From the start of the Iraq war whenever I got into a discussion, I won't call them arguments, with a war supporter we obviously never agreed. But the talk would always end with, "but you do support the troops don't you?" They'd tell me, "It's important to support the troops even if you don't support the war." They were parroting politicians, but I always had my suspicions that when Republican chickenhawks used the phrase it was code for, "don't criticize the war for the sake of the troops."
It was their way of blunting criticism with guilt. If you criticize what we're doing the troops will feel bad about their mission and you will be the cause of their failure. Now in retrospect, maybe it was me that undermined the entire war effort. Seriously, I never bought the argument, but I always felt that they meant what they said about supporting the troops. That any obvious lack of support for the needs of the people who put themselves in harms way to protect us would be seen as such hypocrisy it would beggar belief to the point it would undermine all the rest of their arguments.
That was before we found no weapons of mass destruction and no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It was also before we found out that many troops didn't have body armor, or armored vehicles, and people were buying their own body armor and sending it to Iraq for family members serving there. Before Rumsfeld made the callous statement that we go to war with the army we have. And I could fill 100 blog posts with the billions in profits made by Halliburton and other contractors, friends of Dick Cheney's who failed to serve the needs of those who serve us. And then there are the stories of vets having to pay for their own phone calls from veterans hospitals that Barack Obama related in one of the Democratic debates. And stories of horrible conditions in veterans hospitals, and of homeless vets and the list goes on and on.
And now this, that John McCain, veteran and former POW, who claims to hate war, while he sounds the drumbeat for war with Iran, has not signed on to this bill that would correct some of the past lack of support for our troops and take care of them into the future. While he makes a case for war with Iran that is flawed and so full of holes you could fly a C-130 airplane through it. The biggest flaw in his argument is lack of understanding, or purposeful confusion, of the difference between Sunni and Shia. That Shia Iran and Sunni Al Qaeda, who hate each other and want to destroy each other, are working together in Iraq against the US. There is simply zero evidence to support that proposition, and zero evidence for the argument that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Either McCain knows this and is doing the same thing the Bush administration did in the lead up to the war in Iraq, or he doesn't know it. Either situation is equally, as put by Pepe Escobar of The Real News in the video below, scary. And together with his lack of support so far for this new GI Bill, is the ultimate in McHypocrisy.