"I want to make sure we rebuild our military to keep the peace. I worry about morale in today's military. The warning signs are clear; it's time to have a new commander in chief who will rebuild the military, pay our men and women more and make sure they're housed better, and have a focused mission for our military."
- Candidate George W. Bush, 2nd Presidential Debate, 10/11/2000
The Unofficial Howard Dean Blog posts that quote today, along with an article titled "Bush Slutes The Troops - With His Middle Finger Again." The article quotes a San Francisco Chronicle report:
The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.
Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."
It's rare for the independent Army Times, which is distributed widely among Army personnel, to blast the Pentagon, the White House and the Congress. But in this instance, the paper has said in recent editorials that Congress was wrong to make the pay raises temporary, and the Pentagon is wrong to call for a rollback.
Look two posts down to see what kind of horror our troops (and Iraqis) are dealing with. Bush wants to stuff his own pockets and those of the rich, while the people who were once called "liberators" by the administration are just being told to stuff it.
It's a national shame.