Barack Obama at this past Thursday’s Democratic debate in Texas:
I heard from a Army captain, who was the head of a rifle platoon, supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition; they didn’t have enough humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief. Now that’s a consequence of bad judgment, and you know, the question is on the critical issues that we face right now who’s going to show the judgment to lead.
Shorter pajama-pissing fact check
platoon company brigade:
Dan Rather The Associated Press The New Republic Barack Obama is so lying! We measured the margins! Times New Roman font!!11 Jamail Hussein!!1 SCOTT FUCKING BEAUCHAMP!!111″
(click the prairie dog for the real fact check courtesy Jake Tapper @ Political Punch)
Sez (Iraq veteran) Phil Carter:
I talked this morning with two friends who led rifle platoons in Afghanistan. Both confirmed to me that they did, at times, use captured or found weapons or ammunition. One relayed the story of mounting a Soviet 12.7mm heavy machine gun (the equivalent of a U.S. .50 caliber machine gun) on his HMMWV because it was too difficult to get the spare parts needed to fix their G.I. (government issue) .50 cal. Another told me his platoon carried AKs anytime they patrolled with their Afghan counterparts, and that it was always much easier to get 7.62mm ammo for the AKs than to go through the U.S. bureaucracy for ammunition requisition. These stories are timeless; you’ll see similar ones in the narratives from WWII, Korea and Vietnam vets too. Anyone who’s dealt with the Army supply system – particularly at the pointy end of the spear – ought to be able to sympathize.
In light of my experience in Iraq, Sen. Obama’s comments last night are eminently believable. Sen. Obama is also absolutely right to use this anecdote as a critique of the administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq. It is incontrovertible that the war in Iraq diverted scarce military resources (manpower, equipment, etc.) from Afghanistan to Iraq. The cost for that diversion was paid by America’s sons and daughters, and our Afghan brethren, who continue to fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We owe our troops better.
John Cole FTW: “Seriously, is there a more useless bunch of douchebags than these right-wing hacks?”
I know the question was rhetorical, but, no, John, there isn’t a more useless bunch of douchebags than these rightwing hacks. Simple answers…
“We’ll find this mysterious so-called ‘Captain’ and his so-called ‘platoon’ if it’s the last thing we do!”
Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers