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WAR: Iraq Marines Break Silence - Blame Casualties on Insufficient Armor and Men

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posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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The leaders and infantrymen of the Marine company which suffered the most grievous casualty rate in the Iraq war have broken an institutional code of silence to speak out about the deficiencies in planning, armor and troop numbers which they blame for the deaths and wounding of more than a third of the company's members.
 



www .nytimes.com
The saga of Company E, part of a lionized battalion nicknamed the Magnificent Bastards, is also one of fortitude and ingenuity. The marines, based at Camp Pendleton in southern California, had been asked to rid the provincial capital of one of the most persistent insurgencies, and in enduring 26 firefights, 90 mortar attacks and more than 90 homemade bombs, they shipped their dead home and powered on. Their tour has become legendary among other Marine units now serving in Iraq and facing some of the same problems.

"As marines, we are always taught that we do more with less," said Sgt. James S. King, a platoon sergeant who lost his left leg when he was blown out of the Humvee that Saturday afternoon last May. "And get the job done no matter what it takes."

The experiences of Company E's marines, pieced together through interviews at Camp Pendleton and by phone, company records and dozens of photographs taken by the marines, show they often did just that. The unit had less than half the troops who are now doing its job in Ramadi, and resorted to making dummy marines from cardboard cutouts and camouflage shirts to place in observation posts on the highway when it ran out of men. During one of its deadliest firefights, it came up short on both vehicles and troops. Marines who were stranded at their camp tried in vain to hot-wire a dump truck to help rescue their falling brothers. That day, 10 men in the unit died.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Capt. Kelly D. Royer
I'm sure this story will draw such replies as "marines don't complain, they get the job done with what resources they have" and other such knee-jerk responses, but it is apparent that in this case, the marines of Company E did get the job done, despite lacking sufficient manpower and equipment which cost them the lives and health of 185 of their comrades.

It is more than just a tragedy, indeed it is an outright injustice, when brave soldiers in the strongest and most advanced military in the world lose their lives due to inadequate planning, insufficient manpower and lack of suitable equipment.

Related News Links:
www.sun-sentinel.com
www.iht.com
www.charlotte.com


[edit on 2005/4/26 by wecomeinpeace]




posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:47 AM
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Although, these Marines have my utmost respect, what they don't realize that things have never been any different for Marines at war. Marines have since 10 November 1775 have always made do with less. It only makes me appreciate the Corps more when I consider that the exemplary reputation we enjoy was earned with first rate men using second rate gear.

My heart goes out to these Marines because of their sacrifices, but in time they will come to realize what most who have already served already know and they will be better Marines for it.

There are a couple of old sayings that come to mind in this situation. "A bitchin' Marine is a happy Marine" and "Improvise, improvise, improvise."



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 03:17 AM
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You can be apologists, you can appease the powers that be, but at some point we have to put the military members first. If our government, continues with it's policy of not listening to the generals, but to the cronies on capitol hill, our men and women are going to continue to die needlessly. The wars will be harder and harder to sell when you throw our kids into a meat grinder when you have the means to protect them, but just choose not to out of incompetence or ignorance. How can you explain to a widow, sure, we didn't supply your husband with the equipment he needed, but hey, he should of made do with what he had?

Call me a bastard, but I don't think an Iraqi life is more important than an American. And I don't think we should send our military members to fight for oil, or an Iraqi's freedom, unless our government is prepared to back them up 100% and quite frankly, I haven't seen that when I was in Iraq almost two years ago, or seen that yet.

Why does our government have such a disdain for the people that fight to keep it free? Are we just pawns in a game?



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 06:28 AM
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[quote]Marines have since 10 November 1775 have always made do with less. It only makes me appreciate the Corps more when I consider that the exemplary reputation we enjoy was earned with first rate men using second rate gear.

I dunno, I would have thought that the marines, being the first into a combat zone, would be given the priority for the best equipment the military can provide. Would you send in Hueys first and then save Comanches for mop-up?



