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Friday, November 16, 2007

Democrats Finally Being Honest: We Don't Support The Troops

[Update below with statements from : Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

The bill demanding withdrawal from Iraq that the House passed on Weds, was rejected in the Senate today, making this 41 failed attempts to surrender in Iraq.

Also rejected was the motion to get the funds needed to our troops for munitions, food and other things needed by our troops, in a time of war.

Finally the Democrats are being honest enough to let the American people and our troops know they do not support them.

"We'd rather see the Department of Defense, the military planners and our troops focusing on military maneuvers rather than accounting maneuvers as they carry out their mission in the field," Fratto said. "I think Congress should send this money, allow these troops to get the equipment they need. There is no reason why they should not get the money. This isn't like this is a last-minute effort and call for funding."

He said the president sent his budget to Congress back in February last year. Along with that was the supplemental request for more than $145 billion for the global war on terror. The request last month was an augmentation to that request, but they've known that funding is needed, Fratto said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that unless Congress passes funding for the war within days, he will direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and terminate contracts early next year.

Gates, who met with lawmakers on Wednesday, said he does not have the money or the flexibility to move funds around to adequately cover the costs of the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There is a misperception that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers, that we can shuffle money around the department. This is a serious misconception," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.

As a result, he said, he is faced with the undesirable task of preparing to cease operations at Army bases by mid-February, and lay off about 100,000 defense department employees and an equal number of civilian contractors. A month later, he said, similar moves would have to be made by the Marines.

I much rather the Democratic politicians do it this way, because it takes the illusion they have been trying to dupe the public with, away, and shines a light right on the fact that they are weak on defense and that they do not now, nor have they, really supported the troops in the field.

Actions are louder and more truthful than words.

Macsmind points out

That’s 100,000 voters by the way, and their families who will be affected by the Democrat’s playing politics with American’s lives.. How do you think that will turn out in the election?

The campaign ads are already being worked on.

That 100,000 number, mentioned by Macsmind, is just those affected and then total in their families, but in relation to the amount of bad will this will present to all Democrats voting not to send our troops what they need in the field and making life harder and more dangerous for them, we look to another group that represents 2.7 million more veterans and their families that the Democrats have just clearly alienated.

The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs. The Legion’s 2.7 million wartime veterans work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

American Legion: Pass Iraq Funding Without Politics

The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization called on Congress to pass another Iraq funding bill without the political provisions passed by the House yesterday.

The House of Representatives passed a $50 billion Iraq war-funding bill that would require the president to start bringing home troops within 30 days and bar certain interrogation techniques. The bill passed 218-203.

“The White House has already said it would veto the bill, so Congress needs to get on with the business of funding our troops without playing political ‘Gotcha,’” said National Commander Marty Conatser. “I have been to Iraq, visited the troops and met with Gen. Petraeus. They are doing an outstanding job and making great progress in rooting out terrorism. Congress authorized the mission, now it needs to continue to fund it.”

Conatser pointed out that The American Legion unanimously re-affirmed Resolution 169 at its last national convention. “Resolution 169 reminds people that supporting the troops means supporting their mission. You don’t support the troops by denying the funds they need to do their job. Like the resolution states, ‘the global war on terrorism is a just war, aimed at protecting the very foundations of freedom-loving people everywhere.’”

“Unfortunately, this war is still very much in progress. If certain people in the legislative branch are bound and determined to lose it, I’m sure they’ll be able to, but it won’t be lost by us,” Army Sergeant 1st Class Jack Robison recently told The American Legion from Anbar Province. “While they point fingers and manipulate public opinion in our name, we are doing what we came here to do: fight and win.”

Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said this week that if Congress cannot pass legislation that ties war money to troop withdrawals, they would not send President Bush a bill this year.

Simply put, the Democrats have just cut their own throat, politically speaking. Unless of course they feel they didn't need the few million extra votes that they have just thrown out the window.

Especially after just showing more of the good news coming out of Iraq, just this morning.

More from Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin.

Some excellent analysis from This Ain't Hell.

Go. Read.

I have cross posted this @ Stop the ACLU and Grizzly Groundswell.

[Update] Statement from Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen:

SEC. GATES: Good afternoon. I have a statement, and copies of it will be available after the -- after the press briefing.

