Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rum Dum Must Be Kept Safer Than Troops!

Soldiers for the Truth is understandably amazed that when Rum Dum comes to town - Baghdad, that is - he gets a huge armored vehicle to ride around in. They're just as amazed that contractors ride around in them. Meanwhile, our troops are still riding in those God-damned Humvees:

The vehicle, aptly called the Rhino Runner built by Labock Technologies Inc., is as armored and well-protected as the beast for which it is named. This vehicle, which costs $250,000 and more depending on features, will withstand a bomb blast and is fully protected to Type IV (NIJ standard), with armored sides, front, back, roof, floor, and even glass, against everything up to and including NATO calibers and armor-piercing projectiles like the infamous anti-armor .50 BMG sniper rifle employed by today's forces. The Rhino Runner also has significant protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and suicide bombers.
While Rumsfeld and his buddies got to tour the safer parts of Iraq in this mobile bomb-shelter, the common grunts still have to traverse the Iraqi killing fields in lightly equipped Humvee death-traps that a well-placed pineapple fragmentation hand grenade could take out.

Don't get me wrong: No one begrudges Rumsfeld using a vehicle that significantly increases his safety and chances of survival. It's just that the grunts would like to enjoy such protection themselves.

Here is an example of what life could be like for our troops:

On Nov. 27, 2004, insurgents ambushed a convoy of three Rhino Runners making the five-mile trip from Baghdad to BIAP. The passengers included 17 military contractors and a driver. A BMW sedan loaded with approximately 250 pounds of explosives ran against the side of one of the Rhino Runners, then pulled out in between two of the Rhino Runners and the third vehicle. The driver detonated himself and the BMW vehicle no more than two meters from one of the Rhino Runners. The explosion left a crater nearly six feet wide and two feet deep with a blast felt over 300 feet away.

After the ensuing flames and smoke died down, it became clear that the explosion had hurt no one in the convoy except for several instances of blown-out eardrums.

One wonders, does one not? Where are all the excess M-113s? Obsolete, yes, but better than a Humvee, and sitting by the thousands in vehicle dumps in the US. How about modifying obsolete tank chassis into urban fighting vehicles like the Israelis do? Nope. And the dumps are full of old M-48 and M-60 MBTs.

Cannon fodder, that's what you are...unless you're the SecDef, or a contractor making $100,000, or a Repug radio announcer going over to spout propaganda.



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