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House votes to ensure troops' home time

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by BrAinPaiNt, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent Thu Aug 2, 7:58 PM ET

    WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday to give U.S. troops guaranteed time at home between deployments to Iraq, the latest but assuredly not the last challenge to President Bush from Democrats determined to end an unpopular war.

    Bush threatened to veto the measure, which passed on a vote of 229-194. Six Republicans broke ranks to support it and three more voted "present" rather than take a firm position.

    House Democrats staged the vote as Defense Secretary Robert Gates became the latest administration official to acknowledge miscalculations about Iraq and a national public opinion poll said support for a troop withdrawal exceeds 60 percent.

    En route home from the Middle East, Gates acknowledged the slow pace of political reconciliation among Iraqi leaders. "In some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together," Gates said.

    The House measure would require that regular military units returning from the war receive at least as much time at home as they spent in Iraq. Reserve units would get a home stay three times as long as they spent in the war zone.

    Under the Pentagon's current policy, active duty troops typically serve deployments of up to 15 months, with a year at home in between. National Guard and Reserve ground units generally can be called for as long as two years, to be followed by six years at home.

    Since taking power in January, congressional Democrats have moved methodically, but so far unsuccessfully, to force Bush to change course in the war. Most prominently, the president vetoed legislation this spring that included a timeline for a troop withdrawal.

    A Pew Foundation poll released Thursday showed support for a withdrawal is strong — more than half the country as a whole, including 85 percent of self-described Democrats and 64 percent of independents.

    After devoting significant time and energy to the war earlier this year, Congress largely has focused on domestic legislation in a run-up to a monthlong vacation. Democratic leaders have said repeatedly they will renew their challenge to Bush in September, when Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, delivers a long-awaited report on the state of the conflict.

    The legislation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ordered brought to the full House during the day was largely symbolic, allowing Bush to disregard the required intervals between troop deployments in the interest of national security.

    Still, it appeared designed to be politically painful for Republicans. They were forced to choose between supporting the president or leaving themselves open to charges they were uncaring for the troops and their families.

    "This is all about the troops and their loved ones," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.

    Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, said most Americans who are killed "are on their second or third or fourth tours of duty. If all it takes to save their lives is to give them some rest, give them some rest."

    Republicans said — and Democrats did not deny — that the measure would complicate the Pentagon's efforts to maintain current troop levels.

    Rep. Howard (Buck) McKeon, R-Calif., said the legislation was "a backhanded attempt to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq." He noted the requirement for time at home did not apply to troops deployed to the war in Afghanistan. "If this were a sincere effort ... it would apply to all deployments," he said.

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said passage would threaten the safety of the troops rather than protect them because the measure would arbitrarily leave units at home that had specialized skills needed in the war.

    In his remarks to reporters, Gates said the "depth of mistrust" among factions in Iraq is greater than U.S. officials anticipated.

    Talking to reporters on board his plane as he returned from a four-day swing through the Middle East, Gates said he is more optimistic about improvements in security in Iraq than he is about getting legislation passed by the bitterly divided government.

    Earlier this week, six Sunni Cabinet ministers quit the Baghdad government in protest.
  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    If the Dems had any real guts they would demand a vote on withdrawel from Iraq now. This back door BS is just more weasling.

    Not to mention it does complicate matters in that this would require units to spend MORE time in Iraq then they do now. WHich hurts both the Regular army and the National Guard.
  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    It makes no difference if they jump around butt naked on CNN for peace. The president will Veto it and they don't have enough votes all together on the hill to change it.
  4. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    So then you agree its just a political "Ploy"...lol.
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Can't they cut off funding with a simple majority or refuse the next appropriations bill?
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Yep it is a ploy.

    However, It is ploy that hopefully changes some things down the road.

    If in some way this results in a change down the road in either the current administration or the next administration. Than I see it being worth while.

    I just know that saying you are support the troops, while saying the other side does not and questioning their patriotism is no longer going to be so easy.

    Don't say you support the troops but do the following.

