Monday, April 25, 2005
The picture above, if you look carefully, is not only of a gutted and basically bombed-to-pieces Humvee, but if you look carefully, it has been fortified using scraps of metal.
The Captain who took these photos (in case someone wanted to know how or why four of his men on board died) - he has been dismissed.
It's easy to see how the army operates once you've actually been thgere and done that. The push for war, they push a no nonsense, dehumanising 'get the job done' approach, even if the job is killing people without getting killed. The army works like this - they get told what to do, 'or else', and they inflict the same view on their own men and women. Everything is fine if you obey. But what happens when the person sending you in harms way is just doing that. Sending you off, without a care about your equipment, safety, and if you query that, you're humilated, stripped of your position, and cast out. The theme seems to be, kill kill kill, kick ass (or get killed, the rest is bullshit.
The article below comes from the New York Times Today:
Recalls Captain Royer: "I'm thinking we have our most precious resource engaged in combat, and certainly the wealth of our nation can provide young, selfless men with what they need to accomplish their mission. That's an erudite way of putting it. I have a much more guttural response that I won't give you."
Captain Royer was later relieved of command. General Mattis and Colonel Kennedy declined to discuss the matter. His first fitness report, issued on May 31, 2004, after the company's deadliest firefights, concluded, "He has single-handedly reshaped a company in sore need of a leader; succeeded in forming a cohesive fighting force that is battle-tested and worthy."
The second, on Sept. 1, 2004, gave him opposite marks for leadership. "He has been described on numerous occasions as 'dictatorial,' " it said. "There is no morale or motivation in his marines." His defenders say he drove his troops as hard as he drove himself, but was wrongly blamed for problems like armor. "Captain Royer was a decent man that was used for a dirty job and thrown away by his chain of command," Sergeant Sheldon said.
"I'm checking out," Corporal Winn said. "When I started, I wanted to make it my career. I've had enough."