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Disconnected Bush Extorts Congress One Last Time

June 7, 2008

The White House has demanded that Congress approve a bill strictly with war funding, but the Senate measure also includes a $52 billion, 10-year measure that would pay for higher-education benefits for military veterans, an $11 billion, 13-week extension of unemployment insurance, $1 billion for low-income heating assistance and billions more for Gulf Coast reconstruction. It’s unclear what bill will emerge from the House, but Democratic leaders have conceded that the price tag and domestic add-ons would need to be slashed in order to generate enough support from the conservative wing of their caucus, which is concerned about growing the budget deficit.

Bush said that if Congress does not act promptly, “critical accounts at the Department of Defense will soon run dry.” He added that civilian employees may face “temporary layoffs,” and the Pentagon would be forced to “close down a vital program that is getting potential insurgents off the streets and into jobs.” If the supplemental spending bill is not enacted after July, Bush said, the department would “no longer be able to pay our troops,” including ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. President George Bush wants $178 billion more in military spending to help pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, opposition Democrats are adding domestic spending to that bill, and Mr. Bush says he will veto it if those programs are not removed.

What it means when the US goes to war

Hat Tip to this article by Chris Hedges – Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in “atrocity producing situations”. Being surrounded by a hostile population makes simple acts, such as going to a store to buy a can of soda, dangerous. The fear and stress push troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find. The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed, over time, to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents.

Civilians and combatants, in the eyes of the beleaguered troops, merge into one entity. These civilians, who rarely interact with soldiers or marines, are to most of the occupation troops in Iraq nameless, faceless and easily turned into abstractions of hate. They are dismissed as less than human. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing – the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm – to murder – the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. [See Entire Article]

This is not a game of Chess or Monopoly. This is not a board game with inanimate objects challenging other inanimate objects. Human flesh and human psyche is changed forever by the folly of disconnected leaders. Fairy tales abound warning us, from childhood, about good and evil leaders. Those fairy tales give us heroes who win, after a terrible cost in lives and property. Religions tell similar tales, trying to teach believers about consequences from their actions. The most glaring misinterpretation for some major religions appears to mix up earthly and heavenly rewards and consequences, with terrible results.

Politicians have responsibilities to those who elect them. But, they also have a responsibility to the world around them. Eight years of distortion and extortion have changed the world. The lessons have been tragic and harsh. The final acts of President Bush will determine how hard it will be for the world to recover from all the bad parts of this fairy tale. The only positive side from these years of torment are acute public awareness of the world itself. The Earth is changing under our very feet while global economic and political landscapes shift.

President Bush appears to be plodding along like nothing has changed …

Hat Tip to thedailyhypocrite for their revealing Bush comments.

Cross Posted on BlueBloggin & American Street
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