    Refuse to increase stateside time when forcing soldiers to do multiple deployments.

    When the last call to raise the soldiers pay by 3-3.5%...don't say no it is a bad idea.

    When soldiers do their duty and get injured, don't send them back to crappy medical conditions after they served their duty. Walter Reed situation is flat out wrong.

    These things will pile up sooner or later.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    See here is the deal.

    Nobody wants to look like the arse that does not support the troops.

    It has always been the admins projection that if you do not follow the admin than you are not a patriot or you do not support the troops.

    So they know if the dems start talking about not supporting the finance bills that they just bring that line of thought up.

    The dems have yet to grow enough backbone to say...screw you we are doing it to end this war and get these american soldiers back home.

    Now they are starting to turn the tables. By putting forward this current one it lays the onus on the admin. What...you don't want to give the soldiers more time stateside before sending them back to danger. So it makes the admin look worse.

    If they were smart they would also present this in the media along with the idea that the admin did not want to increase the soldiers pay, that they have let the walter reed sitaution get so bad in a war time situation.

    However I don't think the dems are smart enough to do that, I don't think they have enough backbone to do it and I don't think they can quit bickering among themselves long enough to have the unity that is needed to do it.
  8. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    So mostly I agree with this, except for that one point, which happens to be what this vote was about.
  9. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    Just another political ploy to make them look good. It's a farce, guarantee to stay home? What a load of BS.

    The military isn't a cub scout who needs to be coddled. I've had back to back deployments, within 6 month due to war, BFD, things happen, unscheduled events happens and needs a fast turnaround, they don't need some clueless politicians to tell military needs to stay home for certain time.

    God, I hate politicians.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    You are pretty much on spot. There are cases where you have limited rights and responsibilities concerning orders (unlawful orders) and things.

    However Morale is something that needs to be taken seriously for troops.

    The media back home saying this or that does not bother most troops. Because they are too busy to see or hear it.

    I remember Oliver North (why is this guy even allowed around some things) harping and harping for weeks that he knows some news shows bug the troops and so on when he was on Hannity and Colmes last year.

    So he goes over and they are in a live situation on satellite and asks some of the troops expecting them to agree. North had a big smile on his mouth just knowing he was right. The soldiers disagreed and said they don't have time to sit and watch tv to see what people are saying. His smile was wiped off his face.:lmao:

    However when you are going to do a specific tour of duty. They normally give you a time up front that you will be doing the duty. It gives the soldiers a point to look forward to. In the military, among soldiers, you will often talk about that time that you will be leaving. Although you have not served I am sure you have seen many movies when they talk about being "short timers" meaning they are close the end of their tours. Now imagine hanging on knowing you will be leaving soon and just before you get to that day they come and tell you that you will be staying another 6 months.

    That kills your morale. Now imagine you finally complete that time and you go back stateside. But they say...you have to go back over more than you stay stateside even though you already served over there more than they said you were going to. That is not good for your morale.

    Plus knowing that many soldiers get mental trauma from not only seeing but doing things that are normally against ones human nature they are already different from serving one time. Imagine having to do it again and again without getting the relief they deserve.

    Think of all the soldiers that came back from viet nam, WWI and WWII that had post dramatic stress disorder. Then having them turn around in a short time and sending them right back into the same situation multiple times.

    Now imagine doing the best job you can but also seeing that no matter how well you do your job you have an Iraqi government and troops that just can not pull their crap together. So no matter how good you do your job you may be doing it for a government and country that does not appear to be able to make it work.

    This does not even take into account for a stop loss (sometimes referred to as a back door draft) where you sign up for a certain number of years but they can hold you beyond that time at the drop of a dime. This happened in Desert storm. You signed up for x amount of years and your time is up...too bad you are not getting out. We had first SGTs who were in 20 years and ready for retirement but they could not retire until after it was over. Or if you signed on for an additional set of years to go to a specific duty and they say you can not now. For instance. Before desert strorm happened I signed up for an additional four years to go to Germany. For whatever reason that was the minimum I could sign up to go to Germany. Well desert storm hit and cut into that time. Afterwards I still wanted to go to Germany. Guess what. Even though the war did not last as long they told me I had to sign up for an additional two more years on top of the four I already signed up if I wanted to go to Germany. Homey did not play that game with them.


