Friday, June 20, 2008

House votes to provide $162 billion in war funding

It's obscene. Our elected officials in Washington continue to fund this illegal and immoral war, and make it harder for their colleagues to vote against it by tacking on completely un-related funding. From The Raw Story:
A much-delayed Iraq war funding bill sailed through the House on Thursday, along with a doubling of college aid for returning troops and help for the unemployed and Midwestern flood victims.

Republican allies of President Bush provided the winning margin in a 268-155 vote to provide $162 billion to fund U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan well into next year.

Democrats opposed to the war, however, succeeded in using the Iraq funding bill as an engine to drive past White House resistance a sweeping revision to GI Bill college benefits and a 13-week extension of unemployment checks for those whose benefits have run out.

The bill would bring to more than $650 billion the amount provided by Congress for the war in Iraq since it started five years ago. Nearly $200 billion in additional funding has gone to operations in Afghanistan, according to congressional analysts.

It also would give Bush's successor several months to set Iraq policy after taking office in January — and spares lawmakers the need to cast more war funding votes closer to Election Day.

That's my favorite line of the entire story.

Meanwhile, the death toll among both civilians and military continues to rise. In the past month, these Americans have died while carrying out George Bush's War:

Specialist Justin R. Mixon
Specialist Christopher D. McCarthy
Specialist Quincy J. Green
Private 1st Class Joshua E. Waltenbaugh
Sergeant Shane P. Duffy
Specialist Jonathan D. A. Emard
Sergeant Cody R. Legg
Sergeant 1st Class David R. Hurst
Staff Sergeant Tyler E. Pickett
Specialist Thomas F. Duncan III
Sergeant Steve A. McCoy
Sergeant 1st Class Gerard M. Reed
Lance Corporal Javier Perales Jr.
Lance Corporal Kelly E. C. Watters
Private Eugene D. M. Kanakaole
Sergeant John D. Aragon
Private 1st Class Jason Cox

Please click on their names to read more about them. The "US Deaths in Iraq" counter at the top of the page reads 4, 101. These are real people, not just a statistic. Please, never forget that.

And that photo at the top? That's Lance Corporal Kelly Watters, who died on June 11. He was 19 years old.


Cootamundra W said...

Hard to believe he was 19. He looks as though he is only about 12.

I find it hard to imagine the reasons people sign up for military abuse/service. The devastating injuries, the deaths... the hardening of the soul to the injury/trauma/death of others...

We brainwash the people (yes, they are people) in the military to 'toe the line, or else' and especially not to think for themselves or to think of the civilians as anything other than potential threats.

Those who die, are forgotten, except in places like this blog, those who are injured/traumatised are shoved aside...

The civilians --- I can't even go there...

I need to find something good to focus on now... (military funding certainly does not qualify as good for me).

Sue J said...

Well, I think there are various reasons people enlist. But one common factor is often that many have no other career options. A very sad fact is that many of these young men and women come from small towns across America where there just aren't any jobs.

And then many of these folks are simply very patriotic and believe it is the "right" thing to do. They have an unwavering loyalty to this country.

And George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and all the rest ahve exploited this honorable sense of loyalty and sent them off to their deaths.

Morgan said...

You are so correct Sue. I was in the company of four kids the other night; two 23 yo twin brothers, their 20 yo sister and 18 yo brother. The twin brothers had served their country, gotten out and was now trying to get back in the service. The sister (and her husband) were on leave from their duties in Iraq. The youngest had just signed up for the Marines. Due to the economic state of our nation, this was their option in their Midwest home. The state of Indiana has taken one of the highest tolls in the nation in the loss of it's young generation. I blame this administration for every one of those children's deaths. While our nation will not hold them accountable, I know that there is fate that will.

Mary Ellen said...

It's true, I hold an awful lot of anger towards Bush, Cheney and their ilk for starting this war to begin with, but I am more angry at our Democratic Congress who has continued to fund this war and cow-tow to every one of GWB's whims to support this war. They could have ended it and because they didn't, that young man will never have the opportunity to fall in love, be married, have a family or a career, and his family will never see him again.

Sue J said...

I think the saddest part of all is that these kids are dying, but all America cares about is the cost of gas.

Mary Ellen said...

sue j- exactly, "War? What War?" It's pathetic.

Sara said...

19 years old... seven years older than my oldest son.

god help us all if mccain gets elected.

Fred said...

So obscene indeed. We can find ice on Mars, but we can't seem to find out what G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney are really doing. Let's put NASA in charge of federal oversight.

Low job prospects and low education lead to military enrollment indeed.

The Congress is insulting all of us. What did we vote for last year???

Mauigirl said...

Thank you for reminding us who is really paying the cost of this illegal war.

Sue J said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone. I know this is a hard subject, but since the MSM has given up on reporting about the deaths, it really is up to bloggers to remind each other that these deaths are real people, with real friends and families left behind, and futures destroyed.

I'll do an update post once a week.