More Proof National Guard Forces Were Completely Unprepared To Fight Long Vietnam-type Conflicts
More proof today came that Donald Rumsfeld's 2003 war plans to use National Guard forces as a main force in Iraq were utterly without any real planning. 40% of the forces in Iraq are National Guard forces and the experience of the Oregon National Guard is typical.
The remaining 2,000 Oregon National Guard members are being sent to Afghanistan while some forces have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. Howver there is such an acute equipment shortage, that all equipment, guns, radios, Humvees and helicopters will remain in either Iraq or Afghanistan until the equipment is depleted or lost in combat. With the help of Oregon citizens and efforts of Oregon Governor, Democrat, Ted Kulongoski, vital equipment such as radios and other vital materials were provided by Oregon citizens to protect their state's fighting men and women. One Oregon newscast showed Oregon National Guardsmen using sandbags and pieces of plywood to help protect their Humvees and creating something they called "plywood coffins".
But with all vital equipment including helicopters being left in Iraq or Afghanistan, Oregon National Guardsmen who have preformed important air rescues including on Mt. Hood, will be unable to respond to hiker or skier accidents and injuries very soon now. And if any state dam or levee break or similar flooding should occur in Oregon, then National Guardsmen will be unable to perform vital rescue duties. In a normal month, Oregon National Guardsmen will perform several helicopter rescues. But this abilituy will soon disappear because of the poor war planning of Donald Rumsfeld. Even Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, has been appropriated billions in no bid contracts by the Pentagon to buy cases of soda pop and bill the government at exaggerated rates per case, while poorly equipped National Guardsmen were sent into combat situations with a severe shortage of guns, radios, body armor, and heavy goods such as helicopters. This created many unnecessary and needless deaths of National Guard members.
And because so few National Guardsmen had the necessary combat experience that normal soldiers have, so far only one has been decorated with the Silver Star for combat heroism, a guard at Wal-Mart, who acted bravely during an ambush and saved many lives of fellow National Guardsmen.
Since Iraq was created in 1922, after the first World War, by British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill in a hotel room, with Winston Churchill combining three ethic groups with nothing in common by drawing up a map creating the artificial state of Iraq, Iraq has been nothing but trouble. From 1922 to 1958, British troops fought unsuccessfully to control insurgent activity. British troops used aircraft bombings, mustard gas attacks, armored vehicle and other attacks to destroy entire Iraqi villages, yet could not control the insuregent activity in Iraq. Britain and the allies could defeat Hitler's Germany and Japan, but not the insurgent activity in Iraq. In a bloody 1958 rebellion, with the influence of Gamel Nasser's Egyptian Arab Socialism Movement, Iraqi insurgents forced British forces to leave Iraq. From 1922 until the present day, Iraq has ben little more than a cesspool of violent ethnic tensions.
Today's election violence was typical. Sunni participation is very important to any peace in Iraq. Yet today masked gunmen, probably part of Badr Brigade militia killed a Sunni candidate. And Shiite cleric, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council For The Islamic Revolution In Iraq has stated "I declare that the Badr organization is ready to mobilize 200,000 of it's men in all parts of Iraq so they can play a role in defending Iraq and Iraqis". Apparently murder of Sunni candidates is part of this "protection" plan. In other areas such as Sunni majority, Ramadi, masked armed Sunni militia members hold up posters for Sunni candidates for the election. And Ahmed Chalabi, head of another militia, fugitive from justice and convicted in Jordan for his role in masterminding the nation's worst banking scandal, campaigns for elective office as well. One of the few candidates, Ayad Allawi a moderate Western style democrat, not affilated with criminal militia organizations, or a convicted criminal, is not expectedto do well in Iraq's election. Last election his candidates only garnered just 14% of the vote. Shiite members with close ties to Iran's Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani gained a massive landslide in these past elections.
National Guardsmen who are poorly equipped had no business being placed by Donald Rumsfeld in the middle of all this insurgent and militia violence. It is little wonder that 2,149 American servicepersons have lost their lives. Iraq has been a wild west place, similar to the chaos of Lebanon. In the words of Senator Joesph Biden, "Lebanon on steroids". How poor war planners such as Donald Rumsfeld, or George Bush who has a "Dukes Of Hazzard" intellect level ever expected success in Iraq is a huge question for more rational minds to consider. But sending poorly equipped American National Guard forces into a serious combat situation created high combat deaths. A background of work at Wal-Mart with poor equipment was a recipe for disaster for many National Guardsmen in Iraq.