    Also does not take into account recruiters and their lies.
    You sign up and are told by the recruiter that you will be doing this training and find out that they lied. Oh they may be in a ball park of what they say but they still flat out lied. That happened with both my cousin and I when I first signed up. We both wanted to be medics but we wanted training a little higher than a standard medic. We were told we would get that...instead we were trained as a basic combat medic.

    You also have cases where people have been trained in a specific field but once you have all of that training and get somewhere they turn you into another field altogether. For instance. You signed up and trained to be a mechanic. You get over there and they switch you to artillery or an infantry soldier.

    Here is another case, this happened to my cousin. He was in the guard. He served in Kuwait. He came back and his time was coming up where he could get out. The time that he and the army agreed to in his re-enlistment. Well they keep losing his paperwork. Everytime he would go in and ask about it they would give him this or that excuse. He kept up with it because he knew his unit was going to be deployed back to kuwait in a few months. This dragged on and on with excuse after excuse with his paperwork.

    Then he was offered a civilian job to go back to kuwait and work for Halliburton. He said he had served his time and just wanted out. He did not want to go back to Kuwait. He just got remarried and had his own two daughters plus his new wifes son so he did not want to go back. He had served his time.

    As time went by it was made clear to him that he had a choice. He could go back as a solider or he could go back as a civilian halliburton worker. In other words his paperwork would continue to be lost in which would mean if he did not get that completed in time he would be shipped over as a soldier even though he contractually fulfilled his enlistment. So with that choice he said he would take the Halliburton job. Funny thing is he had to be discharged from the army before he could take a civilian job. A few days after saying he would take the halliburton job his papers miraculously was found and his discharge when through without a hitch.

    He goes to do training with halliburton and goes back to the EXACT SAME building he was stationed at before. Doing the EXACT SAME job he was doing before. The only difference is he is going to get paid over $100 grand for a years service compared to the pay he would have gotten as a soldier.

    So not only is he basically blackmailed into taking the job, but he is doing the same job as before in the exact same building but getting paid a HUGE amount more.

    So you have to wonder. How does halliburton have enough power to blackmail the military to get a soldier to do their work. Furthermore why as a soldier (during his first tour) not getting paid nowhere near the amount for doing the same job.

    Just some things to think about when you say they should basically do what they are told. That all things are so crystal clear.
  11. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    You are correct. The Dems can take measures to get the troops out, but I don't think many of them think that this is the right time. I believe these votes are politican posturing to help with the elections coming up next year. They can pass these deadline dates and anti-Iraq bills knowing that they will all be vetoed by the president. Other than Gravel, Kucinich, and Paul; I seriously doubt any of these guys will begin massive troop pullouts as soon as they take office.
  12. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Cut off funding for our troops?


    HAHAHAH...


    Every Democrat who voted for it would be packing his luggage that same very night. There would never see Washington again.

    Cut off funding...That is a place the Dems DO NOT want to go. They are busy enough already explaining that the really have the best interests of the troops at heart whilst withholding monies already.
  13. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    Unfortunately, both parties are guilty of screwing our enlisted military personnel. The Democrats consistantly vote against pay raises or vote for very small pay raises, and the Republicans seem to neglect the VA hospitals. The issue of pay raises was one of my biggest problems with Kerry. When I was in the military, this guy voted against pay raises for the military every year. He even tried to get legislation passed that would freeze military pay for several year. You would think that someone who had served in the military would be more sympathetic to abysmal low pay of enlisted men and women risking their lives. Instead, he constantly pandered to overpaid union workers.
  14. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Yes I agree.

    Support the troops rhetoric by most of the politicians is just BS.

    Funny how some of these guys will not vote to raise the pay for soldiers but you can bet your butt they will raise their own pay.

    Infuriates me.

