Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Friday, March 31, 2006

If This Isn't Fuel For Mutiny, I Don't Know What Is

By now I’m sure most of my readers are aware of the latest expectoration in the faces of U.S. troops in a hostile-fire zone. But in case you’re not, here it is (among many other sources). For those with neither time nor desire to visit the link, the story centers on the army’s latest declaration that soldiers on the ground in Iraq (and, I presume, Afghanistan as well) shall no longer use privately-purchased, non-army-issued body armor and that anyone wearing said armor is “out of uniform.” The reason? According to the top brass’s spin machine, in this case one colonel Thomas Spoehr, director of army materiel, commercially-purchased body armor is “substandard stuff.”

Oh. Not like that Vietnam-era “stuff” you guys are issuing to the troops, huh? Assuming, that is, that even that is available to the troops in sufficient quantity? And by the way, Tommy, have you and your non-combat numbers crunchers actually gotten around to issuing “quality stuff” to all of the troops in the field who need it?

Excuse me, I can’t hear you……

This is yet another example of government ass-covering in the wake of massive incompetence, fraud, waste, and abuse at the highest levels. If I were a soldier on the ground in either Iraq or Afghanistan, the very first thing I would do is ensure that the body armor covering my ass is, in fact, top-grade, army-approved armor. If not, I would carry my ass immediately to my local supply company and DEMAND a set of state-of-the-art armor that meets the specifications contained in the imperial legions’ latest fiat. If said supply company is unable to provide or refuses to provide said armor, I would make it loudly known in no uncertain terms whatsoever that my “substandard” body armor shall remain glued to my ass for as long as it takes for the army to get its collective head out of its ass and get me and every last breathing one of my fellow troopers the “quality” body armor that the army holds in such high regard.

Oh, and if the army should choose to court martial me for insubordination, I would start off by singing like a canary, to whomever back home will listen (Liberranter’s ears are wide open) about the flagrant war crimes, corruption, theft, abuse of authority, and rock-bottom morale that characterizes my unit, taking care to name names, addresses, and any other piece of supporting data that will fix blame squarely on the shoulders of the individuals responsible. I also wouldn’t rule out somewhat more direct retribution, the idea being that if you’re willing to see me needlessly slaughtered, I should perhaps expose you to the same danger. Bottom line: I’d rather be court-martialed and locked up in Leavenworth than ripped to pieces by an IED because I wasn’t wearing my “substandard” commercial body armor. The choice is a no-brainer.

I’m sure that the troops in the field have probably had just about enough of not only rear-echelon wankers like colonel Tommy Spoehr, who probably wouldn’t know a hostile fire zone from a fire hydrant, but from forward-deployed politician wankers like general John Abi Zaid, whose only demonstrable goal in life is to master his gag reflex so that he can shape himself into a viable candidate for chief of staff of the army or chairman of the JCS once he returns stateside. If this debacle keeps up for very much longer, I foresee a return of some very ugly and unsavory practices of the Vietnam era, practices that nearly destroyed the army, making a reappearance in the Middle East. Given the feminization, politicization, and general breakdown in training and discipline of the armed forces over the last two decades, the fruits of this poison are now being harvested in a wartime environment, just as some of us warned that they would. David Hackworth, your words of warning were right on the mark (and God rest your brave soul).

Let us hope and pray that this latest prohibition is merely a harbinger of competence, that regulation body armor is on its way to all of the troops who need it. If not, then let the fur start flying.

(Editorial Note: You have no doubt noticed that all of the titles and names of government or military organizations in my posts all start with lower-case letters. The reason is simple; while upper-case letters connote titles or positions of veneration or respect, I am of the opinion that government organizations, including the military, currently merit no such respect as long as these bodies continue to serve illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional ends. For this reason these titles shall be spelled with lower-case letters for the foreseeable future. Sophomoric? Probably, but it's just one man's way of making a statement.)