U.S. troops in Iraq will receive at least 1,000 fewer special armored vehicles than expected this year due to the amount of time needed for shipment, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the Defense Department expected defense contractors to produce 3,900 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles this year. But only 1,500 would make it to the war zone — down from the Pentagon’s previous shipment target of 2,500 to 3,000.
“If we could get 1,500 to theater by the end of this year, that would be a positive development,” Morrell said.
The new goal of 1,500 was first reported by Stars & Stripes, the newspaper for troops overseas that is partially funded by the Defense Department.
Why can’t this country figure out a way to build vehicles for the war?
President George W. Bush was accused of twisting history Wednesday after a surprising speech in which he said leaving Iraq now will only provoke the same horrendous bloodbaths that followed the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. Bush, who’s been under intense pressure to set a timetable for pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, served notice he’s not caving. But using the Vietnam War to make his argument was stunning when so many Americans view the conflict as a tragic, unnecessary quagmire that lasted far too long and produced only humiliating defeat.
The president turned those lessons upside down in a major political gamble.
“One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like boat people, re-education camps and killing fields,” he told a national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City.
“Then, as now, people argued the real problem was America’s presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end.”
Bush said leaving Vietnam in 1975 provided fodder for future terrorists like Osama bin Laden, the 9-11 mastermind, to cite the U.S. as losers who cut and run.
“Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility, but the terrorists see it differently,” he said.
Apparently Karl Rove (“Bush’s Brain”) has left a bit early.
The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to weave driver’s licenses and state ID cards into a sort of national identification system by May 2008. The law sets baseline criteria for how driver’s licenses will be issued and what information they must contain.
The Department of Homeland Security insists Real ID is an essential weapon in the war on terror, but privacy and civil liberties watchdogs are calling the initiative an overly intrusive measure that smacks of Big Brother.
More than half the nation’s state legislatures have passed or proposed legislation denouncing the plan, and some have penned bills expressly forbidding compliance.
Many states have revolted. The governors of Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington have signed bills refusing to comply with the act. Six others have passed bills and/or resolutions expressing opposition, and 15 have similar legislation pending.
“This is not a mandate,” Chertoff said. “A state doesn’t have to do this, but if the state doesn’t have — at the end of the day, at the end of the deadline — Real ID-compliant licenses then the state cannot expect that those licenses will be accepted for federal purposes.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he is “sickened” that President Bush and Congress went on vacation “while young Americans in our cities are massacred” by illegal immigrants.
Gingrich, who is considering a run for the White House, was referring to a recent crime in Newark, N.J., where three college students were murdered execution style in a school playground.
One of the suspects — Jose Lachira Carranza — is an illegal immigrant from Peru who was on bail on charges of raping a child when the murders occurred.
Gingrich said another suspect is an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua with a long record of arrests who was ordered deported in 1993 but never left.
“The federal government’s incompetence, timidity and uncoordinated efforts to identify and deport criminal illegal aliens have had devastating consequences for innocent Americans,” Gingrich said, in a newsletter.
Gingrich said that the “war here at home” against illegal immigrants is “even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“As an American, I am sickened that the political leadership of America could continue to go on vacation and do nothing,” he said. “Why are the August vacations for the president and the Congress more precious than the lives of young Americans who are being killed because of government incompetence and inaction.”
Yeah, he’s running…it’s just a matter of time.
The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a “specially designated global terrorist,” according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group’s business operations and finances.
The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials have described as its growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, the sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure on the administration to toughen its stance against Tehran, as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of U.N. resolutions against Iran‘s nuclear program, officials said.
The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said — a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.
Tick Tick Tick.
If you thought Iraq was bad….just you wait.