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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I used to really feel sorry for these guys...
until the military members of this board would flame any "soft hearted" liberal who came running to save the big bad marines...
so instead...

I say... "they knew what they signed up for, it isn't a slumber party for schoolgirls, and these tough guys don't need anyone to feel sorry for them, they voted for bush and his strong policies agains't tyranny, and they are willing to die to defend what bush wants"

nah... I still feel sorry for them... they are just ignorant, and now they are being used... more wood for the fire, or meat for the grinder...
I hope they come home soon & safe...
and for god sakes, maybe this will keep them from voting for Jeb...



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
I dunno, I would have thought that the marines, being the first into a combat zone, would be given the priority for the best equipment the military can provide. Would you send in Hueys first and then save Comanches for mop-up?

Yep-


Some earlier day Marine helos-

The Marines operate at a 70% rule. When they are 70% ready they go. The Warton School of Business and others have brought in marines to teach this concept.
(I am not nor every was a Marine- I just appreciate them)



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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yes, bit they went, and they did their mission, and came home while others have taken their place.
the problem isn't that they were sent there at 70% capacity, the problem is that not enough was done to raise that level up alittle...the same conditions appear to stilll be there!

my son is in the navy, every time his ship has gone out I believe, it has broken down. Even leaving port and turning around was a problem. they have a six month cruise coming up. are they going to break down and end up sitting dead in the water for the rest of the war while they wait on a part be be shipped to them?

[edit on 27-4-2005 by dawnstar]



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:19 PM
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I used to really feel sorry for these guys...
until the military members of this board would flame any "soft hearted" liberal who came running to save the big bad marines...


Don't let a small skewed sample here determine your view of the military as a whole, the US .mil is not completely populated by far-right fanatics, if it was the rest of us would be in a lot more trouble. The active .mil people and veterans I've known have had a wide variety of political views. Right now, with a war on, the servicemembers who question it are keeping their heads down, for obvious reasons, but rest assured they are there.

As for the Marines' complaints, they seem entirely justified to me. Whether or not I agree with the Iraq War, the troops sent to fight should be as well equipped as possible. With the staggering amount of money being spent on this conflict, you would think that Marines on the ground would be at the very least equipped with adequate armor for their men and vehicles. The Marines are typically tasked with some of the toughest missions, as far as I am concerned they should be getting state of the art equipment.

I'm sure just the fat uncovered in the Haliburton contracts would be enough to pay the bill. Or we could fire a couple buttloads of $2000/day truck drivers and hire well-vetted locals instead. I mean it's not like they have a 75% unemployment rate or anything


Come to think of it, that might go a long way towards easing our problems there. How many of the insurgents would be out blowing stuff up if they actually had jobs to go to in the morning?



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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from thread author:
cost them the lives and health of 185 of their comrades.


Quote from NY times:


In all, more than one-third of the unit's 185 troops were killed or wounded, the highest casualty rate of any company in the war, Marine Corps officials say.


Just wanna make sure we all have the numbers right


Posted by Curme (is it Cure-me or ker-me?)


You can be apologists, you can appease the powers that be, but at some point we have to put the military members first. If our government, continues with it's policy of not listening to the generals, but to the cronies on capitol hill, our men and women are going to continue to die needlessly. The wars will be harder and harder to sell when you throw our kids into a meat grinder when you have the means to protect them, but just choose not to out of incompetence or ignorance.


He has it right....If we are gonna put our boys and girls on the ground we should supply them the best that we can. Are we doing this now? No!

Second, This Company said nothing new to us. What they said has been said for 4 years now, only we are now starting to take notice on it on a large scale.

Third: Our government, especially the Marine Corps has made many changes to the gear we issue to Iraqi-bound Marines. All for the better, at least for the personal gear. Marines do have good body-armor and new snazzy items such as balistic goggles and "underArmor" shirt that keep them dry. Can we do better..always. Overall I think the Marine Corps is making many attempts to make it better and get better gear out there.

