Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who's Supporting the Troops Now?

I get damned sick and tired of being called unpatriotic and treasonous because I think the best way to support our troops is to bring them home, NOW. People ask what my definition of "now" is and I say midnight, okay, I'll live with 7 a.m., but that's what "now" means to me.

I started speaking out against this war before Ken was killed. I questioned the plan for the peace, which we now know there is none. And after Ken was killed, I kept questioning the validity of invading a sovreign country that was no threat to the United States. And I will keep questioning why this war continues, why 2412 American soldiers have been killed in this mess, why nearly 18,000 American soldiers have been wounded, some of them grievously. We don't know how many Iraqis have been killed and there are plenty of Americans who don't even care about that statistic. Most Americans cannot name one Iraqi who has been killed; they are not human to them, they are collateral damage.

I believe that our country needs a strong military; if someone was trying to come ashore in South Carolina, I'd be down there with my pitchfork, too. But this administration is misusing and abusing our military and using them for their own personal financial and power gain. Our country will never be the same and if we regain the goodwill that we had around the world after 9/11, that day is a very long way off. This administration squandered that goodwill and replaced it with FEAR. I'm not feeling that much safer in this post 9/11 world, but that's the way this administration spins it.

So, I get pretty fired up about all this patriotism that this adminstration speaks about again and again. Then I hear a story about Senate Amendment 3594, EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR BORDER SECURITY, sponsored by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH).

Even the title sounds impressive, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 , but there are alot of things wrong with it. In the 4th year of this war, why are we funding it with emergency supplemental appropriations? Back in early 2002 when Rumsfeld said

We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.

He was right in a way, because the war hadn't begun at that point and there were many unknowns. But do the math, people, how many soldiers times how many meals, times how much ammunition, times how many death gratuity payments times how much for transportation. Add in a few other factors, like the cost to recover from this or that injury and you've got a pretty good estimate for how much this war should be costing. To still be funding this 4 year war with an emergency supplemental appropriation is insulting, deceptive and outrageous.

The Gregg Amendment calls for $2,000,000: Provided, that the entire amount is solely for a contract with an independent non-Federal entity to conduct a needs assessment for comprehensive border security: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these self proclaimed patriotic, troop supporting legislators are sheep in wolves clothing, aw heck, they are just wolves; they don't care about the soldiers and I wish they would stop pretending they do. They are not a War Congress; 14 billion dollars of pork in this supplemental budget proves that. The Gregg amendment would pay for the (border security) program by an across-the-board 3% cut in funds in the bill to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including cuts in military personnel, operations and maintenance, Iraqi security forces training, programs to combat Improvised Explosive Devices, the Defense Health Program and the Death Gratuity Fund. With a 59-39 vote, the Gregg Amendment was passed. It was mostly by party lines, so I'll let you decide who supports the troops and who doesn't. I'll name names here; you should know Feinstein, Feingold, McCain, Dole, Santorum do not support the troops.

Take a minute and call or write to your Senator, ask them "Who supports the troops?" We deserve the truth.

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