Or, Why Bush’s Limo Doesn’t Have a “Support Our Troops” Bumper Sticker

It’s pretty apparent these days that, as a general policy, Bush doesn’t like retired Generals. Come to think of it, he seems to positively hate anyone of any rank who disagrees with him on anything, publically or privately, especially the ranks of military intelligence specialists, who attempted to supply him with provable facts which don’t happen to fit the President’s preordained preferences. In fact, they apparently rank somewhere on the level of vermin to be squashed as soon as possible. He certainly seems eager to cashier, banish, bankrupt or ignore anyone who isn’t intimidated into telling him what he wants to hear. The “Meddle with Freedom,” I mean “Medal of Freedom,” Award is freely handed out by the President, but it seems reserved for those who either got the facts dead wrong or resulted in lots of dead.

It’s obviously more than that though. He doesn’t seem to like veterans of any sort, particularly discharged war wounded and those needing veterans’ retirement benefits, at least judging by his policies to divert their funds into rich tax cuts for the already rich. Nor does he care much for the families of soldiers, living or dead, on food stamps or not. He’s showing them no mercy. Their monetary support too is being sucked dry while at the same time private mercenaries working for Halliburton (which siphons millions in tax dollars directly to the Vice President, its former head) are paid five times what an Army private gets. It brings a whole new meaning to the words “mercy” and “mercenary.”

Although Bush is very guarded on the subject, he must not like the National Guard, not having finished his enlistment there, not to mention doing his best to kill them off overseas and discouraging re-enlistment by contract fine print like the innocuous sounding “stop loss” policies of Bush which basically say “we don’t care what we promised you, you get to fight in forever wars.” This is not very supportive at a time when the Guardsmen are desperately needed here for floods, fires and other disasters made disastrously worse by Bush’s unrelated follies on things like not fixing New Orleans’ dike supports.

The President may parrot patriotic platitudes, but does not seem to understand what the word means. It has never meant that veterans who disagree are unpatriotic. (Besides, those who ducked combat because they were too chicken cannot crow about themselves deserving the title.)

Need the attempts to emasculate the military manpower by kicking out gays and temporarily pregnant women be mentioned? How about the keeping out of potential recruits like immigrants? How about the removal as security risks, so many in the military who might usefully speak a Middle Eastern language? Then there is the daft opposition to the draft combined with the lowering of standards for recruitment in the all "volunteer" army to allow in many who Bush would not want to have as a neighbor.

Speaking of the draft, compare the number of military volunteers in top Administrative positions against the number of draft dodgers surrounding Bush. How does that square with supposedly supporting our troops? Bush and his cadre of Republican Supreme Court justices may have commandeered the White House, but cannot command respect.

If Eisenhower was alive today, he would probably shorten his “Beware the Military Industrial Complex” warning to “Beware Bush.”

Most obvious of all, other than as background for photo ops and cannon fodder for his Crusades, how has Bush shown any support at all for the ordinary enlisted man on combat duty in any service? What other conclusion can be drawn from the lack of armor for vehicles, lack of bullet proof vests, lack of sufficient numbers of troops and lack of an exit strategy, long after the need for each was well established? What other conclusion can be drawn from the bellicose statements like “Bring It On” and the threats to start a third Middle Eastern War by bombing or invading Iran? What other conclusion can be drawn from the abandonment of the Geneva Convention and the torturing of belligerents justifying them doing the same to our troops?

Support the Troops? It looks like that particular Mission Accomplished will only take place when Bush and the current Administration are finally discharged or put in the brig.

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