Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Friday, April 09, 2004  

From MSNBC comes a disturbing story, with reports from injured soldiers in the field. In particular, I found this alarming and infuriating.

Cpl. Richard Stayskal, a 22-year-old Marine from San Jose, Calif., arrived in Landstuhl Tuesday after being wounded by automatic weapon fire in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. “I just kind of froze, my body clenched in the fetal position. I fell to the ground," Stayskal said. Stayskal, a sniper, had been deployed to Ramadi to hunt down a "mad bomber," the unit's name for a man who had been seen planting roadside bombs targeted at U.S. and coalition forces.

With little warning, a group of 15 armed Iraqis descended on the lightly armed unit. The bullet that hit Stayskal ricocheted off his shoulder, through his lung and exited from his back. It came within inches of his heart and major arteries.

Countering the insurgency, Stayskal said, has been difficult for Marines on the ground. In his case, his unit was chronically short of ammunition, and his support unit got pinned down at the same time across town. The two units couldn't help each other. "They weren't giving us nearly enough ammunition for the situations out there. Everyone was running out. Everyone was grabbing each other's ammunition."
Chronically short of ammo? How does this happen? This report from The Seattle Times way back in January explains it.
"The U.S. military's only plant making small-arms ammunition is running at near capacity, 4 million rounds a day, and the United States still is forced to look overseas and to the recreational industry for ammunition for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and those training to deploy there soon.
Gen. Paul Kern, commander of the Army Materiel Command, said Friday that giving those units priority ensured they had enough small-arms ammunition. 'Everyone else will have to pay the price' and wait for it, he said. "
Yes, General, I think some people are, indeed, paying the price.

posted by lazarus | 14:41 | |
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