Proudly Made In the U.S. Of A.

For selling our national dignity, Uncle Sam repays us with lemons. It would have nice if it were the edible kind. But no, for toeing the American line on the war on terror, we are sold/given scraps. First the Hueys and now dud 81mm shells. This culture of mendicancy has got to stop. Soldiers uselessly shed their blood while the REMFs sit comfortably in their offices.

The footage of the dud 81s keep playing over and over in my head. Had they worked, it could have turned the tide. While the bushwhackers’ rounds rained on the hapless marines, the poor soldiers had to extricate the shells wasting valuable time and exposing themselves to more deadly fire. Comically lethal situtation if you would ask me.

Funding for modernization was provided by the Erap administration, where is it now? Scandal of low-quality equipment abound. Even substandard Kevlar helmets were bought to the detriment of the men in the field. Surplus, reconditioned night vision goggles were also procured. What will be next, faulty body armor which cost so many American lives in Iraq?

This thing we have have for America has been way over played. What is it with US-made products that make them so superior? The AFP claims that the duds may have succumbed to the elements. This should not be the case if we bought newly produced ones. I am sure that what we bought are surplus items. Misfires are not accidents, their are mechanical.

Taiwan who is smaller and less richer in terms of natural resources gets the best from the US. And they are not required the same subservience expected from us. We are in the forefront of the fight against terror in the region and yet we are treated as second class. Ah, yes, I forgot, Taiwan is located across America’s greatest threat, China!

Its high time we think of what is really best for our country. Even in trade, our leaders allow us to get the short end of the stick. America maybe a super power but it needs all the support it can muster from the international community. With its war on terror now being questioned, it cannot simply resort to arm-twisting. Its gun-boat diplomacy no longer works. Just look at how North Korea and Iran brushed them off.

I wonder if the producers of the faulty 81mm shells can be made liable? This is pushing the limits and could might just lead to uncovering a procurement scandal. The AFP said everything was done aboveboard, no hanky-panky. They now say they will investigate, we all know what happens when the military investigates itself. Either they found nothing wrong or they invoke secrecy. Worse, they can make a scapegoat of some innocent soldier.

The event in Basilan showed us how reliable US-made ammo is. The crashing Hueys showed as the quality of equipment we get. Lives depend on these basic needs of the military. Just because we are poor does not mean we have to “beg”. The US, our supposed to be big brother obviously do not care. Our leaders also do not care. So while finger-pointing and justification is on-going, our soldiers will have to live with what little they have. While the rebels pour RPGs and mortars on them, all they can do is crouch and pray that their rifles, their only defense, do not desert them. They are M-16s of course, proudly made in the US of A, not by Mattel.


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July 2007
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