Can one say they support our troops AND a decrease in funding for the Iraq war?

Touch Of Death

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Do Senators Murtha, Kerry and Durbin's statements about the troops raise their morale? Is calling the troops stupid, or murderous supporting?
normal_HalpUsJonCarryWeRStuckHearNIrak.jpg

The statement that led to that sign's creation was not too supporting, IMHO.
He was talking about the president. How long are you going to hang on to the mole hill?
Sean
 

Flying Crane

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Do Senators Murtha, Kerry and Durbin's statements about the troops raise their morale? Is calling the troops stupid, or murderous supporting?
normal_HalpUsJonCarryWeRStuckHearNIrak.jpg

The statement that led to that sign's creation was not too supporting, IMHO.


umm... I think the topic was really about cutting funding, not about calling them stupid or murderous...
 

Flying Crane

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It is a very complex area. However, the bare bones runs something like this:
Soldiers should be able to tell right from wrong. If the soldier is ordered to do something wrong, he should ask his commander for clarification, and if not satisfied, take it up the chain of command. This is one of those areas where you have to be 100% right, anything less could cost you.


Hmmm... seems like this could be a tough one to do if you happen to be in a volatile situation like a firefight during a night patrol or something.

What if a company comes under fire in an urban setting with lots of people around, and the commander orders that all persons in the vicinity be shot on sight? A soldier might object to that, but under the circumstances it's pretty tough to take it up the chain of command considering that bullets are flying all around...
 

Gordon Nore

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Can one say they support our troops AND a decrease in funding for the Iraq war?

Yes, by which I mean it is possible for individuals to support the troops but not the mission. What Congress has done, or failed to do, is politically motivated, and I don't think has anything to do with the welfare of troops at all.

I thought Lewis Black put the issue of troop support very well. (Note: I've crossed out all the cusses.)

I didn't ++++++ spend my time living through the era of Vietnam to +++++++ come around to this ++++++ time and not having learned that the +++++++ situation boils down to this: If you're against the war it doesn't mean that you're f-for the other side! If people show up with signs that go, 'GO IRAQ, YOU +++++++ GO!' then you go, "Holy ++++," then you beat the ++++ out of them.
 
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Cruentus

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I think that you all are providing some pretty valid opinions and points. Also, I don't believe that you have to be in support of our Iraq occupation in order to be in support of our troops at all. Furthermore, I realize that the statement "support the troops" is very emotionally charged, and used for political gain on both sides.

I do believe, however, that trying to snuff funding for the war in order to put a stop to it is a dangerous game that shouldn't be played. Especially if one has only limited control to how these funds are allocated, and how much of it ends up actually going to our soldiers on the ground. I disagree with anyone who would take away funds to our soldiers on the ground, period, no matter what their political party or bias, and such a person can't say that they "support our troops" without being a hypocrite, IMO.

It doesn't look like anyone is trying to impliment such a strategy in Washington just yet, which is good. It was just a little alarming to hear it suggested as it was on the news...

C.
 

Big Don

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umm... I think the topic was really about cutting funding, not about calling them stupid or murderous...
My point was, the same people who claim to support the troops and accuse them of stupidity are the same people who claim to support them and try to cut their funding.
 

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I disagree with anyone who would take away funds to our soldiers on the ground, period, no matter what their political party or bias, and such a person can't say that they "support our troops" without being a hypocrite, IMO.

I agree.

Anyone who has been in their nation's military can probably recall a few cases where choices were made to go ahead with the mission without as many resources as possible because of something like a budget. The soldiers, God bless them, keep going on despite the lack of gear and such that would make things safer for them because they are taught to complete the mission no matter the cost.

Change the mission if you don't want them in there. Cutting back on their funds will only lead to them still trying to do the same thing, but with less resources.
 

michaeledward

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The amount of money the United States appropriates for the military is so far beyond the measure of any other country on the planet as to make any comparison just silly.

If it were possible to not approve the "Emergency Supplemental" of 190 Billion dollars the Secretary of Defense asked for yesterday (When does a permanant occupation stop being an 'emergency'?). The United States military is still going to receive close to 500 billlion dollars for "normal" operations - and perhaps another 150 billion dollars a year through 'other channels (NASA, VA, etc).

Who controls where the Department of Defense spends it appropriate tax dollars?


I don't know who Larry Saboto is, but he has just released a new book. In his book he suggests looking to reshape the American Constitution, in order to make it more fair. One of his suggestions, I believe is relavant.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-sabato/its-time-to-reshape-the-_b_66030.html

1. Both the Vietnam and Iraq conflicts have illustrated a modern imbalance in the constitutional power to wage war. Once Congress consented to these wars, presidents were able to continue them for many years long after popular support had drastically declined. Limit the president's war-making authority by creating a provision that requires Congress to vote affirmatively every six months to continue American military involvement. Debate in both houses would be limited so that the vote could not be delayed. If either house of Congress voted to end a war, the president would have one year to withdraw all combat troops.

