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A "fighting Dem"

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Link to this former Navy Commander's website below.

"Once again yesterday, at the U.S. Naval Academy, my alma mater, President Bush used our brave men and women in uniform as stage props as he attempted to salvage what little remaining public support he has for a war initiated on faulty intelligence. Even more disturbingly, he stood in front of those very brave young men and women who will soon be sent into harms way, even as he again admonished those who want to bring the troops home as soon as possible saying an “artificial deadline” would make America look “weak and unreliable” and invite new attacks from vindicated terrorists. Once again his message was clear: If you are not with me, you are not with our troops.

While our troops fight heroically for America's best virtues and highest values, the President once again today pledged to “stay the course” in a war without an exit strategy and with little public support. Once again, our President refused to commit to a measurable plan for bringing our men and women home, even as he stood in front of a backdrop emblazoned with the words “Plan for Victory.” Once again hundreds of thousands of families will spend the holidays without their loved ones. Some will surely not come home at all.

During his speech, President Bush, in a vague attempt to admit that the war has not always gone as he had hoped, stated that “we have learned from our early experiences” in Iraq and that our efforts to train Iraqi troops that fell short have “evolved.” Iraq is not a classroom project; it is a war, and our troops deserve a clear strategy that includes a plan for withdrawl.

On Veterans Day President Bush dispatched Vice President Cheney to Arlington National Cemetery while he grandstanded in front of Army troops and supporters in Pennsylvania, denouncing those who disagreed with him on his strategy in Iraq as irresponsible.

But the Administration’s tactic of stifling free speech by attacking decorated Veterans and others who dare to question the morality of keeping our troops in Iraq indefinitely backfired in epic fashion, so it has once again resorted to smoke and mirrors.

At the same time, our Veterans are losing the benefits they were promised for risking their lives for this nation even while some of our bravest are being marginalized and demonized for disagreeing with an Administration that won’t admit it was wrong.

The Bush Administration claims to support Veterans while closing VA centers around the nation under a cleverly named program billed CARES; it declares the need for a top to bottom benefit review of Veterans medical benefits and backs off only when there is a political outcry; it states that honoring Veterans is a national priority and then threatens to veto a budget that allows retired Veterans to collect disability in the same manner as all other civil servants; and it so underfunds the Veterans Administration that it will run out of money in June 2006.

When will our President stand up for our troops and Veterans instead of simply standing with them for photo-ops and scripted press events? When will our President keep our nation’s promises to those who fight for our freedom even as he sends them to fight for others’ freedom?

We deserve to know.

Respectfully,

Eric Massa
Commander, United States Navy, Ret. and Candidate for Congress
29th District New York"


http://www.massaforcongress.com/
 

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