Watching the Senate and House debates on Iraq and the defense budget over the past two weeks, I've asked myself time after time Is this really happening?
You probably know by now that the debates on Iraq in both chambers were bald-faced media events designed by the GOP as an opportunity to re-echo the top ten Karl Rove talking points.
Jon Kyl (R Arizona) was in my opinion one of the most blatant and artless offenders, especially in his address on the Senate floor today. The specious references to the Gettysburg Address that infer a comparison between Lincoln and young Mister Bush. Bogus comparisons or Iraq to World War II. Victory. Victory. Victorious. Evil doers. Evil doers. Evil doers.
We owe it to the troops to stay in Iraq.
Yeah. We owe it to the troops to keep them in Iraq forever with no clear plan so George W. Bush can save face.
The terrorists can't beat us militarily.
So? We can't beat them militarily either, so why keep fighting?
John Warner (R Virginia) said that we must honor our commitments.
Our commitments to whom, Senator? Iraq? The troops? Or to George W. Bush and the neoconservative cabal that took over your political party?
Both Kerry's and Reid's amendments just got defeated. No surprise there.
The Defense bill, by the way, calls for $518 billion, a four percent increase from last year.
For all the good our military spending is doing in the war on terror, we might as well be shoveling it in the furnace.
Heck, for all we're spending to try to get control of Middle East oil, we may as well have Detroit develop cars that run on dollar bills.
Saxby Chambliss (R Georgia) is on the Senate floor now, pushing for an amendment to further fund the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. "It's not about spending money," he says, "it's about saving money."
No, Saxby. It's about spending money onto a flat rock.
The Raptor is an albatross. Chambliss says something about an F-22 probably protecting the skies over D.C. right now. There's a compelling argument. Just what we need in our war on terror is a $361 million per copy air-to-air fighter to protect our capital from hijacked airliners.
What's really happening is that our GOP controlled Congress is so willing to make political hay out of untold amounts of tax dollars on defense initiatives--be they wars or star wars weapons systems--that contribute little if anything to countering the real threats to our national security.
How much longer will we let them get away with it?
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his weekday commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.
For more of Jeff's views on the military industrial complex and its influence of foreign and domestic policy, see In an Arms Race with Ourselves.