There's a report out that says our brave forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing 250,000 rounds of ammunition for every insurgent they claim to have been killed. An excerpt of the article reveals:
"The Department of Defense's increased requirements for small- and medium-calibre ammunitions have largely been driven by increased weapons training requirements, dictated by the army's transformation to a more self-sustaining and lethal force - which was accelerated after the attacks of 11 September, 2001 - and by the deployment of forces to conduct recent US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq," said the report by the General Accounting Office (GAO)." (italics are mine)
So, some of this ammunition is being used in training. And it has been used to make the soldiers better shots. And more lethal. And self-sustaining.
And yet...we have witnessed a large surge in deployments to Iraq. We have witnessed more of our soldiers being killed. We have not witnessed a real surge in insurgents being killed. And we have read about another report from our experts and generals stating that none of the requirements (aka benchmarks) set forth for the Iraqi government and military have been met.
250,000??? Evidently, bullet manufacturers can't even keep up with our demand for bullets. Evidently, it's still a great time to be invested in the War Machine. Of course, when is it not? There's always another dirty little conflict just around the bend.
What I'd like to know is what the ratio of bullets to kills is when you factor in the civilian death rate. Maybe Bush and Cheney need to start doing that if only to get that ratio down to a numerical amount that we, the people, can understand. Because 250,000:1, while still better than winning the Lotto or getting struck by lightning or dying in a plane crash, makes our troops look like dumb ass, suburban weekend can poppers. Or like Red Coats marching a straight line while the Revolutionaries hid behind trees and rocks and shot them at will. Or Custer not listening to his scouts.
I've always loved that about empirical armies. They feel they just need to march in, show superior force and a strong chin and the natives will quake in their peasant shoes and acquiesce immediately. No matter how many times history has proved them wrong.
One thing I know we did wrong this time as opposed the Indian Wars: we didn't offer civilians a chance at free land. If we had been promised all the free land we could stake in a day, many of us would have taken up arms against Iraq and Afghanistan. We would have enlisted at an accelerated rate if only to get out of a country that was war-taxing us to death and ignoring our basic needs (i.e. medical insurance, a good education, retirement without fear of ending up on the streets, freedom from religious persecution by those in power, civil liberties being shredded while those in foreign lands were being promised those liberties), unlike those in Iraq and Afghanistan. While they may have appeared in need of rescuing to us, most of them now wish they could go back to the way it was. And we are stuck here with less of what we used to have and no apparent way forward.
Oh, and the Air Force has stepped up aerial bombardments that the mainstream press and the White House are not talking about (because that's bad press and makes it look like we're not willing to face the enemy face to face, which any military expert will tell you is a quick route to a shallow grave).
If you read the article, you'll find that we are relying increasingly on foreign manufacturers of bullets. Funny. But I'll bet it's from one or more of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Because, "oddly" enough, the U.S., the U.K., Russia, France and China are the five leading arms exporters in the world (whether through normal or abnormal means).
So, those of you who who claim that we are a nation of compassion for ourselves and others, I have a large bridge shaped exactly like my penis to sell you.
p.s. abcnews has an interesting video clip of a journalist rif-ding along with soldiers in Baghdad. you should check it out.