Home > Political Ranting > Bush and the GOP Slap Down Soldiers Again

Bush and the GOP Slap Down Soldiers Again

November 13th, 2003

Republicans have always claimed to be the friends of the military, but that appears to only mean that they like big weapons systems and starting medium-sized wars for political gain for themselves and financial gain for the corporations they pay off. As retired General Wesley Clark said not long ago, “Republicans like weapons systems; Democrats like the soldiers.” As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the administration has proven this animosity for the soldier by cutting their pay, their benefits, even money for their kid’s education that was supposed to be supplied, while chintzing on their supplies at the same time they hand out non-competitive billion-dollar contracts to Cheney’s firm. And that’s just for starters. I also recently reported on how any soldier who dares criticize the Bush administration publicly is prosecuted.

One thing is clear, and that is that this administration, led by a silver-spoon draft-dodger who went AWOL from the Guard, and filled with Chickenhawks who shirked their duty while demanding that others serve in their place–this administration misses no chance to short-change and slap down the very men and women who fight and die for them, while all the time monopolizing, cashing in on, and taking advantage of the honor and glory that belongs to those soldiers, and not to this cowardly and sickeningly smug mockery of a leadership.

The most recent example: after reluctantly approving Bush’s usurious demand for $87 billion to support his debacles in the Middle East, Democrats tried to give a small measure of support to the soldier in the field–$80 million, a drop in the bucket by comparison–that would pay federal employees who are reservists for any pay cut they suffer when mobilized. That would help 23,000 reservists, 14,000 of them now active, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would help them to stay afloat financially, keep them from having to take out mortgages in order to pay the bills, enable them to keep paying their kids’ tuition.

Guess what? Bush and the GOP slapped them down yet again. The same people who publicly encourage states, local governments, and corporations to take the action of helping out with soldiers’ pay (200 companies and 50 state and local governments do that), are themselves unwilling to spend a fraction of what they overpay Halliburton in order to help the common soldier make ends meet while serving far longer than anyone expected.

I guess that $80 million is earmarked for another corporate payoff. After all, they’ve contributed so heavily to Bush’s $200 million war chest for the election. How much did reservists contribute? Not enough, apparently.

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