Last night on Keith Olbermann's show they did a piece on an anti-RPG system the Israelis have developed. According to Pentagon tests it successfully intercepts incoming RPGs 98% of the time, and it outfitted on tanks and other vehicles in Iraq could save hundreds of soldiers' lives. The Pentagon wanted to purchase 30 of these systems to try them out in the field and see if the results there were as encouraging as they were in the controlled circumstances under which they tested it before.
Then they decided not to.
Because there's already an anti-RPG system in the works by a big defense contractor, and if the Israeli system is actually 98% effective, well, that $70 million project would probably have to be scrapped as redundant. We can't have that, no no. So instead the U.S. is going to continue to allow its soldiers to be blown up by RPGs until 2011, when the U.S. system is supposed to come online. This assumes that the U.S. system ends up being as good as the Israeli one. If not then U.S. soldiers will have to continue dying indefinitely. Otherwise the defense contractor might make less profit.
This story made me sick to my stomach. The Republican Party is supposed to be PRO military. That SHOULD include being pro-keeping our soldiers alive. But they're not. They're pro defense contractor. Remember the body-armor controversy? Yeah. Me too.
If you watched Fox News you wouldn't see anything about this. Not good for public morale. Doesn't play well in Texas. Too confusing. Not enough waving of the American flag and talking about how awesome Donald Rumsfield is.
Here's the thing. Despite being really upset about the RPG thing, there's nothing I can do about it. Even if enough people learn about it and vote the Republicans out of office BECAUSE of it...the Democrats are going to do the same kind of thing. It's simply endemic to Washington and this point and short of a paradigm shift in the political process IT WILL NOT CHANGE.
That being said, the Fox News watcher is much happier. He doesn't have to think about hundreds of dead American soldiers who were killed so that some corporate fat cat can buy a new yacht. He lives in a happy world where the army is all about kicking ass and saving American lives.
Given the choice between miserable truth you can't change and happy lies...doesn't the smart person take the happy lies?