Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New Jersey shock and awe

I wrote yesterday about the unappreciated beauty of New Jersey. Today I'm writing about the unappreciated (by Rumsfeld and his henchmen) service of its National Guard members in Iraq. It seems the state has rallied to do for its guardsmen what the national government should be doing.

Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer had a very disturbing front-page story detailing how the Pentagon still hasn't fully armored the humvees our soldiers are using to fight the Iraqi insurgents. It told how the Department of Defense has consistently lied about production, and how as recently as March soldiers are still digging around in dumpsters to find scrap metal to armor their vehicles. Only 7,378 of the 22,750 humvees in Iraq have top-of-the-line protection. (Maybe there's not enough money, because billionaires need more tax cuts.)

A column in today's Inquirer tells how New Jersey's acting governor Richard Codey launched his Governor's Body Armor Initiative in January. It's a plan whereby New Jersey cops donate their used bullet-proof vests so soldiers can weld them to the doors, floors and roofs of their humvees. Columnist Monica Yant Kinney opines, "This is the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the land, after all. It tarnishes America's image to think that our elite military must rely on an Egg Harbor Township cop's hand-me-downs to stay alive."



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