Rep. Gene Taylor: Troops Need Backup & More Equipment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/18/03

Rep. Gene Taylor: Troops Need Backup & More Equipment

Congressman Gene Taylor says he crammed as much as he could into his short visit to Iraq. He says one eye-opener was the size of the country and how easy it would be for Saddam Hussein to hide. 

"You can fly over portions of it at 20,000 feet and look out and not see one dwelling, one person, one anything. You can fly over other parts of it and realize Bagdad's a city of four million people. It's easy to hide in a city of four million people," Taylor says.

The trip also brought Taylor face to face with the realities of war. 

"I flew out that night on a C-130 and a young soldier by the name of Trevor Boomberg was in a body bag literally on the deck where my feet were."

Taylor says the troops need better equipment to counter-act the Iraqi's practice of attaching artillery shells to cell phones and using them as explosives. 

"We have the technology to jam that phone call but it's not on every vehicle. One of the things that I've come away with is every single vehicle that goes out on the streets of Iraq has to have that. If we're going to spend ten billion dollars this year on Star Wars on what might happen we oughta be spendin' money on what is happening."

With soldiers stretched thin in different hot spots around the world, Taylor says we could use help from other countries. 

"This one has been if the truth be known almost exclusively an American effort, almost exclusively American money. We're very grateful for the help we've had from the Brits but the real price tag has been paid by American blood."  

Taylor says military leaders of several nations will soon meet in Madrid to talk about the war and discuss the possibility of more international troops joining in the war effort. The congressman says Germany is helping out by guarding American military installations in that country while American soldiers are assigned to war duty.

by Marcia Hill

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