Unfortunately, this soldier's premise is that Obama thinks that the sacrifices and deaths by U.S. troops and others are "mistakes," which is completely false.
He also says he know John McCain understands and will stick up for him and his servicemen. Unfortunately, that's not true either:
September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.
July 2007: McCain voted against a plan to drawdown troop levels in Iraq. At the time, an ABC poll found that 63% thought the invasion was not worth it, and a CBS News poll found that 72% of respondents wanted troops out within 2 years.
March 2007: McCain was too busy to vote on a bill that would require the start of a drawdown in troop levels within 120 days with a goal of withdrawing nearly all combat troops within one year. Around this time, an NBC News poll found that 55% of respondents indicated that the US goal of achieving victory in Iraq is not possible. This number has not moved significantly since then.
February 2007: For such a strong supporter of the escalation, McCain didn’t even bother to show up and vote against a resolution condemning it. However, at the time a CNN poll found that only 16% of respondents wanted to send more troops to Iraq (that number has since declined to around 10%), while 60% said that some or all should be withdrawn. This number has since gone up to around 70%.
June 2006: McCain voted against a resolution that Bush start withdrawing troops but with no timeline to do so.
May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.
April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.
March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.
March 2004: McCain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans' needs.
October 2003: McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.
April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.
August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000. To his credit, he also voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which he now supports making permanent, despite the dire financial condition this country is in, and despite the fact that he indicated in 2001 that these tax cuts unfairly benefited the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class. http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/9559
Why we're against the war
Q: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guard men and women opposed to the war in Iraq?
A: Here are 10 reasons we oppose this war:
1. The Iraq war is based on lies and deception.
The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict. They hide our casualties of war by banning the filming of our fallen's caskets when they arrive home, and when they refuse to allow the media into Walter Reed Hospital and other Veterans Administration facilities which are overflowing with maimed and traumatized veterans.
For further reading: http://www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/index.html
2. The Iraq war violates international law.
The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.
For further reading:http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/imtconst.htmhttp://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/
3. Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq.
From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least. The United States has chosen a path that directly contradicts President Eisenhower's farewell warning regarding the military industrial complex. As long as those in power are not held accountable, they will continue...
For further reading:http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0714-01.htmhttp://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/
4. Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq.
Despite attempts in training and technological sophistication, large-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.For further reading:http://www.nomorevictims.org/http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0, ... 49,00.htmlhttp://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract. ... 94DE404482
5. Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.
All in service to this country swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, they are prosecuted if they object to serve in a war they see as illegal under our Constitution. As such, our brothers and sisters are paying the price for political incompetence, forced to fight in a war instead of having been sufficiently trained to carry out the task of nation-building.
For further reading:http://thankyoult.live.radicaldesigns.o ... /view/172/http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qa6ZHYcG_EMhttp://youtube.com/watch?v=1dAXQeH7y9g& ... ed&search=http://girightshotline.org
6. Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government's negligence.
Many of our troops have already been deployed to Iraq for two, three, and even four tours of duty averaging eleven months each. Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a serious set of symptoms that can lead to depression, illness, violent behavior, and even suicide. Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war. Finally, upon a soldier's release, the Veterans Administration is far too under-funded to fully deal with the magnitude of veterans in need.
For further reading:http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/http://www.vets4vets.us/
7. The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart.
The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.
For further reading: http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,1 ... 04,00.html
8. The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home.
$10.3 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.
For further reading:http://www.costofwar.com
9. The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination.
Iraqis are subjected to humiliating and violent checkpoints, searches and home raids on a daily basis. The current Iraqi government is in place solely because of the U.S. military occupation. The Iraqi government doesn’t have the popular support of the Iraqi people, nor does it have power or authority. For many Iraqis the current government is seen as a puppet regime for the U.S. occupation. It is undemocratic and in violation of Iraq’s own right to self-governance.
For further reading:http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
10. Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard.
The majority of troops in Iraq right now are there for at least their second tour. Deployments to Iraq are becoming longer and many of our service members are facing involuntary extensions and recalls to active duty. Longstanding policies to limit the duration and frequency of deployments for our part-time National Guard troops are now being overturned to allow for repeated, back-to-back tours in Iraq. These repeated, extended combat tours are taking a huge toll on our troops, their families, and their communities.
For further reading:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... -headlines
Q: Why do Iraq Veterans Against the War call for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq?
A: There are several reasons why immediate withdrawal is the critical first step toward solving the problems in Iraq.
1. The reasons and rationale given for the invasion were fraudulent.
There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq during the time of the invasion according to US officials and former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. The idea that Al Qeada and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were connected to Saddam Hussein and the Baath party were proven false in the 9/11 Commission Report. Members of the Bush Administration have admitted that they “misspoke” in the run up to the war.
2. The presence of the US military is not preventing sectarian violence.
The US occupation of Iraq has proven to be unable to prevent sectarian violence and halt an escalation towards a civil war. Despite having an average of 140,000 troops in country since the occupation began, internal violence and attacks against civilians and Iraqi security forces have been on a steady incline.
3. The occupation is a primary motivation for the insurgency and global religious extremism.
The insurgency can be broken down into many individually named factions with various goals, beliefs, and techniques. However, our membership of veterans believe that the occupation of Iraq is the primary thing encouraging the insurgency and giving it legitimacy in the eyes of many Iraqis. Likewise, other people of the Islamic faith are encouraged to resist America ’s policies internationally based on how they perceive our military operations in the Middle East.
4. We can no longer afford to fight this war of choice.
The financial burden is destroying our domestic programs that could be used to protect us from natural disasters, provide medical programs, or help improve education. We are jeopardizing the US economy and putting strains on the budgets of important government agencies like the Veterans Affairs Department.
5. National security is compromised.
Funds that could be used to protect our ports and transportation are being stripped away while our National Guard units are on constant deployments instead of being used to protect and defend us here at home.
6. The world is becoming more dangerous.
International terrorist attacks have increased and it has become more dangerous for Americans to travel abroad. Approval for US policy has decreased and the dislike of Americans has increased.
7. Our national “moral authority” is being undermined.
The US has lost credibility to much of the world as the defender of liberty and freedom and our national identity is eroding. We can no longer deploy our armed forces for peace keeping measures with the good faith of the international community. We need to regain the respect and faith of the global community. This begins by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and society.
8. The majority of American citizens, Iraqi citizens and US military would like to see an immediate end to the war in Iraq.
If we are truly a democracy and we aim to create a democracy in Iraq our leaders will represent the will of the citizens and lead according to their wishes.
9. The military is broken.
We are abusing the small population of armed service members with multiple deployments while using inadequate vehicles and equipment. Less than one half of a percent of the American population is serving in the active armed forces, which is the least amount in the last century. Only 25% of the troops in Iraq are there for their first tour, while 50% are there on their second tour, and the remaining 25% are there three times or more. We continue to involuntarily extend soldiers with Stop-Loss, recall them repeatedly for additional service using the Individual Ready Reserve, and send soldiers with diagnosed medical problems into combat.http://ivaw.org/