April 10, 2007

Democrat Iraq War Grandstanding Angers Veterans' Groups

Both the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion have issued statements hammering a Democrat Congress that continues to play games with Iraq War funding.

From the VFW:

"The funding package contained artificial troop withdrawal deadlines that would ultimately break the morale of our troops in the field and directly jeopardize their safety," said Lisicki, who ascends to national commander in August and was here today to host a meeting of future leaders from the VFWs 54 departments.

"I am calling on all the members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives to, for now, reserve further debate and provide the funds needed by our troops to prosecute the Global War on Terror," he said, noting that Iraq was clearly the centerpiece of that war on terrorism, and that the House and the Senate funding packages were also loaded with extraneous spending not related to the war on terrorism.

"This isnt a Democrat or Republican issue. It's about American men and women tasked with fighting a war, and who are now being told their effort and sacrifice doesn't matter because a date on the calendar will send them home whether they've finished the job or not," he said.

Lisicki, Vietnam veteran from Carteret, N.J., said that when Congress reconvenes, they need to approve funding for war-related requirements only, and debate the other issues in separate legislation.

"We ask Congress to never cut or withhold funding for troops deployed or being deployed to a war zone," he said. "They must ensure that those who are sent to war have the best equipment and our strongest support. Give them the tools necessary to complete the mission you sent them on, and do it without further delay."

From the American Legion:

"This is an attempt to implement a congressional strategy by imposing timelines for the withdrawal of military personnel from combat zones through a "slow bleed" process by eventually reducing military funding," Morin said. "Rather than the President's and General Petraeus's reinforcement policy that is making progress in securing Baghdad."

The American Legion is supportive of many of the other provisions contained in the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, but we strongly believe the President's initial request is not the vehicle for these provisions, especially the specific language that sets congressional deadlines and mandatory troops movements. The other emergency funding recommendations to the FY 2007 budget should be openly addressed in a subsequent appropriations package in a timely manner.

"The men and women of the armed forces in the theater of operation are dependent on this emergency funding to sustain and achieve their military missions," Morin explained. "Members of Congress should not be armchair generals."

"Recognizing our history as a Nation, The American Legion supports the Commander in Chief, the commanders on the front lines, and the men and women serving in harms' way," Morin said. "We entrust Congress to do the right thing in supporting our military men and women who are fighting to protect our values and way of life.

Thank God there was no mandated timetable after the Battle of the Bulge or Iwo Jima. Thank God, there was no mandated withdrawal or imposed exit strategy at Valley Forge or our Country would have lost the American Revolution."

In addition to these veterans groups, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael G. Mullen, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway have also issued a letter imploring the Democrat Congress to quit playing games with the funding of our soldiers:

"Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, the armed services will be forced to take increasingly disruptive measures in order to sustain combat operations," the four general and flag officers wrote in their letter. "The impacts on readiness and quality of life could be profound. We will have to implement spending restrictions and reprogram billions of dollars."
Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 10, 2007 11:18 AM

When I came home in '71, the VFW and American Legion were openly hostile to the vets of my generation. Perhaps that's changed, but my animosity towards them has not.

To hear they've taken a right wing stand is about as surprising as hearing that Rosie O'Donnell is fat.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at April 10, 2007 12:11 PM

It's only playing games if you don't mean it. Congress really seems to mean for the fighting to end and for troops to come home. It's only the Right that sees that stand as a game. The very idea that someone might want something other than what the Administration wants is, apparently, a foreign one to the president and his advisors.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at April 10, 2007 01:11 PM

Doc, you really think the fighting stops when we come home?

Posted by: JoeH at April 11, 2007 09:54 PM

Wholesale killing of Americans will stop, yes.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at April 11, 2007 11:23 PM