It seems to me, that the idea being presented in this original, consolodates power in the Executive. There is no way for the populace to say "STOP" to a war without challenges and attacks on his patriotism.


In the tangible world, here and now, the American people have recognized the occupation in Iraq as a very bad idea that needs to stop. But they are allowed no tools to make that happen, that do not open them up to political and personal attacks. Just ask Senator Cleland.
 

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The amount of money the United States appropriates for the military is so far beyond the measure of any other country on the planet as to make any comparison just silly.

The amount of money the United States appropriates for the United Nations is so far beyond the measure of any other country as to make any comparison just silly.

And it is not just that, when a tsunami killed millions of people a couple of years ago, it was the US military that took the lead in helping people. And people complained that the US did not do enough- even though it put more money into things than anyone else.

Same for the Pakistan earthquake....

Kosovo....

Keeping the peace in Asia for Japan, Korea and the Philipines.

People also want to US to take the lead in Darfur, Bosnia, Rawanda and other places like that. Not with speeches, but with troops if needed.

Of course, people complain if the US sends troops for its own reasons, as well as complain if it does not contribute troops and money for something that is not in its own self interest. That is just the nature of the game.

And yes, there are people who would use any excuse to tear down the military if they think it will get them what they want. Some of the people that marched under the banner "we will support our troops if they kill their officers" are probably now saying that they want the troops back for fear for their safety because they gets more sympathy than their old excuse.
 

michaeledward

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And yes, there are people who would use any excuse to tear down the military if they think it will get them what they want. Some of the people that marched under the banner "we will support our troops if they kill their officers" are probably now saying that they want the troops back for fear for their safety because they gets more sympathy than their old excuse.

I'm wondering if there is evidence that can point to any identifiable person who said what is include in quotes in this paragraph.
 

Mr. E

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I'm wondering if there is evidence that can point to any identifiable person who said what is include in quotes in this paragraph.

I am just talking about the general situation. Some people may take offense thinking that I am talking about them in particular- but that is probably because they have a guilty conscious.

The original people that marched with that banner kept thier heads concealed and their identaties secret. They may be anyone, anywhere.
 

Sukerkin

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The amount of money the United States appropriates for the United Nations is so far beyond the measure of any other country as to make any comparison just silly.

Given the $1.3 Billion (give or take a penny or two) arrears that the US has with the UN makes that not such a good example.

I can't speak to the other stated instances of selfless global generosity but as it's not relevant to the point that doesn't really matter.

Mikes point was, I think, that the military budget is inconceivably vast and that attempts to control current hostile engagements via present-tense funding cuts are made practically as well as morally problematic i.e. you may be able to diminish the influx but you can't control where the existing funds are directed .
 

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Given the $1.3 Billion (give or take a penny or two) arrears that the US has with the UN makes that not such a good example.

Unless you have a problem with the fact that the United States is supposed to fund more than the rest of the UN security council combined then the point is valid I think.

Here is the thing- everything the US sends to the UN is spent according to the desire of the UN with countries like China and Venuzuela having a say in how US taxpayer money is spent and its might is used.

The US military is under the control of the US and the US has the final say in how it is used.

So it is strange to hear people complain that the US spends a lot on the military and never complain about how much it spends on the UN. People expect the US to contribute troops and money to events that do not impact it like Kosovo or Bosnia. When it does not, it is complained about more than other countries.

Mikes point was, I think, that the military budget is inconceivably vast and that attempts to control current hostile engagements via present-tense funding cuts are made practically as well as morally problematic i.e. you may be able to diminish the influx but you can't control where the existing funds are directed .

All I saw was complaints about how much the US spends on the military.

If you want to change how it is spent, you change it from the top rather than try to starve it in the hope that it may change its ways.

If you say you want the funding to be cut ten percent in the hopes that ten percent of the troops will be brought home (with increases later as you cut more), you are either a liar or a fool. In the civilian world if you do not have enough resources you refuse to go along with the plan and that is that. The poor bloody infantry just takes what it can get and does the best it can.

Maybe if their driving on without as much material support gets enough of them killed that the voters support a new policy and pull them all out, then some people will be happy. Maybe that is what some people want. They get the troops out as they want for whatever reason. But that is not supporting the troops as far as I can see.
 

Big Don

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I'm wondering if there is evidence that can point to any identifiable person who said what is include in quotes in this paragraph.
As far as I know, none of the people in this picture, who's very existence the left denies, have ever identified themselves, or been identified.
Gee, when people are so proud of what they say that they won't admit saying it, that is telling in itself, isn't it?
vile5.jpg
 

Blotan Hunka

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As far as I know, none of the people in this picture, who's very existence the left denies, have ever identified themselves, or been identified.
Gee, when people are so proud of what they say that they won't admit saying it, that is telling in itself, isn't it?
vile5.jpg

I see that one of the cowards is wearing a mask.
 

michaeledward

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As far as I know, none of the people in this picture, who's very existence the left denies, have ever identified themselves, or been identified.
Gee, when people are so proud of what they say that they won't admit saying it, that is telling in itself, isn't it?
vile5.jpg

Who is denying the existance ? ... Not me. Although I wonder who these people are?

