Independent Democracy

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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) does not support the troops

Usually I’m all for supporting organizations that support military personnel. After all, I’m one of them. However, VFW’s recent partisan, one sided press release shows them to be nothing more than another organization that says they support the troops but really just support conservative Republican causes. I find it despicable and I wanted to throw up when I read it.

The press release (shown below) proceeds to bash this years Democratic majority Congress while ignoring the lack of support for the military by the White House and last year’s Republican controlled Congress.

“Our nation is at war, yet congressional leaders would rather continue to debate the administration’s policies than fulfill their obligation to support the troops with adequate and timely funding,” said George Lisicki, a Vietnam combat veteran from Carteret, N.J.

Yes, Congressional leaders (hopefully) will debate this rather than rubber stamping everything the White House sends over like the Republican controlled Congress did over the last 5 years. Supporting the troops? Where was the VFW when last year’s Republican controlled Congress (and the White House signed) the 2007 Basic Pay raise for U.S. military personnel which was the smallest received in the last 12 years? Read the AF Times article here. Is it supporting the troops when Blackwater employees get paid more than U.S. military personnel do? 800 billion has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. It’s about time someone started asking questions.

The administration has new military leadership with a new plan that is working. The only part of the team that isn’t pulling its weight in this war is Congress.”

How many times in the last 6 years have we heard “the plan is working” just to learn that the plan was changing again because it wasn’t working? How can VFW say Congress is not pulling it’s weight? I applaud Congress for asking questions and demanding answers, something that has been absent in previous years.

On Monday, President Bush said, “I know some in Congress are against the war [in Iraq] and are seeking ways to demonstrate that opposition. I recognize their position – and they should make their views heard – but they ought to make sure our troops have what it takes to succeed.”

So did the White House and Congress ensure the troops had what they needed to succeed when they were sent to war without sufficient armor plated vehicles and not enough personnel? Remember Rumsfeld’s quote when he said something to the effect that you go to war with what Army you have, not the Army you’d like to have. VFW didn’t give a rats ass what we had then, now they feel the need to speak out.

The VFW’s national commander, who met with the president yesterday on this topic, agrees.
“Every day in Iraq is better than the day before,” said Lisicki. “A stable and secure environment is allowing their economy to bounce back, and that is bringing political reconciliation. Our troops have done everything asked of them under the most difficult of conditions. All they are asking from the U.S. Congress is for a chance to finish the job.”

I agree that U.S. military personnel have done everything asked of them, but many could really care less about “finishing the job”. Does VFW really think that a soldier who has been away from his/her family again and again over the last 5 years and is grossly underpaid would rather “finish a job” that was started based on incorrect data (some say lies) regarding weapons of mass destruction? If the VFW actually believes that, they are complete idiots and have lost touch with the U.S. military.

The VFW does not speak for me and I think their statement (shown below) is despicable.

VFW: Troops Need Funds, Not Further Debate

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2007–Congress’ nonchalant attitude towards President Bush’s war funding request yesterday is not what the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. expected from a wartime Congress.

“Our nation is at war, yet congressional leaders would rather continue to debate the administration’s policies than fulfill their obligation to support the troops with adequate and timely funding,” said George Lisicki, a Vietnam combat veteran from Carteret, N.J.

“Our men and women in uniform are doing everything within their power to succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “Their families are keeping the home front functioning so that their loved ones can stay mission focused. The administration has new military leadership with a new plan that is working. The only part of the team that isn’t pulling its weight in this war is Congress.”

The new funding request for $196.4 billion is in addition to the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2008 budget, which is among the 12 major spending bills that the House and Senate have approved separately but have yet to consolidate for the president’s signature. The federal government’s new fiscal year began Oct. 1. It is currently operating on a temporary stopgap measure that expires Nov. 16.

The media is reporting that House and Senate leadership will wait until next year before advancing the president’s new request, the bulk of which would go to DOD. The funds would purchase 7,200 new mine-resistant vehicles, fill equipment shortfalls, repair damaged equipment, enhance roadside bomb countermeasures, and fund military construction projects, as well as improve medical and rehabilitation programs for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

On Monday, President Bush said, “I know some in Congress are against the war [in Iraq] and are seeking ways to demonstrate that opposition. I recognize their position – and they should make their views heard – but they ought to make sure our troops have what it takes to succeed.”

The VFW’s national commander, who met with the president yesterday on this topic, agrees.

“Every day in Iraq is better than the day before,” said Lisicki. “A stable and secure environment is allowing their economy to bounce back, and that is bringing political reconciliation. Our troops have done everything asked of them under the most difficult of conditions. All they are asking from the U.S. Congress is for a chance to finish the job.”

October 23, 2007 - Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Military & War, News, Random

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