Supporting The Troops: Or How Not To Provide Military Housing
Once it was decided by the Bush administration that military action was necessary to defend America those who serve your country became a rallying point through the phrase "Support the Troops." Except it wasn't ever about the troops or their needs. Bush Doctrine was more important. Here's Donald Rumsfeld talking about the army
"As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
When a government sends its soldiers into harms way isn't it their moral obligation to provide that equipment which can best protect them from those with hostile intent?
Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles? We do not have proper vehicles to carry us north.
The question was met with cheers from fellow troops, and Rumsfeld's response:
I talked to the general coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they're not needed, to a place where they are needed. I'm told that they are being ... I think it's something like 400 a month are being done. And it's essentially a matter of physics. It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter, on the part of the Army, of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it. As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate they believe ... it's a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously, but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment. I can assure you that Gen. Schoomaker and the leadership in the Army and certainly Gen. Whitcomb are sensitive to the fact that not every vehicle has the degree of armor that would be desirable for it to have, but that they're working at it at a good clip.
All American military veterans are entitled to a certain level of benefits in accordance with their military service. Yet President Bush and the Republicans in Congress have tried on several occasions to have those benefits reduced. But, its always about "Supporting the Troops."
Today's Seattle P.I. has yet another story about how the troops are not being supported.
She was a bankrupt pal of several U.S. presidents. His firm had been suspended from government-financed housing projects for repeatedly violating regulations.
Together, they and others formed a company that won billion-dollar Defense Department contracts and took ownership of 8,000 military homes, including 3,000 in Washington. The result was a spectacular failure that has cost taxpayers millions and delayed new home construction and renovations.
Washington state is just a small part of this complete failure to provide Americas service members with the support they need.
Projects at Air Force bases in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas and Massachusetts and at an Army base in Missouri failed. Many houses simply weren't built. At Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, only two of 400 homes were built. Lenders withdrew, costs skyrocketed, and some delays are being measured in years. The projects have either been sold to other companies or are being offered for sale.
One need not ask how such misdeeds occur you just have to understand this administrations and the Republican parties desire to privatize government no matter the consequences. Profits are always more important than the harm caused by such misguided polices.