Friday, July 13, 2007
Turning Left to Go Right (on the war)
Perhaps the most obfuscated article of faith in American politics is that Republicans are stronger on national security than Democrats are, and consequently, more “supportive” of the troops.
Progressives get tired of electronically circulating lists of Democratic lawmakers past and present who have served in wars, attached to contrasting compilations of Republican “chicken hawks” like Dick Cheney who can’t get enough violence as long as they’re not in the crossfire.
The New York Times News Service reported July 12 that Republicans in the Senate killed a Democratic proposal “to give U.S. troops more time between combat tours.”
Supportive, you see.
It was the same kind of support the troops got two months ago when Democrats voted to fund a winding down of the war so that these guys and gals driving around getting blown up IEDs could come home and get on with (what’s left of) their lives.
Bush successfully portrayed that as leaving the troops in the field without the tools they need to do the job and so they got the tools and got to stay for some more IED action, rather than less.
To quote Lightning McQueen from Disney’s “Cars” movie, “Thank you or should I say ‘no thank you,’ because in opposite world maybe that really means thank you!”
The troops are definitely living in “opposite world” with the kind of support they’re getting from their Republican allies.
To be fair, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virg.) was joined by Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska in bringing this common sense and humane bill to a vote, but if the latter doesn’t quit the GOP some time soon, it will certainly quit him.
Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Gordon Smith (Ore.), John Warner (Va.), Norm Coleman (Minn.) and John Sununu (N.H) also thought these overworked and stressed people (the troops) should at least spend as much time recuperating at home as they spend in the hornets’ nest.
It’s probably a good measure of the disconnect between the philosopher kings ruling us that all except Snowe are up for reelection in 2008. Put another way, it’s pretty clear where the constituents of these Republican senators stand on the war and it’s not with the president who is either “firm” in his posture, or delusional depending on your own level of delusion.
In “Cars,” McQueen’s hysterical response is to the character Doc’s (Paul Newman) suggestion that when driving on dirt, “...if you’re going hard enough left, you’ll find yourself turning right.”
That sort of sums up efforts to stop this war so far; hampered by a Republican Party driving itself over the cliff, which they deserve. b
But they don’t have to bring these guys with them:
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Camp Pendleton Marine
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbaugh, of Luther , OK :
"Our nation's servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. Corporal Jeremy Allbaugh's bravery in the face of danger is an inspiration to all Californians. Maria and I join all Californians in extending our heartfelt sympathies to Jeremy's family and friends."
Allbaugh, 21, died July 5 as a result of wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq . Allbaugh was assigned to 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton , CA .
In honor of Cpl. Allbaugh, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of San Jose Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Spc. Roberto J. Causor Jr., of San Jose , CA :
"Maria and I respect Specialist Roberto Causor's unwavering fortitude in the face the ultimate danger. Roberto has left an honorable legacy of safeguarding the rights for which our nation stands. Maria and I extend our sympathies to his family and friends as they mourn their loss."
Causor, 21, died July 7 as a result of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire in Samarra , Iraq . Causor was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, United States Army, Fort Bragg , NC .
In honor of Spc. Causor, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Monterey Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. 1st Class Sean K. Mitchell, of Monterey , CA :
"Sergeant First Class Sean Mitchell valiantly fought for the freedoms that we hold most sacred. Californians are forever grateful for his sacrifice for our nation. Maria and I pray for Sean's family, friends and fellow soldiers as they mourn the loss of a loved one."
Mitchell, 35, died July 7 as a result of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident in Kidal , Mali . Mitchell was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, United States Army, Stuttgart , Germany .
In honor of Sgt. 1st Class Mitchell, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Tracy Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Bruce C. Salazar Jr., of Tracy , CA :
"Words cannot adequately convey our gratitude for Private First Class Bruce Salazar's brave sacrifice for our country. He pursued the cause of liberty with strength and resolve. Maria and I extend our deepest condolences to Bruce's family, friends and fellow soldiers in their time of mourning."
Salazar, 24, died July 6 as a result of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device in Muhammad Sath, Iraq . Salazar was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Army, Fort Stewart , GA.
In honor of Pfc. Salazar, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.