As far as vehicles...yeah they could have done alot more, more armor.



[edit on 27/4/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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We own what we buy.

I certainly do feel bad for these soldiers, and if somebody gave me a vote, I'd vote to bring them home.

That being said, I was called un-american when the war began, because I was uneasy and apprehensive about the haste at which was launched. I was called a coward, when I doubted Iraq's stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq. I was called unpatriotic, when I raised concerns about our equipment preparedness. I was called a traitor, when the body count rose, and I questioned why. I was called weak, because I couldn't stomach are children being sent home in body bags, because they were stuck in a shooting gallery. And who said these things?

Soldiers.

Because, we're rear guard civilians, and we simply don't understand the complexities of war. It's traitorous to question our leaders during a time of war, anybody remember that? And these soldiers overwhelmingly voted in support of the war, by overhwhelmingly voting for Bush, and Rumsfeld by proxy.

Anybody remember December of last year? Spc Thomas Wilson, of the Tennessee National Guard, hammered Rumsfeld on the lack of proper troop equipment, and over two thousand of his fellow soldiers cheered him on.
And what was everyone's reaction? It can't be true! We're the best! This is all a conspiracy by the big bad liberal media to destroy the war effort!

We own what we buy, and these soldiers bought this war.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by brimstone735
We own what we buy.

I certainly do feel bad for these soldiers, and if somebody gave me a vote, I'd vote to bring them home.

That being said, I was called un-american when the war began, because I was uneasy and apprehensive about the haste at which was launched. I was called a coward, when I doubted Iraq's stockpiles of chemical weapons in Iraq. I was called unpatriotic, when I raised concerns about our equipment preparedness. I was called a traitor, when the body count rose, and I questioned why. I was called weak, because I couldn't stomach are children being sent home in body bags, because they were stuck in a shooting gallery. And who said these things?

Soldiers.

Because, we're rear guard civilians, and we simply don't understand the complexities of war. It's traitorous to question our leaders during a time of war, anybody remember that? And these soldiers overwhelmingly voted in support of the war, by overhwhelmingly voting for Bush, and Rumsfeld by proxy.

Anybody remember December of last year? Spc Thomas Wilson, of the Tennessee National Guard, hammered Rumsfeld on the lack of proper troop equipment, and over two thousand of his fellow soldiers cheered him on.
And what was everyone's reaction? It can't be true! We're the best! This is all a conspiracy by the big bad liberal media to destroy the war effort!

We own what we buy, and these soldiers bought this war.


Ok, there is a difference. For the most part soldiers and Marines or whoever say these things to people that hate on the "individual troop" and not the war or our nations leaders.

If you oppose the war and or bush...fine. But Don't hate on the boys and girls on the ground. If you do, then in my eyes you are all the things that you stated above. (Im not saying you do that). Im just speaking in general.

That Whole "baby-killer" finger pointing pisses me off.
Like I said, Hate on the administration and war if you like, but not the
Marines and Soldiers....is that what you were doing?

sorry to get off topic.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by SportyMB
That Whole "baby-killer" finger pointing pisses me off.
Like I said, Hate on the administration and war if you like, but not the
Marines and Soldiers....is that what you were doing?

sorry to get off topic.


I don't hate anyone, especially the soldiers, as I so clearly pointed out in the beginning of my post. But, the simple truth of the matter is, the soldiers voted overwhelmingly for Bush. That means that they voted overwhelmingly for Rumsfeld, the war, and the situation that they now find themselves in.

We own what we buy.

The first thing Bush did when he began his second term, he cut veteran's benefits. I mean, who didn't see that coming? All the warnings about the war were true. Colin Powell was correct. And now, as it turns out, we went to war hastily prepared, unequipped, and under incorrect assumptions. The people who wanted to help the troops were called traitors.

Maybe we should slow down? = NO! You hate your country!

And the troops, our guys, who screamed "traitor" louder than anyone else -The gung ho guys who slapped away any hand trying to help them - the ones who said, "If you attack the war, you attack us" - these guys are the only ones sitting at the table when the bill arrives. And they complain.