And, if you conflate these people with Wolf Blitzer's question, I think you are mis-representing the argument and position as well. Do you believe Mr. Blitzer was asking Speaker Pelosi his question on behalf of these people?


P.S. ... and incidentally, I was not aware of this photo's existance prior to its inclusion in this thread. What is the source of this photo? When and where was it taken?
 

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Corollary Question.

If, as suggested in this thread, it is not possible to support reducing funding to the Department of Defense for combat zone operations, without showing a level of non-support for the troops.

Is is true, that every American must support the independent contractors operating within the Combat Zone to the same level as received by the Department of Defense.


Currently, The Department of State has approximately 100,000 contractors on service in the combat zone, some of which (Blackwater) are engaged in military operations.

Do Blackwater Agents deserve the same support as the Military?
 

Sukerkin

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It's very hard to debate a point with someone when observations raised are reflected back in a form morphed to fit a singular vision and the underlying issue that caused the observation is not addressed.

Purity of purpose is always admirable but is not helpful for a rounded discussion that touches on something as messy and contentious as the state of global geo-politics.

Those that utilise this debating tactic here at MT, tend to write well and are generally polite (always have been to me at any rate) and I have no wish to be anything other in return. That makes it difficult to take issue with the approach that 'America can do no wrong' without it seeming to be directly a dig at your goodselves or at best de-railing threads with side-issues.

So, as fascinating as I generally find discourse on the machievellian world of international relations, I think I shall have to stand back and let the stream flow untramelled by me from now on lest I become a disruptive influence.
 
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Cruentus

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Some interesting facts about our budget I thought I'd throw in...

Here is the allocation for 2007:

Total Funding$439.3 BillionOperations and maintenance$152.2 Bil.Military Personnel$110.8 Bil.Procurement$84.2 Bil.Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation$73.2 Bil.Military Construction$12.6 Bil.Family Housing$4.1 Bil.Working Capital Funds$2.4 Bil.


That doesn't include an additional $120 Bil. for "War on Terror" (Iraq/Afganastan).

That seem's like a hell of a lot of money. Really, too much money, on the surface, but it is really difficult for someone to think in terms of "Billions" of dollars. So here are some additional facts:

1. We have the highest military spending in the world, in terms of dollar amount.

2. We also have been the most tasked out as far as our military being spead around the world for everything from peace-keeping missions, foreign relations, and aid, as well as combat operations like the "war on terror." We are the largest contributer of resources in most joint alliance or projects, U.N. as one example. And we are yet criticized often for not doing more, in places like Africa, for example.

3. Although our budget is huge, our military budget is only 19% of the federal budget.

4. Although our military budget is only 19% of the federal budget, it is approx. 50% (half) of our discretionary spending. This is a lot that could arguably be used for other things.

5. Although we have the highest budget, our budget ranks 3rd in per capita spending, behind Isreal and Singapore.

6. Also we rank 27 in military dollars per GDP. We only spend 3.7% of our GDP on military spending. This is lower than, for example, Saudia Arabia which spends 10% of their GDP on their military.

When you put it in perspective, yes we do have a high military budget. However, it is not outragous in comparison to our population, % of our federal budget, what we produce as a country, and the responsabilities that we have undertaken in other countries.

So, to me the solution to "spending" on our military or our budget isn't simply to cut funding.

That 439 Billion that comes from the federal budget is what it costs to support all of our activities outside of Iraq and Afganistan. If we want to reduce that budget, we need to reduce those activities as the solutions, thus creating a surplus that would be reallocated elseware. Because we certainly can't have it both ways; that is maintain all our activities as they are while simultaniously cutting the budget.

Furthermore, cutting the additional funding ($120 Billion) that is outside the federal budget for the War on Terror, or not voting for the additional funding, only endangers our troops. This is because they won't be pulled out of Iraq, at least not right away, because the funds aren't there. They will just be required to operate with what they can from the general budget, which is not enough. They will be under equiped because they will be underfunded.

So, if we don't want to spend the extra 120 billion or so, then the answer is coming up with a solution that would allow us to remove troops and activities and support from that area safely, thus eliminating the need for the extra funding. To say "don't vote to allow additional funding" before removing our troops is backwards, and dangerous to our soldiers if implimented.

Because of this, its worth saying that we can't fault democrats (who are criticized the most for this) or republicans in the congress/senate for voting for the additional funding, as by doing so, they are just protecting our soldiers.

So, I think that upon examining the evidence, it would seem to me that one really can't say they support our troops and want them to be safe while supporting cutting the additional surplus for the war. I think I am maintaining my opinion on this one.

C.

Here are two articles from WIKI that sum up the budget stuff nicely. I know WIKI is not always a valid source, but these are well done and backed by real sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense#_note-4
 
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