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Why Do Republicans Want to Punish the Troops for George Bush’s Failures?

Glenn Greenwald’s piece on the Kagan family is such a concise, elegant, tight portrait of everything that is wrong with the warmongers who lead this country and dominate our political discourse that it almost makes your teeth hurt. Read it now if you haven’t. But this particular point Glenn makes is, I think, worth coming back to over and over again:

Fred Kagan yesterday went to National Review — home to countless tough guy warriors like him who fight nothing — to argue against Senator Webb’s bill. There is no need to give our troops more time away from the battlefield, Kagan types. Besides, doing that would be too administratively difficult (“this amendment would actually require the Army and Marine Corps staffs to keep track of how long every individual servicemember had spent in either Iraq or Afghanistan, how long they had been at home, how long the unit that they were now in had spent deployed, and how long it had been home”).

If troops want more time at home, Kagan says, there is an easy way to achieve that: “win the war we’re fighting.”


[T]o…watch Fred Kagan sit around opposing Senator Webb’s attempts to relieve some of the strain on our troops — all because it would require too much paperwork to figure out and because they haven’t yet won Fred Kagan’s war and thus deserve no breaks — is almost too much to bear. But it is worth forcing oneself to observe it, as unpleasant as it might be, because within this ugly dynamic lies much of the explanation for what has happened to our country since the 9/11 attack, and the personality type that continues to drive it today.

George Bush said it himself last Thursday:

President Bush contended on Thursday night that his plan to begin withdrawing some troops from Iraq gradually was based on a principle he called “return on success,” saying that progress made so far could be squandered by the deeper and speedier reductions that the war’s opponents have demanded.


“The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home,” Mr. Bush said, trying once again to win support for a war in Iraq that remains deeply unpopular.

That’s it. Bush has said he will veto the Webb amendment to give the troops adequate rest in between tours of Iraq. They obviously don’t deserve to come home because they haven’t “won.”

If the Democrats really do have 57 votes in the Senate for the Webb Amendment there is absolutely no reason not to go balls to the wall as Digby says and implement the Kleiman strategy. Make the Republicans get up over and over again and denounce the troops as losers and tell us how they can’t come home until they win. Rudy Giuliani can get out in front of this one, he’s already been blaming the troops for Bush’s bungled war.

Picking off three Republicans with an election coming up?  Pleeease.  Just give us the chance.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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