Thursday, October 9, 2008

Support the Troops? Vote Obama

You hear it all the time, "I support the troops!" It's easy to say, doesn't cost anything and it makes the person saying it sound noble. Governor Palin is running around saying that Barack Obama doesn't support our troops, harsh words, but John McCain does have that strong military image, so obviously he would support our troops more, right?

Well... no. Not at all.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America (IAVA) released their scorecard today for the candidates and good ol' troop-loving, "we're winning in Iraq" John McCain scored a D. That's not a typo; Senators Obama and Biden each scored a B, Sarah Palin did not receive a grade because she's never done anything, ever. McCain scored so low mainly because he's missed just about every crucial vote for veterans in the last year (most notably the new GI Bill), he missed more votes than a congressman that was in a coma. In 2007, McCain missed 10 out of 14 votes on Iraq alone, remember that the next time someone you know brings up Obama voting "present" in the Illinois State Senate (which is a completely bullshit line of attack anyway, "present" is used as a protest vote in Illinois).

Cindy McCain has recently been out on the campaign trail attacking Senator Obama for voting "against funding for my son in Iraq," she claims that vote "sent a cold chill" down her spine. But did she feel that same chill when John McCain voted against similar legislation just two months later? To clear up this issue that has been discussed since the VP debate, Obama voted against the bill because it had no timetable for withdrawal in Iraq - the most pointless war in this country's history - Senator McCain voted against a similar bill months later because it contained a timetable for withdrawal.

There's a reason why deployed troops donate to Obama six times more than John McCain, they know that Obama is the steady hand they need as Commander in Chief. Obama knows we're in a different kind of war, there is no "victory" in Iraq, no matter how many times McCain says it. General David Petraeus, a name McCain invokes at every chance, has gone on record saying he wouldn't even use the phrase "victory" in Iraq:

“This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade… it’s not war with a simple slogan.”

This isn't World War II, Obama understands it, as do the troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. But why even expect any sort of serious discussion about how we treat our veterans when McCain sings little songs about sending them in to bomb Iran? To put it bluntly, if you want to be able to accurately state you support the troops, you should cast your vote for Barack Obama on November 4.

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