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Bush Vetoes Pay Raise for Soldiers, Military Spending in General

December 30th, 2007

The Bush administration has been bashing Democrats for holding up military spending, even for small periods of time, or when the military has more than enough money to operate for longer periods of time. Republicans have loaded bills with all manner of unacceptable political poison pills, and then railed at Democrats for not “supporting the troops.” Bush and the GOP have repeatedly and shamelessly held the troops hostage for their low political purposes… and then we get this:

Friday, with no warning, a vacationing Bush announced he will veto a sweeping military policy bill because of an obscure provision that could expose Iraq’s new government to billions of dollars in legal claims dating to Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Regardless of how dishonest or slimy the Republican tactics concerning war spending bills have been, they have made their standards clear. By attacking Democrats for doing this sort of thing, they have made clear that they consider such actions unacceptable. By their standards, what Bush just did is as bad as you can get, no excuses tolerated. By their measure, Bush just attacked the troops and held up the war efforts. By their past claims, Bush has just betrayed the country and helped the terrorists.

What makes it worse is that this veto by Bush will actually hurt soldiers, now. In the past, Republicans claimed that Democratic holdups hurt the military because they denied it funding, saying that troops would stop getting paid or the military couldn’t buy troops armor or equipment–claims that were always clearly false. But this veto by Bush actually will hurt the troops in the near-term: at least one of the measures of the bill was a pay raise for soldiers that would have taken effect January 1st, but will now be delayed by at least two weeks. The bill also provided for veterans’ health care, job protection for family members of wounded soldiers, and provisions to prevent fraud and waste by military contractors.

And for what? To prevent Iraqis who suffered under Saddam Hussein to find recompense. Um, wasn’t the Bush administration supposed to be fighting for those exact people, and for the purpose of making right what happened under Hussein?

Even if conservatives see this reason for vetoing the bill as somehow “necessary,” they can’t have it both ways: either both the Democrats and Bush held up military bills for reasons they saw as being necessary, or both of them attacked the troops and the military and hurt the country.

Not that this will register with the right wing; for Bush and the GOP, there are always excuses, ones which somehow never apply to the Democratic equivalents. Outside of conservative circles, this is known as “hypocrisy.” Within conservatives circles, there is a blindness for that term when applied to conservatives.

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  1. December 30th, 2007 at 18:38 | #1

    I have but one thought: Qui bono?

  2. Luis
    December 30th, 2007 at 18:42 | #2

    The benefit goes to the Iraqi government, which is threatening to pull out its money from U.S. banks so that litigants cannot be awarded anything by any U.S. court where wronged Iraqis would choose to sue. That’s why Bush decided to veto the bill. One can see the logic, perhaps, but it is heartless logic to both dispossessed Iraqis as well as to our veterans–not just in what Bush did, but in how he did it.

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