Monday, July 07, 2008

Largest Re-Enlistment Ceremony Ever

The setting was the Al-Faw Palace, formerly home to Saddam Hussein. The administer of the oath was General David Petraeus. The number of soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen re-enlisting? 1,215. Source of pride for all those 'we support the troops' defeatists? Yeah, not so much apparently as not much notice was taken of this amazing event in Baghdad.

No bleed, no lead. Like the other good stories from Iraq, this was little noticed. One article in the Houston Chronicle did enjoy trumping up the monetary bonuses given for re-enlistment. As though that must be the sole reason for such acts of bravery for country. They certainly deserve far more money for the work they do, keeping the homeland safe. But, as General Petraeus said, "No bonus, no matter the size, can compare with the sacrifices you make in Iraq or the sacrifices your loved ones make back home." He describes the troops as "America's new 'Greatest Generation'."

As Army master sergeant Debra Bradshaw said, as she reupped for three years, "The money ain't bad, but I'd rather deal with the situation over here than at home." Maybe she's just one of John Kerry's soldiers that is so stupid she's stuck in Iraq.

The new Iraqi government has now met 15 of the 17 benchmarks. Kudos from the left? No. They are determined for defeat, regardless of the facts on the ground. Most importantly, the Sunnis are coming together with the Shiites. That is huge but no acknowledgement here in the U.S. for that.

Everyone is war weary. None more so than the soldiers there. However, if they still so strongly believe in the mission and are still doing the job for us, it would really be respectful if this country could make an effort to come together, however late in the game it is, and support them with acknowledgement. Impossible, I know. We still have the Democrat candidate for President saying one thing then holding a second press conference 2 hours later and saying something else. No clue. He hasn't even met with General Petraeus. Ever. He did belittle him and the idea of the surge in committee once, though.

Even George Stephanopoulos said during his Sunday chat show, "That's their fault" when talking of voters who really believed Obama would pull troops out immediately upon settling into the Oval Office. Not only does Obama know his sheeple will fall for his empty rhetoric, if delivered with a well-rehearsed sincere tone, his cheering chorus in the press know it, too. They are all counting on it. Change?

John Kerry speaking as surrogate extraordinaire for Obama on military issues was precious. He said John McCain flip flopped on the war. Um, no. McCain was for the operations now known as the surge from the beginning, after the fall of Baghdad. He took plenty of criticism for speaking out on that. Only Kerry, who spent 4 months in Vietnam and brought the video camera with him so his men could record his brave moments and then he was out of there, and Wesley Clark, who came home after being injured one month into his tour, are big enough political hacks to try to diminish John McCain's service and judgement. Barack Obama is known by the company he keeps. As are all of us.

I hope Obama continues to use his surly band of hacks on these shows. It's good for McCain.

Vets for Freedom announced Saturday that the organization will spend $1.5 million on cable television ads in five states during the month of July. The organization's aim is "informing the American people about the truth regarding progress in Iraq and Afghanistan", and the veterans themselves speak. This, in contrast to billionaire George Soros' ad using the actress to portray a mother holding a baby saying the baby won't be used in a war effort. OK. Selfish mommy taking to task that mean McCain and apparently she forgot the military is all voluntary. Re-write! Can we get a re-write?

And, bringing up the rear - slanderous defeatist John Murtha, who in 2007 said that there was no way the surge would be a success, now admits it is. Begrudgingly, of course. He credits it to the soldiers kicking down doors in the middle of the night and terrorizing innocent women and children.

He supports the troops.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to 'refine' his policy. If he can decide what that is.


Nikki said...

Great post Karen. I have a feeling that not only will Obama's stance continue to "change" but also his bragging about being right about his no vote to start the war. Its my little prediction. :)N

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

The reenlistment was an awe-inspiring sight!

Beverly said...

Thanks for the post.

Layla said...

Great write-up Karen! The only change we will see is seeing that Obama NEVER becomes president!

Ian said...

you clearly don't get it. We're way worse off, in every way, then if we had never gone to war. America wastes so much precious energy but we’re given big gas guzzlers to drive, thanks in large part to a corrupt system. Bush could've done the right thing after 911 and America would already be well on the way to energy independence but instead decides to blow up Iraq and you nuts think that's ok. Stop wasting so much, that would show you care, but all you do is talk and then drive off in your S.U.V.s, fools!

Matt said...

Very happy to see that people re-enlist, but did want to point out that part of the reason soldiers re-enlist while in foreign lands is that they get their bonus tax-free. And getting 25% more cash in your pocket is a nice incentive.

A friend was recently offered a $30,000 re-enlistment bonus, if he could get back in shape in 6 months (He's been out of the military for 8 years), and they'd let him take the PT test on a stationary bike. Yes, he is in a very in demand field. He plays with bombs.

Added Bradshaw (who has been in the military for 28 years), on her second tour in Iraq, "The money ain't bad, but I'd rather deal with the situation over here than at home." She'll retire in 2011, and said when she gets older, "I want to have so many irons in the fire that I don't have to decide whether I can buy my medicine or pay my electric bill."