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December 16, 2004
Brave Sir Robin Now Demands More Equipment

Our own fearless Senator Mark Dayton has latched onto the meme du jour amongst the left, the rather esoteric issue of the lack of up-armored Humvees in the battle regions of Iraq. After a planted question during a military town-hall session with Donald Rumsfeld brought this issue national attention, the Democrats have suddenly transformed themselves into armor-plating experts of a sort. Dayton has amusingly tried to top all of them, calling for the resignations of ... well, everyone:

Sen. Mark Dayton urged President Bush Wednesday to order an investigation into the government's failure to provide enough armored vehicles for soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a conference call with reporters, the Minnesota Democrat called the failure "outrageous and indefensible" and said Bush should ask everyone responsible to resign.

Dayton said he is upset by recent reports that makers of the armored vehicles and armor kits had the capacity to produce more armament upgrades but hadn't received orders to do so.

While an inquiry into the lack of armor for vehicles wouldn't hurt anyone, the hysterics who chalk up the shortage to the cold-hearted incompetence of the Secretary of Defense demonstrate a shortage of experience themselves with military procurement processes, most of which have been mandated by Congress. Those of us who have seen this process first-hand understand why it takes so long to even generate the orders to purchase materiel of any kind. As John Guardiano, an enlisted Marine in Iraq wrote for the Wall Street Journal, the procurement mess has been one of Rumsfeld's highest priorities (hat tip QandO):

If youre an American soldier or Marine whose life is on the line now, clearly thats not good enough. On the other hand, it simply isnt true that U.S. military leaders have callously ignored the troops request for up-armored vehicles and other protective equipment. In fact, most of our troops in Iraq have up-armored vehicles, and units there take force protection quite seriously.

Delays ought to be blamed on the military bureaucracy, which Secretary Rumsfeld has been trying to reform. Indeed, thats what military transformation--a Rumsfeld priority--is all about. Yet, many of the same people who are most vociferously denouncing the lack of up-armored humvees in Iraq also fight military reform tooth and nail.

In other words, it would be more helpful for those who go into screaming hysterics over every individual issue of procurement to fix the disease rather than blame the players for the symptoms. In fact, of all people, Mark Dayton should be the last to complain about a lack of heavy, armored equipment in Iraq. Only this past spring he lectured Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers on the danger of sending heavy vehicles to a war zone:

You're increasing the number of forces, the number of tanks over there. How can this have anything to do but to escalate the level of violence, the opposition of Iraqis, intensify the hatred across the Arab world to the United States, and more atrocities? How can this have any result other than to put us deeper into this situation and make the conditions there worse for our forces and for our nation and for the world?

Senator Mark Dayton. He was against armored vehicles before he was for them. What a perfect microcosm of the hysterical Left in American politics.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 16, 2004 5:38 AM

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» Mark Dayton: insane hypocrite from Shock and Blog
Captain Ed exposes more of "Brave Sir Robin's" hypocrisy and over the top theatrics [Read More]

Tracked on December 16, 2004 3:46 PM

» Rip & Read Blog Podcast for December 17, 2004 from Rip & Read Blogger Podcast
Here's what I ripped and read today: Armoring the Humvees Captain Ed at the Captain's Quarters noticed the grandstanding of his home state senator on the subject, new to the Democrats, of military appropriations: Brave Sir Robin Now Demand... [Read More]

Tracked on December 17, 2004 8:03 AM

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