But nobody's listening anymore.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by brimstone735
And they complain.

But nobody's listening anymore.*

Of course they complain- that is part of military life. When you have an outfit with no complaints something bad is wrong.

I realize this sounds simplistic and perhaps even stupid, but it is the reality of the 'beast.'

I feel for these guys, but that is war. I have always been vocally against this war and I vote. I have power.

Those soldiers (marines, airmen, etc.) that don't have everything they want must improvise, this also is part of war.

Remember the national Guard outfit that refused to carry fuel and mutinied? Had those been regulars or Marines that would not have happened. The Guard wanted things a certain way, full time soldiers just do.

Rumsfeld (as much as I dislike the man) was right- you go to war with what you have.

Sure that isn't optimal but war is not made of of each side having every single thing they could want nor everything they need.

Our ancestors (Continental Army) lacked food, clothing, powder, lead, arms, horses, medicine and virtually every thing imaginable but the most important thing- the will to win.



The Winners

The British Army and their Hessian Mercenaries represented the finest troops in the world at that time. Their leaders were battle hardened, they had equipment and plentiful support.



The Losers

Neither side truly had popular support. Somewhere near 1/3 support each side with the remaining third not caring. Even in the southern colonies the British could not prevail and they had overwhelming support. They could win every battle but one and still lose. That is exactly what happened.

Adopt a Vet. Find a returning Vet and don't just ask what you can do to help them get back 'into the world,' help them. If their employer failed to keep their job open- raise hell. Write to the newspaper, the Attorney General in your state. Complain to the service they were in and the FBI. Be a pain in someone's tail until that Vet receives everything they are entitled to.

Act- do


*This makes people listen!



posted on May, 5 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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This has to be the most laser focused view to your hypocrisy yet represented: The flag you wrap yourselves in is represented by those in the military on the ground. Yet, while the numbers & supplies are at abysmal levels, we have a president (sic) pimping as the figurehead of corporate/stock market interests on a 60 city tour pushing Social Security privatization!!!

Do The Math!!

These sales trips are on the government dime. Each "event" costs $$ X Millions of dollars on security. Multiply that by 60.
We could have easily allocated something on a likely scale of a half $$ Billion dollars to our military, as opposed to this unnecessary sales swing.



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 05:33 AM
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here's a related story....

How safe are U.S. military vehicles in Iraq?
Some officials question progress of armor, in light of enemy attacks

www.msnbc.msn.com...

"In fact a Government Accountability Office report issued last month found that the Army failed to increase production of fully armored Humvees, in part because it didn’t have the enough money at hand to pay for it.

Some lawmakers today blame the Pentagon for not making fully armored Humvees a priority, sooner.

Lawmakers now say even more money must be spent on high-tech counter-measures, like electronic jammers, aimed at defeating those IEDs."


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just to remind you how much we've spent on this venture..

costofwar.com...



More money....they've spent how much, and they don't have the money to accomplish this one thing that really should be a major priority to them....like armor to protect our troops...but they want to spend more on new-fangled electronic gadgets?

How about putting some danged armor on the trucks, keep better track of how the money is being spent, and then worry about the new-fangled, "let's give a boost to the electronics industry" toys please....

Not that I mind them having their new fangled toys, but well, with millions upon millions m issing and the armor being a well known problem for probably at least a year now....Well, there's no excuse for this, outside of that their is a bunch on incompetants running the show!



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 06:15 AM
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Room For Improvement

Let's see. We have:

- Humvees that weren't as bomb-proof as main battle tanks

- Leaders not taking orders from their subordinates

- Soldiers dying for stupid reasons

- Other soldiers pissed off about that

- 20/20 hindsight on the part of people who don't know squat about the issues

- Opportunists chiming in with irrelevant non sequiturs and dutifully overlooking the obvious

I think I get the picture.

Looks like another war where people made mistakes and didn't predict the future with 100% accuracy.

