(Promoted by MissLaura)
Thus far, I’ve been riding the fence on the "cut the funding" debate. But no more. Not after listening to that moron, our President, on TV this morning. After listening to him bumble his way through another public appearance, I’m convinced that, whatever the cost politically, the Democrats must now move to cut funding for the war in Iraq.
As a soldier who’s served in both theaters of this war, I’m often asked whether I think a freeze on war funding would hurt the soldiers. I usually respond rationally by saying something like, "No, but it could hurt them in the long term if such a move were to cost the Democrats the elections in 2008." Well, I don’t think this is the time for long-term planning anymore. I’ve played the pros and cons of cutting funding over and over in my head for months, and I am now convinced that a cessation of funding is the only way to stop this lunatic. Cutting funding will not endanger the troops.
These are some of the arguments used against the idea of cutting funding:
It hurts Democrats politically
It might. But I’m not really concerned with that at this point. Call me short-sighted, but all I have to do is take one look at George W. Bush muddling his way through a question and answer session and I am convinced that the American people will be with me on this. Note to policymakers reading this: Please take a gander at the latest poll numbers.
It endangers the troops
This is propaganda nonsense. The House of Representatives could easily fashion a bill that halts any funding for the war on March 1, 2008. Such a bill would fully fund the troops in harm’s way for the rest of the year—but it would force the President to begin the redeployment immediately. How we, as Americans, have gotten it into our collective consciousnesses that cutting the funding could somehow "hurt the troops" is something I’ll never be able to figure out. The Pentagon has some evil people that work within its halls, but the organization itself is not inherently evil. If the funding were cut, the Defense Department would very quickly move to begin a safe and orderly withdrawal. I think back to when I was in Iraq and I wanted to come home. Never once did it enter my mind that if the funding were cut, I would somehow be in more danger. I mean, I was already there with soft-skinned humvees and only a single plate for my vest.
It hurts the troops’ morale
Go talk to a 22-year old father who’s been there for 13 months and who’s never seen his baby. Ask him how ending the war would affect his morale. Better yet, go ask him right after he’s survived his third IED and follow-on ambush. Ask him an hour after it happens, while he can barely hold his cigarette because he’s still got the shakes from the fear and adrenaline. "Hey, bub, how’s your morale?"
It emboldens terrorists
Embassy bombings. U.S.S. Cole. 9/11. World Trade Center tumbling down on TV.
Who the fuck came up with this talking point? In case you missed it, the "terrorists" were pretty riled up before the invasion of Iraq. And another thing I hate about this meme is that it is stated from a position of fear—the implication being that we will be in more danger if we leave. Sigh. So you’re telling me that if we pull out of Iraq, rebuild our military to its former strength, and re-focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, we would be emboldening the terrorists? I gotta tell you, if I were a terrorist, the thing I’d be most afraid of would be a fresh, rested, rebuilt, and focused American military. If I’m a terrorist, I’m currently loving the fact that a beaten down and confused American Army is sitting at a standstill, stuck in the February mud of Iraq. It makes my life easier.
It will cause Iraq to fall into a bloody civil war in which regional players will involve themselves
Have I been sleeping? Were we not at that point already? How do these assholes on the right get away with continuing to say that on one hand, if we leave, it could cause other countries to step in, and on the other hand, to say that these other countries are already meddling in Iraq’s business? Didn’t we just get a Powerpoint on that?
Bottom line: Cut the funding. Pull the plug. Take away the keys. However you want to phrase it, it needs to be done soon.