Saturday, May 27, 2006

Congress to troops: screw you, make do. We're on vacation

Recommended at Daily Kos and My Left Wing

So I guess this is what Congress' idea of "supporting the troops" is all about. It seems like our congresscritters were too busy trying to get their own pork projects stuffed into the supplemental appropriations bill for continuing the slaughter of innocents the mission of spreading freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan while suppressing it here in the US that the brave soldiers sent to fight a war based on a lie won't get the additional funding they need for these operations until sometime next month.

I mean, come on....this is the kick off of summer. Memorial Day weekend - you know, when our elected officials get to kick back, have some beer and BBQ, enjoy the sun and relax over a long holiday weekend that is supposed to be in honor of our fallen troops. How can Congress be expected to work through this much-looked-forward-to long weekend? What kind of message will that send to the terrorists? That we are willing to sacrifice our well deserved holiday to approve the funds to "fight the great war on terror"?

And oh how they deserve a break. After all, this Congress has worked the fewest days since the late 1940's. Which I guess is a good thing, considering the amount of damage they did in the short time they were in session.

Regardless of whether it is asinine for Dear Leader to request another $72 billion back in February on top of the already insane amount of money wasted spent on this great quagmire, the sad fact is that the soldiers and troops overseas in harm's way do need equipment, armor, supplies and whatever else is necessary to do whatever it is that the mission-of-the-week dictates they do (unless it involves killing innocent people...).

So, while very important issues such as gay marriage, providing tax breaks to big oil and the insanely wealthy, steroids, deporting 12 million immigrants, violence in video games, flag burning and whatever else is destroying the moral fiber and fabric of this country take front and center, our troops get the shaft. It is apparently more important to fight over $10 billion (yes that is a "B") in pork spending than it is to properly armor and supply the troops with what they need. I guess you stay at war with the supplies you had at the start of the war, not the supplies you need as the war continues. There won't even be a vote in Congress at all until late on June 6 - that is if this even gets up for a vote by then.

Not to worry, however, says Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who heads the House Appropriations Committee. According to Lewis:

"we have made a lot of progress with the Senate in producing a bill the House can support and the President can sign" but there is not enough time to finish.

"We have communicated with the individual military services and while it is not preferable, they have informed us that they can tolerate a delay into June," Lewis said. "I am confident that Congress will clear the measure quickly after the Memorial Day district work period."

Well, isn't that just special. Maybe Lewis and some of his colleagues will be able to spend some of their time this Memorial Day weekend over their beer and hot dogs thinking of those soldiers who will be killed over the weekend, or those that have already died as a result of not having enough supplies and armor.

Of course, that isn't the view of the military. Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker had this to say (courtesy of thinkprogress):

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, said the Army will be forced to slow down some of its operations' backbone because Congress decided to postpone the completion of the 2006 emergency supplemental until after the Memorial Day break.

"We have to pull all these levers to slow down," Schoomaker said at a breakfast sponsored by The Hill. In order to stretch its funds until a new infusion of cash is available, the Army will have to slow down its logistics and supply operations among other things, he pointed out. [...]

He added that it is "ironic" the Army has to resort to such measures on the eve of Memorial Day.

Hell, in a move that shocked the world, even Rumsfeld is standing up for his troops. According to Rumsfeld:

the Army and Marine Corps, carrying the bulk of costs for operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, already were postponing the purchase of some supplies and signing contracts while trying to preserve money for ongoing operations. In testimony before the Senate appropriations defense subcommittee, Rumsfeld said May 31 was the deadline for the services to get emergency funding before more drastic measures were needed.

He did not say what might happen, but historically the services have frozen civilian hiring, delayed or reduced exercises and training and slowed spare parts and supply purchases when money is tight.

Why does Congress hate our troops and hate America? Why are they aiding and abetting terrorism? What kind of message does this send to the terrorists? "Sorry, military but we are too busy planning our long weekend getaways after spending the least amount of time doing our jobs in nearly 60 years to properly supply you. But have a great Memorial Day weekend - if you make it through alive".



Agent 227 said...

Bush Tells West Point Graduates Terror War Is in Early Stages
May 27 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, marking the fourth anniversary of his doctrine of preemptive military force, said the war against terrorism is in its early stages and will rival the Cold War in its length and difficulty.

``The war began on my watch, but it's going to end on your watch,'' Bush said in a commencement address today to 861 graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Agent 227 said...

but they need to be aware that (much) more sacrifice will still be needed, long after dubya is gone.