Does John McCain Support the Troops?

clammyc at ePluribusMedia thinks McCain has a clear track record of dumping on the troops:

Since everyone is at least a bit familiar with John McCain’s record when it comes to strolling through a market in Baghdad with hundreds of his closest guards, or how he wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years (except when he flip flops on that).

But not that many really, truly know just how horrific his voting record is when it comes to the troops. And it is pretty consistent – whether it is for armor and equipment, for veteran’s health care, for adequate troop rest or anything that actually, you know, supports our troops.

This is chock full of links to the roll call votes, and the roll call votes have links to the actual underlying bills and amendments. I present this so that there is support and things that can be rattled off when saying that McCain is not a friend of the military. Feel free to use it as you want, but this can be tied into the “Double Talk Express”. But here is a very quick statement - John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans.

In mid 2007, Senator Reid noted that McCain missed 10 of the past 14 votes on Iraq. However, here is a summary of a dozen votes (two that he missed and ten that he voted against) with respect to Iraq, funding for veterans or for troops, including equipment and armor. I have also included other snippets related to the time period when the vote occurred.

Go check out just how John McCain is no friend of the soldiers... It is truly disgusting how McCain has turned his back on the troops time and time again.

Here is just a taste of what clammyc is talking about:
April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.
The vote to table it by the Republican controlled Senate basically broke down by party line (52-47) and effectively killed it... McCain and the Republicans do not give a damn about the soldiers, especially considering their promise of endless war. To this day the National Guard and Reserves are still short on beans, bullets and other supplies.

Suicides in the U.S. Army increased 20 percent in 2007 from the previous year; that word came today in reports on internal Army documents. They showed as many as 121 suicides in the ranks in 2007. More than a quarter of those -- about 34 -- happened in Iraq. Army officials have said the troops are under increased stress, partly due to long overseas deployments.

An independent commission warned today the National Guard is even less combat-ready than it was a year ago. The commission on the National Guard and Reserves reported to Congress. It said the two forces do not have the equipment or training they need.

All thanks to the way John McCain and other Republicans treat the troops... Republicans kill anything in congress that tries to force bush to honestly support the troops. ABC's Political Punch knocks out the highly partisan far right wingnuts that screeched over Obama's statements in the debate the other night:

Some are quibbling about whether or not the "commander in chief" can be held responsible for how well our soldiers are being equipped, since Congress provides the funding for the military, but the Pentagon (and ultimately President Bush) are in charge of the funding mechanism.

I might suggest those on the blogosphere upset about this story would be better suited directing their ire at those responsible for this problem, which is certainly not new. That is, if they actually care about the men and women bravely serving our country at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, John McCain has made clear his support for bush's continued failed policies. I have asked this question over and over again:

Do you really support the troops?

Do you even know what kind of support they really need?

Apparently Barrack Obama does know what the troops really need, according General Casey's assessment of the truth behind what the right wingnuts were screeching about after the debate:

Today Gen. George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee with a very different take on the story. From the AP ...

Gen. George Casey, the Army's chief of staff, said Tuesday he has no reason to doubt Barack Obama's recent account by an Army captain that a rifle platoon in Afghanistan didn't have enough soldiers or weapons.

But he questioned the assertion that the shortages prevented the troops from doing their job.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Casey said the incident would have occurred in 2003 and 2004 following the Iraq invasion. He said he remembers it as a "difficult time" trying to rush armor and other equipment to the troops.

He didn't endorse what Obama said, which there's no need for him to do. And he was frank about the supply difficulties that were widely reported at the time and which few people who follow these matters question. But mostly, if the AP report is an accurate guide, Casey sought to answer the question to the extent possible without engaging the politics of it.

This is not some partisan nit to pick. The Bush administration has had a dangerous and corrosive tendency to partisanize the Pentagon and use it to game domestic political controversies and campaigns.
According to General Casey the situation is still getting worse for the military:
"The cumulative effects of the last six-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight and unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future."

John McCain can take his partisan campaign and incompetent support of bush failure and go sit in the right wingnut corner and rotate on it. America has no more room for continued GOP failures.

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