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Re: Veterans Day: The B President

On the heels of this Veterans Day commentary, I offer what are to me VERY
encouraging signs that the electorate is waking up.

Yesterday, as on every Veterans Day for nearly 40 years, a group of my
hubby's Marine Corp buddies had their annual luncheon in Jacksonville, FL--about 8
guys who all enlisted in the same outfit right out of high school in the early
1950s. Now most of these guys have been staunch Republicans. Well, it seems
these guys are not too happy with George W. and think the whole Iraq thing
stinks to high heaven.

There have been other signs this week in this North Florida Republican
stronghold that Bush is on shaky grounds. An air-conditioning repairman who came to
my home and whose son just came back from a tour of Iraq was not too
supportive of the war after he got a firstperson earful. His son had left Iraq just the
day before on a helicopter that took the same flight path as the one in
which 16 U.S. soldiers heading for leave had died.

I have a feeling the polls don't begin to reflect how the majority of
Americans truly feel and the turning tide of sentiment.


In a message dated 11/11/2003 11:16:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
QCao009@aol.com writes:

> November 11, 2003
> Support the Troops
> esterday's absurd conspiracy theory about the Bush administration has a way
> of turning into today's conventional wisdom. Remember when people were
> ridiculed for claiming that Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, eager to fight a
> war, were
> hyping the threat from Iraq?
> Anyway, many analysts now acknowledge that the administration never had any
> intention of pursuing a conventionally responsible fiscal policy. Rather,
> its
> tax cuts were always intended as a way of implementing the radical strategy
> known as "starve the beast," which views budget deficits as a good thing, a
> way
> to squeeze government spending. Did I mention that the administration is
> planning another long-run tax cut next year?
> Advocates of the starve-the-beast strategy tend to talk abstractly about
> "big
> government." But in fact, squeezing government spending almost always means
> cutting back or eliminating services people actually want (though not
> necessarily programs worth their cost). And since it's Veterans Day, let's
> talk about
> how the big squeeze on spending may be alienating a surprising group: the
> nation's soldiers.
> One of George W. Bush's major campaign themes in 2000 was his promise to
> improve the lives of America's soldiers — and military votes were crucial to
> his
> success. But these days some of the harshest criticisms of the Bush
> administration come from publications aimed at a military audience.
> For example, last week the magazine Army Times ran a story with the headline
> "An Act of `Betrayal,' " and the subtitle "In the midst of war, key family
> benefits face cuts." The article went on to assert that there has been "a
> string
> of actions by the Bush administration to cut or hold down growth in pay and
> benefits, including basic pay, combat pay, health-care benefits and the
> death
> gratuity paid to survivors of troops who die on active duty."
> At one level, this pattern of cuts is standard operating procedure. Just
> about every apparent promise of financial generosity this administration has
> made
> (other than those involving tax cuts for top brackets and corporate
> contracts)
> has turned out to be nonoperational. No Child Left Behind got left behind —
> or at least left without funds. AmeriCorps got praised in the State of the
> Union address, then left high and dry in the budget that followed. New
> York's
> firefighters and policemen got a photo-op with the president, but very
> little
> money. For that matter, it's clear that New York will never see the full $20
> billion it was promised for rebuilding. Why shouldn't soldiers find
> themselves
> subject to the same kind of bait and switch?
> Yet one might have expected the administration to treat the military
> differently, if only as a matter of sheer political calculation. After all,
> the
> military needs some mollifying: the Iraq war has turned increasingly
> nightmarish,
> and deference toward the administration is visibly eroding. Even Pfc.
> Jessica
> Lynch has, to her credit, balked at playing her scripted role.
> So what's going on? One answer is that once you've instilled a Scrooge
> mentality throughout the government, it's hard to be selective. But I also
> suspect
> that a government of, by and for the economic elite is having trouble
> overcoming its basic lack of empathy with the working-class men and women
> who make up
> our armed forces.
> Some say that Representative George Nethercutt's remark that progress in
> Iraq
> is a more important story than deaths of American soldiers was redeemed by
> his postscript, "which, heaven forbid, is awful." Your call. But it's hard
> to
> deny the stunning insensitivity of President Bush's remarks back on July 2:
> "There are some who feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that
> they
> can attack us there. My answer is bring 'em on. We got the force necessary
> to
> deal with the security situation." Those are the words of a man who can't
> imagine himself or anyone close to him actually being in the line of fire.
> The question is whether the military will start to feel taken for granted.
> Publications like Army Times are obviously going off the reservation.
> Retired
> military officers, like Gen. Anthony Zinni — formerly President Bush's envoy
> to
> the Middle East — have started to offer harsh, indeed unprintable,
> assessments
> of administration policies. If this disillusionment spreads to the rank and
> file, the politics of 2004 may be very different from what anyone expects.
> Betraying the troops, betraying the children, betraying America's families!
> What next?