I Suppose You Want Me To Thank You, But I'm Not Going To
by James Glaser
Every place I go now people are saying, "isn't it great that the President went to Iraq to be with the troops?" Well no, It isn't great, it's his job!
President Bush is the Commandeer in Chief of our Armed Forces. This War in Iraq is George Bush's War. He wanted it, he pushed for it, heck he even lied to get it going. The troops he visited in Iraq are risking their lives for George Bush. In fact hundreds have given their lives for George Bush's War. Is it really asking too much to have the Commander in Chief stop in for a couple of hours to see these men and women that are willing to die for his idea?
Although every other President in history has taken on as part of their job, attending memorial services for the troops killed in action and going out of their way to help the wounded, this President doesn't feel those two tasks are part of his job description. So a couple of hours over in Iraq, isn't too much to ask.
The sad part of this whole trip is the fact that it cost tax payers millions of dollars. Can you even imagine how much security they had flying over that turkey dinner? How many escort planes flew cover for Air Force One?
There are troops in Iraq today that must depend on 1960s, Vietnam War surplus flak jackets because our government will not spend the money to buy 21st century body armor for everybody. Our troops have to buy their own desert boots and several other pieces of equipment, because the Pentagon's issued equipment is substandard.
Returning National Guard Troops and Reservists have had to wait months to get medical care for wounds and injuries suffered in Iraq, because the Pentagon could not afford enough doctors, but when the President wants to smooze with the troops, money is no object.
So I will not be thanking the President for going to Iraq. Presidents have a duty to lead and command our troops. It is also their responsibility to make sure that the people serving in combat for our nation have every thing they need, so that they have the best chance of making it home. Congress has done its part, the money is their. The Commander in Chief has let the troops down. Our American Troops should not have to have their parents sending them the equipment they need to perform their jobs, but that is exactly what is happening.
On Sunday with a big smile on his face, George Bush told the Nation that he had just come back from the "Front Lines" in Iraq. A Mess Hall at the Baghdad International Airport with attack helicopters and F-16 fighters flying cover above and Abrams Tanks and APCs all around the perimeter is not the "Front lines."
The front lines in this war is any place our troops must travel. With Command Detonated Bombs, every trip down a road or any convoy, is a game of Russian Roulette that many of our troops have lost.
BACK to the Politics Columns.