Liberal Grace

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bush loves the uniform; trashes the military

What Bush has done to the military is an act of stunning hypocrisy.

Let's take a moment, once again, to reflect on the astounding ability of Bush and the GOP to accomplish EXACTLY OPPOSITE what they've preached about for decades.

Ever since the Carter era I've received finger-wagging tongue lashings from my conservative pro-military relatives about how Democrats weaken the military and this weakens America. I have had to put up with this abuse decade after decade.

It never helped when I would mention that America lavishly funds its military almost as much as whole rest of the world combined. Shouldn't that be enough? Logic and facts would only make them dig in their heals: "If you want a strong military, vote GOP. If you want a weak military vote Democrat. You're a Democrat so you must want a weak military."

Candidate Bush was no different than my most ignorant militant cranky uncles:
So let's get something straight right now. To point out that our military has been overextended, taken for granted and neglected, that's no criticism of the military. That is criticism of a president and vice president and their record of neglect.external link
So, Bush and the conservatives finally gains control of every branch of the government and what do they do? They degrade the military.
Pace: U.S. Military Capability Eroding
WASHINGTON (AP) - Strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military won't be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress.

The assessment, done by the nation's top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a worsening from a year ago, when that risk was rated as moderate.

The report is classified, but on Monday senior defense officials, speaking on condition on anonymity, confirmed the decline in overall military readiness.
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Since I'm not a military expert, I don't have much to add to the specifics of the debate -- especially not more than what John Murtha in this excellent article: General Pace Can't Have It Both Ways
Let's revisit history. On November 17, 2005, I said that the failed war policies of this Administration were destroying the future of our military. I said that our military is stretched thin, that the war in Iraq is resulting in significant shortfalls at our bases in the U.S., and that we must rebuild our Army. I knew then that the war policies of this Administration were unsustainable, and that our military preparedness and our strategic reserve would suffer.
[...]
At the beginning of the Iraq war, 80% of all Army units and almost 100% of active combat units were rated at the highest levels of readiness. Just the opposite exists today. Virtually all of our active-duty combat units at home and all of our guard units are at the lowest level of readiness.
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But I am highly familiar with conservative rhetoric and what Bush has done to the military -- cheered along the whole way by the GOP rank-and-file -- is an act of stunning hypocrisy.

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