Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

WAR -- The Money [Part 9]


Senator Bayh mildly (his only level of emotional intensity) vented his frustrations at the Senate hearings with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. He said: ‘We’ll know when we get there, and we don’t know when we’re going to get there.”

Let’s leave aside that this pretty much describes the stance Bayh took when he enthusiastically voted to enter this nightmare of a war. It’s past time that he, the Congress, and the tail-enders among the American people who continue to support the war by masking their apathy in hollow “Support the Troops” sloganeering, should put a stop to this war by refusing to fund it. Another supplemental funding bill is coming up, just say no.

Good and bad things will follow. Only bad things happen by “staying the course” when we don’t know the course or where that phantom course is leading.
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William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security
Washington Post Blog, April 10, 2008

. . . The White House will announce today that soldiers deploying will in the future have 12-month combat tours instead of the current 15. The decision, administration officials say, is meant to repair a damaged military stressed to the breaking point by long and repeated tours of duty.

What's really happening is that a White House that has no other plan for Iraq is trying to demonstrate its sensitivity to the soldiers and hoping to influence public opinion by showing its support for the troops.But the troops and their families know that real respite won't come until the war is over altogether, that the military is too small for the missions asked of it.

For the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the debate has become as much about what the "cost" has been to the military itself as it is about the wars' importance to U.S. national security. This is the ultimate proof of the Bush administration's inability to articulate the continuing national security value of the fight for America's interests: The American public doesn't want to make the sacrifices because it is not persuaded of the value of the cause.

But the military and the national security community don't necessarily want to make the sacrifice, either. . . .

Spend any amount of time with military guys these days, and you discover that they know more clearly than anyone in Congress that the Iraq war is being deferred to the next administration. As the permanent cadre of the military waits for the new crop of politicians to take office, it will passive-aggressively delay a whole slew of decisions about procurement and policy.

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Go HERE for full article.

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