George Is Going To Make His Pitch Tonight

by James Glaser
January 10, 1007

    "It became clear that if we were prepared to stay the course, we could help to lay the cornerstone for a diverse and independent Asia. . . If we faltered, the forces of chaos would scent victory and decades of strife and aggression would stretch endlessly before us. The choice was clear. We would stay the course. And we shall stay the course."

Senator Edward Kennedy use that quote at the Nation Press Club, where he gave a speech yesterday. Many attending were reminded of what President George Bush has been saying about Iraq, but of course this is actually from one of President Lyndon Johnson's speaches when he was sending another hundred thousand troops into Vietnam.

Tonight, President Bush is supposed to talk to the nation and explain his "new" plan for Iraq. All the talk is about a "surge" of troops. Surge is a code word that sounds better than escalation.

We are at war and George Bush is not only the President, he is also the Commander-in-Chief, and Congress gave him the power to run his War on Terrorism pretty much the way he wants to. If George wants to send more troops, then we will send more troops. Yes, the American people did vote in a new Congress, but the American people have to wait until the end of 2008 before they can think about a new Commander-in-Chief. Some would like us to believe that "the people have spoken on Iraq with this last election and polls seem to say the same, but no matter how low Bush's approval rating falls, he is still President for two more years.

    A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows a daunting sales job ahead for the White House, which is considering a plan to deploy up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.

    Those surveyed oppose the idea of increased troop levels by 61%-36%. Approval of the job Bush is doing in Iraq has sunk to 26%, a record low.

The real shame here is what this war is doing to our troops and our military as a whole. Remember though, it is not only the Soldiers and Marines who will suffer if Bush increases the number of troops, but what about the loved ones of those troops who have to sit here and pray as their trooper goes back to Iraq for second, third, or even forth tour of duty?

This from the Los Angeles Times by Julian E. Barnes:

    Washington—Top U.S. military officials, expecting President Bush to order an increase in the size of the force in Iraq, have concluded that such a buildup would require them to reverse Pentagon policy and send the Army's National Guard and reserve units on lengthy second tours in Iraq, defense officials said Monday.

    Under Pentagon policy, guard and reserve units have been limited to 24 months of mobilization for the Iraq war. Under that rule, most reserve units already sent to Iraq are ineligible to return.

    But the Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that a significant buildup would require the Pentagon to overturn the policy and send Guard and reserve units for additional year-long tours.

If the Pentagon has to change policy to implement President Bush's "surge" of troops, what will that do the National Guard in the future? Will more and more Guardsmen decide enough is enough, and get out?

How about the regular active duty Army and Marines? Many of those troops have started on their forth tour in Iraq's combat zone. By 2008 many will be on their fifth. How many times can a Soldier be called upon? What are we doing to our military and its readiness in the future?

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