Republicans Do Not Support Our Troops

Originally posted at Cagle.

This week, Republicans in the Senate successfully showed their collective contempt for our men and women in uniform and in the process they made our military weaker and our country less safe.

Led by John McCain -- the upper chamber's cranky uncle -- Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the ban on gay men and lesbians openly serving in the military.

If McCain's comments after the repeal effort failed are any indication, members of the Grand Old tea Party fail to grasp the finer details of the policy or how it has been implemented. Worse still, they are defiant in their ignorance.

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Why doesn't Obama consider Diplomacy in Afghanistan?

This Tuesday Obama is supposed to announce his decision on troops and Afghanistan (the last guess I heard was 30,000 as opposed to the 40,000 the General asked for) and we will once again see our middle-east  battle commitment increase.

But is there a reason why the President didn't turn the problem over to the State Department for a negotiated solution? Sherwood Ross in OpEdNews writes an extended article on why diplomacy wasn't even considered. here's a clip:

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My guess, for what it's worth, is that President Obama will find a middle ground on the troop increase and provide fewer troops than requested. And the strategy will probably be tweaked toward the Joe Biden position and explicitly or implicitly away from nation building.

I'm fine with that. There may well be words of support for the Afghan government, but we and our allies are unlikely to commit to the numbers of troops and the time and the money required to build a viable, honest national government. In my opinion, we need to keep a sufficient force in the region to keep Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from re-establishing a base there and to protect and aid Pakistan. What the troop number and operational strategy should be is way beyond my thought process.

While I'm generally against nation building or intervention in foreign lands, I would support one unlikely scenario. If the principal nations of the world would agree and provide moral and material support, I would have us join in action to prevent undue oppression and human suffering imposed by evil regimes such as Idi Amin's or the Taliban.


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Let Ohio Troops and Vets Vote!

It is unthinkable that anyone from any political party would try to block our servicemembers and wounded veterans from voting, but a new lawsuit in Ohio is threatening to do just that.

Ohioans are allowed by law to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot on the same day as long as they do so before the Oct. 6th registration deadline, but a lawsuit filed in the Ohio State Supreme Court is trying to upend that law. If the groups bringing the suit have their way, it would potentially void thousands of ballots already cast by hospitalized veterans and deployed servicemembers, and make voting extraordinarily difficult for those who haven't yet.

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First Rule of SAPRO Is...Don't Talk About SAPRO.

Good news: Pressure from Rep. Waxman to enforce Dr. Kaye Whitley's subpoena to testify on how the DOD is preventing and responding to incidents of sexual assault in the military have paid off: after first blocking her from attending a House committee's hearing, the Pentagon is allowing Whitley to testify. Bad news: the DOD continues to ignore a very specific responsibility they have been tasked with in order to fully address this issue.

I expect that people find it hard to deal with emotionally sensitive issues. I may even expect that many people would want to shield themselves from it.

But I won't tolerate elected and appointed officials who run and hide when they not only have the power to do something about it, they have the explicit responsibility of doing something about it.

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