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Thursday, March 31, 2005 04:27 pm

common sense 3-31-05

art1940

Excuse me while I throw up.

I’m nauseated by the disgusting treatment that the Bush administration gives to the troops it publicly professes to love. We’ve learned about the Pentagon’s failure to provide body and vehicle armor, plus the administration’s shameful policy to keep America’s wounded soldiers out of the public eye and its efforts to blame prisoner torture on a few lowly grunts. But the scandals just keep coming.

Just when you thought your Disgust-O-Meter couldn’t register any higher, it’s now been revealed that tens of thousands of troops in Iraq are being sent into battle without something so simple and lifesaving as tourniquets. This inexpensive item is no small things to our soldiers: Officials now concede that untold numbers have bled to death from injuries that would not have been fatal had a tourniquet been applied.

Apparently the Pentagon chiefs have not placed an order for first-aid kits containing tourniquets because — get ready to barf — they have not yet developed training manuals and a pouch for carrying the tourniquets!

Here’s another one. Although hundreds of private companies and state governments have stepped up to pay the difference between the low military wages that Reservists and National Guard members are getting in Iraq and the higher pay they received in civilian life, one big employer has not: the federal government. The federal government exempted itself from doing what’s right for these troops on the grounds that it could cost too much.

Why are the White House and Pentagon so lackadaisical about providing our soldiers the basic support they need and deserve?

Shouldn’t “support our troops” be more than a political phrase on a bumper sticker?

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