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October 23, 2004

Coupla things...

In 1983, the opening salvo of the Global War on Terror (US as target) was fired.

23 October, 1983 a suicide truck bomb killed 243 US military personnel in Beirut, mostly marines, but some soldiers and sailors died, too. Since no one left a declaration of war on our doorstep, we gathered our dead and left.

Photo by Ron Williams.

We'd take a few more bloody noses before we did much more than just 'push 'em back' like a playground fight. How do you like us, now, Islamofacist? America, F*&K yeah!

Then there's this picture of Iraqi ordnance, prior to being destroyed by Marine EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) personnel. The thing I've noticed about armies around the world - you want to get a basic idea of the level of discipline and pride and basic soldierly qualities they have - look to their weapons, vehicles, and ordnance. Don't look at their uniform standards, or whether or not they have shiny boots. All sorts of gangstas have plenty of bling-bling. How do they treat the tools of the trade.

It can be beat up. It can be worn-looking. But you can tell, almost at a glance, if it's serviceable. And if it ain't serviceable, then there are problems. And I'll freely include in that assessment those pictures of US LOC (line of communication - logistics) troops during OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) who were nervously scanning the horizon, their personal weapons wrapped in plastic bags so they wouldn't get dirty. There is a unit whose leadership did not take the soldiering side of soldiering seriously. Which gets your troops killed needlessly.

Yes, the Armorer failed his own test when I let my 155mm round get into this condition - but I never let it get into THIS condition... and while this particular cache may have been sitting in the open or buried for a year or so - a lot of the Iraqi stores we found during and right after OIF were in this condition.