British Soldier Has Body Armor Taken By Stingy Military: Surprise! He's Dead
Do I have to be a military expert to say that if you take away a soldier's body armor in the field then they'll probably get killed
? Apparently not, since "military experts" themselves don't seem to grasp this.
The defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, said today he was "extremely sorry" about the death of a tank commander who died in Iraq after being ordered to hand back body armour due to shortages.
Sergeant Steven Roberts's widow, Samantha, has called on Mr Hoon to resign for the good of the country and yesterday released audio tapes sent to her by her husband in which he complains about the lack of equipment.
"Responsibility for fatal inadequacies rest with him," she said.
Today Mr Hoon refused to say he was prepared to resign but when asked if he would be defence secretary next month responded with an equivocal answer, saying he was aware of the pressures of the job.
Expressing his regret about Sgt Roberts's death, Mr Hoon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I am extremely sorry that Sgt Roberts did not have the enhanced body armour that we expected he would receive. Some 38,000 sets of that enhanced body armour were sent to theatre. We wanted him to have that equipment."
Pressed on whether he would resign, Mr Hoon insisted ministers were assured by commanders ahead of last year's conflict that the military forces were "ready for action". Overall, the campaign had been "a remarkable military success", he said.
Mr Hoon has also been under pressure because of the death of the weapons specialist Dr David Kelly and many commentators expect the defence minister will be criticised by the Hutton inquiry into his death, which reports on January 28.
Have there ever been governments with less respect for a military they expect an awful, awful lot of loyalty from? Sure, all through history. I'm reminded of Hitler not sending his troops in Russia winter clothing because they didn't "deserve" it, as if they had done as he wished they would have been out before winter.
I wonder if the British and US governments realize that if all their men get killed by friendly fire, stupid accidents, lack of--dear god--lack of body armor and stuff like that, who'll be left to hold their precious Iraq?
Do I even have to point out the stupidity here? And if I do will it matter?