    So even thought he majority of these are just ploys for one party against another. I am for it. Sooner or later people are going to stand up after seeing these things and say..Enough is enough.
  15. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    I am stationed at Ft Drum. I talk to the soldiers every day. Have been for over 5 years. 10th Mountain Division. Most deployed unit in the Regular Army.
    Brain, you are mostly full of it as regards the Army.
    If your cousin is telling the truth, its a very easy fix. Did he talk to his congressman? Did he go the the JAG? I mentioned this to some soldiers here and they laughed at it. Said that once the enlistment is up, and there is a SET DATE for that, the Army has to show severe cause to NOT let the soldier go- and that does not happen often. What you are describing the soldiers here just shook their heads and said something else is involved.
    Losing paperwork meant that he is OUT of the Army-unless the army has re enlistment papers. As I said, I talked to some soldiers, who are just about to get out. I showed them your note and they said that just does not happen.
  16. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    So goes the conventional wisdom. Or they might be applauded for standing up against an obstinate administration and forcing a confrontation over an unpopular war.

    It's never going to happen, so there's no point debating it here.
  17. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    Great, let's use military as a pawn to push a political agenda, heck of concept, bravo.
  18. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    I don't know if I agree. A lot of these guys are sheep. If one of these Dems becomes president and keeps the troops in Iraq, the Dems would be saying that we should finish what we started, and the Republicans would be crying bring them home and no nation building.

    Remember the Republicans on Kosovo? No nation building? How many are complaining about Iraq nation building? :rolleyes: Remember White Water when Dems were complaining about all of the wasted money on trials and investigations? Are any of them complaining now about all the money wasted on investigations and hearing over lawyer dismissals??? :rolleyes:
  19. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    He did not go to his congressman, I do know that much. I don't think he went to jag but I can not be for sure on that one.

    He just did not know any better.

    But it did indeed happen no matter how much you or whoever you showed it to says otherwise.

    I went to his guard headquarters twice with him when they said they could not find his paperwork. When he signed up he lived in the county I live in. He then moved when he got remarried.

    He was told that if his paperwork did not get done by a certain time he would have to join his unit when they went back over.

    So he told me he had a choice of getting paid as a soldier, getting paid a large amount with halliburton or going awol.

    He did NOT want to go back. He made that clear but he was in a position where he did not see any other option.

    So he would come in and visit and I would go over with him on two occasions.

    Furthermore I worked on the laptop computer that Halliburton gave him when he got back from his second tour.

    Luckily for him he only served a few weeks of his second tour. He went through all of that, went to train somewhere in Texas with Halliburton. Went back to Kuwait was there a few weeks and they sent all of the workers home because of some contracting issues. I want to say that they lost the contract to another group or they could only contract so many workers for that area at a time.

    So whether it is right or wrong, whether it should or should not have been done...it WAS done.

    So I appreciate it if you would not imply that he, or I, is lying about it.

    Everything I have said in that post concerning my cousin or myself was true.

    They did do that to my cousin.

    When I did reenlist to go to germany and desert storm hit, once it was over they said I had to enlist for an additional two years. I refused so I stayed at the station I was at until I decided I was getting out.

    The recruiter did lie...or give a half truth/lie when I initially signed up. I would later find out that what he described was a 91C mos but what we signed up for was a 91A mos. That or he flat out did not know what he was talking about, but I find that hard to believe because we all know they try to push people into certain mos' that need filled.
  20. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Hey burmafrd, On a side note...

    I know Ft. Drum well, my parents live up Rt. 3 in Star Lake, NY. Shopped there for years in the PX and comissarry, my father was 120% disabled in WWII after landing at Omaha beach on D-Day, so he can shop/visit military bases.

    As a kid in the Adirondacks I remember the Fighters playing over the mountains on manuvers. Weird fishing at a remote lake in the middle of nowhere and seeing a jet fly over at 700+ mph and hearing no sounds, then 20 seconds or so later BOOM !!!!

    10th Mountain Division is the most deployed unit in the Regular Army and they are proud of it up there, as we are proud of them.

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