Monday, March 20, 2006

Military Support & Homeland Security In Congressional District 31

As we all know the Republican Party has tried to say that they are the party of security and military support. But unfortunately there actions betray them.

This scathing OP-ED, A Top-Down Review for the Pentagon, written by Paul D. Eaton, a retired Army major general, was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004, calls for Rumsfeld to resign among other things. It ends with a couple of solutions. I don't agree with Lieberman for Sec. Def. but the policy he puts forth is sound.

First, President Bush should accept the offer to resign that Mr. Rumsfeld says he has tendered more than once, and hire a man who will listen to and support the magnificent soldiers on the ground. Perhaps a proven Democrat like Senator Joseph Lieberman could repair fissures that have arisen both between parties and between uniformed men and the Pentagon big shots.

More vital in the longer term, Congress must assert itself. Too much power has shifted to the executive branch, not just in terms of waging war but also in planning the military of the future. Congress should remember it still has the power of the purse; it should call our generals, colonels, captains and sergeants to testify frequently, so that their opinions and needs are known to the men they lead. Then when they are asked if they have enough troops -— and no soldier has ever had enough of anything, more is always better - the reply is public.

Our most important, and sometimes most severe, judges are our subordinates. That is a fact I discovered early in my military career. It is, unfortunately, a lesson Donald Rumsfeld seems incapable of learning.

How could this possibly happen with the current Republican leadership? It can't. We need new leadership, especially in TX CD 31 where the military contituency is so imporant.

The other thing that happened in the last week to shine a light on this is the Bush blowback furor over the Dubai ports deal. After the deal was killed the Democrats tried again to get money added to the budget to fund port security. You'll never guess what happened. Right-Wing Blocks Funding For Port Security, Disaster Preparedness. You can see Congressman Carter's vote against the amendment here. But they did put in $1.7 billion dollars for the still unproven so-called missle defense system.

The good news in all of this is that in November there is a choice and a good one at that. We need new leadership for the security of our country and to support our military. That leader is Mary Beth Harrell.

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