Ashley Massaro recently died. Her affadavit when she sued WWE includes her being encouraged by Vince McMahon not to report that she was drugged and raped by US military staff while on tour in Kuwait. Content warning - this is sickening reading. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/UFH7mvqSKW— Chris Brosnahan (@ChrisBrosnahan) May 18, 2019
This vehicle was designed to drop in from the sky along with paratroopers. The JLTV is the "LRV" armored scout in this concept video (this is an actual Army video):
The basic idea is that third-world armies these days with money + weapons + vehicles from Russia, Iran, etc. can turn paratroopers into mince meat, so the Army wants to give paratroopers these armored taxi cabs to drop in 100 "clicks" away -- so they don't get blown away by shoulder-fired missiles -- and then drive into battle. But they're heavy and break down quickly, and they're not so heavy that they can't be lifted in which means they're not as armored as they probably need to be. The MRAPs used in Iraq were like giant crab shells for keeping soldiers alive during Mahdi Army ambushes in cities, so they could be slow and heavy and spare parts were just a few miles down the road.
a curious fact about mraps is that they descend from vehicles designed by the south africans and rhodesians so the vehicles amerikkkan troops ride into battle come from a proud lineage of white supremacist battle taxis
Fun facts: Saw a bunch of these in the 1988 film "Red Scorpion" with Dolph Lundgren. Anti-communist propaganda movie made in collaboration with the Apartheid regime and filmed in occupied Namibia. Directed by Joseph Zito who made "Invasion U.S.A" where Chuck Norris fights communist guerrillas in Florida. Produced and written by none other than Jack Abramoff. The Apartheid military probably put up most of the budget for it since it cost $16 million to make (a lot for a Lundgren-led b-movie in the 80s) and it bombed at the box office. There's some fascist Riefenstahl "last of the Nuba" stuff in it too.
One thing to understand about Abramoff was that his Hollywood career and his lobbying career weren’t separate—they were like a giant melting pot of influence and propaganda. In fact, Red Scorpion was effectively funded by the South African military, thanks to the fact that the country was Abramoff’s primary client at the time. If you watch the movie, in fact, you’ll notice that the tanks being driven throughout are South African.
And looking at the plot—specifically below the surface points that involve Dolph Lundgren brandishing guns—the film was roughly based on the life story of Jonas Savimbi, an Angolan military leader who was considered a South African ally and a noted anti-Communist.
In 1986, Abramoff launched and headed an organization called the International Freedom Foundation (IFF), an organization that portrayed itself as an anti-Communist political think tank. In reality, though, it was a group meant to give some positive press and political cover to the South African government at a time when they were being pressured to release Nelson Mandela.
(Abramoff wasn’t the only lobbyist-type backing South Africa at the time; as The Nation notes, Abramoff’s old friend Grover Norquist, known these days as an anti-tax hound, visited a conference in South Africa intended to unify Americans in support of ending the anti-apartheid movement.)
Arthur Ashe, the late tennis star and anti-apartheid activist, spoke out against the film during its production, calling it an “endorsement of South Africa’s policies.” Members of the movie’s crew found the funding for the film distasteful.
“We heard that very right-wing South African money was helping fund the movie,” actor Carmen Argenziano, who played a Cuban colonel in the film, told Salon in 2005. “It wasn’t very clear. We were pretty upset about the source of the money. We thought we were misled. We were shocked that these brothers who we thought were showbiz liberals—Beverly Hills Jewish kids—were doing this.”
Nonetheless, it didn’t stop the film’s production, and the movie ultimately came out in April of 1989—less than a year before Mandela was released from captivity.
While the film ultimately failed at the goal of making the African National Congress look bad and ginning up support for South Africa, it was effective as a calling card for Abramoff. Most lobbyists of the era were busy trying to influence politicians in Washington; he went to modern-day Namibia with a camera crew to influence everyday Americans in movie theaters and on HBO. Maybe it didn’t work out in the end, but it certainly helped boost his reputation when he finally did return to Washington in the mid-’90s.