equipment.

Besides the essential flak jacket with steel "trauma" plates, the shopping list for the young Marine included a Camelbak (water pouch) special ballistic goggles, knee and elbow pads, a "drop pouch" to hold ammunition magazines and a load-bearing vest
Now the second story.

"Marine units found to lack equipment"

Excerpts:
WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps units fighting in some of the most dangerous terrain in Iraq DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WEAPONS, communications gear, or properly outfitted vehicles, according to an investigation by the Marine Corps' inspector general provided to Congress yesterday.

The report, obtained by the Globe, says the estimated 30,000 Marines in Iraq need twice as many heavy machine guns, more fully protected armored vehicles, and more communications equipment to operate in a region the size of Utah.

The Marine Corps leadership has ''understated" the amount and types of ground equipment it needs, according to the investigation, concluding that all of its fighting units in Iraq ''require ground equipment that exceeds" their current supplies, ''particularly in mobility, engineering, communications, and heavy weapons."

Complaints of equipment shortages in Iraq, including lack of adequate vehicle armor, have plagued the Pentagon for months, but most of the reported shortages have been found in the Army, which makes up the bulk of the American occupation force.

The analysis of the Marines' battle readiness, however, shows that the Corps is lacking key equipment needed to stabilize Al Anbar province in western Iraq. The province is where some of the bloodiest fighting has occurred in recent months between American-led coalition forces and Iraqi insurgents aided by foreign fighters who have slipped across the border.

Marine Corps forces and newly trained Iraqi soldiers battled insurgents in Al Anbar province for the fourth straight day yesterday as part of Operation Spear, launched last week along the Syrian border.The report also found that Abrams tanks and other combat vehicles are being so overused that replacements are needed quickly. It found that all of the Marines' battle tanks in Iraq have passed the normal criteria for replacing them.

*

Meanwhile, units need at least twice as many of the .50-caliber machine guns that are mounted atop vehicles and designed to protect an entire unit from enemy fire, the report said.

The units also need more M240G machine guns, a heavy gun used in battle, and more of the lighter MK19 machine guns, used at checkpoints to thwart insurgent attacks.

''Most infantry, logistics, and security battalions require approximately twice the number of .50-caliber machine guns and more M240G and MK19 machine guns than they would normally possess," according to the 40-page report, entitled ''Marine Corps Ground Equipment in Iraq."

Communications gear, too, is lacking. The Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, known as Multinational Forces-West, ''has command responsibilities that far exceed any level contemplated by organizational and equipment planners," the report said. Radio and satellite tracking systems are ''in critical demand and constant use."
This is simple.

We're spending over a BILLION DOLLARS a day in Iraq.

ON WHAT?!

Not the troops. That's for sure.

"So where's the cash?!"

Somewhere, people. Somewhere.

CUT TO:

EXT. BAGHDAD - NIGHT

An unmarked truck pulls up to the loading dock of an Iraqi government building. A number of men, zooted to the freaking gills with high-tech assault weapons, guard the area as another group fills the truck with boxes and boxes of US cash money...

CUT TO:

EXT. FIVE STAR HOTEL - SAME

An IRAQI DEFENSE MINISTER and a MYSTERIOUS US BUSINESSMAN are standing on the balcony of this five star hotel room...located somewhere in the Middle East. There are a number of HIGH END CALL GIRLS lounging around the pool.

MYSTERIOUS US BUSINESSMAN - My friend, a toast!

IRAQI DEFENSE MINISTER - A toast!

MYSTERIOUS US BUSINESSMAN - A toast...to success!

IRAQI DEFENSE MINISTER - Success!

A number of NAKED YOUNG WOMEN enter the room and we...

CUT TO:

More later...





More later.

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