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August 26, 2007

What the Hell is an MRAP, and Can We Ship Them via FedEx?

By: The Dude on the Right
I try not to get political in my blogs, but after reading a story that seems to have gotten little notice in the press lately, and watching the documentary "Shut Up & Sing" over the weekend, I thought I would relay something I read, that as I have kept thinking about it for the last couple of days, it makes me upset and sad, but mostly upset. My thoughts on "Shut Up & Sing" will wait for a later blog.

In the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, August 23rd, there was a story, sort of buried, titled "Delivery Lags on Armored Vehicles." Maybe it was the ad next to the story that initially caught my eye, and then my eye caught the small story, but there it was, that our United States, supposedly the most powerful nation in the world, still can’t seem to get things together to protect our troops in Iraq.

The story, as it turns out, was about the MRAP’s. I didn’t know what an MRAP stood for, but as I read I learned it’s for "Mine Resistant Ambush Protected" vehicles. The little article states, "According to the military, no troops have been killed while riding in one." Finally, a kick-ass vehicle for the good-guys! The problem is that it’s looking like the goal of getting 3,500 of them to Iraq by the end of the year isn’t going to happen, instead it’s looking like we’ll be lucky to get around 43%, that’s 1,500 to you and me, of those life-saving vehicles, to our troops, by the end of the year.

The story then goes on to state Geoff Morrell, the press secretary from the Pentagon, said that getting 3,500 of the vehicles to Iraq by year’s end was ambitious, and that the 1,500 number was more realistic. Who the fuck, and pardon my French, fed that initial goal? I can understand when your initial goal is 3,500 and you only reach 3,000 (that’s a touch above 85%), but we’re reaching less than half? How is that acceptable?  How is 3,500 a goal and 1,500 realistic?  Maybe he should have said "3,500 is a pipe-dream, we'd be lucky to get 500 over there by the end of the year."  At least then he'd be telling the truth.

And as disappointed, and mad, that we still can’t do the fundamental things for our troops that we need to do, and that is get them the equipment, vehicles, and Silly String (maybe that Silly String thing has been remedied, but I’m too lazy, right now, to investigate) they need to keep them alive, the end of the article was the part that really burned my butt, and if true, should burn the butt of every person in The United States. The end of the article pointed out that as of now the MRAP’s that do get built are being flown over to the Middle East to get them to our soldiers as fast as possible. The AP writer who wrote this article then states that as production increases we’ll probably be sending them by ship, because we can send more at one time, and it’s cheaper - The thing is it only takes longer. Go ahead, explain to the mother, father, wife, husband, child, or friend, of a soldier that dies, that as we have already blown our budget, that we’ve been spending so much already on our new embassy in Iraq, that we wanted to save a few bucks by shipping the MRAP’s by boat.  Sure, the writer stated we'll "probably" be sending them by ship, and what does he know, but why the hell shouldn't we believe him when we can't reach 50% of our goal of production?

I tried to do a little internet surfing about the delay of the MRAP’s, but for the most part, other than Senator Joe Biden’s people figuring out how to get a high Google ranking for his cause, most of the others were "this, that, or the other thing" about their delay. One site that does seem to give the best answer to the problem is at, but I still wonder why any of the problems they state are problems at all, when it comes to our troops.

Most of us say that no matter our stance on our going into Iraq that we always support our troops, and you plaster those magnetic ribbons all over your car, but our government doesn’t seem to have our side sometimes. I guess at this point of this blog, if you have made it this far, that no matter if you are Democrat or Republican, write to your Congressman, Senator, newspaper, that since our spending is already out of hand, at least send every MRAP by air. Maybe it is something we can at least do to support our troops, if the MRAP’s ever do get built, because no soldier should die because we sent an MRAP by boat to save a buck.  You already spent a buck on that magnetic ribbon, maybe your money/taxes should be spent better, like actually in a way that could save a soldier.

I’m sorry for getting political for this blog, but for me, now, the Iraq portion of this war, which supposedly started with the attack on the World Trade Center, is such a clusterfuck. Howard Stern apologized to The Dixie Chicks for his initial support of going to Iraq (sorry, I slightly digress to the "Shut Up & Sing" documentary), but I have to apologize to my mom for doing the same thing.  From Day 1 my mom knew better about going into Iraq, but that’s a story for a later blog.

If you have ever bought one of those magnetic ribbons showing you support our troops, and even if you didn’t, our government is already spending our money like it’s candy. Tell them to at least get the MRAP’s over to Iraq as soon as possible, even if they have ship them by FedEx. There shouldn't be any MRAP's that should float by boat - Fuck the money, we're already spending it, and it might just save a life for a change.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at August 26, 2007 7:12 PM


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