Yesterday Secretary Rice and I, General Cartwright and Deputy Treasury Secretary Kimmitt met with members of Congress to discuss ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. We reviewed the real security gains being made in Iraq as well as the political and economic situation.

I also strongly urged the Congress to pass a global war on terror funding bill that the president would sign. With the passage of the Defense Appropriations Act, there is a misperception that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers, that we can shuffle money around the department. This is a serious misconception.

The fact is, the department has significantly less funding flexibility than it had last spring. In the fall of 2006, Congress provided us with a bridge fund of $70 billion until passage of the full war supplemental. The full supplemental did not pass Congress until late May.

This fall, the department has been operating under a continuing resolution. Now that the regular appropriations bill has been enacted, we are left with no bridge fund and only our base budget to support normal war operations. Further, Congress has provided very limited flexibility to deal with this funding shortage. We can only move a total of $3.7 billion under general transfer authority, which only amounts to a little over one week's worth of war expenses.

All this leaves the department only with undesirable options to continue operations in the absence of a bridge fund. The path we believe is least undesirable fiscally and militarily would involve the following. The military would cease operations at all Army bases by mid-February next year. This would result in the furloughing of about 100,000 government employees and a like number of contractor employees at Army bases.

These layoffs would have a cascading effect on depots and procurements. Similar actions would follow for the Marine Corps about a month later. By law, we're required to notify certain union employees 60 days in advance, so appropriate notices would have to go out starting in mid-December.

If the Congress does not provide bridge funding this week on a bill that the president will sign, and given the uncertainty of future action in December, by the end of this week, as a prudent manager, I will be obliged to take a series of anticipatory steps. First, submit an urgent reprogramming request to the Congress. And second, direct the Army and Marine Corps to develop a plan to furlough employees, terminate contracts and prepare bases for reduced operations.

These plans would begin to be implemented in mid-December. It is a fact of life that even if we received a $50 billion bridge now, and the president signs it, it will fund war operations only through about the end of February. And so we would be back in this situation immediately after the Congress reconvenes in late January.

A final point, I make these comments solely as the person charged by the president and the Congress with administering the Department of Defense. The high degree of uncertainty on funding for the war is immensely complicating this task and will have many real consequences for this department and for our men and women in uniform.


ADM. MULLEN: Good afternoon. I just returned from Brussels, which was a -- I attended my first NATO military committee meeting in this job. We discussed a significant amount of -- spent a significant amount of time on Afghanistan and the mission there, which support for it remains very strong, and we also discussed the challenges in that mission and didn't come away with all the answers to manning, resourcing and caveats, but we had some very frank discussions, which I consider to be positive.

It's also important to note the other vital missions that the NATO alliance performs both in and outside the long war. Very active in a mission called Active Endeavor and have been for several years, which has become more and more effective; the training mission in Iraq and also operations in the Balkans. We also elected the next chairman of the military committee, Admiral Di Paola of Italy, and I'd like to just extend my congratulations to him. He's a superb leader, and I've known him for several years. And I'd like to extend my thanks and appreciation to General Ray Henault from Canada for his service and leadership as current chairman.

I'd like to switch and just spend a minute on Pakistan. I know there's been lots of discussion about the security of the nuclear weapons. I'd like to be very clear. I don't see any indication right now that security of those weapons is in jeopardy, but clearly we are very watchful as we should be.

As far as operations are concerned, our military-to-military contacts and dialogue between leaders continue, and I see no disruption of that as a result of the emergency measures in place. I've also not seen and do not anticipate any interruption of the logistics through Pakistan at this point, and certainly, we are spending time watching each one of these areas, but I just wanted to bring you up to speed.

So no major changes to our military relationship with Pakistan, watching it very carefully. We'd certainly like to see the emergency measures end as soon as possible, but I believe militarily the situation is stable.

And then, lastly, I'd just like to follow up on what the secretary said in terms of executing the budget inside the current constraints.

As a former service chief and in a position to have to deal with these uncertainties and -- the secretary pointed out -- anticipatory things that leaders and managers have to do, without the kind of bridge support that's being requested, services start reacting very, very quickly inside the services, anticipating even the anticipatory measures that the secretary spoke of. And it just -- from a management standpoint and actually from an expense standpoint, you do start to draw in very quickly. And your ability to execute a budget is much less effective and much less efficient. Thank you.

You can see the question and answer session here.