Stop the presses. This is a first in the history of warfare, and a scandal that must be shouted from the rooftops.

Meanwhile, in the put-up-or-shut-up department, how many critics are willing to stand tall and assert that they can do a better job?

Anyone here who can do better?

Don't be shy, this is your moment to declare your superiority as a warrior in front of God and everybody.

The Value Of Experience

After all, only a fool would claim to know more about how to fight a war than the people who actually fight them, right?

Concern for the welfare of soldiers in combat is a very good thing.

Presuming to know more about their craft than they do and second-guessing them from a cozy armchair, on the other hand, is despicable.

As with all wars, everyone involved on all sides of the Iraq war has learned more than a few things the hard way.

While it is commendable to seek to minimize such pain in the future, to be so arrogant as to presume ones' own prescience in such an endeavor is pure folly.

Wisdom forbid any of us should choose such a lamentable path.



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Room For Improvement

Let's see. We have:

- Humvees that weren't as bomb-proof as main battle tanks

- Leaders not taking orders from their subordinates

- Soldiers dying for stupid reasons

- Other soldiers pissed off about that

- 20/20 hindsight on the part of people who don't know squat about the issues

- Opportunists chiming in with irrelevant non sequiturs and dutifully overlooking the obvious

I think I get the picture.

Looks like another war where people made mistakes and didn't predict the future with 100% accuracy.

Stop the presses. This is a first in the history of warfare, and a scandal that must be shouted from the rooftops.

Meanwhile, in the put-up-or-shut-up department, how many critics are willing to stand tall and assert that they can do a better job?

Anyone here who can do better?

Don't be shy, this is your moment to declare your superiority as a warrior in front of God and everybody.

The Value Of Experience

After all, only a fool would claim to know more about how to fight a war than the people who actually fight them, right?

Concern for the welfare of soldiers in combat is a very good thing.

Presuming to know more about their craft than they do and second-guessing them from a cozy armchair, on the other hand, is despicable.

As with all wars, everyone involved on all sides of the Iraq war has learned more than a few things the hard way.

While it is commendable to seek to minimize such pain in the future, to be so arrogant as to presume ones' own prescience in such an endeavor is pure folly.

Wisdom forbid any of us should choose such a lamentable path.



Thank you, Majic, you just proved my point very succinctly.

The clarity of your words are highly appreciated. Nobody should speak up for the troops, because we never had an Iraqi shooting at us. To fix the problems is to somehow weaken the chain of command. To limit the amount of American casualties by pressuring politicians, of all flavors, into providing sufficient armor, why that's just cowardice.

I mean, why fix the mistakes now?

EDIT: Okay, this is how your point is coming across. At least, that's how I'm percieving it.

[edit on 6-5-2005 by brimstone735]



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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Quoted, But Not Quite Understood


Originally posted by brimstone735
To limit the amount of American casualties by pressuring politicians, of all flavors, into providing sufficient armor, why that's just cowardice.

I mean, why fix the mistakes now?

(You don't need to quote the whole post -- it is discouraged).

No, that's not what I'm saying at all, and I am somewhat disappointed that you would misread my well-written and thoughtful post that way.

Perhaps an analogy will help where straight talk fails.

What I'm saying is that some guy sitting at a computer somewhere who considers walking to the front door to pay the pizza guy a “major operation” is not the kind of person qualified to lecture combat veterans on how to run a war.

When he drops his pizza in his lap, it's a crisis, but lucky for him the world doesn't bombard him with helpful suggestions such as what an idiot he was for dropping it, or how he should have held the box differently.

Sigh. How about this:

Concern for safety and well being of troops and advocating for their welfare: GOOD

Pretentious sideline quarterbacking, hindsight prophesy, self-aggrandizing second-guessing, application of “combat experience” derived from playing video games, virginal shock at the idea that people make mistakes in war and sophistic sniping: POINTLESS

I hope that helps clarify my controversial but refreshingly straightforward position on the topic.



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